University of Oklahoma, Norman Oklahoma; BBA 1984 and JD 1988
Assistant Attorney General, Oklahoma 1988-1991 (representing various administrative state agencies involving business, partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies; retirement law; and licensing compliance)
Assistant Secretary of State, Oklahoma 1991-1993 (ensured compliance with all business requirements for partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies; served as Editor of the Oklahoma Administrative Code; and performed ministerial duties of the office)
Assistant District Attorney, Dallas County Texas 1994-1999
Private Practice, Criminal Defense 2000-2001
Assistant District Attorney, Dallas County Texas 2006-2014 (Administrative Chief)
Judge, 204th Judicial District Court, Dallas County Texas 2015 - present
I am supportive of Bond Reform and a uniform system for determining indigence for citizens seeking court appointed attorneys or the use of the public defenders office for representation. Bond Reform should include risk assessments to determine necessary conditions of bond. Should an individual not be deemed indigent, then a sliding scale payment system for the low income citizen should be enacted, that allow the low income citizen to avail themselves of a court appointed attorney or representation by the public defenders' office. Additionally we need more mental health providers available to shorten the time in which persons accused of crimes who are suffering from mental illnesses can receive mental health and other supportive services.
The funding for legal services agencies, such as Legal Aid, should be increased so that they might expand their services to low income residents. Sliding scale payment programs should be created to enable private attorneys to represent low income citizens in civil suits. Perhaps a system providing representation by retired attorneys in limited cases could be created.
We need more addiction treatment providers as well as educational resources to educate family members and community partners of trending drug culture.
Erath HS, Erath, LA (1985); LSU, Baton Rouge, LA (1989); Pepperdine School of Law, Malibu, CA (1992)
I was a Dallas County Assistant Public Defender for over ten years, eight of which were exclusively felony work. In 2016 and 2017, my peers in the criminal defense field selected me as one of the top 15 felony attorneys in Dallas County.
I'm wary of "swift justice." Efficiency must always be balanced with the constitutional rights of the citizen accused. That said, at any given point a criminal case must be actively proceeding toward resolution. Delays are to be avoided. It is the Judge's responsibility to be aware of the cases on the court's docket, and to move them along if they appear to be stalled.
I am running for a criminal bench, but I support Legal Aid outreach for those that cannot afford a lawyer.
Bail reform is a pressing need. Low income defendants risk losing everything they own if they exercise their constitutional right to a trial, but can't afford bail. That's unacceptable. The current politics of immigration require that any defendant that is not a US citizen be acutely aware of the consequences of their decisions in a criminal case. Non-violent drug offenders, especially young people, need probation and, if necessary, rehab. Mentally ill defendants need to be screened and routed to services that can help them avoid frequent contact with the criminal justice system. Finally, all who come before the court deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.