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Donald Torrence Fulton
Ballot name: Don Fulton
Candidate for Justice
Texas Supreme Court, Place 9







Profile of the Candidate

Born: Fort Worth, Texas
   
Age: 64
   
High School: Arlington High School, Graduated with honors, 1968
National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist
Arlington High School Football team, Track Team, Spanish Club
   
College: University of Texas at Arlington, Graduated with Honors, 1972
Major: Economics; Minor: Spanish
Pi Sigma Epsilon Professional Fraternity
Army R.O.T.C. 1968-1972, Insurgent Team
Distinguished Military Student, Highest Cadet GPA
Distinguished Military Graduate 1972
Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities
Commissioned as Second Lieutenant, United States Army, 1972
   
Law School: Southern Methodist University School of Law 1973-1976
Graduated top half of class while working two jobs
Daughter born on Second day of Law School
Top 25% on State Bar Exam
   
Military Service: United State Army Reserve, 1972-1983
Honorable Discharge as Captain, 1983
Licensing: Licensed to practice by the Texas by the Supreme Court of Texas 1976.
Admitted to practice U. S. District Court, ND of Texas since 1982.
Admitted to practice U. S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit 1983.
Admitted to practice United States Supreme Court 1996.
   
Legal Experience:  
   
Practice: I have practiced law in the following appellate courts:
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States Board of Immigration Appeals
Supreme Court of Texas Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Texas Court of Appeals (2nd District) at Fort Worth
Texas Court of Appeals (5th District) at Dallas
Texas Court of Appeals (10th District) at Waco.
 

I have practiced law in the following trial courts:
United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas
United States Immigration Court at Dallas and other cities
 

State Courts in the following counties: Tarrant, Dallas, Anderson, Bexar, Bowie, Brown, Clay, Collin, Cooke, Denton, Dickens, Ellis, Hood, Parker, Guadalupe, Harris, Houston, Hutchinson, Jack, Johnson, Lubbock, McLennan, Midland, Montague, Palo Pinto, Reagan, San Augustine, San Saba, Somervell, Taylor, Travis, Val Verde, Wise and Young.  

I am a member of the State Bar of Texas
I am a past or present member of Tarrant County Bar Association, Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association, and the Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

My idea on reforming the Texas Supreme Court

The Supreme Court establishes all the rules of procedure for District, County, and appellate courts. It should pass an amendment to the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure which prevents any justice of an appellate court, including itself, from seeing or learning the name of the lawyer of law firm filing an appeal, a petition for review, a brief, or other matter.

That information should be contained in a separate document kept in the court clerk's office. In the event a justice learned such information accidentally, then he would be required to abstain from voting. This simple rule would do more to get campaign contributions out of the decision making process than all the campaign finance statutes do now. It would also be enforceable as a violation of the code of ethics for any lawyer to subvert the rule.

The Court should also undo the damage is had done with its amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure for Justice of the Peace Courts. The 2013 amendments were very favorable to debt collection companies and creditors other than the original creditor. These amendments have the "appearance of impropriety".

The Court should also recommend amending the Texas Rules of Ethics for attorneys to provide that an attorney shall not accept employment in a case in which the judge of the court to which the case is assigned is a former partner or one to whom the attorney has contributed over $250.00 in campaign funds. New cases which the attoney files must be transferred to a court in which that limit has not been exceeded. The rule would take effect with the next general election cycle.

   
Favorites:  
   
Persons: My wife and our children, my daughter and grandchildren
   
Movies: Unforgiven, Crash, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Saving Private Ryan, Moonstruck, Hello Dolly!, The Lion in Winter
   
Singers: Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Barbra Streisand, Patsy Cline
   
Music Genre: Texas Red Dirt
   
Bands: Reckless Kelly, Micky and the Motorcars, Jason Boland, Willie
   
Sports Teams: TCU Horned Frogs, Aledo Bearcats
   
Athletes: Emmett Smith, Earl Campbell, Nolan Ryan, Franz Klammer, Secretariat
   
Restaurants: Del Frisco's, Joe T. Garcia's, Uno's, Eddie V's, Wildwood Grill
   
Books: Call of the Wild, A Tale of Two Cities, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Enemy at the Gates
   
Plays: Othello, MacBeth
   
Poets: (besides Shakespeare) Robert Frost, Robert Service, Black Bart
   
Poems: My Last Duchess, March of the Dead
   
Artists: Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo, Vincent Van Gogh, Frederick Remington, Cynthia Bryant
   
Flowers: Bluebonnets, Roses, Foxglove, Indian Blanket, Paintbrush
   
Trees: Live Oak, Pecan, Cedar Elm, Native Red Oak
   
Fruits: Wild Blackberries, Parker County Peaches
   
Automobile: Toyota Prius
   
Pickup: Ford F-150
   

School of Life

I was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 396 in Arlington, Texas, and Explorers Post 396. I was selected as president of the Post. I am a current member of the National Rifle Association. I was confirmed in the Lutheran Church and taught Sunday School as a young man at Grace Lutheran in Arlington, Texas.

I have worked at hard, hot, laboring jobs, and swung a hammer so much in my younger years that my right forearm is still larger than my left. In my younger days I ran so much lumber through a table saw every summer day that the sawdust sticking to my sweat made me look like a snowman. I have felt the tickle of sweat dripping from my nose like a leaky faucet. It was while working at these jobs that I grew to like, trust, and respect my Tejano coworkers.

I have done framing, concrete finishing, insulation, electrical wiring, plumbing, flooring, roofing, tractor work, haying, ranching, and landscaping. I enjoy restoring old furniture. My finish of choice is 5-7 coats of hand rubbed tung oil. I have built a couple of nice pieces of oak furniture for the family home, using no more tools than circular saw, router and drill.

I grow a vegetable garden every year to this day, the skills and knowledge being passed on to me by my dad. I cook, both on outdoor grills and smokers, and indoor on cooktops and in ovens. I take pride in my blackberry cobbler, cranberry-nut cake, and fresh pumpkin pie.

I have broke and trained horses and competed on horseback. I have worked calves and livestock, and cut a calf from a herd out on the range, riding a horse I broke and trained. I have used a squeeze chute, a calf table, and doctored and given shots to livestock.

I am a bird and wildflower afficianado, and have cultivated a wildflower patch in my yard for many years while living in Aledo.

I am married and have a daughter and two lovely granddaughters. I have two special needs sons for which my wife and I are now guardians.

I have had life threatening health experiences on several occasions, and know the value of fine doctors and nurses. I have held the hand and stroked the brow of dying persons. At age 13, I had the poor fortune of seeing one of my two best friends hit by a car and killed.

I am a member of LULAC.



My Heritage:

My Great-Great-Great grandfather, James B. Fulton, served in the Maryland militia during the American Revolution and was present in service at Yorktown at the surrender of Cornwallis. After the war, James B. Fulton married Anastatia Tuel, whose father had been killed in action at the battle of Germantown in the Revolution. Anastatia's brother Roderick Tuel was killed in action in the War of 1812.

James B. Fulton and Anastatia moved from Maryland to Yorkville, (later "York") South Carolina, probably traveling down the Shendandoah valley. James prospered as a tailor and overseer of roads. He served as an honorary gatekeeper of the South Carolina Senate and was an "exhorter" (lay preacher) in York. He donated the land where Trinity Methodist Church is located, and is buried at the Trinity Methodist churchyard in York.

James B. Fulton's son, James Whatcoat Fulton, pioneered west from the Carolina border area to Pope County Arkansas in the 1850s. He brought with him his wife Mary and teenage son, Levi Theodore Fulton, and several other children, settling near Gum Log.

My great grandfather, Levi T. Fulton, being proud of his own grandfather's service in the American Revolution, when conscripted into the Confederate Army in about 1862 in Arkansas, deserted, hid out in a cave for 9 months, and then floated down the Arkansas River to join the Union Army at Little Rock in October 1863, and served out the war in the Union Cavalry. Levi paid dearly for this choice after the war. He married Martha Torrence, a descendant of the pre- Revolutionary War Torrences of Pennsylvania, from whom my middle name is derived. Levi's son, Lon Fulton, was a dough-boy in World War. Lon's brother, Enos, was my grandfather.

My father was a B-24 pilot in World War II, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, after serving in India, China and Burma. He "flew the hump" and flew over 100 missions. He retired as a pilot from American Airlines. During that career he declined better pay at other locations so that he and out family could remain in Texas.

My mother was a U.S. Army nurse in England during most of the European campaign, working 18 hour shifts treating the wounded and dying, which often came in at the rate of over a thousand a day.

My uncle, my mother's brother, Kendell Iverson, was a pilot in the Stategic Air Command, and served two tours in Southeast Asia, as well.



Other Ideas:

THE FOLLOWING DO NOT RELATE SPECIFICALLY TO THE SUPREME COURT BUT ARE SUBMITTED TO SHOW MY THOUGHTS:

1. Fixing the DWI mess

This is a common sense legislative proposal. Community supervision, formerly called "probation" is a huge drain on working families. So is suspension of driver's licenses. What should be suspended is the defendant's "license to drink".

Nearly all DWI fatalities occur during the hours of 11:00 p.m to 4:00 a.m. after the perpetrator has been out "clubbing" and drinking. All persons convicted of DWI should be issued a new driver's license or ID. (A red one which is easily distinguished should work.) All sellers of alcohol would be required to ID. (No blue license-no sale) Night Clubs would be required to ID at the door and bar entry to anyone without as blue license or ID. Restaurants would be required to ID at the table. A ton of people who now work for the government making lives miserable could now find employment in the private sector.

2. Farming the Interstate

Lease select rights-of -way to local farmers for the production of hay or other commodities. Instead of paying someone to mow the R.O.W., have them pay the government for the privilege. Steep slopes would be set aside for wildflowers.

3. Regional government motor and personnel pools

In the modern urban era it makes no sense for each municipality or county to maintain a fleet or vehicles and equipment for every contingency. You can inspect most such yards and on any given day and see a multitude of vehicles sitting idle. It would save a lot of tax money to provide a "motor pool" system for these vehicles and equipment. The same analysis could be applied to governmental services, such as police and fire protection in urban areas.

4. Driving Permits for the undocumented

Undocumented persons should, on passing a driving test AND purchasing a one year paid up liability insurance policy, be issued driving permits valid for one year, and renewable on the same terms each year thereafter. The permits would have the same information and fingerprint requirements as driver's licenses but look substantially different so that they would not be used for voting or other purposes.

5. Traffic ticket reform

Having done substantial traffic ticket representation as a lawyer, I know that traffic tickets are seen primarily as a revenue generator for the agency issuing them. As a Libertarian, I know that, in most traffic ticket situations, no harm has been done to anyone or any thing. These tickets are a huge "tax" on the driving public and have little to do with public safety. Actual harm to another or to property should be a requirement before initiating a criminal charge such as a traffic ticket. The same analysis applies to other "victimless" crimes.