Tag Archives: Judge John Roach Jr.

Wednesday:) Wisdom of Solomon, Patience of Job, and Kindness of a Stranger

16 Jan

“He who is right in his walk is sure in his steps, but he who takes the wrong way will be found out.”

~Solomon

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Monday morning, I was on a mission of mercy, I went over to the Collin County Courthouse to help out my friend and neighbor, Mr. Mike. He had jury duty Monday morning, but he was stranded out of town and couldn’t get a flight out in time to get there. He had no way of calling or contacting anyone, so I picked up his yellow summons card and went over there to explain the situation and make sure he didn’t get arrested and sent to prison. (Just kidding… maybe not.)

I waited outside the closed double doors along with a throng of about one hundred other restless people. When I approached one of the deputies collecting summons cards, I asked who I could speak to about an emergency absence. Then, I waited in another long line until I reached a glassed window. I explained that I was there for my neighbor who was stranded out of town because of weather and couldn’t attend. The very nice clerk looked up the card number. I said, “He wasn’t sure what to do, and was in a panic because there was no way to call, so I volunteered to come down and explain. I said that if he got arrested and thrown in jail that I’d bake some brownies with a file in them.”

I’m not sure if she smiled or not, but she looked up and said, “Tell you what I’m going to do. We seem to have plenty of jurors available today, so I will just dismiss him.” I thanked her profusely and scurried out. Yay! (The kindness of a stranger.)

Seeing as I was already at this beautiful new courthouse, I decided to walk around, then see if I could sit in on a few cases in the courtroom of my friend, Judge John Roach Jr.

The last time I was at the courthouse, a couple of years ago, I caught Judge John in between cases, and he invited me to come up and sit in his chair, but I declined and settled for a selfie. This time, the cases were already lined up, so I just sat and watched the process. No selfie op.

As I sat in the front row, I couldn’t help but think that everyone should spend at least an hour in a random courtroom. So much goes on in our community that you have no idea about. I was so impressed with the entire court system, but most of all, with the exemplary decisions made by Judge John Roach, Jr.

The wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job, and the kindness of a stranger is what best describes what I witnessed in the courtroom. We are very fortunate to have people like Judge John sitting on the bench.

THE JUDGE

Judge Roach was elected to serve as Judge of the 296th District Court in 2006, taking office on January 1, 2007.

As a general jurisdiction judge he presides over felony criminal, family law, civil litigation cases and cases involving Child Protective Services. He has disposed of over 20,000 cases in the last 10 years. Judge Roach has the lowest reversal rate of any judge in Collin County according to Westlaw legal research website.

In addition to his regular duties as Judge, Judge Roach has made significant changes to the judicial processes in Collin County through the use of technology. He developed the Felony Video Plea Program, with the cooperation of many other officials and department heads, which uses videoconferencing technology to connect the secured jail facility and the courthouse. This connection eliminates the need to have felony prisoners transported to the courthouse for plea hearings. This has decreased the potential liability to the County, made Sheriff Department employees who transfer prisoners safer, has made the employees and general public using the courthouse safer and has saved in excess of $500,000. The Program has received national recognition. Judge Roach has the opportunity to consult other counties in implementing this technology and has worked with local Legislators to make changes in the law to keep up with technology.

Judge Roach also developed the Mental Health Managed Counsel Program which developed specific protocols in handling criminal cases involving mentally ill defendants. He was instrumental is applying for and receiving a four-year matching grant from the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. Once the four-year grant had expired, the efficiency and cost-savings the Program has had for Collin County were so significant, the Program has now been established as its own Department in Collin County. The Program has received recognition throughout the country and is the model for how counties handle cases involving the mentally ill.

Judge Roach has also been chosen by his fellow judges to serve on the Collin County Purchasing Board. He also serves on the Collin County Technology and Security Committees.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom and the Judge

5 Oct

“To love a man enough to help him, you have to forfeit the warm, self-righteous glow that comes from judging.” ― Ron Hall

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After the tribulations of spending half the day at the Social Security Office yesterday, I decided to brave the Collin County Courthouse today. I needed to get some official documents in order to apply for Medicare. 

Well, the first thing I did was drive down that long winding road with all the county buildings. I went to the wrong one. It looked familiar because that’s where I went to pay my taxes. Oops! The courthouse was a couple miles down the road. Off I went.


Such a difference. When I arrived, the security officers were so pleasant and cheery as I slid my purse through the scanner. I wasn’t sure where to go when I strolled through the long empty hallways. Yep! Empty halls. My friend and attorney, Laura Roach, had texted me that I should see the county clerk for my official paperwork when I asked her. There were several doors that said county clerk, so I asked a nice lady with a name tag where to go,

I took a number at the kiosk outside the door. My wait time… approximately five minutes. Whoa!  The clerk was so nice. She printed out my divorce decree and hand stamped each page and signed the back. I mentioned that this was such a pleasure compared to waiting 3 1/2 hours at social security yesterday, she just smiled. When I took out my credit card, she said, “Oh, this is for social security, there’s no charge.” Double whoa! I scooted out of there with a big grin, like I won the lottery.

Since I got done so quickly, I decided walk around the beautiful modern courthouse. Laura had mentioned that while I was there, I should go say hi to her husband, Judge John Roach, Jr.  As luck would have it, he was in court and I sat in and listened to a case in progress. I’d never done that before. It was pretty interesting. I’d never been to a court hearing. I didn’t even get to go to my own divorce hearing.

When the case was over and the next preparing, I gave the judge a shy wave. He hadn’t seen me there and said, “Hi, what are you doing here?” He motioned for me to come up, or as we say in lawyer talk, “approach the bench.” I walked over and said, ” A little birdie, named Laura, said to stop in and say hello.”

He said, “Come on up here. Do you want to take a picture? Want to sit in my chair?” He asked the attorney waiting for the next case to take our picture. I was a little embarrassed and honored, all rolled into one.

Judge Roach, Jr. is a fine man, a fine judge, and a fine friend. I certainly hope he gets re-elected next year. He does so much for our community. Thanks Judge John.

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Re-Elect Judge John R. Roach, Jr. for 296th Judicial District Court

Judge Roach has spent his life’s work on making a difference. Whether as a United States Marine, Plano City Councilman, an Adjunct Professor at Southern Methodist University or the University of North Texas College of Law, the Co-Author of Divorce in Peace, a community volunteer or in his current position as Judge he has worked tirelessly to make the difference for his country, community, the legal profession and for the litigants who appear before him.