“It is in justice that the ordering of society is centered.“
One of my favorite quotes from Aristotle. The same is true in courts and especially in Harris County Criminal Court #4. Judges follow the law, we do not make the law! Our laws are given to us by the U.S. Constitution, Texas Constitution and laws created by the Texas Senate and House of Representatives. Justice is best served by following the law to ensure victims are heard, defendants have fair trials and society is safe. I recognize that when I walk into Harris County Criminal Court #4, everyone stands for the law I represent! I am humbled daily by the honor to do so…
Immediately upon taking the bench, I sought ways to ensure that justice was at the forefront everyday. The first was to set the tone that the court belonged to the people! I created an atmosphere where ALL parties (state and defense) were on equal ground. I set court policies and procedures where ALL parties are given full access to the court to litigate their cases. I assumed my proper neutral role as the “umpire” like in a baseball game. I called the balls and the strikes.
“A judge shall be patient, dignified and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity, and should require similar conduct of lawyers, and of staff, court officials and others subject to the judge’s direction and control.” Judicial Canon 3B4
Having experienced some of the most extreme disrespect from judges as an attorney, I knew that having a good judicial temperament was imperative. I respect everyone that enters the court and demand the same from everyone else. Justice is my goal and I’m charged with the responsibility to ensure that nothing interferes with it.
“If service is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you.”
I opened my court to students immediately. I wanted young adults to have their first experience in a court as an honored guest in a positive way. I educated them on court procedures and the different careers available in the legal field. I had prosecutors, defense attorneys, bailiffs, clerks and court reporters speak to the students to share their experience.
Even before I took the bench, I never missed an opportunity to speak and educate. I know that to whom much is given, much is expected. I am tremendously blessed to be a judge and I take my responsibility seriously. I have been a public servant since I was 17 years old and joined the U.S. Army Reserves. I have been a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. a public service organization for over 30 years. Public service is natural and necessary to who I am. After over 22 years as an attorney, serving as a judge was a natural and necessary progression for me.