A Humble Judge – Ryan Luna, Right Choice for McLennan County Court-at-Law No. 3

Dec 29, 2021 by

“A Humble Judge – Ryan Luna, Right Choice for McLennan County Court-at-Law No. 3”

Judge-Ryan-Luna
Judge Ryan Luna

By Donna Garner

12.29.21

What makes Judge Ryan Luna the right choice for the McLennan County Court-at-Law No. 3? 

When I saw this quote in the Waco Tribune-Herald back on 6.29.21, I knew Judge Ryan Luna was the right choice made by the McLennan County Commissioners when they chose him out of eight people to become the judge for the newly created McLennan County Court-at-Law No. 3:

“I am honored and blessed to have the opportunity to work with our community to administer justice fairly, to give people a fair day in court and to interpret and apply the law faithfully…That is where my heart is. My heart is to serve.”

A new county court-at-law to handle civil cases was created by the Texas Legislature on 5.26.21 (SB 1530/HB 3774) for McLennan County and came on line on Sept. 1, 2021. Since then, Judge Luna has been serving on that court.

However, now Judge Luna is running for a full, four-year term for that court in the March 22 primary; and if he wins against his Republican opponent, he will be on the Nov. 2022 general election ballot.

Judge Luna’s opponent, Kristi DeCluitt, has never even presided over a court of record in which rules of procedure and evidence are required to be followed.  Judge Luna is vastly more experienced.

Judge Luna’s Court-at-Law No. 3 handles misdemeanor cases, civil cases with claims up to $250,000, and probate matters. 

Judge Luna was chosen by the Commissioners over other candidates because of his extensive civil experience in county, district, and federal courts.  He had already represented over 1,000 clients in civil matters.  Judge Luna also had an excellent plan for how the new court could be structured.

After appointing Judge Luna to the new court, the Commissioners next discussed the problem of lack-of-space for his office. I really liked Luna’s reply when he said, “I will hold my court outside like the Romans used to if that is what the Commissioners want me to do.”

I respect Ryan Luna’s can-do attitude, his humility, and his lack of stuffiness which other judges sometimes exhibit.

I also liked the comment that one of Luna’s law partners said about him: “I have had the honor of working with Ryan for the last five years. During that time I have found him to be a thoughtful, reasonable and fair-minded attorney. His devotion to God, family, country, and the law is an inspiration to anyone who knows him. He is a hard worker and is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and tackle tough challenges. Ryan will make an excellent judge and we are fortunate to have a man of his caliber helping to administer justice in McLennan County.”

I found out later that Judge Luna is married to Genesis Devine whose father is the well-respected and brilliant Justice John Devine on the Texas Supreme Court.

Judge Ryan Luna is a family man. He and his wife Genesis have four children and are active members at First Baptist Church Woodway.

Judge Luna is a native Texan, graduated from Baylor University with a B.B.A. (Bachelor of Business Administration), and then earned his law degree from Baylor Law School.

Ryan Luna interned at the Texas Supreme Court, clerked at the Texas Attorney General’s office, and worked for a legislator in the Texas House of Representatives.

When Ryan Luna graduated from Baylor Law School, he entered private practice, handled civil matters on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants, tried a number of jury trials, and gained valuable experience in state and federal courtrooms across Texas. 

Judge Luna is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar College, and the Judge Abner V. McCall Inn of Court.

Since Sept. 1, 2021 when Judge Luna began serving on the McLennan County Court-at-Law No. 3, he has reduced the backlog in county courts by resolving over 250 civil cases. (In the same time period, the three district courts have only disposed of 414 cases as of the last reporting date; that would be 138 a piece compared to Judge Luna’s 250.)  He has also helped to relieve the backlog in McLennan County district courts.

Judge Luna has also been highly involved in the community: He serves on the McLennan County Juvenile Board, Adult Probation Board, and the McLennan Bar Association Board. He has served as the pro bono legal clinic director at Mission Waco, is on the Care Net Pregnancy Center of Central Texas Board, is on the Waco Transit Advisory Board, has been on the McLennan County Young Lawyers Association Board, and is also a proud graduate of Leadership Waco.

Judge Luna writes:

Serving as your McLennan County Court-at-Law #3 Judge is a profound honor.

Micah 6:8 says:

“. . . [W]hat does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

We all make mistakes. My grandad likes to say, “The only people not making mistakes are those in the grave.” As judge, I commit to showing mercy to those who appear before me.

The judicial robe does not make me a god or a king. I am extremely grateful to serve as a judge, and I commit to exercising my authority with humility.

I am humbled and honored to have the honor of serving you and the great State of Texas as judge!

-.-.-

To read more about Judge Ryan Luna, to help in his campaign, and/or to donate to his election, please go to: https://ryanlunatx.com/about-judge-ryan-luna/

ENDORSEMENT LIST AS OF 12.29.21

Texas Right to Life

Sen. Bryan Hughes (rated #1 most conservative legislator in the Texas Senate)

Rep. Briscoe Cain (rated #1 most conservative legislator in the Texas House)

Conservative Texas State Representative, Steve Toth

Citizens for Pro-Life Action

McLennan County Commissioner Ben Perry

McLennan County Commissioner Jim Smith

McLennan County District Clerk Jon Gimble

Norma Brady Jeter (conservative activist)

Wes Lloyd (precinct chair)

Beverly Uhlmer Roberts (conservative activist)

Anthony Johnson (precinct chair)

Donna Garner (conservative activist)

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3 Comments

  1. Donna Gail Garner

    1.4.22 — My reply to Chris DeCluitt’s comment posted on:

    “A Humble Judge – Ryan Luna, Right Choice for McLennan County Court-at-Law No. 3” — https://www.educationviews.org/a-humble-judge-ryan-luna-right-choice-for-mclennan-county-court-at-law-no-3/

    Chris DeCluitt is Kristi DeCluitt’s husband. She is running against Judge Ryan Luna for McLennan Court-at-Law No. 3:

    Mr. DeCluitt – thank you for commenting. As a lawyer, you surely know that the Part V rules that govern justice courts do not govern courts of record like district courts and county courts at law. A great distinction that can be confusing for citizens unfamiliar with the court system, and I appreciate you pointing it out for our readers.

    Furthermore, you know that any result obtained in justice courts is appealed to county court at law de novo. A trial de novo is a new trial in which the entire case is presented as if there had been no previous trial in the justice court. In a court of record, like the court on which Judge Luna serves, any appeal goes to the court of appeals, and is subject to the rules of appellate procedure, and the record created in county court (unlike justice court) is carefully reviewed for error. A justice court is designed for small claims where the judge does not have to be a lawyer. County court has a much larger jurisdiction where the rules of procedure apply; the judge must be a lawyer; and the record created is carefully scrutinized by the court of appeals.

    Donna Garner
    Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

  2. Christopher DeCluitt

    Ms. Garner, you stated that “Kristi DeCluitt has never even presided over a court of record in which rules of procedure and evidence are required to be followed.” Your assertion is patently false. The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Part V, govern procedure in Justice Courts. I am sure you will want to correct this incorrect information for your readers.

    • Donna Gail Garner

      Comment from Donna Garner to Chris DeCluitt (husband of Kristi DeCluitt who is running against Judge Ryan Lyna for McLennan Co. Court-at-Law No. 3):

      1.4.22

      Mr. DeCluitt – thank you for commenting. As a lawyer, you surely know that the Part V rules that govern justice courts do not govern courts of record like district courts and county courts at law. A great distinction that can be confusing for citizens unfamiliar with the court system, and I appreciate you pointing it out for our readers.

      Furthermore, you know that any result obtained in justice courts is appealed to county court at law de novo. A trial de novo is a new trial in which the entire case is presented as if there had been no previous trial in the justice court. In a court of record, like the court on which Judge Luna serves, any appeal goes to the court of appeals, and is subject to the rules of appellate procedure, and the record created in county court (unlike justice court) is carefully reviewed for error. A justice court is designed for small claims where the judge does not have to be a lawyer. County court has a much larger jurisdiction where the rules of procedure apply; the judge must be a lawyer; and the record created is carefully scrutinized by the court of appeals.

      Donna Garner
      Wgarner1@hot.rr.com