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Reviewing the financial disclosure reports that Texas federal district judges must file each year involves, in some instances, examining lengthy lists of stocks and bonds or other income-producing assets the judges own. But a few judges tucked interesting tidbits of information into their reports for 2004. For U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes of Houston, 2004 provided an introduction to some of the realities of producing reality television. In his 2004 disclosure report, filed in August 2005 with the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Committee on Financial Disclosure, Hughes reported receiving an unspecified amount of reimbursement from Live Like a Star Productions for travel and lodging in Los Angeles. Hughes, a 20-year veteran on the federal district court bench, says that he and his wife, Olive, traveled to California in May 2004 to make a surprise appearance for the filming of an episode of the Fox reality show, “Live Like a Star,” that was honoring their 35-year-old daughter, Hollywood writer and producer Lindsey Hughes. “I don’t like surprise parties. I don’t like reality TV. But I love my daughter,” Hughes says in explaining his reason for making the trip. Hughes says the production company decided to honor his daughter for her efforts to help a friend who had cancer. Although his daughter had recommended that the show do an episode on her friend, the production company decided to switch the honoree, Hughes says. But as far as he knows, Hughes says, the episode honoring his daughter never aired. Hughes had to disclose the reimbursement he received for the trip in a report required by the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. Under Title I, �104(a), if an officeholder doesn’t file a report, the U.S. attorney can bring an action in a federal district court, which can assess a penalty of up to $10,000 against the officeholder. The statute applies to U.S. district judges who work 60 hours or more as judges during a year. Included on the report must be any income that judges earn in addition to their judicial salaries. The judges report income within ranges, such as $1,000 or less and $1,001 to $2,500. The highest income range is $5 million or more. Texas Lawyer obtained reports for all but one of the 52 active U.S. district judges in Texas from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. A spokesman for the office says U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez of Laredo, whom the U.S. Senate confirmed in November 2004, was not required to file a report last year. Before the administrative office will release the reports to the media, the judges are given the opportunity to make redactions in addition to the redactions that the U.S. Committee on Financial Disclosure makes. All 52 of the reports contained some redactions. The report that Judge Hayden Head Jr. of Corpus Christi filed for 2004 shows he has royalty interests on oil and gas leases in Nueces and Borden counties. But Head, chief judge of the Southern District, noted in the report that, as of the date he filed the report, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Unclaimed Property Section held the $1,000 or less in income from those royalties. Head says the oil companies apparently sent the royalty payments to the unclaimed property section, because he had moved and they couldn’t find him. According to his disclosure report, three different energy companies had written royalty checks to him for amounts ranging from about $742 to less than $10 between 1986 and 2001. It’s unclear how Head learned that he was due some money. The judge says he can’t remember, but that he may have spotted his name in the list of names for unclaimed property that the comptroller publishes in Texas newspapers each year. Head says he has received royalty payments on and off since his college days for the oil and gas production in Nueces County. “It kept me in beer and cigarettes while I was in college,” he says. However, Head says he didn’t know he owned royalties on property in Borden County and believes he must have inherited the asset from his father, Hayden Head Sr. Head says he sent proof of his identification to the comptroller and received royalty payments for the properties in both counties sometime after he filed the disclosure report in July 2005. “I did get a check from the comptroller,” he says. Back to School While several judges reported income from teaching at law schools in 2004, U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade of Dallas earned the most money as a teacher. According to his report, Kinkeade earned $20,000 as an adjunct professor at Texas Wesleyan School of Law. Kinkeade says he teaches every semester, including in the summer. Kinkeade, who has taught at Texas Wesleyan since its law school opened in 1991, says he teaches a course on professional responsibility and an introductory course on what every lawyer should know about the federal courts. “I think it’s judges’ responsibility, where we can, to help law students and young lawyers,” Kinkeade says. The report that U.S. District Judge Rob Junell of Midland filed last year shows that Junell received a payment of between $50,001 and $100,000 from Executive Life Insurance in 2004. Junell was a plaintiffs lawyer in private practice before he became a federal judge in February 2003. He says the payment stems from a suit that Webb, Stokes & Sparks of San Angelo, a firm with which he was formerly associated, settled for clients in the 1980s. However, Junell says he has no idea what the suit was about or who the firm’s clients were. “It has been 20-plus years,” he says. Junell says he opted to take his attorney fee for the suit in an annuity that will pay out over four years, ending this year. “My thinking was by the time I reached my late 50s, I could retire, but, evidently I didn’t,” he says. “I’m glad I did it,” Junell says of his decision to receive the fees later through an annuity. “I probably would have spent the money if I had it at the time.” Gifts, Trips and Real Estate In making their financial disclosures, federal district judges also must report gifts, free travel and income earned other than from investments. The following are some highlights of the Texas federal judges’ reports for 2004. Gifts U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone of Beaumont received four gifts totaling $12,521 from the Jefferson County Bar Association, Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Texas, University of Houston Law Center and Andrews Kurth, her former employer, for receptions following her investiture as a federal judge, according to her report. Crone, a judge in the Eastern District, also reported that the South Texas chapter of the Federal Bar Association contributed $250 in her honor to the Federal Bar Association Foundation. U.S. District Judge George Kazen of the Western District in Laredo reported receiving a photograph of his official court portrait to mark his 25th anniversary on the bench. According to Kazen’s report, his former law clerks collected the money. U.S. District Judge Terry Means of the Northern District in Fort Worth reported honorary memberships in two clubs, for a total value of $3,300. U.S. District Judge John McBryde of Fort Worth, U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. of the Southern District in Houston and Kazen also each reported an honorary membership in a club. Travel Judges must report trips for which they receive reimbursement for transportation, lodging, food or entertainment. Twenty-two judges reported taking trips in 2004. U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson of the Western District reported the most trips for the year, receiving reimbursements for 11 trips. Those include six trips for State Bar of Texas events in Austin, Houston, Galveston and Dallas. Furgeson also reported one trip each to New Orleans, El Paso, Del Rio, Washington, D.C., and Dallas for seminars and meetings. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District in Brownsville reported nine trips in 2004. Those included six trips for State Bar events on South Padre Island and in Lajitas, Austin, San Antonio and Galveston. Hanen also reported traveling to New York City to be on an employment practices liability insurance panel, to Austin for a seminar and to Houston for a continuing legal education program. U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez of the Western District in San Antonio also reported reimbursements for nine trips. According to Rodriguez’s 2004 report, he made trips for three State Bar events and two University of Texas events in Austin and Houston. Rodriguez also traveled to Austin for a San Antonio Bar Association seminar, to Philadelphia for an American Law Institute project and to Lubbock to make a speech to the incoming first-year class at the Texas Tech University School of Law. Two judges received reimbursements for trips outside the continental United States in 2004. U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent of the Southern District in Galveston reported a trip to London for a conference on energy and marine liability. U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo of the Western District in El Paso reported traveling to Puerto Rico for a seminar at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law. Landlords Thirteen judges reported earning income from rental properties in 2004. According to U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade’s report, he received income on five rental properties. Kinkeade, who sits in the Northern District, reported income of between $15,001 and $50,000 on each of three properties and income of between $5,001 and $15,000 from each of two other properties. Kazen reported income of between $15,001 and $50,000 on land and timber in Bowie County. He also reported earning income of between $2,501 and $5,000 on an undivided one-third interest in a ranch in Shackelford County. U.S. District Judge Rob Junell of the Western District in Midland reported rental income of between $5,001 and $15,000 from a farm in Collingsworth County. He also reported income of between $5,001 and $15,000 for rent and the sale of livestock from a farm in Tom Green County. U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack of the Southern District in Corpus Christi reported income of between $5,001 and $15,000 on a fractional percentage partnership interest in a medical building. U.S. District Judge Sim Lake of Houston, also of the Southern District, reported income from four properties. According to Lake’s report, he earned $1,000 or less on two Houston properties and $1,001 to $2,000 on a third property in Houston. He also reported income of $1,000 or less on rental property in Washington County. U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon of Houston, another judge in the Southern District, reported income of between $1,001 and $2,500 for a rental property in Dallas. Werlein, also of the Southern District in Houston, reported from $15,001 to $50,000 in income from a condo in Larimer County, Colo. He also reported less than $1,000 earned from rent on a fractional interest in land in Galveston County.

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