September 2012

There are 18 reasons to re-elect Republican Jim Moseley as a justice on the six-county 5th Court of Appeals.

One would be the strong grades he typically receives in the biennial Dallas Bar Association’s judicial evaluation polls. A second would be the decision by the Committee for a Qualified Judiciary to rate Moseley “qualified” for the office, a designation the nonpartisan group withheld from his opponent, Democrat Penny Robe Phillips.

The 16 remaining reasons would be the 16 years of experience Moseley has gained deciding civil and criminal appeals on the 13-member court, which handles cases from Dallas, Collin, Rockwall, Kaufman, Hunt and Grayson counties.

Moseley, 58, of Coppell is sharp and thoughtful, with a varied legal background. He was in private practice in Odessa when he was appointed, in 1983, as regional director of the Federal Trade Commission, handling anti-trust and consumer matters. After 10 more years in private practice, Moseley was appointed to the appeals court.

A committee member for the Texas Center for the Judiciary, Moseley said an analysis of exoneration cases illustrates that court-appointed lawyers often lack the resources they need for training and hiring of investigators to prepare for trial. Improving the state’s justice system will require that people at Moseley’s level recognize these weaknesses.

Phillips, 44, of Plano is an attorney with her own law practice. She, too, has a varied legal background, having been a prosecutor in West Texas and a judge advocate general officer in the Air Force. Phillips is active in helping female veterans with legal issues and in pro bono work.

This is her first attempt at elected office. Despite a creditable résumé, Phillips doesn’t match up against Moseley’s credentials.

This is one in a series of Dallas Morning News candidate recommendations in the Nov. 6 elections.

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