Squeaky wheels get oil. Especially big wheels.

Smith County politics are heating up.  There have been talks of a new jail and a new courthouse.  But the Commissioner’s Court recently issued a “Statement of Purpose and Commitment” which shows that it’s not their purpose to build a new courthouse, and their only commitment is to remodeling a courthouse that’s already fifty years old.  The jail comes first.

Judge Russell of the 7th District Court spoke at Friday’s Smith County Bar Association meeting.  It was a packed house.  (Quite sensibly, attorneys tend to show up and listen when a judge has something to say.)  Judge Russell had some very interesting practice pointers that I’ll cover in another post.  But this post is about the politics.

At the end of his presentation, Judge Russell asked the members of the bar if they were happy with the Statement of Purpose and Commitment, and urged those who weren’t to share their feelings with the Commissioner’s Court.  Judge Russell’s handout included his own handwritten notations on the Statement of Purpose and Commitment. Judge Russell left the impression that the courthouse judges had not been consulted before the Statement of Purpose and Commitment was issued.  That was the same impression an earlier newspaper article had left.  It’s going to take a lot of work for the commissioners and the courthouse judges to get to a consensus approach, if that’s even possible.

Editorial note: Any time there are big goings-on at your local bar association meetings, I’d be glad to know, and glad to post about them here.

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