As judge, I have received some of the highest ratings in the Houston Bar Association’s Judicial evaluations, with particularly high ratings when it comes to adhering to the law, impartiality, and working hard and being prepared.
Community outreach has been one of the cornerstones of our Court since I took office and one by-product of this initiative is the creation of the Assisted Outpatient Therapy program (AOT), a program in partnership with The Harris Center, UTHealth, and the University of Houston. AOT provides life-changing opportunities for Harris County residents who are struggling with mental illness by having them participate in their treatment and avoid inpatient hospital stays. The AOT partners recently were awarded a 4 year, $2.7 million grant to allow us to continue this work.
Our Court also provides continuing legal education classes for attorneys practicing in the areas of probate and mental health, an extensive social work internship program for students at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, a Court clerkship program that provides opportunities for students at local law schools with a focus on diversity and inclusion, and numerous speaking engagements for community groups across Harris County.
Maintaining Court during Covid-19
Confronted with the Covid-19 pandemic during the second half of my term, Probate Court #3 rose to the occasion to keep services moving forward despite the local and national shutdowns. The Court staff and I implemented new procedures and new technology to allow remote work and hearings. Our Court held multiple trials and hearings over the course of the pandemic and saw our case numbers rise, outperforming previous years.