Judge Steven Kirkland

Judge Steven Kirkland It has been a privilege and honor to serve Texans as Judge over 16 years. After this term ends in December, I look forward to serving private parties as an arbitrator and mediator.

Message or email me for scheduling. I served you for 15 years as a judge where I implemented great improvements like the Homeless Court in the City of Houston and mandatory E-filing in the District Court. Both programs improved service to the citizens and saved the taxpayer money. As a lawyer, I've represented individual homeowners, an international oil company and city taxpayers. That balance in

Message or email me for scheduling. I served you for 15 years as a judge where I implemented great improvements like the Homeless Court in the City of Houston and mandatory E-filing in the District Court. Both programs improved service to the citizens and saved the taxpayer money. As a lawyer, I've represented individual homeowners, an international oil company and city taxpayers. That balance in

Operating as usual

This was to be the return to in person lectures and presentations at  Rice University's Center for the Study of Women, G...
01/06/2022

This was to be the return to in person lectures and presentations at Rice University's Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, but due to Omicron it will be virtual. The good thing about virtual events is you can set up the computer on the Kitchen counter and prepare yourself a "gourmet" meal while you're learning. I miss the camaraderie but these stories will be just as fascinating, interesting and impactful.

This was to be the return to in person lectures and presentations at Rice University's Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, but due to Omicron it will be virtual. The good thing about virtual events is you can set up the computer on the Kitchen counter and prepare yourself a "gourmet" meal while you're learning. I miss the camaraderie but these stories will be just as fascinating, interesting and impactful.

Crimes send messages.  Verdicts also send messages.  Good essay by Michael Lindenberger, journalist tieing it all togeth...
11/21/2021
Essay: Trans murders send chilling messages — but one jury sent hope

Crimes send messages. Verdicts also send messages. Good essay by Michael Lindenberger, journalist tieing it all together.

"The message I heard back in 2005 was just that sort of terrifying. That Kentucky jury heard Josh Cottrell testify that, yes, he killed Richie Phillips, but he had his reasons — and then declined to convict him of murder. Instead, Cottrell was convicted of second-degree manslaughter, the weakest available charge. He would be eligible for parole in just over two years. Afterward, I approached the weary prosecutor and asked, what now? He shook his head and said he’d learned his lesson: Next time a gay person is killed for making a pass at a straight man in Hardin County, he’d plead the case rather than take it to trial."

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Essay-Trans-murders-send-chilling-messages-16636569.php?sid=5ba9524724c17c423acdfc74&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=news_a&utm_campaign=HC_MorningReport

That’s one meaning of ‘getting justice.’Amid a record surge of killing of...

Happy Veterans Day!
11/11/2021

Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Veterans Day!

It’s been a few years since I waved the flag, but I do sport the socks!  Happy National Coming Out Day.
10/11/2021

It’s been a few years since I waved the flag, but I do sport the socks! Happy National Coming Out Day.

It’s been a few years since I waved the flag, but I do sport the socks! Happy National Coming Out Day.

Yep!  There’s a baby under there! Hello Brooklyn!
10/09/2021

Yep! There’s a baby under there! Hello Brooklyn!

Yep! There’s a baby under there! Hello Brooklyn!

Not sure what rabbits I was chasing when I ran across this photo today, but I was in the company of icons that evening. ...
10/02/2021

Not sure what rabbits I was chasing when I ran across this photo today, but I was in the company of icons that evening. Ray Hill, Phyllis Frye and Sissy Farenthold. Sad to learn of Sissy's passing. Glad our paths crossed! (Happily, more than once.) Grateful she gave so much and inspired so many (including the three of us at the table that evening!).

Not sure what rabbits I was chasing when I ran across this photo today, but I was in the company of icons that evening. Ray Hill, Phyllis Frye and Sissy Farenthold. Sad to learn of Sissy's passing. Glad our paths crossed! (Happily, more than once.) Grateful she gave so much and inspired so many (including the three of us at the table that evening!).

Before there was Google there was Scott Tillinghast.  He was always a quiet steady presence in every campaign I ran, and...
09/25/2021

Before there was Google there was Scott Tillinghast. He was always a quiet steady presence in every campaign I ran, and a fellow volunteer in countless others before that! Thank you Barbara Radnofsky for making sure I heard about the device. Hugs Jane Tillinghast. Thanks for sharing your brother!

Hmmm!  I had a stowaway… and an audience!  They cheered as I went by, and then the egrets did a flyover!
08/29/2021

Hmmm! I had a stowaway… and an audience! They cheered as I went by, and then the egrets did a flyover!

Couldn’t make it to join Rodney Ellis for a ride in Houston this morning, so I cruised  a few rural highways in Nacogdoc...
08/09/2021

Couldn’t make it to join Rodney Ellis for a ride in Houston this morning, so I cruised a few rural highways in Nacogdoches County instead!

Another semester in the books!  Thanks to a great group of students at UH Valenti for a fun and engaging summer in Commu...
08/03/2021

Another semester in the books! Thanks to a great group of students at UH Valenti for a fun and engaging summer in Communications law!

Another semester in the books! Thanks to a great group of students at UH Valenti for a fun and engaging summer in Communications law!

The husband insists that I look at stuff before handing over the boxes to Rice archives… I always comply.  Usually with ...
06/26/2021

The husband insists that I look at stuff before handing over the boxes to Rice archives… I always comply. Usually with loud groans of disbelief at what my younger self was doing/thinking/wearing, etc. I groaned at this one too. But, after a law student reception last night, seems appropriate to stumble across this photo this morning!

The husband insists that I look at stuff before handing over the boxes to Rice archives… I always comply. Usually with loud groans of disbelief at what my younger self was doing/thinking/wearing, etc. I groaned at this one too. But, after a law student reception last night, seems appropriate to stumble across this photo this morning!

This week’s episode of wandering with Steve gives us a hike through the whispering pines along pickle creek in southern ...
05/27/2021

This week’s episode of wandering with Steve gives us a hike through the whispering pines along pickle creek in southern Missouri’s Hawn State Park. Lovely birdsong and views and lots of lovely (and a few not so lovely) bugs! Wildlife included a snake who insisted on a portrait!

If you've followed my page for long, you know I am a member the International Association of LGBT Judges and have talked...
03/26/2021

If you've followed my page for long, you know I am a member the International Association of LGBT Judges and have talked about my conversations with Judge Feinman over the years. He's a smart man, cautious and careful jurist and a funny human being who service to the LGBT legal community as an advocate and a trailblazer has been immense. His departure from the NY Court of Appeals is sad, but his history of service is brilliant.

Judge Paul Feinman is a beloved, essential, and legacy member of the LGBTQ+ Judges Association and we are saddened to learn of his retirement from the New York Court of Appeals, effective yesterday, to focus on health concerns.

Judge Feinman’s exceptional legal career, his ascension to his state’s highest court, his humility and kindness to others, and his lifelong commitment to and leadership within the LGBTQ+ community and the New York courts are an inspiration to us all.

LGBTQ+ judges everywhere are holding Judge Feinman, his husband Robert, and his extended family in our thoughts and prayers, and know that the resolve and ferocity Judge Feinman evidenced as a lawyer and his ability to make thoughtful, reasoned decisions, for which he is so well-known and respected, will serve him well in the challenges ahead.

Here's a good resource for my  friends in Amicus at South Texas College of Law Houston, OUTLaw UH Law Center, Stonewall ...
03/17/2021
Public Interest Scholarship Program

Here's a good resource for my friends in Amicus at South Texas College of Law Houston, OUTLaw UH Law Center, Stonewall Law Association of Greater Houston TAMU School of Law OUTlaw looking to do public interest work with our LGBTQ+ community... americanbar.org/groups/diversity/sexual_orientation/SOGI/

Starting in 2019 the SOGI Commission is pleased to announce the inauguration of its scholarship program aimed at recent law students and/or law school graduates studying for the Bar who are either LGBTQ or who will be working in the LGBTQ space doing public interest work which may include, but not b...

03/10/2021

Well done sir! And thank you for welcoming me to your board The Council on Recovery these last eight years.
You brought together a community of accomplished people ready able and willing to talk recovery, walk recovery and provide support for recovery in our City. I'm grateful to be included and look forward to seeing your next career develop!

I first met Cleola R Williams in the 1990s.  We had just started what would become Avenue to build affordable houses in ...
03/09/2021

I first met Cleola R Williams in the 1990s. We had just started what would become Avenue to build affordable houses in the first and sixth wards. Ms. Williams was respected community activist, powerful jazz and gospel vocalist and an amazing teacher. It took a while for her to decide I was the real thing, but she did, and for the next thirty years we got into more "good trouble" together than I can recount. Together, we built houses, reclaimed parks, dragged city leaders to the community and made sure community input was heard in the seats of power. Along the way, we cussed together, we sang together, we prayed together, we cried and of we laughed. We laughed a lot! When I turned 40, Cleola was there singing happy birthday at a special dinner Mark Parthie arranged because he knew her presence would bring me joy. When I launched my first campaign, Cleola was there singing God Bless America. She was generous in sharing her wisdom, and always shared it with a smile and love. Cleola has gone on now. I will miss her smile and hearing her voice, but am so glad that she has been in my life these last thirty years.

All set up for virtual mediation today and the power goes out!  Fortunately, I have windows for lighting, a backup batte...
03/05/2021

All set up for virtual mediation today and the power goes out! Fortunately, I have windows for lighting, a backup battery for the computer and an orange cranberry scone for the mediator. Here’s hoping we find peace for today’s litigants! Or at least a clear path forward!

All set up for virtual mediation today and the power goes out! Fortunately, I have windows for lighting, a backup battery for the computer and an orange cranberry scone for the mediator. Here’s hoping we find peace for today’s litigants! Or at least a clear path forward!

Many thanks to  Rep. Sylvia Garcia for zooming into my class at University of Houston Jack J. Valenti School of Communic...
02/25/2021

Many thanks to Rep. Sylvia Garcia for zooming into my class at University of Houston Jack J. Valenti School of Communication tonight to talk about the impeachment, the first amendment and Donald Trumps speeches. Great conversation. Thank you. You're awesome! https://uofh-my.sharepoint.com/:v:/g/personal/sekirkla_cougarnet_uh_edu/ETZghjQvhq1HgVpAUO3dPe4Bj98_VMveafcasDokZ_ZMSA?e=RlwPzv

Many thanks to Rep. Sylvia Garcia for zooming into my class at University of Houston Jack J. Valenti School of Communication tonight to talk about the impeachment, the first amendment and Donald Trumps speeches. Great conversation. Thank you. You're awesome! https://uofh-my.sharepoint.com/:v:/g/personal/sekirkla_cougarnet_uh_edu/ETZghjQvhq1HgVpAUO3dPe4Bj98_VMveafcasDokZ_ZMSA?e=RlwPzv

02/18/2021
www.puc.texas.gov

James Cargas - New Energy James Cargas Can you help me understand this? http://www.puc.texas.gov/51617WinterERCOTOrder.pdf . Per Newsweek this order raised electric rates. As I read it, they believe the “market pricing system” was not representing scarcity, but pricing electricity below what they thought the scarcity price should be. So they suspend the market pricing mechanism and order a price hike. Am I reading correctly? Surely I’m missing something. What is it?

I braved the cold ths morning so y’all don’t have to...  now, if the power will come on, I might warm up.
02/15/2021

I braved the cold ths morning so y’all don’t have to... now, if the power will come on, I might warm up.

Let the Valentine weddings begin! Happy to officiate for The Heritage Society this weekend of love!  Good to see my old ...
02/13/2021

Let the Valentine weddings begin! Happy to officiate for The Heritage Society this weekend of love! Good to see my old friends Rupa, Minette and Allison playing Cupid!

This will be fun!  I'm just starting, so there's plenty of room on my calendar for your case!  Message me here, or conta...
02/10/2021

This will be fun! I'm just starting, so there's plenty of room on my calendar for your case! Message me here, or contact my case manager, Christina Jacobs ([email protected]) to schedule.
https://www.facebook.com/JAMSAlternativeDisputeResolution/photos/a.919074268567115/1062323937575480/

Join us in welcoming Hon. Steven E. Kirkland (Former) to our panel of mediators and arbitrators in Houston, Texas. Judge Kirkland joins JAMS after serving as a judge for 16 years, including eight years in the 334th Civil District Court and the 215th Civil District Court in Harris County, Texas.

Full Press Release: https://www.jamsadr.com/news/2021/hon-steven-e-kirkland-former-joins-jams-in-houston

#Arbitration #Mediation #ConstructionLaw #PersonalInjury #CivilRights #EmploymentLaw

I'm now available to arbitrate or mediate your cases. I've joined the JAMS new Houston office offering both high quality...
02/08/2021

I'm now available to arbitrate or mediate your cases. I've joined the JAMS new Houston office offering both high quality virtual and in person services. To schedule with me email Christina Jacobs at [email protected]. To learn more visit: https://www.jamsadr.com/kirkland/
https://www.facebook.com/JAMSAlternativeDisputeResolution/photos/a.919074268567115/1058331164641424/

We're expanding in Texas! Learn more about our new Resolution Center in Houston.

Full Press Release: https://www.jamsadr.com/news/2021/jams-opens-houston-resolution-center

#Mediation #Arbitration #DisputeResolution

For those of you not watching the game, I’ve curated a walk on the beach for you!  Enjoy!
02/08/2021

For those of you not watching the game, I’ve curated a walk on the beach for you! Enjoy!

Fading fall foliage and budding spring blooms at the same time.  Must be January in Houston!
01/22/2021

Fading fall foliage and budding spring blooms at the same time. Must be January in Houston!

The office is all packed and cleared out. I’m working on the last group of orders and have one last judgment to sign.  A...
12/29/2020

The office is all packed and cleared out. I’m working on the last group of orders and have one last judgment to sign. As I come to the end of this term, I am struck by how amazing this experience has been. In my career of public service, we’ve navigated the aftermath of hurricanes, floods and now a pandemic that has challenged and changed how we provide justice in this state. We rolled with the punches, adapted and kept moving forward. Through it all, I’ve presided over more than 900 jury trials, countless bench trials and 16 years of giving direction for people in dispute.

Wow! What a ride! From the early days in the basement of the Municipal Court building to the beautiful district Courthouse and even this last year on Zoom I loved every minute of it. Thank you. Without your support, none of it would have been possible and I am deeply grateful.

This week a new year starts and for me a new chapter in life. I hand this office over to a new Judge. She will be starting what I hope is the most rewarding period of her legal career. I wish her luck.

As for me, I will be starting an arbitration and mediation practice. (If you need those services, please contact me and let’s get started.) I will also be “sitting by assignment” and handling matters for judges who have to be away for vacation, illness or other reasons. And I will continue teaching at UH’s Valenti School of Communication. So I’ll be around. And once the pandemic lifts, we might even get to see other again. Until then, you can keep up with my comings, goings and musings on social media. Stay safe and Happy New Year.

Two eagle sightings in a week!  In Houston! Today over the East End.  Last week on the White Oak.  I must be living righ...
12/26/2020

Two eagle sightings in a week! In Houston! Today over the East End. Last week on the White Oak. I must be living right. Or the eagles are living wrong. (Sorry - the photos aren’t very good, but it’s the best proof I got.)

Since we’re not traveling this year, I’m in my own kitchen and left to my devising... Christmas lasagna seems right.  Pl...
12/25/2020

Since we’re not traveling this year, I’m in my own kitchen and left to my devising... Christmas lasagna seems right. Playing with the nieces and nephews would be better, but this is nice! Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. And hallelujah for a new year!

Instead of our usual holiday cookie exchange, the neighborhood association brought us Christmas parade.  I miss catching...
12/22/2020

Instead of our usual holiday cookie exchange, the neighborhood association brought us Christmas parade. I miss catching up with my neighbors, but a little jazz from the bed of a truck helped keep the session festive!

Welcome Mylinh Tran to the practice of law in Texas.  Mylinh interned with us this last year and we’re proud she perseve...
12/12/2020

Welcome Mylinh Tran to the practice of law in Texas. Mylinh interned with us this last year and we’re proud she persevered and pushed through!

Judge Steven Kirkland
12/10/2020

Judge Steven Kirkland

After 35 years working in the Courts and 28 in this Court, Walter Bucko’s last day is today!  Walter served ten judges, ...
11/30/2020

After 35 years working in the Courts and 28 in this Court, Walter Bucko’s last day is today! Walter served ten judges, 7 of us as court coordinator. His institutional knowledge helped many of us navigate transitions and his wit and humor made it fun. Enjoy retirement Walter!

Great day for a ride with friends.
11/15/2020

Great day for a ride with friends.

The Council on Recovery presents Finding North:  An evening with Sugar Ray Leonard in just a few minutes.  Join us to he...
11/12/2020
Finding North - The Council Speaker Series

The Council on Recovery presents Finding North: An evening with Sugar Ray Leonard in just a few minutes. Join us to hear Sugar Ray's inspiring story: https://councilspeakerseries.org/finding-north/

FINDING NORTH STORIES TO GUIDE, HEAL, AND INSPIRE WELCOME TO A VIRTUAL CONVERSATION WITH LEGENDARY BOXER, PHILANTHROPIST AND BEST-SELLING AUTHOR SUGAR RAY LEONARD. DONATE REGISTER TO WATCH THE EVENTName *FirstLastEmail * VIEW PROGRAM TECH SUPPORT (281) 408-9945 SPONSORS SERIES BENEFACTOR The Waggone...

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PO Box 70111
Houston, TX
77270

Telephone

+18327790118

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Judge Steven Kirkland, 334th Civil District Court

For those who haven’t met me yet, I’m a balding middle aged gay boy from West Texas who 30 years ago had to learn to love myself enough to sober up and come out so I could be a meaningful contributor to my community. I founded a low income housing non profit that put over 750 units of affordable housing on the ground in Houston Texas. I created Houston’s Homeless Court that’s kept 1000 people out of our jails, in their programs and off the streets. And I’ve served as a Judge for over 14 years.

I have been honored to serve Texans as Judge in the 334th Civil Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. The next chapter of my life is not written yet, but it starts Jan 1, 2121. Stay tuned.

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This was to be the return to in person lectures and presentations at Rice University's Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, but due to Omicron it will be virtual. The good thing about virtual events is you can set up the computer on the Kitchen counter and prepare yourself a "gourmet" meal while you're learning. I miss the camaraderie but these stories will be just as fascinating, interesting and impactful.
Crimes send messages. Verdicts also send messages. Good essay by Michael Lindenberger, journalist tieing it all together. "The message I heard back in 2005 was just that sort of terrifying. That Kentucky jury heard Josh Cottrell testify that, yes, he killed Richie Phillips, but he had his reasons — and then declined to convict him of murder. Instead, Cottrell was convicted of second-degree manslaughter, the weakest available charge. He would be eligible for parole in just over two years. Afterward, I approached the weary prosecutor and asked, what now? He shook his head and said he’d learned his lesson: Next time a gay person is killed for making a pass at a straight man in Hardin County, he’d plead the case rather than take it to trial." https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Essay-Trans-murders-send-chilling-messages-16636569.php?sid=5ba9524724c17c423acdfc74&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=news_a&utm_campaign=HC_MorningReport
Happy Veterans Day!