Skyline High School
BA, Prairie View A7M University
JD, South Texas College of Law
I have over 17 years’ legal experience ranging from every area and aspect of Juvenile and Child Welfare law including without limits litigation and all forms of alternative dispute resolution to handling private high dollar conflict cases as the court’s amicus attorney, making recommendations to the court regarding the child’s best interest without actually representing the child. These private cases are high pressure appointments due partly to the financial profile of the litigants who are accustomed to paying for what they desire. Additionally, I have handled a variety of family law cases that presented complexities in facts, law and litigation.
I have had no public reprimands or suspensions.
Unlike many courts, I plan to handle all of my pretrial settings which will enable me to personally assess the number and complexity of the contested issues. In so doing, I will be better able to streamline the amount of time needed for the final trial while also being positioned to encourage the parties to work out those issues that appear resolvable prior to trial.
The judiciary can help to assure that our courts serve the indigent by holding judges accountable for being present on the bench every work day and giving citizens a full day’s work to avoid wasting litigants’ time and resources.
The judiciary should also promote and encourage pro bono hours of State bar members and members of all legal associations.
The most pressing issue in this Juvenile District Court is making sure foster children are in safe placements. I plan to utilize CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) more and always discuss the status of the child at every hearing.
I also am concerned with the amount of time juveniles spend in detention. I plan to do my own pre-trial hearings so I will be able to manage the detention population. This will allow children to get to trial faster , get necessary treatment, or go to a placement in a reasonable amount of time.
I would make sure I am at work to handle emergencies as they arise.
I would also treat all that come before me with dignity and respect.
BA English - Our Lady of the Lake University 1996
Juris Doctor - Texas Wesleyan Law School 2000
I am the Presiding Judge of the 304th District Court. I preside over a docket of juvenile misdemeanor and felony cases, child protective services cases, and adoptions. Prior to becoming the 304th District Court Judge, I operated a law practice with a focus on family and juvenile law. Prior to my law practice, I was an Assistant District Attorney assigned to the Dallas County Juvenile Courts. I have tried all types of family law cases, adult and juvenile criminal cases, and child protective services cases representing both adults and juveniles.
I made changes and implemented policy that helped make my court the most efficient juvenile district court. I appoint attorneys for the parents immediately who help restore the family sooner. I also instituted a court order that schedules all court dates well in advance to reduce unnecessary delay. I have also split my docket to allow agreed pleas to be heard before my Associate Judge so that contested issues can more quickly be heard by me. My stats show that the policies that I've implemented have surpassed all expectations! I look forward to continuing to be innovative in the 304th.
Most of the people who come before me are indigent. As such, they are entitled to a court appointed attorney. In my court, I appoint attorneys for the parents and children immediately when a case is filed. If a person is not indigent, I use community resources like the SMU Legal Clinic, Legal Services of North Texas, and the Volunteer Attorney Program to make sure that the litigant's rights are protected.
I have worked hard these last 3 years to turn around my court and make it more responsive to the people. I have leveled the playing field and made sure both the children’s and the parent’s rights are protected.
We are on the right path! Funds are necessary to keep the programs I've implemented going and for me to expand them. I’m concerned that the commissioners may cut necessary funding I am also concerned that our representatives in Austin may cut funding too. As a result, I have made sure to develop relationships with my local law makers to make sure that the children in the 304th are not forgotten!