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Dallas County Criminal District Judge, Court No. 1

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    Tina Yoo Clinton (Dem) Judge

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    Monique Ward (Dem) Attorney

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Biographical Information

PERFORMANCE & EXPERTISE: Please outline your legal experience, including any specializations and peer review status. Describe any public reprimands or suspensions you have received.

EFFICIENCY: What methods do you support, if any, to increase the efficiency of the District Court to provide swift justice?

ACCESS TO JUSTICE: What, if anything, should be done to improve access to justice for low income residents in criminal cases?

OTHER ISSUES: What other issues do you believe will be most pressing in the criminal courts and how would you address them?

Age 47
Education SMU School of Law, JD (95) University of Texas at Austin, BA in Philosophy (92) Duncanville HS (88)
Campaign Phone (214) 662-7703
Twitter @TinaYooClinton
Judge of Dallas County Criminal Court 8 (2011-present) Municipal Judge (2006-2010) Criminal Defense Attorney (2006-2010) Prosecutor in Dallas County (1995-2006) Testified at Senate and House Subcommittees regarding issues of Criminal Justice reform and Probation/Parole. Tried, as a lawyer or as a Judge, over 400 criminal trials. Reduced the overall docket of County Criminal Court 8 by approximately 50% and reduced the number of trials pending from 350 to under 50 since taking office. Teaches Criminal Law nationally since 2002. Sits on the Board of the Texas Center for Judiciary. Selection was by judicial peers throughout the State of Texas. Selected as the Presiding Judge of the County Criminal Courts from 2013-2015 by judicial peers.
I will bring many of the methods that I have employed in County Criminal Court 8 that has decreased our docket by approximately 50% since taking office. (1) The docketing of trials will be done by the Court. (2) The Court will monitor the number of resets by both sides. (3) The defense attorney, prosecutor and pretrial division will triage those that have just been arrested to check on whether anyone can be released from jail with specific bond conditions. Factors such as safety of the community or safety of the victim will be considered as well as indigency and risk of failure to appear and other relevant issues. In addition to these known methods, I would explore technological means of increasing the efficiency of the Court.
(1) We should develop a more robust pretrial division with risk assessment, indigency assessment, and mental health assessment for all defendants prior to arraignment with adequate monitoring tools to release more accused from the county jail based on their needs and the safety of the community and/or victims. (2) The attorneys being appointed should have manageable caseloads so that they may thoroughly represent their clients. (3) Judges should more readily allow defense attorneys to request criminal investigators when needed since statistically, it has been shown to yield substantial results for the defense in areas that have studied this topic matter of assigning more investigators.
This court has the original Divert Court that was developed previously to address substance abusers that may be assisted with treatment prior to adjudication. Successful graduation from this program equates to a dismissal of their charges by agreement of the State. This program is held in the evenings once a week.

The criminal courts have cases involving elderly fraud and white collar crimes that languish in the courts because of heavy violent trial dockets. I would like to gather these cases into my court to make sure that experienced attorneys are appointed, voluminous discovery is exchanged in a timely manner and that trials are held with haste.

I am an experienced judge ready to lead both of these special dockets.
Age 42
Education Bishop Dunne High School, Dillard University and Thurgood Marshall School of Law @ TSU
Campaign Phone (214) 380-9709
Twitter @mward4judge
I began my legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. As a result of my hard-work and legal ability, I rose through the ranks to become a Felony Chief Prosecutor. As a felony chief prosecutor, I mentored, supervised, and trained other felony prosecutors. Upon leaving the District Attorney's office after nearly 10 years, I opened and my own law firm where I am a managing partner. I have tried over 200 cases and represented clients on various types and degrees of offenses and have never had a public reprimand or suspension.
Implementing periodic status hearings and bond reviews to ensure cases are efficiently progressing through the system would improve court efficiency. This procedure provides swift justice by ensuring defendants are not languishing in jail awaiting trial, reciprocal discovery is adhered to and conditions of bond or probation are followed.
Increasing awareness and further expanding diversionary and rehabilitation programs increases access to justice to low income residents. Far to often, people are over-penalized for non-violent offenses. I would like to initiate a court program that focuses on job training, mental health counseling, and drug and alcohol addiction services.
While I favor creating efficiency by quickly moving defendants through the system, I would be extremely cautious against impeding justice. Mass incarceration is, in part, the result of quickly moving people through the criminal justice system. The disposition of case should be determined on a case by case basis. Therefore, periodic status hearing and bond review hearing are imperative to determine if each case is moving through the system efficiently.