EXPERIENCE

member-logo-ciarbtbls1-civiltriallaw LOGOABOTA logo

Experience Matters.

March, 2015 to present

Conducting arbitrations and mediations, specializing in complex civil cases, and acting as private judge and trial strategist.

2013 to 2015

Re-elected as Judge of the 165th Judicial District Court, Harris County, Texas. The only non-incumbent Republican judge to be re-elected to a civil bench in Harris County in the 2012 election. Attained Senior Status in 2015.

2010 to 2012

Arbitrations, mediations, visiting judge (State of Texas), private judge.

2009 to 2013

General Counsel, Chief Administrative Officer and Corporate Secretary of Water Standard (CI) GP, Inc., a fully funded, start up international water/marine desalination company. General Counsel duties include management of legal and compliance issues, budgets, internal staffing, legislative/political issues, and managing outside counsel in specialized areas. Reduced outside legal fees by 33% in first six months and by 55% in first twelve months. Implemented an internal system for document control of all corporate documents, including engineering designs and patents. Created and implemented in house legal resources section and forms file. Manage IP portfolio of 8 U.S patents and 16 foreign patents, as well as 50+ pending applications, and 5 trademarks. CAO duties include management of all administrative functions including human resources, marketing, preparation of budgets and management of independent contractors worldwide. Headed management team which reduced outside contractors by 50% in first six months and re-staffed corporate offices to accommodate the change. As Corporate Compliance Officer, advised Board and Company on ethics/compliance issues ranging from FCPA to internal accounting to corporate compliance and created compliance program to provide management/oversight for foreign independent contractors. Appointed to Audit Committee and Chair of Intellectual Property Committee. Represented company at International Desalination Association Awards in Zurich, Switzerland, May 2009, where Company received an international award from former V.P. Al Gore, and the Global Water Conference in Dubai, U.A.E. in November 2009. Continued in this position on an “as needed” basis from mid-2010 – 2013. Presently serves as outside FCPA counsel as needed.

1992 to 2009
District Judge

165th Judicial District Court, Houston, Texas

2000
Appointments

Appointed twice by then Governor George Bush as special arbitrator to resolve dispute between district judges in Brazoria County regarding the judicial appointment of the county auditor.

1997 to 1999
Adjunct Professor

South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas
Pre-trial Advocacy Course to graduating seniors

1987 to 1992
Partner

Dillard & Ray, Houston, Texas
Co-founded law firm of Dillard & Ray, which specialized in commercial litigation in both state and federal courts and real estate and business transactions. One of the first female owned law firms in Houston. Lead counsel in charge of local litigation for national commercial real estate developer specializing in the creation and management of local shopping malls, an oil and gas supply company, a national lender, a NASA related engineering company, a real estate development company and a large commercial laundry business. Received certification as a trained Mediator.

1984 to 1987
Senior Associate

Calvin, Dylewski, Gibbs, Maddox, Russell & Verner, Houston, Texas
Commercial litigation at state and federal levels. Lead counsel on jury and bench trials including trials involving real estate, banking practices, RICO, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, deceptive trade practices and contracts.

1982 to 1984
Senior Associate

Hirtz & McDonough, Houston, Texas
Commercial litigation at state and federal levels; emphasis on white collar criminal defense practice and civil RICO actions.

1981 to 1982
Sole Practitioner

Engaged in all types of civil practice including litigation in state and federal courts.

1979 to 1981
Law Clerk

Clerked for United States Magistrate Alex McGlinchey, Ft. Worth, Tx.

Education

1993

Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Board Certified, Civil Trial Law

1992

Member, Texas Attorney Mediator Credentialing Association.
Training, Attorney’s Mediation Institute.
Panel Member, American Arbitration Association, Complex and Commercial Panels.
Panel Member, Judicial Workplace Arbitrations

1978

Baylor University School of Law, J.D., Waco, Texas

1975

Texas Tech University, B.A., Lubbock, Texas

Non-Legal Employment Experience

1975 – 1976

Realtor, Kodiak Realtors, Houston, Texas

1974 – 1975

Owner and Manager, Cotton Club, Lubbock, Texas

1974 – 1975

Music Supervisor, Lubbock State School for the Mentally Retarded

1973 – 1974

Counselor for the profoundly retarded, Lubbock State School

Admissions

1984

United States Supreme Court

1980

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit*

1979

Texas Supreme Court

*Admitted to all U.S. District Courts in Texas

Professional Memberships

Association of Women Attorneys

American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)

Board of Directors, Baylor University Alumni Association

Texas Bar Foundation

Texas College of Law

Houston Bar Association (Fellow)

National Association of Women Judges

Past President, Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity, Baylor

Legal Activities

Board of Directors, Association of Women Attorneys, 2013-2014

Chairman of the Houston Bar Association Section of Litigation (1991 -1992)

Member, Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Gender Fairness (2006-2008)

Member of the Judiciary/Legislative Relations Committee (1996-2002)

South Texas College of Law Planning Committee for Advanced Civil Litigation Seminar (1998 – 2000)

Board of Civil District Judges Committee Member on:
ADR Committee (1995, 1996); Policies and Procedures Committee (1995); Rules Committee (1996); Chair, Special Dockets Committee (1996); Mass Torts Committee (1996)

Houston Bar Association Planning Committee for the Bench/Bar Conference (1994 – 1999, 2002-2003)

Member of the Houston Bar Association Combined Committee:
Administration of Justice, Appellate Judiciary and Courts and Courthouse Facilities (1989-1991)

Rated “AV” by Martindale – Hubbell

Additional Activities

Board of Directors, Texas Appleseed

Board of Directors, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft

Houston Livestock and Rodeo, International Committee (current)

Lamar High School PTO Board member

Selected as one of ten “Women On the Move” by the Texas Executive Women (1999)

Selected as Trial Judge of the Year by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists (2006)

American Red Cross, Host Committee (2000)

Seminar & Speaking Activities

Over 50 speeches in Harris County during 1998 and 1999 to civic clubs, legal organizations and various public forums regarding the construction of the new civil courthouse

University of Houston Continuing Legal Education, “After Voir Dire – The Opening – The Real Rules for Getting Off the Island” (2007)

South Texas College of Law, “A True Story About Sanctions and Its Evil Twin Mandamus” (1994 – 1996)

Speaker, Houston Bar Association Ad Litem Seminar (1995 -1998)

Planning Committee, “Motion Advocacy – Trial and Techniques” Seminar, South Texas College of Law (1991)

Speaker to Conoco Oil, Inc. Legal Staff on Trial Tactics (1991) and “How to Deal Effectively with Outside Counsel” (December, 1989)

Speaker on behalf of Houston Bar Association on Business and Consumer Law (1989 – 1992)

Speaker to Aramco Oil Co. Legal Staff – “How to Deal Effectively with Outside Counsel” (September, 1989)

Speaker for Women’s Legal Forum, South Texas College of Law (Spring, 1988 – 1990)

Founding Member of the Houston Bar Association’s AIDS Committee (1989)

Member of the Houston Bar Association’s Pictorial Directory Committee (1985 – 1986)

Personal

Graduated from Highland Park High School, Dallas, Texas.

Married Paul Choules, an executive in the desalination and oil and gas business, October 2014.

Six Children: Joseph, Tricia, Morgan, Jake, Christopher and Alex

Active in St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas.