Editor’s note: Suzanne Schwab-Radcliffe, an associate judge, resigned her post of 16 years after the Committee on Judicial Ethics released an opinion stating that a family law jurist cannot also practice family law as an attorney in the same county or in surrounding counties that use the same appeals courts. Judge Christopher Dupuy of Galveston’s County Court at Law No. 3 requested the opinion. Dupuy held Schwab-Radcliffe in contempt in November, claiming there was a conflict of interest in her dual role as a family law attorney and judge.
In 1987, as the population of Galveston County was growing by leaps and bounds, the 306th Family District Court had a backlog of over 3,000 cases and one judge to hear them as well as a part time associate judge to hear temporary matters in divorce cases.