Larry Fields, current Panola County Justice of the Peace for Pct. 2 and 4, has a vision of himself as a presiding county court judge after years of experience practicing local law.
Fields saw and studied law from many angles. The former peace and police officer-turned-lawyer, municipal court judge and ETBU paralegal instructor practiced a form of law in East Texas for more than 33 years.
“I’ve handled virtually every type of case that would arise in East Texas and practiced in Panola County and all surrounding counties, as well as Houston, Dallas and other major cities,” Fields said.
The candidate knows the law and also knows Panola County. His family has been involved in public service in the region since “at least as far back as 1856”, he said. He grew up on a family farm in the community of Antioch and worked for a local veterinary clinic and oil companies as a teenager.
After graduating from high school at Carthage High School and earning an associate’s degree from Panola College, Fields became a County 4 Police Officer at age 21, beginning his experience in law enforcement. Fields then attended the police academy at Kilgore College, earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce and criminology from Stephen F. Austin State University, and completed his studies at the South Texas College of Law, where he earned a Juris Doctorate. .
Fields believes years of hard work and education will pay off in the courtroom with fast and transparent proceedings. The candidate wants to see the files processed “in a faster and faster way”.
“I will operate the court in a friendly and professional manner and make the Court of Justice available to the citizens and litigants of Panola County,” Fields said. “People have the right to have access to the justice system. You have the right to have your case heard quickly and in a timely manner. You should expect quick rolls in your courts. »
The county court hears a wide variety of cases like misdemeanors, felonies, family law, and juvenile issues. In each case, Fields promises to remain impartial.
“I am committed to being available as a full-time judge,” Fields said. “You have the right to have your case heard by a fair and impartial judge who will genuinely listen to the evidence presented and decide based on the facts of the case, not who you are or who your lawyer is. I will be that judge.
Off the bench, Fields calls himself “first and foremost” a Christian and a conservative. He and his family, including his wife, current Panola County Sheriff Sarah Fields, attend First Baptist Church Carthage, and he is involved with the Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, Panola County Conservators and the Panola County Historical and Genealogical Association.
Fields served two terms on the State Optometry Board, overseeing licensing and regulation of Texas ophthalmologists, through an appointment from the state governor’s office.
“My background and experiences are well balanced. I’ve done more than just practice law in my adult life,” Fields said. “I can identify and understand the issues facing the people of Panola County. I will be a fair and impartial judge. I will treat everyone fairly, with dignity and respect. I have the education, training and professional experiences as well as life experiences, to do this job and be a good judge.
“Our country was founded on conservative Christian values,” he said. “I would like Panola County to have a reputation as a county with a single tier court system. I will be the judge who is compassionate and fair, but tough.