Personal

Grew up in the Pasadena Independent School District
Graduate of J. Frank Dobie High School
Daughter of retired law enforcement agent                                                                             
Attended the University of Texas
Graduated with Honors in 1990
Attended the University of Houston Law Center
Graduated with a J.D. in 1993
Married with 4 children
Attends St. John Vianney Catholic Church

Work Experience

Harris County District Attorney’s Office 1992-2007

  • While attending law school worked as an intern at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office
  • 14-year former Harris County Assistant District Attorney hired by DA Johnny Holmes. Former felony chief prosecutor. Handled thousands of criminal cases. Tried over 100 jury trial including capital murder, human trafficking, aggravated robberies and sexual assaults.
  • Worked with federal and local police targeting human traffickers
  • Taught criminal law at the Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Houston Fire Department and the Pasadena Police Department

Private Practice 2007-2010

  • Worked as a criminal defense attorney representing both hired and indigent clients in Harris County Criminal Courts, Ft. Bend County Courts and Galveston County

Judicial Experience 2010 – Present

  • 1st female to be elected to CCCL #1
  • 4th judge to be elected to CCCL #1
  • Since 2014, presided over one of 5 specialty S.O.B.E.R. D.W.I. court dockets (Saving Ourselves By Education and Recovey). SOBER court is multi-stakeholder collaborative team effort designed to target high risk DWI offenders. The mission of SOBER court is to increase public safety while reducing recidivism.
  • Presides over the young offender S.O.B.E.R. D.W.I. court for individuals ages 17-30
  • Elected by judicial colleagues to serve as the Presiding Judge of the Harris County Criminal Courts at Law in 2017
  • Elected by judicial colleagues to serve as the Administrative Judge of the Harris County Courts (both civil and criminal)

Awards and Commendations

Judicial:

  • 2013 Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Judicial Service Award                                                                                                                  
  • 2014 Texas Center for the Judiciary Spotlight on Success Award for the Harris County S.O.B.E.R. D.W.I. Courts
  • 2016 Mothers Against Drunk Driver Judicial Service Award to the S.O.B.E.R. D.W.I. court judges
  • 2017 Texas Center for the Judiciary Faculty of the Year Award
  • 2018 Commended by the Harris County Commissioner’s Court for 10 years of Excellence in the S.O.B.E.R. D.W.I. court program
  • 2018 recipient of the Houston Bar Association’s President’s award for Excellence in Service during Hurricane Harvey
  • 2018 Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Policy Setter Award for the S.O.B.E.R. D.W.I.  Courts

As an Assistant District Attorney:

  • Graduate of the National College of District Attorneys
  • Award of Commendation by the Director of the Transportation Security Administration
  • Victim Witness Program Award for outstanding service on behalf of crime victims
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation commendation for exceptional service in the public interest for work on human trafficking cases

Houston Bar Association Judicial Qualifications Polls:

  • 2017 & 2015 – Ranked #1 in overall excellence/outstanding performance for all County Criminal Courts at Law
  • 2011 & 2013 – 2nd highest percentage of overall outstanding ratings of all County Criminal Courts at Law

Notable Accomplishments

  • Presided over more than 200 trials since being on bench and thousands of cases
  • Consistently had one of the lowest dockets demonstrating efficiency in court administration
  • Was the presiding judge during Hurricane Harvey and led the County Criminal Courts in handling jail dockets during the hurricane which allowed defendants to have their day in court and kept attorneys working. Additionally, along with the Court Manager’s office led the move of our 16 courts from the flooded Criminal Justice Center to the Family Law Center just 2 weeks after the storm.
  • Was the presiding judge during the implementation of bail reform
  • Chair of the County Criminal Courts at Law Indigent Defense committee and the Harris County Community Supervision and Pretrial Services Department standing committee
  • Judicial Coordinator for the Houston Area Regional High School Mock Trial Competition – 2017 & 2018
  • Coordinated the 1st Annual Rand Mintzer Lawyers Have a Heart C.P.R. Class – 2017
  • Conversant in Spanish                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Community Service

  • Lector St. John Vianney Catholic Church
  • National Charity League – West Houston Helping Hands
  • Spring Branch Independent School District F.F.A. Alumni Association