Cornell University School of Law, J.D.
University of Pittsburgh, B.B.A.
Bishop Dunne Catholic School
I am a Dallas native and graduate of Bishop Dunne Catholic School. At age 16, I earned a full scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh where I studied in finance. I then earned a scholarship to Cornell Law School where I concentrated in criminal law. I am the only candidate with judicial experience. I was elected one of the youngest judges for the City of Cedar Hill and have been endorsed by Cedar Hill Mayor Rob Franke, who appointed me. Signifigantly, I have presided over misdemeanors similar to those that will be before me in Dallas County Criminal Court number 3. I am currently in private practice, and own my own law firm, practicing criminal and civil law, and am ranked in the top 2.5% of attorneys under 40 in Texas, per my peers.
First, I will work a full workday. Some judges only have dockets a few days a week or work only partial work days. I will not. The best way to increase efficiency is actually doing the work. My promise to the citizens of Dallas County is to do just that.
In addition, moving cases requires the prosecutor and defense attorneys to work together to come to an agreement on pleas. Using my experience on the bench, I will encourage both sides to come together to agree on fair pleas, saving the community the cost of unnecessary trials.
As a judge in Cedar Hill I performed economic assessments to determine what would be a reasonable fine for a person based on their economic circumstances. When defendants are determined to be low income, reduced fines, community service or payment plans are generally the best solution. In addition, by promptly appointing qualified attorneys to represent low income defendants, I will ensure that all defendants in Dallas County have access to quality representation.
1. MENTAL HEALTH & ADDICTION - As judge, I believe in a treatment-nased approach to mental illness and addiction and will render sentences consistent with this approach.
2. CRIMINAL RECORD EXPUNCTIONS & NON-DISCLOSURES- I will render sentences that allow non-violent offenders to become eligible to seal or expunge their records , upon successful completion of their community supervision.
3. BAIL REFORM - The current bail system unfairly punishes poor people. Judges may only incarcerate defendants before trial if they are a public safety threat or likely to flee the state or country. But some courts have set $100,000 bail for a $100 shoplifting offense. Incarcerating defendants because they cannot afford their bail is unconstitutional.
M.B.A.-Dallas Baptist University
J.D.-Texas Wesleyan University
I have actually worked in the Dallas County Criminal Courts consistently since 2007.
I have experience in representing people in all types of criminal matters including felonies and misdemeanors.
I serve on the Board of Directors of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and State Bar of Texas. I am a member of the Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Dallas Black Criminal Bar Association where I am the immediate past Vice President. I am recognized as a legal educator in criminal defense, legal ethics and serve on the faculty for National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Texas Trial College.
Peer Review: Best Criminal Defense Attorney in Juvenile Matters, 2015, 2016 and 2017
I have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a focus on Organizational Management. I is a rare process that cannot be improved. I participated with other lawyers in discussion about ways to be more efficient such as uniformity of forms in all misdemeanor courts, the use status conferences with the prosecutors and defense to help keep the matter moving forward. Courts are beginning to use technology, such as Skype for certain hearings, which will allow the court to increase the number of cases heard and will also allow defendants the opportunity attend work or caregiving responsibilities instead of spending hours in court. Victims and defendants both have an interest in swift justice.
I have been serving on the State Bar of Texas’ Legal Services To The Poor in Criminal Matters Committee for several years and worked with Access To Justice at the local level. Judges have the ability to ensure the public defender or appointed lawyers are promptly placed on matters. The Judge, where able, should waive court costs, fines, fees and other options such community service. Judges have the ability to grant personal recognizance bonds, waive arraignments and perform other administrative duties which support bond reform. I will be conscious of the severe economic consequences and implement creative strategies and alternatives.
The disproportionate representation of black, brown and poor people in the courts give rise to concerns regarding implicit bias. I recently participated in the Beyond The Bench Summit hosted by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and Supreme Court of Texas. The higher courts recognize that the training of judges is critical to achieving justice and restoring trust in the criminal justice system. My primary focus will be, bond reform and reducing recidivism. My work on the Board of Nexus Women’s Recovery and Unlocking Doors , which specifically addresses recidivism will help in developing diversion programs that are responsive to people that may be homeless or have issues with substance abuse and mental illness.