Judge Sulak: 10 Questions

Judge Tim Sulak sitting at his desk with a paper, smiling.

Judge Sulak: Hometown Roots & a Commitment to the Law

Judge Sulak is an experienced, respected lawyer and judge running for re-election to the 353rd District Court in Travis County. With deep roots in the community, Judge Sulak understands Austin’s values and the issues that affect our state. Learn more about Judge Sulak’s experience, his judicial philosophy, and even his favorite Travis County eats.

Q: Why are you running for re-election to the 353rd District Court in Travis County?

Judge Sulak: I want to continue to serve the public and give back to the larger community whose considerable efforts have created a compassionate, peace-loving, prosperous country.

Q: What made you decide you wanted to be a judge?

Judge Sulak: I wanted to preserve and promote the rule of law, as impressed upon me by some very intelligent, fair-minded judges who provided guidance and inspiration for a society that seeks to provide equal opportunities for all, especially the historically disadvantaged.

Q: What are the biggest challenges you face as judge of the 353rd District Court in Travis County?

Judge Sulak: The biggest challenges are achieving closure for those who are emotionally or financially invested in and impacted by conflicts which have inhibited their ability to move through their lives at their optimal level of productivity and enjoyment, while fostering their sense of self-respect and respect for the justice system.

Q: How would you explain your judicial philosophy?

Judge Sulak: I see courts as an essential component of self-governance and dispute resolution, providing access to objective, reasoned, equitable processes for the entire spectrum of the populace.

Q: What qualifies you to be a judge beyond a law degree?

Judge Sulak: Before becoming a judge, I practiced trial law for more than thirty years, first as a criminal prosecutor and then as an advocate for individuals—from all walks of life—who had been harmed through the acts or omissions of others. I appeared in trial and appellate courts throughout the state and observed the practices of even-handed judges who provided positive examples of civility and due process in dispute resolution.

Q: How do you define justice/injustice?

Judge Sulak: Justice has been defined by philosophers, theologians, and jurists through the ages as the most extensive and important of the cardinal virtues. Simplified, justice revolves around fairness and fundamental rights and responsibilities of both individuals and societies, each to the other. Injustice is, conversely, the absence of such fundamental fairness, either through non-compliance or failure to provide the necessary balance for proper harmonious relationships and interactions.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment in your legal career?

Judge Sulak: My biggest accomplishment has been speaking for those who lack the ability to fully express their sorrows, struggles, and frustrations resulting from the misfortunes that have been visited upon them by others and helping restore their sense of self-worth.

Q: What advice do you give to someone who’s thinking about studying law?

Judge Sulak: I advise students to not lose sight of the human dynamic that underlies the academic and competitive aspects of a legal education. Law is an ancient and noble endeavor to solve people’s problems which requires a recognition and appreciation of what it means to be fully human.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

Judge Sulak: I enjoy reading, especially history books, biographies, and political analyses, which provide the opportunity to learn from others’ mistakes and to be inspired by others’ accomplishments. I also enjoy travel to places that provide perspectives on differences in environments, lifestyles, and cultures that broaden my horizons and appreciation of the splendors of nature.

Q: What’s your favorite place to eat in Travis County?

Judge Sulak: With the proliferation of world-class chefs and restaurants in central Texas joining the long-standing purveyors, I cannot choose a single favorite place; but I am almost always up for juicy barbecue, classic Tex-Mex, and the quintessential chicken fried steak.

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