Herrman interviews Vargas about himself and his reason for running for Judge. Mr. Herrman also talks about our recent community involvement and stresses the importance of voting. If you liked this video, please like and subscribe to our channel.
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well hello everybody welcome again to frequently asked questions Friday we have a really special disc today we have Judge Robert Vargas of County Court and law number one here in Nueces County gentlemen just thank you for dropping by and talking to us thank you for the invitation sure judge I think most people are probably familiar with you've been a judge for for how long over thirty years uh actually we want to be specific 1987 1987 yes so like 31 years so you know you see lots of folks that come through there they've been on your your panels and a lot of surf for you on jury some of us have tried cases in front of me so most people probably pretty familiar with you but what you just you know tell us just a little bit about yourself just like you know where you're born and stuff or not raised and stuff like that all right I was born and raised in Ross South Texas and graduated from high school in 1970 being uh like a lot of young people there I uh I so I call it commute I commuted to Dixon I in Kingsville because I would I'd go stay there during the week with a bunch of other young people from Ralph's town we'd rent a house joint house and then I go home in the weekends you know and get my clothes wash and bring food and all that stuff I bet that for two years I kind of and and that was felis than in 1971-72 and that you may recall those were kind of enlightening years I know one called turbulent years but or they could have been both because I've been both I mean that the that there was this awakening of the what they call the Chicano Movement and the black movement it was a hippie time love power and so that was occurring there in Kingsville all that so kind of I got that exposure I was an active in it but I was watching it as it was unfolding so yeah I don't I can't see you with the really long hair I know I know I've got a head as work when I had here and I was proud to have here it was it was bushy and curly very curly yeah so I wish I had that now what did you study it yeah I uh I went to tech saying I with kind of like a lot of young people with no no really direction all I know is I I knew I had to go to school and in this friend of mine whose brother was an administration official there said that he was going to go to law school so I you know being competitive I said well we never haven't met a lawyer yeah so I mean I think I can do it I can that's how he works that's how it works so I I'm so glad he did that and so what that the the easiest thing there and and I had no concept how to do it he said he was gonna study government that was my god counselor so uh and Allie would call it political science yeah sure I guess that's right yeah so that at the time of his government so uh yeah of course the first two years was just a basic classes anyway to begin with it was getting you ready you in getting used to college lines and it was actually a very exciting time society was was changing from the 50s culture and we did just at kind of the 60s the 1960s and we're still in that stage it was a lot of change and so I my brother had been in the service all this time my gosh the Vietnam War warrantless it was what's going on it's like you he got back from it and so he and I always looked up to him and so he came back he decided to stay in Houston Texas and so he started he enrolled at a new age and he was kind of working there and they say what can you come on up so uh I'm not saying that I was raised in the farm but it was a real small community yeah yes apparently Houston yeah I told my my exposure was kind of limited so uh I was having a great time I know this thing I started thinking you know the out time but so I took him up I took that bolsa to to to go up there and not only what it was gonna happen so like he took me around to the financial aid office there at you age and got me enrolled you're on your own Wow so I had no friends I was on my own and and that was the best thing that ever happened yeah best thing it got me out of physical shock oh yeah yeah comfort zone and so it forced me to go out make friends you know because I was very comfortable with I already had my friends all right cool I didn't feel the need to make new friends so but I had no friends there I got to make new friends it's old Brouwer interesting time I was telling a David bright about my experience there again I think of the time period at the time I ended up some classes and he sort of helped me out in one of the classes that I sign up was an interdisciplinary course it was called institutional racism the social sociology class and I was being taught by at the time was the city controller by a man by the name of Lyon El Castillo ended up being the immigration that civilization director for one of I forgot what President hmm so and he was averse Hispanic elected I think it was an elected position but it was a pretty big position for this Harris County right at the time so uh there was no books and and be myself my classmates were forced to mix back of I guess at the time would be kind of Hispanic yuppies to Hispanic radicals it was a small class but it was that was a combination and so he would take us I mean you you would take us to all over in town to show us what was amounted to institutional racism it was very enlightening like wow you know and then with the the two different groups that were there came to give us a couple of examples of the institutional racism that he took you seeing there in Houston and now I don't recall you know it was a lot of the business advertisement the layouts that kind of stuff is hard I had them I spent so many years like I moved on but interesting enough that I was telling David bright that that particular kind of a radical group ended up transferring to the University of Texas about four or five of them and they they ended up rushing and taking over the president's office Sara I know those guys you know and then at the same time I'm watching a football game and some of the yuppies also wear their role yuppie at the yup you have the football game so it was interesting the different groups know what happened to I want you took over the crazy guy you know what uh I don't know what happened I mean ever that became a big deal big deal I learned about it I guess some of them were must have been expel but they think they got some concessions I think seem to recall but it happened at UT not at you've aged and alright you age and then at that time they considered you've aged and they may still consider it like a commuter school for us from commuter school for for what for UK here another commuter school for Houston I'm of age I mean if people didn't stay there so yeah it kind of yeah there was a lot of local kids a lot of local kids yeah they had of course it was a four-year university yeah but that's that's the kind of the image that at the time it was it was through it was growing you know it's it's got I forgot what is how it started pretty cool in my life it is it is it is and that that was my first exposure to a lot of self Americas that I got to meet a lot of a lot of some reason that we had a lot of young people from Laredo now so I formed a lot of bonding friendships with this little group from Laredo and so and did you stay in political science or government yes I did I trying to do I did I did only because I didn't know better yes I don't mean to denigrate it if anybody's going in that direction you know but it was kind of like I really didn't know I had no concept what I was going to do but I just figured that what cable and that I'd better get into a law school yeah what else wanted to assign yeah what else am I gonna do unless I continue to to get a masters of the PhD right some hopefully get hard to teach somewhere in some university but that was in the direction I was looking for so I uh yeah I was able to Michael grandma I didn't have the best grades I'm embarrassed to say so but I I work hard and my grades were decent enough and I escort but the low en I think of the entrance exam but it got me into things of southern loss of Texas charm and my whole background had been an improvement my parents who were just common hard-working people we at a lot of people don't relate to it now younger people but at the time it was still like still the very rules rule agricultural or state in the state of Texas there was those cotton pickin which nobody knows what it is I was gonna ask you did you do any what they call holy going cleaning the feels let's prime me like what so that's after you pick the gut you know before before you watch what you're you're going to leave clean it up so there doesn't get it tested with a bunch of wheat okay so digging this that's a lot of what yeah well that's something a lot of hard work - what if it was so it's a very dirty job big cats yeah by the end of the day you had it took these shoes there was a pound of dirt and then a million pound on your body so that's so my life when I went to each time I went further into school was it improvement yeah all right and you one step away from that not to do that anymore boy and you know in the brutal Texas Sun you know summertime I imagine it's that's probably one of the worst jobs you can think of I would think so I would think so and somehow it just feels that it wasn't as hot as it is now yeah maybe my my skin is less tolerant that's what I think Oh get it to anybody so I ended up getting the degree uh in local science of all things I ran into got to me Hector Rene Gonzalez no lawyer yeah now I need some court butts Carroll but like that's word I met him we ended up taking them we was also thinking the political sign throughout and that's how I met him and then I met his kind of we grew up with Rene Rodriguez now my first year of law school so did you guys did you did you minor and anything eh no Jenna did you have another favorite favorite subject I mean you took I was strictly of the the political sunshine political science route hey they've got interesting I mean oh one of the things that courts that are like there's a lot of reading yeah and so I got you know International Studies and international politics and one of the things before I went up there a great guy when I was in Texas a high I and then once I decided I was going to law school there was a lawyer at the Eric at further I can't think of this name one of the lawyers and Kingsville Hispanic lawyers that didn't use a city attorney at one time but he taught there at that hot but he also form a little organization for those people that wanted to go to law school that's why I went ahead and join that and so it was a thing that ever ever did the smartest thing because he kind of gave me an outline of what I should pursue if if Ellis what I wanted to do so and it wasn't it was of course he he said well you're gonna have to learn how to write it sentence and write it concisely you know it would be good if you took some writing class gonna be some journal turned journalistic classes so you could learn how to write he said you need some exposure so he said you need to sign up for music appreciation and art appreciation to expand your awareness I didn't know why but taking notes and and of course you need to think logically so you need take logic right and so I scrip I took him at his word I I didn't know why but that's what shame shame to orchid yeah it works it's like when I went up to you H I sign up for music appreciation and art appreciation so it didn't help because ever since then I'm not very whenever i've traveled out of the country that's the first thing I go to museums alright look at look at the the artwork and on snuff I have a better dress and so well and they say music is mathematical anyway and so like if you study music it helps you with math and if you do math you help us with music just yes they're mostly the museum music appreciate was just the listening so somebody I play a record up there some composer and try to explain into right now I've kind of I'm hard of hearing it so I sure I've missed a lot of the nuances that he was talking about but it really helped and it certainly the logic so with just a little bit about your family now I know you doc but you by their father and brothers and sisters just I do I'm the youngest one there was those four of us four siblings I got two sisters and little the brother my mother was a was a stable men Jack at a hospital there that we had the rough style Riverside Hospital where I know it's a rough sell well it was in Riverside but it was rough yeah eventually during the summers primarily now in your road sister still live in this area oh no they uh L my my sister my sister became a registered nurse married very successful engineering they live in one of the suburbs my little sister was pursuing the teaching degree she ended up getting married moving up to Maryland and of course my brother unfortunately for him he died like 300 college hours but nothing that he will get a degree and so but he just started working yeah that marry and he wasn't Houston for a long time and then he might happen he got divorced so he left town and he moved to the letter yeah then remarried there started a family okay a new wife and kids I have a wife no I mean I've had several four-legged ones those children four-legged children okay the hell are you Tamara 38 years 38 years so you must have met your wife in college interesting you know after I got back okay after I got back after I graduated after you graduate that wonder graduate from college or loss from law school lost her again yeah I didn't know what I wanted to stay in Houston and that's another story itself rather getting to that's all I have coming back to rob some I'm trying to get it up waiting for the bars on the sweating it out yeah like they are right now a lot of my kids I remember that yeah yeah it's fortunately I passed the first time okay so then I was like okay now what where's my money you know yeah what do I do now I gotta first to get a job or do something so where was your first show I ended up one Perales was interrupts them and he had been in law school with me and he had graduated before he is hit up officer so I kind of when they're kind of to work with him for a few months and stayed with him and then I got a job with but think what was then close to been legal services a Legal Aid Society and what kind of cases did you handle there obviously uh symbol but not nothing like a personal injury this helping people that would get in trouble with with housing housing a lot of wills were the elders maybe when they convert they're being sued for a bid or something that kind of stuff kinda they help people with with problems that they gotten themselves into it and don't know how to help themselves no it was primarily what I did for about two to three years and after that then I I made a goal private practice but at the time I uh I was still in rough stone but living in Corpus uh what I should have happened well I did a little practice on my own fair uh making making a living but not a whole lot of money but I wanted to have trial exposure but I didn't have any mentors do you know I was like on my own time so there was an opening for the county attorney so I went looking for County Attorney job I went to the a county attorney in this bamboo there was kind of transition I was about the time to judge Westar green got appointed to the district he was the county attorney you know you recall it that was before my college before and I'm and then he he he was appointed to the district court and so they had a transitional lawyer by the name of PR Vandy in PR bany heart and so uh god bless that man he took a chance on me giving an opportunity in I I worked there and then during that time look like I said it was he was the interim that's when Carl's Willis took it okay you've been working there a prior to me we didn't get left to run for that office and he ran for that office and I had a hang of course I knew Carlos had somewhat but I got to get closer both working with him after he got elected so I stayed with the County Attorney's Office five two or three years I met a lot of wonderful people not only the judges my exposure because you were asking me if I had any who were my role models the judges so I don't know whether to call him role model but there were just some I got exposure to a lot of judges here that were very good judges compassionate like Noah Kennedy and then hatred opinion a senior I was in his court for a long time and so that's when I started getting he's like mm-hmm interesting you know so I learned about he was he was a kind man and he would tell me about himself where he grew up what then he was a cowboy from from DeWolf County San Diego said helpful interesting and some place over yeah that's what that was my exposure to a lot of the judges there and I met you earlier before he got appointed as a trial attorney and you got to point it and then this position got opened I was a very young attorney I was 33 and I had a lot of lawyers later they started looking we have some meetings they said they looking for volunteers like I went to the meeting I didn't volunteer but then they said well what about you what about me what are you run right why not okay and that's our good start that's not a story and was that County where laudable yeah come on um I got to work with judge Blackman well it's prosecutor and so like judge appointment and so he moved up and that's how the position got available I was gonna say something and I lost my truck no thank you oh well there's three of us running for that position there was a young lady that was a municipal court judge by the name of a lot I've never met her I've heard about her a lot and then in the office there was in the county attorney's office was this lawyer but they have a colonel Lockington and he went my colonel colonel but then kind of kind of low a little kind of low to stern for most of the lawyers there they didn't like him yeah he didn't like them there's a girl in defense lawyers oh so did that work that to my benefit right yeah you know the funny how life is I was but I was forced officers there was this case where I had to prosecute this man who was being charged with there was a misdemeanor of some type false imprisonment that's how they charged it and he was out of the Tolosa Midway area he was a businessman and he was yeah I think he may even been president again or a what happened is that his house had been burglarized and they stole all his weapons so it just happened that sometime later on these kids late yeah and so I he went out because it was just there in front so I think he he he had a rifle and he like started shooting though well no he didn't shoot them but well he did yeah he just I guess don't move or so move that's awesome yeah words they were the kids were of hi guys let's prominent families yeah yeah and so they they they filed a criminal charge it was so obviously nobody they were the parents were upset and he was reacting because what probably had happened to him that he's thinking they were the coping and so there was this attorney fees I can't think of his name was Jerry Jerry Jerry something there was a prominent curling defense attorney and so I felt that there was some it was showed me a false imprisonment something something else you know anyway you would talk talk to to lock it in and you will prosecute that case I'm picking a jury this little lady jumps on my keys why why are you doing this you know it is just completely jumping all over I cases I'll try to pick a jury in Kisa that she's one of the jurors chastising me I'm stunned you don't like I don't know how to respond you know you think she would again get weeded out in Boyd I go well she was but you poisoned the room this was when she were still during yeah yeah we're instantly so we do the jury selection stuff he obviously done you gotta quit it but he did take it personally Matt's me he ended up being one of my biggest supporters I thought she gave my fair trial I gave a fair trial it's good for people there's a businessman and he went out of his way to support me so just like things happen yeah well judge I can tell you based on you know all the lawyers that supports you both plaintiff and defense and criminal non-criminal you obviously you have the respect to the bar and I think I think that's everybody use you is you're gonna get you know get a fair shake in your court and and that's called a lawyer support you and I and I like to think that I do that I've always kept that in mind cuz we talked about what you appreciate in other other judges that we those that were would give everybody a level playing field you know that's all you can ask us all you want these formal try your occasion yeah and they're trying to let the chips fall where they may it's it becomes a lawyer skill right the skills that's right and they're the facts all right exactly once we're living over our time let me just ask you real quick give me major influences in your life you'd like to talk about if you don't that's fine if you think I mean yes yes I I do have I do have okay wolf Han offhand one that I've always remembered throughout my life I had this 5th grade teacher from Iowa Iowa her name was mrs. Howell this is hell and she is still in me the love of reading she would bring all these books I don't know they were from her personal library whatever but this face all these kind of historical books at the time there I don't think they're out there anymore I was I was there at the Normandy innovation I was there at the Alamo I was there somewhere it so it was like somebody giving you the history and I can't remember those dukes okay yeah I've seen one in here heaven meme yeah obviously but I I got exposed to that I now really really it really is still this level reading night and up to the present I have a love of reading that's hildren great and lastly Ghent I know you're up for re-election choked everybody why we should go for you well because I have the experience to begin with you know I've been some people argue well that there should be term limits well you know this I'm not passing policy is this is not like a policy position this this is a judicial position where you need wisdom you know and and you you only gain that wisdom either with with years with years and in my in my case the years have been serving as a judge so I have all this experience all this wisdom that that you can only accumulate by being there so I know my position I know the job well I think that's that's my main reason that's the main reason that you I was talking to Craig sigl well last night at the U Ducks Unlimited and you were saying that the thing he wants study he doesn't like to see this changing of judges like in other jurisdictions because you know as an attorney you expect consistency right you you you want to know what to expect you know you know just when you're getting to a judgments like in the big jurisdictions there's a turnover because the political winds King and that's not what lawyers want at northern clients you've got to have consistency or Antonia where you show up and they just assign you to some judge you've never heard of before and you're like well what's this about who's this guy that's right I know that's interesting anyway I'll add two things a judge all the lawyer supports you based on the latest bar polls and the judicial father just did and you know they give you the highest marks for fairness so I think you know if any if anything I'm guys searching people out of up for you those three reasons out there yourself that's what you want from a judge somebody's gonna be fair and listen to all sides and just call them the way they are and then it keep in mind that my criminal cases are misdemeanor not the real ugly serious felonies so these are mistakes that young people make you know possession that kind of stuff shoplifting you want to judge it gonna have a little bit of compassion there you don't want you don't want what I've seen right yes I've had early on I had and I learned this early on I had this grown man call me didn't identify himself but he called the office and wanting to talk to me he said that when you know who suspect me you want to know how he could clean this record I said oh who are you if you didn't want to tell me what he said this like but now it's 18 I got convicted of this and that and they're holding that against me he was not like 40-something is I can't get promoted so you know you don't want the mistakes of eighteen year old to be suffered by a 40 50 and 60 year old man with a family for something that was kind of stupid useful mistakes not so we we gotta keep that among judges and I try to do that uh so you do some location and then usually only criminal you do is just misdemeanors just misdemeanor and you do family lock you know no come on you're probably glad about that sort of I don't say anything yeah proper background all right so Scott I do a lot of probing just talking two or more Martyrology certified he was saying that he's so so thankful because I organized a few years ago some seminars to to because we need at lightens certain probate cases in the past we just get somebody who wasn't familiar so we ended up we started getting teaching Kevin classes seminars that's a good idea you know so that if you're gonna handle it you got to know what you run you shouldn't just be a potted plant muraki's aircraft yeah you know so he says that that's been so helpful for all the probate lawyers so that's kind of things that I've done it's a great idea okay we're just a couple announcements here our scholarship deadline is December 1st so words coming up here real quick first place is $2,500 second place is $1,500 third place is a thousand just go to our website go to Scholarships page why did is write a six hundred word essay submit it and hopefully you'll be one of the winners don't forget tomorrow is the Dia de los Muertos Festival and Herman Herman is sponsoring lucha kaboom there's a meet and greet for their bingo meet and greet the wrestlers from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. tomorrow and then the first match is at 7:00 I think the last match big one with the psycho clown yeah he is yeah it's gonna look it's downtown it's in the parking lot of the collar times will part old parking lot is where the lucha kaboom is gonna be set up oh okay but all the downtown is going to be the do they don't work as festivals so hope see you out there Jeff oh yeah I mean I remember I'm gonna be date if I remember what neighbor a trivia started that that right yeah okay he moves back he that's it was the first one a lot of people have forgotten that he started celebrating via that of what those they're in his office and it just well it's just yeah it's gotten really big in downtown Corpus how many folks for their last you Jim what would a dick tell us yeah I know my wife has painted her please to go paint it again and come on down there tomorrow and we get you some tickets to look chocobo more if you watch it'll be fun maybe I do want to say one thing like ensure before you I want to remind everybody that early voting is going on and I need for them I neither I need your help basically I I need your help if you're out there if I've helped you in any way I need your help now keep in mind also further even if you've never gone before me you should vote because smart people thought you know they don't let others take advantage of and so be smart exercise you're right you know so that others cannot take advantage of you and now there's ed let's let's keep our good judges here on the bench okay so get out and vote to help keep the good judges on the bench and as long as we're on that subject I believe I know hourly voting has already begun it ends November 2nd and I believe it's 8 to 5 every day of the week in Corpus and you go any-any polling places and we're going to put a list of them on our website we have an art intensive or on our Facebook page but I tomorrow on Saturday is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. so there's really and Sundays even I think 12 to 5 so there's really no excuse for you guys not be able to get out and vote this week this weekend and it's a gorgeous day out there you can't blame the weather too cold or too hot or too many mosquitoes or it's raining or whatever I mean it's gonna be perfect for the rest of Saturday Luber and left to give free rides to the polls so you know there's just really no ski no excuse for not vote election day is November 6 but I hope there's nobody in line November 6 I hope everybody's already pre voted because early about it because they're voting next week again - yeah we may get back weather so you never know something may happen people need to go that's right away that's right something bad could happen on Tuesday and you can't make it can flood here for some reason so get out and vote now so you don't worry about it also we're giving away $1000 gift card now I've been told I can't give it to you just for voting because that'd be like I'm bribing you to vote or something so just drop by our office anybody can register to vote and you can enter - I mean ready you can register for the giveaway for the thousand dollar card can I register you guys sure you can sure you can't we just prefer you voted we prefer you come by here and bring your aye vote it sticker and if you want we'll take a picture put you on social media if you don't want your picture taken we won't but we'd prefer you come out with an i voted but you can't require it so anybody just come by and say yeah you know the contest and we'll do it and I'm probably going to raise it up and exit judge Vargas suggested this to me yesterday used today you know what people really like or Cowboys did so maybe give away some cowboy tickets so we're looking at into some games right now we're probably going to throw either two or four cowboy tickets and just to sweeten the deal so come by and register now even though we haven't announced that yet combined and register now and well we'll add you know whatever it is we add probably be those cowboy tickets we'll just add it to it so come and register now I am and then finally next week is the Fronteras history festival I know nobody's heard of it before other than probably here but it's a new festival we're starting what a thing that's going to be interesting about it is in judge Marcus was kind of reminding me about this but there's going to be a play with a hip-hop song that's kind of like what Hamilton know one thing I think was Marais of Miranda yeah Brandon Brandon yeah you've probably heard about the Broadway show called Hamilton and it's a you know hip hop throughout the thing we're going to do that here but they're gonna do it on life of Hector Pete Garcia and I've already heard the lyrics and the song and it's pretty good it's pretty funny so anyway that's gonna be just part of it and people are gonna be dressed up like the 1800s and they're gonna have a lot of old dr. McGregor photos and spots for dr. McGregor took pictures just things like that so anyway that's next weekend right now come out to Dia de los Muertos come come by our booth at lucha kaboom for the meet and greet and for the match and we're giving away tickets for that on social media right now oh it just ended okay well if you haven't if you haven't in theirs yeah you missed out now but go ahead and combine register for the thousand dollar gift giveaway and we'll put the cowboy tickets on there later but please vote please go vote there's just no excuse for not voting you know the rest of the day to day you got all day tomorrow you got Sunday to vote and even got next week but try to get it done this week so like you know I could say if there's some catastrophe or some flood or some reason you can't vote on Election Day hey you got word about charity voted and if nothing else just go vote you can keep good men like this judge Vargas on the bench he does I think we all agree we want fair judges and we want good judges on the bench and we don't want we don't want them you know not getting reelected so I hope you've heard enough today just just from judge Vargas to get you motivated you get up get off your butt put that put that man the popcorn or whatever it is you're eating and go vote so judge you want say anything last before we go no thank you it's been a pleasure to be here I've enjoyed it well good it yeah this is maybe I can come back there you go that'd be great well thanks for coming by judge and we'll wrap it up so thanks everybody we will see you right away on next Friday or yeah so we've seen it Friday 2:30 again same time same channel right