Trusted. Empathic. Fair.
Biography at a Glance:
• Associate Probate Judge, Bexar County, Texas
• Judge, Bexar County Court at Law #9
• Managing Partner, Kazen & Robberson, P.C.
• Texas Southern University, J.D.
• The University of Texas at Austin, B.A.
• Former U.S. Marine
• San Antonio State Hospital, Former Board Member
• Rape Crisis Center, Former Board Member
• Bicycle Mobility Task Force, Former Chair
• Jefferson-Woodlawn Community Development Corp., Former Board Member
Oscar Kazen is the grandson of proud immigrants who traveled from Mexico and Cuba with nothing but the love of their families and the desire to succeed. That same desire to succeed was passed on to Oscar’s father, Antonio Carlos Kazen, and his mother, Josepha Amelia Maldonado. Antonio was a junior high teacher who devoted his career to underprivileged kids and Josepha was a school clerk. Together they raised four kids on a teacher’s salary. They taught Oscar that success is not measured by what one owns but rather how one lives. Because of their commitment to community, Oscar Kazen felt a calling to public service.
After the 1983 bombings in Beirut, Lebanon, Oscar left school to enlisted as United States Marine. It was during these years that he realized he wanted to dedicate his life’s work to serving those in need. After leaving the Marines, Oscar attended The University of Texas Austin and earned a B.A. in Government in 1988. He then moved to Houston, Texas, in order to pursue a law degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, earning his Juris Doctor in 1993. Oscar’s wife of 27 years, Melissa, helped him to work his way through law school and has been his number one supporter throughout his career.
After graduating law school Oscar worked as managing partner of the law firm, Kazen & Robberson, P.C. where he represented over 3,000 clients in a variety of matters and supervised a professional staff of six. In 2003, Oscar Kazen was elected as Judge of Bexar County Court at Law #9 and sworn in as Judge Kazen. During this time he presided in the disposition of over 10,000 criminal matters, to include over 120 jury trials without reversal. He also was one of the jurisdiction’s first graduates of The National Drug Court Institute’s Therapeutic Courts Curriculum, developing and implementing one of the first courts in Bexar County to focus on the therapy and treatment rather than incarceration of individuals with underlying substance abuse issues who are charged with a criminal offense. Individuals placed in this program successfully completed probation with an 80% reduction in recidivism and relapse rates.
In 2007, Oscar was appointed as an Associate Probate Judge in the Bexar County Probate Courts. While at this position he realized his passion for helping individuals with mental illness in the justice system. Judge Kazen created and oversaw the implementation of the first fully operational civil Assisted Outpatient Treatment Court (AOT) in Texas, serving as the intersection of the law and the treatment of individuals with serious mental illness. He presided over mental health matters from a 52 County area, he proposed, negotiated or drafted various articles of behavioral health legislation, and he continues to provide leadership to multi-disciplinary teams of community stakeholders.
Oscar Kazen wants to continue his path of public service and serve as the next Judge of Bexar County Probate Court #1 because he believes that there is no more noble task than to serve others with compassion and integrity in their time of need.
My first priority will be to reestablish confidence within our community so that there will be a standard of courtesy and respect in Bexar County Probate Court 1. One of the most important functions of Probate Court is to hear the county’s Mental Health docket. The Bexar County Probate Court was a positive force for change within the mental health community. I will ensure that there is a return to unity between this court and the mental health community through communication, community meetings, and valuing the opinions and expertise of stakeholders in the mental health community.
On Veterans Day, as we honor and thank our military men and women for their service, I can’t help but to reflect on my own time as a young Marine in Panama. Those years helped shaped the adult I am today and instilled in me the values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. I returned to the States healthy, both physically and mentally. But so many of my bothers and sisters have not been as fortunate. During my time as the Associate Probate Judge, I saw veterans appear before me suffering from depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I worked tirelessly with our community to insure they received the care they needed and always with the dignity and respect they deserved. Once elected, I vow to ALWAYS treat our veterans and ALL who come before me with that same respect. Our community deserves no less.
Probate court is the one court that impacts everyone's life at some point. Not because they did anything illegal or improper, but because something tragic happened in their life; An elderly parent can no longer take care of themselves and a guardian must be appointed, a spouse passes away unexpectedly without a will, or a child is suffering from mental illness and the parents turn to the court for help. Because of the unique and heartbreaking circumstances that propel one to Probate Courts, a Judge must be TRUSTED. EMPATHIC. FAIR. That is my pledge to you.
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