On Sunday, April 19, 2015, the Dallas Family Courts lost one of their own. Presiding Judge James Martin lost his battle with lymphoma, leaving behind a legacy of advocacy for children. Judge Martin was elected to the Dallas Family Court bench in 2010, almost immediately garnering the respect and admiration of attorneys and litigants alike. He was reelected in 2014. Despite his illness, Judge Martin remained active on the bench until about a month ago, when he took a turn for the worse.
Judge Martin’s passing leaves the 254th bench open at this time. Former Judge Carmen Rivera-Worley is sitting as a visiting judge until the seat is filled. The seat will be most likely filled by Governor Greg Abbott by appointment, which is expected during the summer. Then, a special election will be held in the next cycle (2016) to fill the unexpired term. The winner of that election will sit for reelection in 2018 as well.