The Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association (TCTLA) recently named Judge John Fostel of the 271st Judicial District Court of Jack and Wise counties as the recipient of the Charles J. Murray Outstanding Jurist Award.
Judge Fostel is the fifth recipient of the award, and is the first recipient of the award from outside of Tarrant County.
The award is named after former judge Charles J. Murray, who was a distinguished Texas trial judge in the 1970s and 1980s. It is presented annually by the TCTLA to a deserving federal or state judge who has served on the bench for a significant period of time and has exhibited an exceptionally outstanding reputation for competency, efficiency and integrity.
Jacksboro attorney David Spiller said Fostel is a worthy recipient of the honor.
“We are very fortunate to have Judge Fostel as our district judge, and it's a tribute to Judge Fostel to have attorneys from outside of Jack and Wise Counties recognize that,” Spiller said. “His knowledge of the law is overwhelming, his integrity is unquestionable, and he is the most judicially efficient judge I know.”
The judge was modest about the recognition.
“It means a lot to me. I'm honored by it and humbled by it,” he said. “What I hope that I do everyday is be fair and partial to people who come before me.
“I take their business seriously and move their cases as quickly as possible in the interest of justice. It just makes me feel good to know that at least some people feel like I'm doing my job. Basically, that's just what I'm doing, just doing my job.”
Fostel was elected in 1994 after John Lindsey of Jacksboro retired from the bench. In the 20 years he has served, he has never had an opponent.
“It's really good to be a district judge in counties like Wise County and Jack County because for the most part, I have been able to make decisions based upon the law and what I think is right without having to worry about politics,” he said. “I hear war stories from other judges in other areas and it's so political and you really hope that doesn't enter into and affect your decision-making, but I've had the pleasure of not having to worry about it.
“There are people that disagree with your decisions. It's kind of a self-destructive position because you usually upset half the people and some days you upset both sides with your rulings.”
Read the full article in the Jack County Herald April 11