1991 - Booker T. Washington HSPVA,
1995 - Yale University - BA,
1998 - Tulane Law School - JD
I begin my career as an Assistant District Attorney with the Dallas County District Attorney's Office where I sat First-Chair on numerous felony and misdemeanor civil and criminal jury trials. During my tenure as a prosecutor, the majority of my career was spent representing a state agency, developing client contact and defending said agency's position at all levels and aspects of the litigation process in the District Courts of Dallas County. In 2002, I moved to a civil litigation firm, where I represented Fortune 500 companies in mass tort, product liability and commercial litigation cases. I remained there until 2013, becoming a Partner in 2009. In 2014, I returned to public service, working for both the State and the Dallas DA's office.
I am a big proponent of scheduling orders, which provide attorneys with a roadmap to knowing what deadlines are imposed and what and by what date the court requires all things to be timely filed. I am also a big proponent of alternative dispute resolution. I will require that all cases go to mediation prior to going to trial as I believe that many cases can and will settle during this process and this helps to increase the efficiency of the court's docket.
Encouraging private attorneys to work and volunteer with Legal Aid to increase the number of cases that the organization can take. While there is generally no issues that are heard in civil courts where the issue of court-appointed counsel is mandated, there still should be access to justice for all in spite of their financial situation. As a judge, I would be very attuned to this issue as I previously worked with indigent clients while representing the state in child welfare cases. I would make certain that they would be given all information to access as many of these services as they could.
Fairness is a big issue in all of the courts. I believe that I can bring a balance to the 193rd based on my experiences having worked on both sides of the aisle. Restoring this balance and restoring faith in the court system for all who appear before this court, will be one of the main issues that I will address.
St. Mark's (High School); Duke Univ. (BA); Univ. of Texas (JD); Univ. of London (LLM)
I have over a decade of judicial experience and a broad & varied prior legal experience: Briefing Attorney, Texas Court of Appeals (Austin); Associate, Clark, Thomas & Winters (largest firm in Austin at the time); Partner, Ginsberg & Associates (general practice firm in Dallas). Highest disposition rate of the Civil District Courts, according to the most recent County Management Report. Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (fewer than 7% of lawyers are). Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (selective group reserved for lawyers with extensive trial experience). Earned an LLM (Master of Laws) (with honors) via a distance learning program while working full time with no loss of productivity.
When I took office, the 193rd District Court had the highest backlog of cases among the Civil District Courts BY FAR - more than 20% above the average. Within 30 months, it had the least backlog, and remains today among the least backlogged of the Civil District Courts. According to the most recent County Management Report, the 193rd has the highest disposition rate of the Civil District Courts. In sum, I am proud of the efforts and methods I have used to make the 193rd the most efficient Civil District Court in Dallas County. Often, people clamor for change, but as my record attests, in this instance of court efficiency, more of the same is a good thing.
This is a huge challenge with civil courts because there is no budget to pay lawyers to represent indigent parties. When parties are pro se, I make ample use of the Dallas County Dispute Resolution Center (DCDRC), which provides free (on a volunteer basis) mediation services. I serve on the Advisory Committee to the DCDRC and appoint it as a mediator about twice the average of the Civil District Courts. Another service is to make pro se litigants aware of possible pro bono legal organizations. As a group, the Civil District Courts have recently invited area law schools to staff clinics with “office hours” in the building to assist in providing legal representation for low income litigants.
Preserving the independence and impartiality of the judiciary is paramount. Too often, Judges unfairly come under attack for decisions they make. Politicians in Washington & Austin often attack judges for ideological purposes, and so do disgruntled lawyers who lose a case, and then decide to take revenge against the Judge at the ballot box, recruiting an electoral opponent based upon a single ruling. (I am the victim of the latter scenario). I address this issue by maintaining a backbone and standing up for the Rule of Law.