For the past 17 years, Mike Patterson has been a mediator in 2,000 legal cases in the area, and he believes that experience sets him apart as the best candidate for Smith County Court and Law judge.
“I’m interested in a new challenge and I am excited about it. I’m not running because I need a job, but because I want to be of service, and my actions show that I believe in serving my community,” he said.
Patterson, 63, has five children with his wife of 21 years, Penny, and 11 grandchildren. He said when he learned of current Judge Thomas Dunn’s decision not to run for re-election, he decided to run for the position.
“Over the past 17 years I have had people ask me when I was going to run for judge, or if I wanted to be a judge. When I heard Judge Dunn was not running, that is when I decided,” he said.
Patterson, who attended Southern Methodist University Law School, served as a prosecutor in Dallas and Smith counties before he went into his practice. He tried more than 200 jury trials, 100 as lead counsel. He has tried criminal and civil cases and mediated cases including multimillion dollar patent actions.
He has served on various boards including the Tyler Historical Preservation Board, the Tyler 1st Steering Committee and was the president of the Smith County Bar Foundation.
Patterson, whose hobbies include mountain climbing, said he believes changes are needed in the county court at law, and those changes include speeding cases through the system to rid the court of a backlog.
“First thing I would do if elected would be to conduct a hand count of the cases in the court because we need to know exactly how many cases there are pending in the court,” he said.
Patterson said he wants to be known as the judge with most trials by jury, because he believes if the court showed it was willing to move trials through quickly that more cases would be resolved much quicker, thus freeing up the docket.
He said his diverse experience puts him in the forefront of the race as the candidate people should choose.
“I feel as I am prepared to serve as judge. As judge I will be open minded and a hard worker as I have been throughout my life,” he said.
For more, see Patterson’s website at mikepatterson