It has been a sincere honor to serve as the presiding judge of County Court at Law #3 since January, 2011. I thank you for the opportunity to serve the Travis County community. I would like to take this time to ask for your support as I seek re-election in 2014. As your judge, I pledge to continue working diligently. I will take my experience and dedication to face new challenges, make tough decisions and improve the criminal justice system for every person who comes through my court.
Before my election to the Travis County bench in 2010, I spent 20 years as a Travis County prosecutor. As a trial court chief, I tried hundreds of jury trials and trial related matters, mentored young prosecutors starting out in the courts, taught classes at law enforcement academies, lectured at the UT Law School Defense Clinic, and spoke at CLE conferences. A duty I took seriously during my time at the Travis County Attorney’s Office was acting as a resource and teacher to university and law school students. As a trial court judge, I have continued to help law students and young attorneys on both sides of the bar become better legal advocates for their clients and our community.
Going into my fourth year on the bench, I remember the promises made along the campaign trail. I started an evening court docket on Wednesdays to give myself more time with youthful offenders who need one-on-one attention in an environment that is less hurried than the hustle and bustle of an average day in court. As it has developed, the evening docket has several components:
- One, more time is set aside for individual attention to young people with pending charges or probationers who are in danger of being revoked and jailed.
- Two, the evening sessions provide more flexibility for students and working folks to make a court appearance after school or work hours; thereby keeping students in school and helping folks with jobs to keep those jobs.
- Three, it allows attorneys who practice in more than one county the flexibility to conduct business outside normal court hours.
A judge should be accessible to the Bar and to the public. That is why I have a weekly evening docket and continue to be involved with academic, community and legal groups throughout Travis County. I work to be accessible to lawyers, defendants and prosecutors so that cases are addressed in a timely manner, and I pledge to continue this effort.
I strongly believe that my courtroom is the public’s courtroom and should be accessible to anyone who would like to come in, sit down and see how court works. One of my campaign promises was to treat every person who comes into my courtroom with dignity and respect. Come on in and see how I strive to fulfill that promise every day!