Gone: A Kindly Judge

Yesterday I attended the funeral of Judge Brent Burg, the Associate Judge of the 312th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. The funeral home was packed with people. All of the seats were filled and people were standing six-deep in the rear of the chapel. I looked around and saw almost all of the Houston family bar – all of us deeply grieved at the loss of a friend and the kind of judge everyone wishes sat in every court in every county in the state. Brent had all of the attributes of a perfect judge: patience, wisdom, good humor, empathy, and most of all kindness. Everyone who appeared before him felt that they had been heard and that the decision made by the judge was fair and unbiased. Who could ask for more?

In all fairness, being a family court judge is a difficult job. The dockets are overcrowded, the work days are long, the attorneys are often rude and combative, and the stories of the litigants can be a litany of anger, fear and pain. It is no wonder that many judges are exhausted and impatient and lose their tempers on occasion. Which makes it even more remarkable to find a judge like Brent Burg who never seemed to tire of the job or lose his patience. He will be missed by all of us.