Frank Hunold and Bruce Williams, candidates for the 11th Court of Appeals Place 2 justice in the March 3 Republican Party primary election, talked about their qualifications in running for the Eastland court during the forum Tuesday night at Victory Life Church.

Hunold, of Odessa, started his legal career in mergers and acquisitions, then transitioned to civil trial defense. For the past 20 years, Hunold has practiced business, contracts, construction and oil and gas law, Hunold’s website states.

Hunold has been in-house counsel for a tech company, a gas company and a large oil and gas construction company.

“During my 40-year career as a Texas lawyer, I spent many years as a trial lawyer,” Hunold said at the forum. “I handled cases involving construction, contracts, banking, ranching and insurance. I am well versed in procedure and evidence.

“Less than 2 percent of the cases decided by the 11th Court of Appeals involve oil and gas law. The vast majority of the cases are criminal, family, probate and civil. I not only have oil and gas experience, but also have trial experience handling all types of civil cases.”

Hunold said he’s the only candidate “with real world experience as a businessman. I spent many years as a business owner and served as general counsel in the board rooms of technology companies, a gas company and a large oilfield construction company,” Hunold said. “I know how decisions of the court actually impact Texans, businesses and their employees.

“Having been in courtrooms and boardrooms, I am uniquely qualified for the seat on the appellate court. President Trump put real world business experience to work for us and today America is more prosperous than ever. It’s time to put that same business experience to work in our Texas Courtrooms.”

Williams, of Midland, his spent 37 years practicing law with Cotton Bledsoe Tighe and Dawson, where he is a senior litigator.

Williams’ practice includes a heavy focus on oil and gas litigation “from the trial court all the way to the Supreme Court,” Williams’ website states.

The 11th Court of Appeals is “effectively the oil and gas court of Texas, as well as the court of last resort for many important cases,” the website states.

“I have spent my entire life trying lawsuits, and when you try lawsuits and you beat the other guy, then there are appeals,” Williams said at the forum. “I’ve been before the Court of Appeals many times. I’ve been before the Texas Supreme Court many times.

“I’ve tried cases in federal district court many times. I’ve been before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. I’m board certified in civil trial law.”

Williams said he is board certified in civil trial law, which fewer than 1 percent of Texas attorneys achieve.

“That puts me in a unique category in running for this office,” Williams said.

He said he’s been endorsed by former appeals court justice Rick Strange. Williams also said he is endorsed by Texans for Lawsuit Reform.

Williams said he has the highest rating possible from a national review of attorneys called the Martindale Hubble National Directory.