Professionally, for twenty-five years I have been working as a trial attorney trying cases to juries and judges in criminal, civil and family law. I manage an eight-attorney law practice with offices in Comal and Bexar counties that represents clients in real estate, business, estate planning, probate, family, and criminal law matters. I have tried numerous serious criminal matters to juries such as Aggravated Sexual Assault-continuous, Intoxication Manslaughter, Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Family Violence), and Enhanced Theft (2nd Degree Felony) as well as civil jury trials including family law. I have successfully appealed and successfully defended against appeals in in criminal, civil and probate matters.
Personally, I have been married for 42 years and we have two daughters. My oldest is a middle school algebra teacher and my youngest is an attorney in my law firm. I have lived in New Braunfels for twelve years. I am a Christian. I worship and I teach Sunday School and have done so for the past twenty years at my church in New Braunfels. I am a lifetime Republican and a Conservative.
The reason I chose to run for this office is because during COVID I lost several friends including young friends. I realized how brief life is for all of us and wanted my life to make more of a difference. After prayer and consulting with family and close friends, I decided to run for this office because I believe I am qualified to serve as Judge of the 207th Judicial District Court. The experience and knowledge I have gained from twenty-five years as a trial attorney will be used to serve this community, to give back and make a difference, as a fair and impartial jurist that will follow the rule of law and uphold the Texas and United States Constitutions.
What can you do to improve the court process for everyone involved?
At some point, the 207th Judicial Court touches some aspect of the lives of many of the people that live in this district, whether civil, family or criminal. These citizens deserve a court that will fairly and timely hear and resolve these disputes, whether from an impartial judge or an impartial jury. To improve the court process, I will use all available technology such as Zoom so that attorneys and their clients do not need to come to the court for brief matters that are not evidentiary in nature. Even in contested matters, where the court is hearing testimony or admitting evidence, when all the parties agree, I will allow hearings via Zoom or similar platforms. In the courtroom I will encourage and train attorneys, if needed, to use the technology available to most of the courts in the district.
My experience with most of the attorneys in this District is that they show up prepared and ready to try their matters. It is very frustrating for the attorneys and their clients to come prepared for trial only to be reset repeatedly. I will work to minimize that situation by limiting the number of cases actually set for trial.
I will look for ways to improve the processes and procedures so that the court and its staff can manage the case load efficiently and expeditiously so that the cases get heard and confidence in the judicial system is restored and maintained.
What are the biggest challenges you see over this term and how will you tackle them?
The 207th District Court is overloaded with cases waiting for jury trials. The backlog of cases is an accumulation of several factors with COVID-19 being the main reason. At the same time, there are nonjury matters equally important that are backed up and need to be heard by this court too. The legal maxim, “justice delayed is justice denied” is very true in our present situation with the court. Those that are victims of crimes and those that have been accused of crimes both deserve a timely trial and resolution. At the same time, those with important civil or family law matters deserve to have their matter resolved quickly also.
I believe the solution is going to require creative thinking and lots of hard work. I started law school with three-year-old and five-year-old daughters; I worked full-time, and finished law school in three years. I presently manage an eight-attorney law office and still try cases. My undergraduate degree from Texas State is Bachelor of Business Administration in Management. I know how to work hard, build a team with the court staff, and get results. I will push for balancing out the caseloads with newer courts and if needed advocate for temporarily hiring retired or visiting judges for a few months to hear some of the very old cases that need jury trials so that there will be jury trials going each week in every county in the 207th district until the docket is manageable.
What qualities and experience set you apart from you opponents?
As an experienced trial attorney, I am familiar with the types of matters heard by the 207th Judicial District Court, matters ranging from complex civil litigation to family law cases, to felony criminal matters. To preside over such a varied docket requires current knowledge of the laws of this state in each area of the law. For more than twenty-five years I have tenaciously advocated for clients in contested family law cases, complex civil disputes, and serious felony defense cases throughout the state. I have worked both sides of litigation, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. My extensive jury trial experience as a lead attorney in serious criminal defense cases, as well as the considerable amount of trial experience in civil and family law unequivocally qualify me for this position. There are no question experience matters. When seeking an attorney to represent you, you will usually seek an attorney with experience in the issue you are facing. When determining who would be the best choice for judge, you must consider the candidate’s experience. A candidate that practices in only one area of law is likely to have blind spots when dealing with areas of law in which they have limited experience. It is not merely the years of experience I bring, which are considerably more than most of my opponents, it is also because I successfully practice in multiple areas of law and have gained knowledge of the law in these various areas and have not primarily focused in one area of law, that sets me apart from my opponents in seeking this office.