LSU, BID 1984
South Texas College of Law, J.D. 1995
Assistant District Attorney 21 years
Lat 17 years Family Violence
Represented over 10,000 victims of family violence in court.
Expert in Family Violence & Protective Orders and Interference with Child Custody
Published by TDCAA
I train advocates, social workers and volunteers at women centers for victims of family violence. I am a member of St. Luke's United Methodist Church and volunteer numerous hours for community services and education.
To answer this question without violating Canon 5 of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct, I will be brief.
I will listen. I will be respectful of everyone. I will follow the law.
These three things are the most important things a judge can do.
The public has a right to have fair tribunals and should have confidence that their case is being heard by a Judge beyond reproach. My Integrity is everything to me and every attorney I have worked with and against knows that. The idea that someone would garner special favor because they contributed to a judge's campaign is abhorrent to me. I do not expect to receive any substantial contribution from any family attorney who may come before me. However, I believe in transparency and would gladly make that information available to any attorney or litigant that might want it.
I cannot answer this question as I believe it is prohibited by Canon 5 of the Texas code of Judicial Conduct.
B.A. University of South Florida - 1972
J.D. South Texas College of Law; 1978
over 39 years legal experience; served as Special Master in the following Famly Law court: 245th, 308th, 309th, 310th, and 311th
Speaker at legal seminars (both local and state-wide) and civic clubs, support youth sports programs, member of St. Ignatious Catholic Church
Require proper notice to all parties; control docket so each party has ample time to present their case; case management by pre-trial scheduling conference
I have broad support among the Family Law Bar. I believe my personal integrity stands on its own. I am known as a "rule follower".
Effective use of pre-trial and status conferences as well as docket control/orders. Effective use of the court coordinator and being on the job full time; use of on line scheduling by attorneys; allowing attorneys to schedule agreed to dates and time for hearings on line or via e-mail with court coordinator or court clerk; agreed re-sets by telephone, e-mail; rule 11 agreements or on line scheduling
Thurgood Marshall School of Law, TSU
JD, May 2007, Magna Cum Laude (Top 10%)GPA: 3.3
Master of Arts, Education, Aug 2003
GPA:4.0 Major: Education Intervention
Bachelor of Arts in Business Admin, Jan 2000
GPA:3.5 Major: Business Admin
City of Houston, Municipal Court
Adjudication Officer; 6-16 – Present
The Tipsword Law Firm, P.C.
Attorney, 12/10 – Present
• Family, Criminal, and Contract Law
- First Chair Jury Trial and bench Trial experience
Mediator and Arbitrator
I am a member of Westbury Baptist Church and do all of my community work through my church.
I will ensure that all persons are treated equally. I will ensure this by adhering to the highest standards of professional conduct in the courtroom and enforcing the same of all who present themselves to the court. I will also ensure this by following the law.
Any person or organization that may donate now or in the future will do so knowing that equal treatment for all means just that. I have never been the type of person to bow to pressure nor am I intimidated. The courtroom is for the fair administration of justice and there is no room for politics.
Professionalism, efficiency, communication and transparency will be the cornerstones of my court. The simultaneous employment of all of these will ensure a swift administration of justice. Everyone will be treated in a professional manner; the court will implement and review its practices to ensure efficiency; my court will have a courteous and knowledge able staff who will use all forms of communication available; and the court's practices will be well known.
Juris Doctorate Degree - May 1989,
Masters of Arts, Urban Affairs/Human Resources - May 1988,
Bachelor of Arts, Sociology - May 1983.
Judge of the 280th Judicial District Court (12/2017 to present),
Gooden & Gooden, Attorneys & Counselors at Law (03/1992-11/2017),
AVDA Contract Attorney (08/1994-07/2005),
City Attorney for the City of Prairie, View, Texas (01/1990-09/1992),
Former Board Member of The Bridge Over Troubled Waters Domestic Violence Shelter, Former Church Deaconess, Former Church Attorney, Church Teen Girls Mentor, Former 537 Republican Precinct Chair, Past Legal Advisor Ft. Bend Black Nurses Association.
The 280th Family District Court is a civil court. Litigants have the right to represent themselves or to be represented by an attorney in civil lawsuits. As a Judge, I allow every party, including self-representing litigants, the full opportunity to present and or defend their case, which is an essential element of a fair hearing.
Impartiality is ensured in every court when the Judge follows the law. As a Judge, I swore to faithfully execute the duties of the office of Judge and to preserve, protect and defend the law. The Texas Code of Judicial Conduct requires Judges to perform his/her duties without bias or prejudice. The essential key is to have integrity to honor my oath in administering justice and abide by the Code of Judicial Conduct.
The 280th Family District Court is the Domestic Violence Court. All applications for protective orders filed in Harris County are heard in the 280th Court. The law requires that these cases must be expeditiously set for hearing because of the nature of relief sought. Since I took office on December 1, 2017, I know the entire court staff works diligently to set our cases within the statutory guidelines. It is a team effort from the moment a case is accepted until an order disposing of the matter is signed and the 280th is successful in accomplishing this goal.
BA history, minor political science University of Houston
JD/ University of Houston Law Center
Represented men, women and children in family and DV cases in both bench, jury and appellate cases. Clinical Professor at UH Law taught substantive courses in family & DV. Taught & mentored law student attorneys in family law and unaccompanied minor.
I have served on the following throughout my career, National DV Hotline Houston Advisory Board member, State Bar Legal Services to the Poor Committee, State Bar Poverty Law, Animal Law and Family Law member, HBA family law member, HBA Animal Law Bd.
1. Treat each litigant with respect and dignity
2. Allow each litigant an opportunity to have their case heard timely and sufficiently
3. Have court staff that will treat each litigant and attorney with respect and professionalism
4. Utilize available technology to assist cases and protect the litigants
5. Utilize available technology to enable the attorneys to appear by video or phone (when case appropriate)
6. Appear each day at the appointed court docket time and start on time.
7. Utilize community resources to assist the litigants with the needs of their case (when appropriate) .
8. Be open, objective, and follow the law on all cases.
9. Not show favoritism to any litigant or attorney who comes before the court.
10. Be courteous and mindful of attorneys' and litigant's schedules and do my best to facilitate such if able
11. Not judge a person based on their socio-economic background or their legal status.
1. Decisions in this court literally affect peoples lives and making decisions based on whether someone gave money to my judicial campaign goes against everything I believe in.
2. If needed I will recuse myself from any case where I believe my values and ethics would be compromised.
3. I have not solicited donations from lawyers in my community. To date I have only received donations from two lawyers. The two lawyers who have given money to my campaign are close friends who have also been assisting with my campaign. I have not accepted money from other lawyers and do not anticipate I will raise any significant amount of money from lawyers. Lawyers usually give to the party with whom I am not affiliated.
1. Show up everyday on time and start on time.
2. Work through lunch if needed (and the court reporters are allowed)
3. Stay late (if the court reporters are allowed)
4. Set up an afternoon docket or evening docket if that is feasible.
5. If needed, set reasonable time limits for presentation of evidence on a case by case basis at other times.
5. Allow attorneys to prove up uncontested matters at any time during the day unless the court is in trial.