Candidate, 14th Court of Appeals Place 2
I am the youngest child of Jim and Jeannette McCally. I was born in 1960 in Dallas, Texas, and have two sisters Becky and Robyn. I graduated from The Hockaday School in 1978 and then attended Southern Methodist University and received my BA in English in 1981. While at SMU, I pledged Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and was a Sigma Chi little sister. During my last year of SMU, I also attended night school at Executive Secretarial School, to make sure that I would have a marketable business skill.
A few months before graduation, my father asked me to help briefly in the family commercial mechanical-contracting business, The McCally Company, Inc. We enjoyed working together so much I never left. My dad taught me all of the aspects of the business, from manual accounting to contract bids. I learned that contracts and lawsuits had become more than a distraction, they were part of the business. So I became the company liaison in construction litigation. I developed an interest in attending law school, but did not want to leave the business until my father was ready to close it.
About six years later, my father retired, so I moved to Houston to attend law school at South Texas College of Law. As a returning student, I was very nervous about succeeding in law school. I studied hard and joined the law review. But my law school passion became trial and appellate advocacy, where I trained to be a courtroom lawyer. My South Texas teams captured prestigious national championships in both moot court and mock trial. South Texas named me to the Order of the Barristers.
When I graduated in 1990, United States District Judge David Hittner, invited me to serve in the coveted position of law clerk. Not only is Judge Hittner an outstanding judge, he is a committed teacher. Judge Hittner encouraged me to observe both the good lawyers and the bad in the courtroom. Judge Hittner permitted me to assist in post-trial interviews with jurors so I could learn what they felt was important in a trial. Judge Hittner educated me on how a courtroom is operated through his commitment to apply existing laws.
In 1992, I became an associate with the law firm Fisher, Gallagher, Perrin & Lewis, L.L.P. I was the first female the firm had ever hired to try lawsuits. I went to trial my first week on the job. Over the next five years, I was lead counsel for hundreds of clients; some individuals, some corporations. I am equally proud of my work as lead attorney for Julie Cervantes, an honor high-school student rendered a quadriplegic in a tragic automobile collision; and for Coastal Corporation in its insurance contract dispute over a plant explosion. While with that law firm, I tried many cases both in state and federal court.
My husband, Lance, and I were blessed with a daughter, Caroline, in 1996. She is now 13 years old and will, this fall, be a eighth grader at Holy Spirit Episcopal School. Lance and I gave Caroline a Labrador, Montana, for her sixth birthday. And, in 2005, we all gave Montana a friend, Elvis, the hound we adopted from the SPCA.
In 1997, I co-founded a law firm: Storey, Moore & McCally, P.C. The firm handled trials; motion practice; and appeals involving both plaintiff and defense issues, for both individuals and corporations.
In 2004, the citizens of Harris County elected me judge of the 334th Civil District Court of Harris County. I arrived at the Harris County courthouse with a spirit to improve the process for the administration of justice and, after four years, I accomplished many of the goals I set.
For example, I instigated and implemented three separate policies for the specific purpose of saving tax dollars: the elimination of tax masters for cases in the 334th; a reduction of staff with commensurate pay increase for efficiency demands; and the elimination of bright-line litigations expenses from my process. These policies resulted in immediate savings to Harris County taxpayers through reduced costs of litigation as well as the eradication of masters’ fees. The Harris County citizens apparently agree that I faithfully served my term as district judge; I was reelected to the 334th Civil District Court in 2008 by the largest margin of any civil district court race.
Now, I am asking for a promotion to the Court of Appeals, a court that reviews the decisions of the district courts. I ask this promotion not only from the citizens of Harris County, but also those of Fort Bend, Galveston, Brazoria, Chambers, Grimes, Colorado, Austin, Washington, and Waller Counties. I ask for these citizens' vote for the Fourteenth Court of Appeals, Place 2, for the purpose of revitalizing that Court with the same spirit I brought to the trial bench.
Government service has predictable challenges, such as the intractable status quo. I have not and will not lose the drive to show citizens that a judge's job not only requires the fair and impartial administration of justice, but also the commitment to carry out the administration of justice as a steward of tax dollars - a precious resource spread delicately thin.
Harris County Republican Party
3311 Richmond Ave., Suite 218
Houston, Texas 77098