We all want a criminal justice system that both assures our safety and protects our important rights. We need to have confidence that the judges who hear the most serious cases in our criminal justice system are fair, honest, knowledgeable and experienced. Beyond that, we want judges who generally share our progressive values as Austinites.
I am running for the 167th District Court because I believe we need better balance in our criminal district courts and a fresh perspective.
I’ve been board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for 22 years and have been in the private practice of law in Austin for 35 years.
A good lawyer must have empathy for his clients and a firm commitment to protect them whether they are homeless and uneducated or powerful and wealthy.
As a defense lawyer I strive daily to protect and defend our important constitutional rights. Every day I listen to citizens accused of crime; listen to their life stories; learn how the mere accusation of serious criminal conduct has impacted their lives and the lives of their families. I learn the facts, educate the individual about the law that applies in their case and collaborate with them to achieve the best possible outcome.
An effective lawyer must also have a genuine appreciation for the feelings of crime victims and the harm they have suffered as well as the legitimate demands of society. A judge should have a broad and varied background in order to fully understand the people he is dealing with and the ramifications of a criminal accusation. A career as a prosecutor – historically the chosen career path for most criminal judges – does not produce a sufficient experience to fully understand the practical as well as legal consequences of a criminal accusation. Please click on the sidebar for an illustration of this issue.
My experience in decades of criminal and civil practice has given me broader exposure and a deeper understanding of how our criminal justice system affects those accused of crime and their families as well as the effect on the victims of crime. This experience has also given me insight into areas in which we can make positive, progressive changes in the system.
Our system deserves a balanced point of view, a high level of competence and some fresh ideas.