J.D. Texas Southern University, Houston, TX
May, 2004 (Cum Laude)
B.A. Political Science, Prairie View A&M University of Texas, Prairie View, TX
Managing Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General of Texas, Houston, TX
Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General of Texas, Houston, TX
Staff Assistant, Office of the Honorable Sheila Ja
Houston Young Lawyer Association
Houston Lawyer Association
As a judge, I will do everything within my power to make certain that every case before the court is fairly and impartially adjudicated. This would include interpreters being provided when called for; and insure that social, financial, racial, sexual and any other considerations outside of the facts presented before the court will not prejudice the outcome of the court’s decision. I will establish a resource center in a potion of unused space in the court to maintain a resource center complete with standard forms and computer equipment to assist pro-se parties. I commit to allowing all litigants to have their day in court. I will strive not shut any person out of the process. I will ensure that both litigants and attorneys are courteous and respectful to one another and that court staff, including myself, conduct themselves accordingly as well.
I pledge to approach every case before me with impartiality, grounded in the belief that justice must never be purchased. I have long had concerns about the role money plays in judicial campaigns. I have often wondered why in some courts that it often seems the judges' biggest campaign contributors receive the most court appointments and seem to always have the winning argument. I have attempted to limit the contributions my campaign relies upon to avoid the slightest appearance of impartiality. I am primarily self-financed by my own hard-earned resources and a few modest campaign contributions from friends. I intent to keep it this way. The sound reputation of a good effective judge, in my opinion, will do more for a candidate in the long run than campaign contributions.
I have always been hard working and diligent. The decision to run for office was predicated on the fact that I will be a full-time working judge and that I will spend whatever time necessary to expeditiously render court decisions. As a career public servant, I firmly believe in punctuality and maintaining a customer service approach. I will also seek to leverage technology to improve efficiency as well. I want to utilize such technology as Skype and Facetime to conduct hearings, perhaps conducting small dockets entirely of this kind. I am also open to conducting court on off-peak hours, provided the county provides staff. The volume of cases pending in our Harris County Family Courts is tremendous. We have to find ways to think outside of the box to keep these caseloads manageable without sacrificing the degree of justice that litigants receive.
JD - Thurgood Marshall School of Law
BA - Jackson State University
I handle cases from their inception to completion. My family law cases generally consist of pleadings, discovery, motions practice, informal negotiations, mediations and trials.
I provide pro bono legal services through the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Association. In addition, I also conduct legal clinics at area churches and low-income housing developments. I also served as PTO President at Wilson Montessori.
The question of inadequate or incompetent representation is generally associated with criminal cases. With the exception of family law cases that involve coercive contempt or termination of parental rights, courts have generally held that there is no due process right to counsel in civil cases. As a family law practitioner, I understand the complexities and consequences of family law cases. As the judge of the 246th Judicial District Court, I will ensure that all pro se litigants who are faced with the loss of his or her physical liberty or termination of parental rights thoroughly understand those consequences before proceeding. As the judge, I will also give deference to an attorney's method of representing his or her clients, understanding that adequate representation does not mean perfect representation.
Public financing of judicial campaigns creates a unique issue. Unlike other politicians who run for office, judges have a duty to remain impartial. However, the increased levels of public financial contributions in judicial races threaten the impartiality of the judiciary. As a result, public confidence in our judiciary decreases. As the judge of the 246th Judicial District Court, I will work hard to ensure the perception of judicial impropriety is dispelled in my court. I would never give preferential treatment to an attorney or litigant based on his or her contribution to my campaign. I will be a fair and impartial jurist, ensuring that all litigants in all cases receive honest and just consideration in my courtroom.
Judicial economy is critical to the successful operation of a court. However, many times, courts fall short of their intention to operate in such a manner. As a family law practitioner, I understand the importance of timely resolutions of the cases in our courts. I have explored several options for ensuring each case before my court is heard in a timely manner. My preferred methods of courtroom management derive from firsthand experience and a report entitled "Working Smarter, Not Harder - How Excellent Judges Manages Cases." To ensure judicial economy, I would do the following: (1) Assess each case and convene a case management conference at the outset; (2) Rule quickly on motions; (3) Set the expectation for civility in and outside of the courtroom; and, (4) Encourage participation in alternative dispute resolution.