Candidate profile: Francisco X. Dominguez for 205 District Court Judge

Francisco X. Dominguez is running for 205th District Court Judge position. He has two opponents: Daniel Anchondo and Rick Olivo. He gave an interview to the Advocate yesterday.
Please tell us about your background, going back to your school days. Tell us if there was one or more moments that stick in your mind that led to your wanting to eventually attend law school.
I was born in Ciudad Juarez, México and grew up in El Paso’s Lower Valley.  I graduated from Socorro High School, attended Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and received my law degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law. 
I began my career in New York City as a public defender with the New York Legal Aid Society Criminal Defense Division.  I returned to El Paso in 1995 to work for Texas Rural Legal Aid.  After 5 ½ years of representing farm workers and garment workers, I went to work for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a Trial Attorney handling discrimination cases on behalf of the U.S. Government.  After two and a half years of this work, I opened my own law practice, where I have been 

working with my wife and law partner for more than 12 years handling civil rights and employment cases.

Throughout my years of practicing law, I have represented individuals from all walks of life and handled both criminal and civil cases.  I have represented children, low-wage workers, doctors, lawyers, executives, a small municipality and employers.

I am a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education seminars, and have spoken at the national conventions of the American Bar Association and the National Employment Lawyers Association, as well as other local and regional seminars.  I served on the University of Texas School of Law Employment Law seminar committee, and have also served as the Course Director for the El Paso Bar Association’s Civil Trial Seminar.

I am a past president of both the El Paso County Mexican American Bar Association and the West Texas Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association.  I have been serving on the board of the Texas Employment Lawyers Association for several years and am also a founding member of the El Paso Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

I was appointed Chair of the District 17A Grievance Committee, and currently serve on the Federal Merit Selection Panel to select federal magistrate judges, and have received the El Paso Bar Association Professionalism Award and the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center Border Hero Award.

What experiences have you had that helped mold or shape you. This would include any role models that have influenced you.
 My mother and father have been tremendously hard working people from the time they were very young.  When they came to this country, their dream was to provide for their five children, and to ensure that my siblings and I had a better life.  They accomplished this, and they did it by working tirelessly, and by teaching us to be generous and kind.  No matter how difficult our financial situation was at home, there was always room for more people at our table, and there was always love, fellowship and laughter.  Those are the experiences that molded me into the man that I have become. 

You have two opponents for the 205th District Court judge position. Briefly tell us what you believe makes you a better candidate for the position than your opponents.
 Work ethic!  I believe that of the many important requirements to become judge of the 205th District Court, one of the most important is to have someone who knows what it means to work hard.  I am running to serve our community.  I bring twenty years of dedicated service to clients and the profession, and a work ethic that has focused on making access to justice a priority for the most vulnerable members of our community.  Voters should vote for me because, if elected, they will have a smart, compassionate and honest judge who will be welcoming and respectful to every person who appears before the 205th District Court.

Tell us about any expertise you have that would be considered unique to this position.
 As someone with a strong civil rights law background, I have handled complicated cases on behalf of whistleblowers, and against government officials who have abused their power.  I am not afraid to address difficult issues or to stand up against corruption. 

Finally, what message do you want to tell our readers?
 I believe that there are three important qualities that a judge should possess – respect for everyone, a strong work ethic, and strong moral character.
A judge should always be respectful of everyone that appears before him (or her).  One of the ways to show respect is to take the time and effort to read, review and give thoughtful consideration to all of the arguments and evidence presented.  Finally, a judge should hold himself to a higher standard of conduct to ensure that his moral character is above reproach.

My almost 20 years of practice reflect that I have consistently treated clients, attorneys and judges exceptionally well.  I have engaged in high quality lawyering, and I have always conducted myself ethically.  I possess the integrity and temperament to serve as a district court judge.