The spectacle of lawyers or potential litigants directly handing over money to judicial candidates should be avoided if the public is to have faith in the impartiality of its judiciary. The solicitation ban aims squarely at the conduct most likely to undermine public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary: personal requests for money by judges and judicial candidates. Justice Roberts.
2013 – 2015 Donors Below
What makes all of this so appalling is the genuine harm D’Metria has done during her tenure in CCL One.
Not everyone can afford an appeal. Is it really easier to hold your nose, write her a check and move on?
Obviously, it is.
What is so achingly hard to accept is that for every appeal, interlocutory appeal, and mandama filed from CCL One, there are hundreds of other injustices that were not taken to the Appellate Court. For every case filed, there are hundred of other cases not filed in ANY County Court at Law in Dallas County Texas. Knowledgeable attorneys file in District Court to avoid D’Metria Benson. Attorneys are warned in public presentations on topics of legal education that there are issues in Dallas County Courts. No one who has ever practiced before D’Metria does not have sympathy with the attorney that left her courtroom to immediately vomit in the gutter outside the courthouse.
If the Democratic Party cannot muster up primary opposition to D’Metria run an Independent that will appeal to the Democratic segment of voters, peel off her narrow margin and get a competent jurist in office. Having a stalking horse is as old as politics. It is difficult to understand why there has never been a stalking horse for this office. D’Metria has been a terrible judge from day one. For a time there was hope she would improve. That time is long gone. This is enough. How much pain do the citizens of Dallas County have to take. How much more money does the Bar have to fork over to keep an incompetent, questionable judge in office? How much more data is needed than the donations made on the day of a hearing and very close to it, donations made in conjunction with major cases being filed in this Court, and appeals and mandamus that reflect a judge who wholly disregards established precedent in favor of attorneys who have been donors in her campaign. This needs to stop.
What is most revelatory about D’Metria’s latest excessive spending spree is the fact that the discussion associated with her references a dominant belief that she is ‘stupid’ while the reality appears to be that she believes we are ‘stupid.’ This website has been chronicling her excessive expenditures for two years (when it’s not down from a hack) and yet her spending becomes more rampageous. The opinions from the Appellate Court in the mandama and appeals repeatedly reflect a trial court ruling that showcases a judge who completely disregards legal precedent in an astounding number of cases, often to rule in favor of an attorney who has made donations to her campaign. Sending a case back three times and ultimately taking it away from her because she WOULD not adhere to the Appellate Court’s Order indicates she believes she is the smart one, it is the Appellate Court that is wrong.
D’Metria Benson appears to truly believe it is everyone else that is stupid how else could the “Wolf Appeal” have been returned THREE times: “I have no idea. I can tell you what happened, but I couldn’t tell you the motivations,” said Wolf, who represents Victor Enterprises, the corporation that owns the rental home. “I’ve been to the court of appeal four times and have prevailed on three mandamuses and on an appeal of a judgment that was determined to be void…”It’s like me going down the courthouse and finding a file and saying, ‘Let’s enjoin this case.” See Texas Lawyer for more.
And she may just be right. Cocktail chatter, bar room complaints, conference room anecdotes and more reversals for appeals and mandama than a mortal judge could expect in 20 years, have reigned her in not one bit, nor have they improved her dismal DBA judicial evaluation poll ratings. Who is the dummy here?
For a different point of view you may read D’Metria Benson’s own blog where she describes herself as fair and impartial over seven times.
Williams Yulee v. The Florida Bar
In the Name of “Democracy”
D’Metria Benson and her campaign manager, Democracy Toolbox, have established a new trend in Dallas County judicial politics, the repeated and ongoing solicitation of donations from attorneys and mediators practicing in that judge’s court. By law judicial candidates may solicit funds during a time frame of approximately 23 months out of the 48 month term of the judicial officer.
D’Metria has maximized her direct solicitation from attorneys with multiple solicitations and benefit events for herself. The majority of sitting judicial candidates are able to raise their funding with but one fund raiser.
Democracy Toolbox: Undermining Democracy?
D’Metria’s judicial bar evaluation rankings continue to place her at the lowest level of ratings, her expenditures on five star hotel expense, food, wine, gifts, office decor and air fare continue to place her at the highest level of judicial expenses. D’Metria Benson’s reputation for partiality goes hand in glove with ongoing solicitations for donations from attorneys and mediators who practice in her Court.
While her DBA Judicial Evaluation Poll results continue to place her at the bottom of virtually all categories, including her “knowledge of the law” her participation in expensive and ongoing continuing legal education at Five Star Hotels and expensive resorts places her at the top of expenses. Apparently, her recent stay at a Five Star Hotel did not make her any smarter! DBA poll results indicate 81% of the Bar believe D’Metria needs an improved knowledge of the law. Over the last nine years, her poll results have not improved. Spending virtually as much money on CLE as most spend on a law school education, has not worked for D’Metria.
Integrity Experience and the Temperment to JUDGE?
Has Democracy Toolbox established a new criteria for sitting judges in Dallas County? Can we expect more of this? Watch at DallasJudges.org as close tabs are kept on all judges retaining Democracy Toolbox and those judges with extravagant expenditures and multiple fund raising campaigns.
Destroying Public Confidence while Exploiting Reputation and Bar Poll Results for “Partiality”
Texas is one of only nine states that allows sitting judges and judicial candidates to directly solicit funds from attorneys.
“The concept of public confidence in judicial integrity does not easily reduce to precise definition, nor does it lend itself to proof by documentary record. But no one denies that it is genuine and compelling,” Roberts wrote. “In short, it is the regrettable but unavoidable appearance that judges who personally ask for money may diminish their integrity that prompted the Supreme Court of Florida and most other states to sever the direct link between judicial candidates and campaign contributors. As the Supreme Court of Oregon explained, ‘the spectacle of lawyers or potential litigants directly handing over money to judicial candidates should be avoided if the public is to have faith in the impartiality of its judiciary.’ In re Fadeley, 310 Ore. 548, 565, 802 P. 2d 31, 41 (1990).”
Roberts also addressed claims that the direct solicitation prohibition was essentially meaningless since, “The judicial candidates could easily find out who had contributed and even write thank you notes to contributors.”
“It is always somewhat counter-intuitive to argue that a law violates the First Amendment by abridging too little speech,” Roberts wrote. “ . . . . The solicitation ban aims squarely at the conduct most likely to undermine public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary: personal requests for money by judges and judicial candidates. The Canon applies evenhandedly to all judges and judicial candidates, regardless of their viewpoint or chosen means of solicitation. And unlike some laws that we have found impermissibly under inclusive, Canon 7C(1) is not riddled with exceptions. . . . Indeed, the Canon contains zero exceptions to its ban on personal solicitation.”
Bob Gammage, a former member of the Texas Supreme Court commented on campaign contributions in “Justice for Sale” for PBS: “If you don’t dance with them that brung you, you may not be there for the next dance.”
Well, D’Metria, notwithstanding the fact that she is Dallas Worst Judge, is back! And her dance card is full, full, full. One attorney noted that after his last case with D’Metria he walked outside and threw up in the gutter. He said rather than ever have a case in her Court again, CCL One, he simply withdraws.
This is a very expensive prom for the attendants and the litigants, no matter which side you are on! In fact, probably for the first time in her life D’Metria is finally PROM QUEEN! Who won PROM KING? Criteria for Prom King candidate is that person or firm whose donation(s) to D’Metria meet Justice Roberts’ standard as:
The conduct most likely to undermine public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary:
personal requests for money by judges and judicial candidate.
This autumn: Just the Facts.
Is there a bias in favor of donors?
Is there a pattern of conduct? You decide.
FUNDS RAISED AFTER THE ELECTION: It is important to review funds raised after the election. The fact that donations can be made AFTER an election creates an environment in which candidates and potential candidates make a calculated and self-benefiting choice to not focus on the donation process and abuses, thereby drawing attention to donors. These candidates, should they be successful, anticipate donation after a successful election from large, consistent donors such as Haynes and Boone. Large donors will not antagonize a sitting judge, even one with ratings as low as D’Metria’s, by donating to an opposing candidate before an election.
This process, of withholding financial support from an opposing candidate in favor of a sitting judge, is one contributing factor to the re-election of D’Metria Benson. Review the appellate court donations and timing, the pattern is clear. Review the large donors and cases set in County Court at Law Number One – there is again, a clear pattern. Do your own research at Dallas County Campaign Finance filings, draw your own conclusions.
Linking Donors to Court Cases DallasJudges.org
It is time to begin publishing each donors name with a link to each case filed in a candidate’s court. It is inequitable that most donors will only support an incumbent prior to an election. Should the incumbent lose the donor will donate to the challenger after the election.
By noting each donor and the cases filed in a specific court, the public can decide whether the donation was motivate by a genuine appreciation for the judicial candidate or draw another conclusion based upon the underlying factual reality of situations.
This may not level the playing field but it will at least shine a little antiseptic sunshine on the situation.
Will the Architect of the FIVE TIME SOLICITATION PLAN for D’Metria be Rewarded with More Business or Will Judicial Candidates with Integrity Find a Different Campaign Manager?
An argument can be made that unpacking this Pandora’s Box of unending campaign solicitations harms the judiciary. Any campaign promoter of this conduct should not be rewarded with further business by other judicial candidates be they Republican or Democrat.
It is a low game that would exploit D’Metria’s ratings and reputation for being partial as reflected by the Dallas Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Poll results.
It is hard to fathom that with D’Metria’s additional Judicial Evaluation Poll results for knowledge of the law equally low that attorneys would rush to her support. A campaign manager might find her perception of partiality worth exploiting but it is shameful for others in the judiciary to join with this same manager if their devotion is to the integrity of the judiciary.
DBA Judicial Poll Evaluation: Is D’Metria Benson Impartial?*
2015: 73% Needs Improvement
2013: 77% Needs Improvement
2011: 74% Needs Improvement
2009: 76% Needs Improvement
The Fifth District Court of Appeals has made it very clear in a Motion to Recuse Judge Cortez, the former 44th District Court judge accused of sex with a child, cocaine use and choking a prostitute, that campaign contributions by lead counsel made which were characterized as “large and curiously timed contributions” to Judge Cortez’s re-election campaign would NOT serve to support a Recusal Order.
The Fifth District Court did not find contributions made by Jeffrey Tillotson, a partner at Lynn Tillotson Pinker & Cox, who donated $5,000 to Cortez’s campaign a week before a key hearing in the case in May 2013, together with a $2,500 contribution from Tillotson’s law firm made to Cortez’s re-election campaign the day after Cortez ruled in favor of Tillotson’s clients were a basis for judicial recusal. Tillotson’s personal contribution was made at a public fundraiser hosted by Cortez and properly reported in the campaign finance report filed with the Texas Ethics Commission. Read more: Texas Lawyer Here.
But as demonstrated in the “Not Our First Rodeo” whistleblowing is a breach of contract case, this firm had not only the trial court covered with campaign contributions, their contributions dominated the sitting, elected appellate court and beckoned all others with their known, demonstrated and historical contributions to judicial campaigns. This case included curiously timed donations as well.
The Five Fund Raiser Campaign Undermines Judicial Appearance of Integrity
Will County Court at Law Judges Mark Greenberg, Timothy King Fifer and William Kenneth Tapscott continue to retain this same firm, thereby tacitly approving this strategy of exploiting D’Metria’s poll results and reputation for partiality, whether adopting them for themselves or not? Or will they find new management for their campaigns? These judges do not share the same low results as D’Metria, nor the appetite for extravagant spending, nor have they demonstrated the need to return to the bar five times to raise funds. You may follow these events at DallasJudges.org .
This conduct of five solicitations directly from attorneys over a 23 month period harms the judiciary. Any campaign firm that promotes conduct which undermines the judiciary should not be retained by those devoted to maintaining its integrity. Each of these judges is capable of raising adequate funds without resorting to these tactics of repeated solicitations from attorneys who practice in their court. Obviously, D’Metria was/is not.
To continue to retain and reward the campaign management firm that engaged in this conduct of repeated solicitations from attorneys and mediators on behalf of D’Metria is not in the best interest of the judiciary, justice for Dallas County or of the litigants of Dallas County who find themselves trapped in CCL One.
Dallas County’s Judiciary needs to look inward. By continuing to employ the same campaign management firm that brought the five ongoing fund-raising solicitation program to the judiciary of Dallas County (which is virtually half the time a judge is on the bench) the Dallas County Judiciary has endorsed this conduct. Close scrutiny should be the concomitant and inevitable result of this conduct.
The Judiciary of Dallas County Texas should do everything possible to ensure this type of conduct ends and that includes not employing any campaign firm that creates this deplorable environment within any Court.
Attorneys Cannot Directly Solicit Clients but Judges Can Directly Solicit Money from Attorneys
Judges can continue to profess their impassioned impartiality but the public has moved beyond that. Those who may be impartial even 95% of the time will have a hard time convincing the public. While their courtroom pronouncements have impact and power, their self serving claims of impartiality (even when they truly are) convince no one. Judges like D’Metria Benson exacerbate the dilemma.
Clearly, judges must raise funds but they are not obligated to spend funds on office decor, expensive travel and close to $30,000 on parties.
D’Metria Benson has spent more on Continuing Legal Education than the cost of most law degrees while her “knowledge of the law” rankings by the Dallas Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Poll remain the lowest of all judges. The only thing D’Metria Benson appears to be learning is how to raise money and spend it with the help of Democracy Toolbox.
With only a 9 percent “excellent” rating an inference can be made that those who have contributed, those with a strong interest in seeing D’Metria continue as a jurist in THEIR cases are the only members of the Bar that genuinely support D’Metria.
The Dallas Bar Association should not only ask whether an attorney responding to their poll has donated, their firm has donated but does the member believe the jurist is a good representation of the ethics and morality a jurist should possess. No doubt, Carlos Cortez would have failed but would D’Metria not fail as well?
|Texas Judicial Campaign Contributions. Howard Hughes said, “This is Texas ….”|
Dallas Bar Poll D’Metria Benson Dallas Worst Judge: A review of the list of donors matched to cases filed in CCL One demonstrates a clear pattern of conduct in both the timing of the contributions and the case(s) filed. Additionally, a review of the appeals and mandamae filed from CCL One demonstrates a strong correlation between the disregard of established precedent by the Court and attorneys making donations to D’Metria. Obviously, mediators depend on referrals directly from D’Metria. Their ongoing, unrelenting donations appear timed to the ongoing and unrelenting request for donations.
|Total Contributions 1/1/15 to 6/30/15||$ 38,995|
|Kendall Law Group||$ 5,000||2/9/2015|
|Van Shaw||$ 5,000||3/4/2015|
|Law Office Tshome Anderson||$ 2,500||3/2/2015|
|Justin Dale Laurence||$ 1,500||2/28/2015|
|Gloria Akin||$ 1,500||3/3/2015|
|Ted Lyon & Assoc||$ 1,000||3/2/2015|
|Lisa Blue Barron||$ 1,000||2/19/2015|
|Sommerman & Quesada||$ 1,000||2/18/2015|
|Gary G. Berman||$ 1,000||2/26/2015|
|Gilbert Mediations||$ 1,000||3/2/2015|
|Robert B. Shields||$ 1,000||2/20/2015|
|Marcia Wormingon / Womington & Bollizer||$ 1,000||2/11/2015|
|Burden Mediations||$ 800||3/2/2015|
|Angel Reeyes||$ 500||2/9/2015|
|Hahn Law Firm||$ 500||2/14/2015|
|Bell, Nunnally & Morton||$ 500||2/18/2015|
|Stephen Schoultz||$ 500||3/2/2015|
|Michael Payma||$ 500||3/2/2015|
|Gruber Hurst Johansen||$ 500||3/2/2015|
|Benton Law Firm||$ 500||3/2/2015|
|Zelesky Mediators||$ 500||3/2/2015|
|Modjanad & Associates||$ 500||2/20/2015|
|Settle & Pou||$ 500||3/2/2015|
|John Wall||$ 500||3/2/2015|
|Paige Edwards||$ 500||3/2/2015|
|P. Michael McCullogh||$ 500||2/12/2015|
|Farrow Gillespie & Heath||$ 250||2/4/2015|
|Frank Finn / Thompson Knight||$ 250||2/13/2015|
|Quentin D. Brogden||$ 250||2/11/2015|
|Dedman Law||$ 250||2/17/2015|
|Grau Law Group||$ 250||2/18/2015|
|Whitehurst & Caley||$ 250||2/12/2015|
|Jane Fraser||$ 250||2/23/2015|
|Joan Tarpley||$ 250||2/10/2015|
|Wiliam Wiles||$ 250||2/24/2015|
|Joseph Zoppolosky / Glast Phillips & Murray||$ 250||3/3/2015|
|Diane Minissale||$ 250||3/2/2015|
|Tamar Meeks||$ 250||2/25/2015|
|Mel Wolovits||$ 250||2/25/2015|
|Walker Duke||$ 250||2/25/2015|
|Charles Oliver||$ 250||2/13/2015|
|Carl Tillery||$ 200||2/12/2015|
|Hal K. Gillespie||$ 200||3/1/2015|
|Elizabeth Handschuler||$ 100||3/2/2015|
|A few more attorneys to add in the smaller $100 to $250 range.|
Contributions 2013 to 2015
|Andrew Jee PC||$200.00||9/23/2014|
|Andrew L. Payne||$1,000.00||9/20/2014|
|Andrews & Kurth Texas PAC||$1,000.00||9/27/2014|
|Andrews Kurth LLP||$1,000.00||5/24/2013|
|Andrews Kurth Texas PAC||$250.00||10/2/2013|
|Arant Law Firm||$100.00||5/4/2014|
|Avant Law Firm||$100.00||6/5/2013|
|Baker Botts Amicus Fund||$1,000.00||5/31/2013|
|Lisa Blue Barron||LEGIBLE?||5/13/201?|
|Baron & Blue||$500.00||10/20/2014|
|Lisa Blue Barron||$1.000||2/19/2015|
|Baron & Budd PC||$2,000.00||10/20/2014|
|Baron & Budd PC||$2,000.00||6/6/2013|
|Bell Nunally & Martin LLP||$250.00||5/31/2013|
|Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP||$250.00||9/27/2014|
|Bell, Nunnally & Morton||$500.00||2/18/2015|
|Ben Abbott PC||$1,000.00||6/6/2013|
|Ben Abbott, P.C. (See also $5K from LAWHR, PLLC)||$4,000.00||10/2/2013|
|Benton Law Firm||$500.00||3/2/2015|
|Bickel & Brewer||$2,500.00||8/9/2013|
|Brent & Betty Rosenthal||$250.00||9/23/2014|
|Burford & Ryburn||$250.00||9/27/2014|
|Cannon Law Group LLC||$25.00||4/29/2014|
|Cathy L. Johnson||$100.00||5/1/2014|
|Colleen M. Martin||$250.00||5/1/2014|
|Courtney Barksdale Perez PLLC||$100.00||6/3/2013|
|Cozen O’Conner PAC||$200.00||10/8/2013|
|Cynthia F. Solls||$250.00||9/23/2014|
|Cynthia F. Solls||$250.00||5/25/2013|
|Darren Wolf, PC||$100.00||10/2/2013|
|David C. Andorf||6/6/2013|
|David Taubenfeld /Haynes Boone||$200.00||6/6/2013|
|Dean & Lyons||$100.00||9/27/2014|
|Deans & Lyons LLP||$1,000.00||10/2/2013|
|Deans & Lyons LLP||$1,000.00||6/6/2013|
|Dedman Law PLLC||$250.00||6/6/2013|
|Denny Marten PC||$100.00||10/2/2013|
|Denyse F. Clancy||$1,000.00||9/23/2014|
|Domengo A. Garcia||$2,500.00||6/6/2013|
|Dunn Shehan LLP||$500.00||5/30/2013|
|E. Leon Carter||$1,000.00||5/4/2014|
|E. Leon Carter||$1,000.00||9/23/2013|
|Ebertsein & Witherite||$500.00||9/26/2013|
|Eric Cedillo PC||$500.00||9/23/2014|
|Farrow Billespie & Heath||$250.00||2/4/2015|
|Farrow Gillespie & Heath||$500.00||6/4/2013|
|Fears Nachawati Law Firm||$500.00||9/30/2013|
|Fears Nachawati Law Firm||$500.00||6/14/2013|
|Fee, Smith Shaep & Vitullo||$250.00||6/6/2013|
|Frank Finn / Thompson Knight||$250.00||2/13/2015|
|Frank L. Branson PC||$5,000.00||6/4/2013|
|Freidman & Feiger LLP||$100.00||9/23/2014|
|Fulbright & Jaworski LLP||$500.00||5/31/2013|
|Gary G. Berman||$1,000.00||2/26/2015|
|Gary G. Berman||$1,000.00||10/1/2013|
|General Duneis Warehousemon ???||$1,000.00||10/20/2014|
|Geroge Bramblett / Haynes Boone||$1,000.00||6/6/2013|
|Gil L. Dailey PC||$250.00||6/6/2013|
|Godwin Lewis PC||$500.00||5/28/2013|
|Graber Hunt Johasen Hail Shank||$500.00||9/27/2014|
|Grant & Hicks PLLC||$1,000.00||8/20/2013|
|Grau Law Group||$250.00||2/18/2015|
|Grauw Law Group PLLC||$250.00||6/17/2013|
|Gruber Hurst Johansen||$500.00||3/2/2015|
|H. Grady Chandler||$500.00||8/9/2013|
|Hahn Law Firm||$500.00||2/14/2015|
|Hal K. Gillespie||$200.00||3/1/2015|
|Hal K. Gillespie||$100.00||6/5/2013|
|Handschuler Law P.C.||$100.00||10/20/2014|
|Haynes & Boone PAC||$5,000.00||5/28/2013|
|Henley & Henley||$1,000.00||6/6/2013|
|Henley & Henley PC||$500.00||4/29/2014|
|Hernandez Law PC||$1,000.00||4/29/2014|
|Hightower Angelley LLP||$500.00||6/6/2013|
|Hunton & Williams||$500.00||5/31/2013|
|Winstead PC PAC||$500.00||6/15/2013|
|J. Richard Gallager||$100.00||9/27/2014|
|J. Richard Gallagher||$100.00||9/21/2013|
|Jackson Walker LLP PAC||$500.00||6/6/2013|
|Jeffrey M. Tilotson||$2,500.00||5/1/2014|
|John E. Sullivan||$100.00||6/5/2013|
|John J. Diggins||$100.00||9/27/2014|
|John J. Diggins||$200.00||10/4/2013|
|John L. Langdon||$1,000.00||9/23/2014|
|Joseph P. Griffith||$75.00||6/6/2013|
|Joseph Zoppolosky / Glast Phillips & Murray||$250.00||3/3/2015|
|Julie A. Zanutto||$100.00||9/23/2014|
|Julie A. Zanutto||$100.00||5/1/2014|
|Julie A. Zanutto||$100.00||6/6/2013|
|Justin Dale Laurence||$1,500.00||2/28/2015|
|Kane Russell Coelman & Logan||$500.00||10/2/2013|
|Kastl Law OPC||$500.00||9/23/2014|
|Katherine M. Fragnoli||$50.00||6/4/2013|
|Ken Burdin Mediations||$250.00||4/12/2014|
|Kendall Law Group||$5,000.00||2/9/2015|
|Kenneth J. Rubenstein||$350.00||6/6/2013|
|Kim Renee James||$100.00||10/2/2013|
|Kim Renee James||$100.00||9/23/2014|
|Korn Bowdich & Diaz||$250.00||5/1/2014|
|Korn Bowdick Diaz||$500.00||10/2/2013|
|Lance A. Pool||$100.00||5/1/2014|
|Law Office of Julie Johnson||$1,000.00||9/27/2014|
|Law Office of Van Shaw||$1,000.00||6/21/2014|
|Collen Meyer with Van Shaw Law Office||$5,000.00||9/24/2014|
|Law Offices Van Shaw||$5,000.00||5/24/2013|
|Lawrh PLLC (See also Ben Abbott)||$5,000.00||9/25/2014|
|Tshome Anderson Law Office||$2500||3/2/2015|
|Linda M. Dedman||$250.00||9/27/2014|
|Lisa Miller Bys||$500.00||5/24/2013|
|Lynn Tillotson Penter & Cox||$1,000.00||6/24/2013|
|Lyon Gorskey Haring||$100.00||8/13/2013|
|M. Nawaz PC||$1,000.00||5/4/2014|
|Madjanad & Abusaad||$3,138.00||10/2/2013|
|Marcia Wormingon / Womington & Bollizer||$1,000.00||2/11/2015|
|Margaret Jones Johnson||$100.00||10/20/2014|
|Margaret Jones Johnson||$100.00||8/28/2013|
|Margaret Jones Johnson||$100.00||6/6/2013|
|Mark A. Ticer||$200.00||5/12/2013|
|Mark L. Johansen||$250.00||6/10/2013|
|Mary E. Skelnik||$250.00||9/23/2014|
|Mary E. Skelnik||$250.00||5/1/2014|
|Mary M. Burdin Attorney||$500.00||4/12/2014|
|Mastrogiovanni, Schorsch & Merskey||$500.00||10/2/2013|
|Mazin Ahma Sbiatz||$250.00||10/2/2013|
|McDonald Devin P.C.||$250.00||10/2/2013|
|McKey Morrison & Sanchez||$500.00||6/6/2013|
|Michael V. Marconi||$250.00||5/1/2014|
|Michele Wong Krause||$100.00||10/2/2013|
|Michele Wong Krause||$100.00||9/9/2014|
|Michele Wong Krause||$150.00||5/30/2013|
|Miller Weisbrod LLP||$1,000.00||5/28/2013|
|Miller Weisbrod LLP||$2,500.00||9/16/2013|
|Mitchell Goff & Mitchell||$1,000.00||9/24/2013|
|Modjanad & Assoc||$200.00||6/5/2013|
|Modjanad & Associates||$500.00||2/20/2015|
|Mr. W.D. Wiles||$200.00||9/23/2014|
|P. Michael McCillogh||$500.00||2/12/2015|
|Payma Kuhnel & Smith||$1,500.00||10/2/2013|
|Quentin D. Brogden||$250.00||2/11/2015|
|Rad Law Firm||$500.00||9/23/2014|
|Reyes Broune Reilley||$250.00||6/7/2013|
|Richard D. Pullman||$50.00||5/29/2013|
|Rober G. Vial PC||$150.00||6/6/2013|
|Robert B. Shields||$1,000.00||2/20/2015|
|Robert G. Vial, PC||$100.00||9/24/2013|
|Robert P. Gray & Elizabeth Schrupp||$100.00||7/5/2013|
|Roxane L. Rose||$50.00||10/2/2013|
|Roxane M. Guerrenco||$250.00||10/2/2013|
|Samson Greenston Panatrer||$500.00||5/1/2014|
|Schmidt & Holmes||$150.00||6/18/2013|
|Schorr Law Firm PC||$200.00||6/6/2013|
|Schulman Law Firm||$100.00||9/27/2014|
|Scott Lidji PC||$100.00||9/23/2014|
|Sean S. Madjanad||$1,000.00||5/1/2014|
|Sedgwick Attorneys at Law||$250.00||8/9/2013|
|Settle & Pou||$500.00||3/2/2015|
|Settle Pou PC||$250.00||9/27/2014|
|Settle Pou PC||$500.00||6/6/2013|
|Shamoren & Norman||$1,000.00||9/23/2014/|
|Shamoun & Norman||$1,000.00||9/25/2013|
|Shamoun & Norman LLP||$1,000.00||5/31/2013|
|Shombe A. Anderson PLLC||$1,000.00||4/30/2014|
|Sommerman & Quesada||$1,000.00||2/18/2015|
|Sommerman & Quesada||$500.00||5/29/2013|
|Sommerman & Quesada||$1,000.00||9/27/2014|
|Standley & Hamilton||$250.00||9/23/2014|
|Stephen M. Ramsey||$250.00||9/23/2014|
|Stephen W. Shoultz||$250.00||10/2/2013|
|Taibim Sons Law Firm||$50.00||5/29/2013|
|Tamar Micks PC||$250.00||9/26/2013|
|Ted B. Lyon||$1,000.00||5/24/2013|
|Ted B. Lyon & Associates||$1,000.00||9/15/2014|
|Ted Lyon & Assoc||$1,000.00||3/2/2015|
|Ted Lyon & Assoc||$500.00||5/1/2014|
|The Bush Law Firm||$100.00||6/5/2013|
|Thomas C. Barron||$100.00||10/2/2013|
|Thompson & Knight PAC||$500.00||10/11/2013|
|Thorne & Skinner||$100.00||9/23/2013|
|Thorne & Skinner||$250.00||9/27/2014|
|Tom Carse P.C.||$500.00||9/27/2013|
|Tx Dem Party||$4,500.00||3/27/2014|
|Vasallo & Salazar||$500.00||8/9/2013|
|Vella Keller PC||$250.00||9/23/2014|
|Vinson & Elkins||$2,000.00||5/31/2013|
|W. Gary Fowler||$500.00||6/5/2013|
|Whitehurst & Caley||$250.00||2/12/2015|
|William E. Zook||$100.00||10/20/2014|
|William Hagner & Assoc||$100.00||9/27/2014|
|William M. Hayner||$100.00||9/23/2013|
|Wormington Law Group||$100.00||9/23/2014|
|Wormington Law Group||$500.00||5/4/2014|
Attorneys in D’Metria’s Court Quietly Outraged with D’Metria’s Continued Solicitations
Q&A’s on D’Metria’s Five Fund Raisers
Q. You received how many invitations to fund raisers with food and wine at Times Ten Cellars from D’Metria?
A. Four, I believe.
Q. How did you feel?
A. Like a chump that should have waited until the last one. I’ve never been dunned over and over and over and over. It’s a scummy scam as far as I’m concerned.
Q. Did you donate?
A. Hell, yeah.
A. I’ve got several cases in her Court. Hell, yeah I gave her money. The woman’s a ….
Criticism of Website Recognized and Accepted
Regarding the criticism that the images drawn of D’Metria are neither respectful nor tasteful … Correct, no respect here.
You have senior attorneys at major law firms “ye-hawing” their frivolous claims, senior attorneys donating thousands of dollars on the day of their hearing in D’Metria’s Court (and very close to it), you have a judge ignoring the law again and again and again, you have ninety percent of all attorneys that have appeared before her stating she’s incompetent (and worse) and you have an appellate court that takes money from these same folks. No wonder they’re screeching “Ye=Haw, Ain’t Our First Rodeo!”
Attorneys Who Have Not Donated Seek to Associate those Who Have Donated
Those who are locked out of the donation time frame during the 25 months that donations cannot be made to a candidate by law, who find themselves in D’Metria’s Court begin a search for attorneys who are large donors to associate with their case, looking to large donors to carry their case in D’Metria’s Court.
This scenario makes the donation a “good investment” in many ways. Large donors can be joined with other attorneys without a donation history in D’Metria’s court, and are joined for that sole purpose. D’Metria spends thousands and thousands on travel, office decor, food, wine, meals, gifts, funds other judge’s do not spend and then hits up attorneys again, and again, and again, and again, and again for MORE MONEY, MORE MONEY, MORE MONEY.
As always criticisms are recognized and accepted. The website is modified based upon some criticisms but not upon all, obviously.
D’Metria’s Expenses and Five Fund Raisers
After D’Metria’s Fifth Fundraiser Invitations for the event of March 2, 2015, began generating cash revenue to her campaign the first thing she did was purchase a ticket to San Francisco on February 28, 2015, where she ensconced herself at the Ritz Carlton at a cost of in excess of $1500. Legal education at the Ritz Carlton did not prove to be any more effective than her historical expenditures. Her DBA Judicial Poll results continue as low as ever, in fact, the lowest reported. Then on to Washington D.C. where she purchased mementos and charged those together with her airfare and hotel to her donors, as well!
|5/3/2015||Ritz Carlton – San Francisco||$1,576|
|5/10/2015||Residence Inn – Washington DC||$414|
|5/8/2015||U.S. Supreme Court Gift Shop||$245|
|5/6/2015||National Archives Gifts||$110|
|6/1/2015||Gallery Central Framing||$326|
|Total||Post Campaign Fling!||$3,364|
Texas Ethics Commission Requirement for POLITICAL EXPENDITURES
A report must include all political expenditures. If aggregate expenditures to a payee exceed $100 in a reporting period, the report must include the amount of the expenditures, the date of the expenditures, the name and address of the person to whom the expenditures are made, and the purpose of the expenditures. Smaller expenditures may be reported as a lump sum. LINK HERE
Fund Raising Parties: $27,000
It is difficult to determine exactly what D’Metria spent on fund raising. One of her five fund raisers has confused postings. There is a $24k expense that is difficult to tie to a specific event and a strange $12,314K posting for expense to the Order Desk for postage on October 14, 2014. Excluding that confusion it looks like D’Metria spent roughly $4,200 per event for four events and roughly $7,000 for another event and roughly $2500 for her “Watch Party.”
Excluding the murky and confusing $24k expense for “mailing” and the unclear $12K expense to the Order Desk for postage (and no corresponding printing or invitations) it appears D’Metria spent roughly $27,000 on fund raising and watch parties for the 2014 campaign. Link here for details.
D’Metria is routinely too busy to include the address on her campaign finance reports as required.
Fly to Austin, rent a car, charge the hotel! Why not?
The Omni Hotel in Fort Worth? $645! Why not?
Integrity Experience and the Temperment to JUDGE?
Campaign Finance Laws are very clear,
The candidate must include the date of the expense in the spot marked “HERE.” Addresses are also required.
The typical expense was in the $5,333 range. This additional expense was RECORDED on a STATED date very close in time to the Supreme Court decision on the Benson Affidavit. There is no real indication of when these expenses were incurred to to whom payment was actually made, i.e. law firms that specialize in specific areas ? Internet firms? No indication at all. Just the term, “Management Services.” Management of what? In comparison to other judicial candidate expense this stands out as unique and ‘extra.’ See more on D’Metria’s inabilibty to comply with Campaign Finance Reporting Guidelines below and here as well.
4. DATE: Enter the date the expenditure was made. The date of an expenditure is not necessarily the date goods or services are received. It is the date on which the obligation to make a payment is incurred, as long as the amount of the payment is “readily determinable”. Generally, the amount of an expenditure is known (and therefore readily determinable) when the obligation is incurred, but in some cases the amount is not known until the receipt of a bill. An amount is readily determinable if the vendor can provide the amount at the filer’s request.
Example: On June 29th, a filer orders political signs. On July 16th, the filer receives the invoice for the signs. The date of the expenditure is June 29th if on that date the vendor can provide the amount the filer will owe the vendor for the signs. Filers should request a vendor to provide the amount of an obligation at the time the obligation is incurred.
Example: Filers will generally not know the cost of a long-distance telephone call until receipt of a monthly (periodic) bill. In that case, the date the expenditure for the telephone call would be the date the bill was received.
Expensive Webite: http://dmetriabenson DOT Com
$7500 for a digital campaign?
Five Fund Raisers Helped Pay this Bill! Only a small fraction of the $227K Plus Raised!