By Grayson Edds
On Tuesday at the Bell County Justice Center, a crowd gathered for the an announcement. Ken Valka, litigation partner at the Temple office of Baird, Crews, Schiller & Whitaker, P.C., revealed his plans to run for Judge of County Court-at-Law No. 1 in Bell County. His predecessor, Judge Edward Johnson, has been presiding as judge for the past 27 years and will be retiring.
Thomas Baird of Baird, Crews, Schiller & Whitaker and Valka’s campaign manager provided opening remarks and introduced the crowd to Valka and his wife Beverly, expressing his belief that Valka is the perfect candidate for the position.
“I’ve come to respect him a great deal,” said Baird. Baird said that on top of his ability to handle complex situations with professionalism, calm and common sense, his experience and work within the community and county make Valka, in his eyes, a solid candidate.
Born in El Campo, Valka and his family moved to Houston in 1955, where he later obtained his degree from the University of Houston. Valka and his wife moved to Belton in 2002.
He has been practicing law for 40 years. His practice has included all types of civil litigation in state and federal courts in matters concerning contract disputes, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, real estate, employment law, intellectual property, deceptive trade practice, fraud, insurance, landlord-tenant, construction, medical malpractice defense, government claims, oil and gas interests, trade secrets, product liability, utility districts, and warranties and indemnity. Ken also spends considerable time in his probate, trust, and guardianship practice that includes the probate of wills, heirships, will contests, breaches of fiduciary duty, trusts and guardianship applications and administrations.
In the course of his practice, Ken has over 40 years of experience and has licenses to practice before all State Courts in Texas, as well as before the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Federal District Courts in Texas, and the Fifth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. Throughout his years of practice, Ken has gained experience and familiarity with the laws pertaining to areas of his law practice, including those contained in the Texas Constitution, Business Organizations Code, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Family Code, Government Code, Health and Safety Code, Insurance Code, Property Code, Probate Code, Trust Code, as well as the Texas and Federal Rules of Court. He represents individuals, small and large businesses, which include a number of Fortune 500 Companies.
Among his many accomplishments throughout the years, Valka was elected to the board of directors for United Way of Central Texas in 2003, where he serves to present day. He was United Way’s Board Member of the Year in 2004 and 2007; board president from 2008-2011. He has served as past president and a member of the Pastoral Council at Christ the King Catholic Church from 2005 to 2012. He’s volunteered his legal expertise to Lone Star Legal Aid and the Veteran’s Clinic. Just this year, he’s been elected as a fellow from the Texas Bar Association, received an award from the Bell County Bar Association for service as president in 2012-13, and has been elected to the board of trustees for Holy Trinity Catholic High School.