JUDGE ROBERT ROLNICK
I am the presiding judge of the 458th District Court in Fort Bend County. My background and experience are the reasons the voters elected me to the court in 2018, and continue to be the reasons I am seeking re-election for another four-year term. My qualifications include being a mediator, arbitrator and obtaining my license as a Certified Public Accountant. My education includes a degree in economics from Duke University in North Carolina, and my law degree from South Texas College of Law. I have been a member of the Texas Bar since 1977, and became Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1987, and have continuously maintained this specialization. Only about two percent of lawyers in Texas are able to obtain board certification in any of the specialized fields, including criminal and juvenile law. Specialization requires many years of experience in a particular field; passing a rigorous written examination; and continuous legal education and training to maintain the certification. I bring 43 years of legal and business experience to the bench, including probate, tax, medical malpractice, business litigation, Social Security Disability and Veteran’s Disability law. My business experience includes owning and maintaining my law office and law partnerships.
Since 1974 I have lived in Houston and moved to Fort Bend County in 1986, which has been my home since that time. I am married to my wife, Dori, since 1981, and we have two grown children and one grandson. My court is a court of general jurisdiction, hearing both civil cases with unlimited damage amounts and criminal felonies, which can involve many years in jail, including life in prison and the death penalty. What I bring to the court is a lifetime of hard work, compassion for the less fortunate, and a strong sense of justice for all. I make certain that everyone in my court is treated respectfully, and allowed to have their day in court. I follow the law and respect the decisions of the jury. CEOs of major corporations and criminal defendants are all treated equally in my court. No one is above the law or below the law; equal protection and due process are given to all. My co-workers attest to my work ethic: I am in the court every day; I am known to work on holidays and into the evening when I am waiting for a jury verdict, or law enforcement needs a warrant signed. Members of the public also comment on my dedication to my job and the judicial expertise I bring to the bench. I have also earned the respect of the attorneys who practice before me and my colleagues on the bench.
Experience And Qualifications Matter!
Social and Community
Along with my wife Dori, we are active members of the community. We are passionate about veteran’s issues, including working with U.S. Vets, a service organization that helps alleviate veteran’s homelessness. We are regular blood donors at the Blood Center, giving many gallons of blood over the years. Dori and I regularly give time and resources to local food banks, have rescued food with Second Servings, and other organizations dedicated to helping people in need. Both of us love dogs, and have rescued Harrison and Preston from the Sugar Land animal shelter.
Prior to being elected to the court in 2018, my legal career has been entirely in private practice, with an emphasis on helping real people solve real problems. Whether it was during my initial work out of law school, when I was helping people with tax problems with the IRS, or representing individuals injured in car accidents or in work accidents, or representing people with claims for Social Security Disability or Veteran’s Disability Benefits, my focus has been on service to the community. I do not have any “Big Law Firm” experience and I do not think that type of experience is necessarily the ideal experience for a judge. Nothing wrong with working for a big law firm but that type of career can cause one to lose sight of what life is like for people who have to make sure they do not run out of money before the end of the month. Similarly, I have not been an assistant district attorney. Many lawyers with DA experience seek to serve as judges who hear criminal cases. While some might think that background is ideal for a judge of a criminal court, I do not. Our system of justice requires that people are innocent until proven guilty and the Judge needs to judge the case, not pre-judge it.
Works for Veterans and the Disabled
I testified before the U. S. congress to allow legal representation for Social Security claimants. Worked with National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) and National Organization for Veterans’ Advocates (NOVA). I volunteer with U. S. Vets Initiative, Inc. to assist veterans in obtaining housing, benefits and job opportunities. I was a founding member of the Social Security section of the Houston Bar Association and mentored young lawyers in this specialized representation.
Conscientious Steward of the Taxpayers’ Dollars
I am very cognizant of the fact that our justice system is paid for with taxpayer dollars and to that end an unqualified judge will make litigation very expensive in Fort Bend County. The previous Republican Judge on this court was reversed several times and the cases had to be resolved a second time. When cases must be retried, it wastes time and tax dollars, as well as the parties must pay twice to have a just hearing. It is unfortunate to say but my primary opponent has never even been in the 458th District Court to even observe or handle a case in this Court. In my three plus years on the bench, no trial ruling of mine has been reversed by an appellate court.
Extremely Hard Working for You
With regard to being hardworking, I would like to share two short stories. Recently a co-worker publicly stated that since I was elected, I have never missed a day of work; I work on holidays when needed; and I am available 24/7 if law enforcement needs a warrant. The second story is from a juror that I met when I was block walking. When I knocked on his door, he said: “I know you Judge Rolnick. I was a juror in your court. You did a great job and I support you.” He then took several of my cards to give to friends, and put up my yard sign at his home.
Has Integrity and Honesty
I believe that a judge must be honest and have integrity. He must be a good listener, evaluator, respectful to all litigants in court, and his behavior should avoid the appearance of impropriety. You deserve a qualified and experienced judge. Vote to keep Robert Rolnick as Judge of the 458th District Court. Thank you for your support.