HARRIS COUNTY'S DEDICATED FAMILY VIOLENCE COURT
Barbara was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1988 Barbara fled an abusive relationship and moved to El Paso, Texas where she lived for over 7 years. In 1995 she moved to Houston to finish her undergraduate degree at the University of Houston. Barbara was a honor's graduate with a B.A. in History and a minor in Political Science. While in college Barbara participated in UH's Government Internship Program wherein she interned in the office of the Honorable Kenneth E. Bentsen, 25th Congressional District. After the internship ended Barbara accepted part-time position in the district office working with staff on various constituent issues.
After receiving her undergraduate decree Barbara went on to law school at the University of Houston Law Center. During law school Barbara was a member of the UHLC Tropical Storm Allison disaster recovery team. She was President of the Public Interest Law Organization, a member of the Moot Court Team, and received the UHLC's Distinguished Service Award for service to the law center.
Upon graduation in 2003 Barbara received the prestigious Equal Justice Works post graduate fellowship where she worked to create a nonprofit called Children's Legal Services of Houston. Barbara created a training program for lawyers working with children in the court system and provided direct legal services to children in abuse, neglect and family violence cases.
In 2004 Barbara was presented the Rising Star Award by the UHLC Alumni Association.
Shortly after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the gulf coast, Barbara went to work for Aid To Victims of Domestic Abuse "AVDA" Barbara provided direct legal services to family violence victims and children in protective order, divorce and custody cases. Barbara handled some of the most high profile and horrendous family violence cases while at AVDA.
In 2008 Barbara embraced the opportunity to go back to her law school alma mater and teach and supervise law student attorneys in one of the legal aid clinics at UH Law Center. Barbara mentored, taught and supervised law students attorneys in family law cases. The UHLC legal clinic was often appointed by the family courts as Amicus Attorney(s) in high conflict and family violence cases. Barbara also taught family law, marital property, and family violence classes. Barbara was also a frequent faculty member for UHLC's People Law School.
Barbara has also presented at local, state and national CLE's and workshops on family violence issues. She is deemed an expert in family violence issues and has been a consulting expert on family law cases involving family violence.
Barbara works closely with Catholic Charities, Tahirih Justice Center, and Kids in Need of Defense "KIND" on unaccompanied minor cases where children have fled abuse, neglect or abandonment by one or both parents in their home country. Barbara provides bono legal services to these agencies as needed.
Barbara opened a solo practice in September 2016. Her practices focuses on family law, specifically family violence cases. She is a successful mediator and often mediates high conflict and family violence cases.
Barbara became board certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 2013 and recertified in 2018.
Barbara is a member of the State Bar Family Law Section, Houston Bar Association Family Law Section and Juvenile Law Section. She is also a past board member for the NACC Texas Chapter, served on the State Bar Legal Services to the Poor civil committee, is a Houston advisory board member for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, a member of the SIJS working group, and a past member of the National Academy Experts in Traumatic Stress.
Barbara has been married to her husband Fred for almost 27 years and they are both active in animal rescue. She has 7 awesome children, many wonderful grandchildren and mom to her furever kids, Joker, Maya, Tag, Nikka and the kitty cats.
Providing each litigant with a fair and objective hearing on the issues before the Court. Achieving the mission of this Court as set out by the legislature in protecting victims of family violence and working with community stakeholders on understanding the resources available for those affected by family violence.
Treating each litigant with respect and dignity regardless of their socio economic background.
Utilize technology such as video conferencing or court call to assist attorneys in their scheduling while also providing an additional level of safety for victims, when appropriate.
Working with law enforcement when a Protective Order is granted to secure any firearms that may be in the possession of the offender and securing those firearms until the firearms can safely be returned to the offender.
Barbara has been active in the community on various levels and has participated in the following groups or organizations:
Houston Advisory Board Mbr National DV Hotline
Houston Bar Association "HBA"
HBA Family Law Section
HBA Juvenile Law Section
HBA Animal Law (past board mbr)
Texas Bar Member
Texas Bar Family Law Section
Texas Bar Foundation Lifetime mbr
Texas Bar GLBT Section
Texas Bar Aviation Law Section
Texas Bar Poverty Law Section
Texas Bar Animal Law Section
Texas Bar Technology Section
Texas Bar College
Texas Pro Bono College
American Bar Association "ABA" mbr
ABA Family Law Section mbr
Hou Assoc. of Women Attorneys "AWA"
Houston GLBT Political Caucus member
UHLC People's Law School Faculty
Burta Rhoads Rayborn Inns of Court
Texas Advocacy Project Member
Texas Council on Family Violence member
American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress past member
National Association of Professional Women past member
National Institutes of Trial Advocacy faculty member
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