Name: Wendy McMillon
Court: 219th District Court
1 What current or past judge do you most want to inspire your approach to judicial
excellence, and why?
Judge Ken Curry of the 153rd Judicial District Court in Tarrant County is the
sitting judge whom I admire the most of all of the judges I have practiced in
front of throughout the State of Texas in both state and federal courts over the
past sixteen years. He is intelligent, kind, caring, compassionate, yet firm
when he needs to be. He is the example I will look to if I am fortunate enough
to be elected to this bench.
As for local judges, Judge Cyndi Wheless is another judge whom I greatly
admire. I believe she has the right balance of judicial temperament,
intelligence, and fairness, and I would certainly point to her as another fine
example of judicial excellence currently on the bench.
2 What has been the greatest accomplishment in your legal career? In your personal life?
The greatest accomplishment in my legal career was my experience in the
area of mental healthcare cases. I was one of only a handful of attorneys hired
by malpractice insurers in the State of Texas to represent the interests of
hundreds of psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental healthcare facilities
accused of healthcare fraud in complex multi-party litigation all over the state.
I successfully defended my clients in literally thousands of these cases. I also
helped form some of the cornerstone case law on these issues in Rotella v.
Wood, 528 U.S. 549 (2000); and the Texas Supreme Court in IHS Cedars
Treatment Center v. Mason, 143 S.W.3d 794 (Tex., 2004); and Savage v.
Psychiatric Inst. of Bedford, 965 S.W.2d 745 (Tex. App.--Fort Worth 1998, writ
One of my month long summary jury trials on these matters was named by The
National Law Journal as the 1999 Defense Win of the Year where I
successfully represented my clients in a matter where Plaintiffs were seeking in
excess of $100 Million and we obtained a defense verdict for all of our clients.
The greatest accomplishment in my personal life has definitely been being the
mother to my two precious children. There is no greater joy in my life than my
husband and my kids.
3 What, if anything, would you change to improve the procedures and efficiency of the
court you are seeking?
I believe my background as a civil trial lawyer will be a huge asset to court
efficiency, in that 13,485 of the filings in the District Courts last year were Civil
filings, compared to the 4,114 Criminal filings. We need more civil trial lawyers
on the bench, and I believe I can better serve a majority of the lawyers and
litigants in this court based on my background and experience.
Also, I want to make customer service a much bigger priority. Litigants and
their attorneys need to be able to get the services they need when they are
dealing with court staff. Time is of the essence to everyone who comes into
the court, and it will be my priority to timely meet the needs of the citizens who
are served by the 219th District Court.
4 Do you feel that ALL citizens have equal and adequate access to justice in our
county? How would you improve that access?
Absolutely. The very definition of “justice” requires the same. See below from
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. You don’t need to “improve” that access;
you just need to follow the law and provide a fair and impartial tribunal to all
while doing the same.
Main Entry: justice
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French justise, from Latin justitia,
Date: 12th century
1 a : the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the
impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited
rewards or punishments b : JUDGE c : the administration of law; especially
: the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law
2 a : the quality of being just, impartial, or fair b (1) : the principle or ideal
of just dealing or right action (2) : conformity to this principle or ideal :
RIGHTEOUSNESS c : the quality of conforming to law
3 : conformity to truth, fact, or reason : CORRECTNESS
5 Collin County tracks indigent defense dollars ordered by each judge. What effect would that
reporting have on your decisions to order that the county pay for a defendant’s defense?
Zero. I will follow the letter of the Texas Fair Defense Act, and appropriately
apply the law to the facts, as well as follow the Local Rules implementing the
6 What do you perceive as the greatest obstacles to justice in Collin County?
I believe the greatest obstacle to justice in Collin County stems from small groups
of people trying to over-assert their perceived levels of influence, such as in the
local bar and in the local political parties. These small groups do not at all reflect
the actual majority of Collin County citizens, or the needs of our court system.
Therefore, we, as normal citizens, need to stand up and seek representation for
ALL of Collin County, not just these small but loud groups of people.
I truly believe the “219th District Court of Collin County” needs to be there to
serve our entire community, not just the vocal sub-culture which so desperately
wants to control the system.
7 Incarceration is the most expensive criminal sanction available. How would that fact affect
your sentencing decisions?
Again, my decisions will be made by applying the law to the facts at issue in the
case. I will not use judicial activism of any type, and my decisions will be done
according to the law, not based on any internal compasses or with any end-result
8 Without commenting on a specific case or type of cases, should Collin County explore
more or different types of alternative sentencing? What do you think works? What would
you like to try?
I believe Collin County does need to explore some additional programs to assist
with alternative sentencing in certain non-violent types of crime. However, those
would need to be handled on a case-by-case basis according to the law. I
believe it would only be fair and appropriate to comment on specifics after
studying them in further detail as one of nine members of the Board of District
Also, I find it interesting that so many of these questions pertain to specific issues
in the area of criminal law, when the cases in the Collin County District Courts
are over 3 to 1 civil in nature. There are many pressing issues in the area of civil
litigation as well.
9 Recently a Dallas judge made the news when he replaced a white juror with a minority one
in a capital trial where the jury was all white and the defendant was not. Do you believe it is
important for a minority defendant to have a jury that contains minority members?
It is important for all Defendants to have their rights protected under the Texas
and U.S. Constitutions. It is the Judge’s job to fairly apply the law in each and
every case. I am not able to comment on any case prematurely without knowing
the facts, but I will certainly uphold a litigant’s Sixth Amendment rights to a fair
and impartial jury.
10 When a judge’s sense of justice appears to be at variance to the strict application of the law,
what approach should an ethical judge take to resolve the conflict?
The strict application of the law wins. There is no room for any personal sense of
justice. You apply the law to the facts given in any particular situation, period.
11 Do you believe that our system of partisan election of trial judges should be continued? How
can it be improved?
Our country was founded as a democracy. While certainly, it seems that the
most qualified individuals are not always elected to service, you cannot discount
the reasons behind a democracy. The problem is, if you go to a system where
judges are appointed rather than elected, the power to do so would only be in the
hands of a very small group of people, and that power can be abused.
Democracy must continue, and must prevail.
12 Tell the voters one thing about yourself that isn’t on any website, nor discussed at any forum.
It is so hard to let your true personality shine through during a campaign. I am a
kind hearted, caring and compassionate person. So much of the political
process involves tearing people down, but I love to build people up. I am going
to be the best judge I can possibly be, and I will follow the law. I will not stop
being myself if I am elected to this bench and what you see is what you get.
Thank you so much to the Collin County Observer, Frisco DWI Lawyer, and
McKinneyNews.net for the opportunity to answer these questions, and I look
forward to serving the citizens of Collin County.