A series of interviews that was conducted by a Baylor Law professor with some of Texas most influential judges is now available as part of the State Bar of Texas CLE Online Classroom. Prof. Ron Beal's "From the Bench: Judicial Perspectives on Environmental/Administrative Cases" features sessions with the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, two Third Court of Appeals Justices, the Chief Administrative Judge of the Travis County District Court and four administrative law judges. The interviews were taped and digitalized for access via the internet.
Participating in the interviews were Wallace Jefferson, the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court; Chief Justice J. Woodfin "Woodie" Jones and Justice Bob Pemberton, both of the Third Court of Appeals; Judge Craig Bennett, Judge Ami Larson and Judge Travis Vickery of the State Office of Administrative Hearings; Judge John J. Vay, Groundwater Conservation District Hearings Examiner; and Judge John K Dietz, 250th Judicial District Civil Court.
The interviews are available at no charge to members of the State Bar of Texas' Environmental Law Section and Administrative Law Section and at a nominal charge for all members of the bar.
"I went to Austin six or seven times to conduct the interviews," Beal said. "It was really quite fun. I met for almost two hours with each of the judges, and we spoke about different aspects of administrative law, which is unique. The judges were all fired up to participate, and I think we have some very valuable information in the interviews."
Each judge suggested appropriate questions to Beal, who said his goal was to produce content filled with "what lawyers would want to know." In the interviews, the judges discuss what they like, explain procedural issues and give a "how to" for effectively writing briefs. In addition to general information, some discussed specific aspects of administrative law. For example, Larson focused on personal licensing and Bennett discussed TCEQ mega licensing. Each interview runs from 1 hour to almost 2 hours in length.
Beal is the author of Texas Administrative Practice and Procedure and numerous law review articles that have been cited as authoritative by the Texas judiciary. He has taught training courses for administrative law judges and lectured in advanced courses for practicing lawyers. He also has served as Editor-in-Chief of the General Practice Digest of the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section of the State Bar of Texas for the last 25 years and has been the contributing editor for Texas Administrative Law for 25 years.