As a somewhat native of Lafayette – I was born here but lived in several other cities, states, and overseas during my childhood – I was happy to return in 1994. I obtained my undergraduate degree (B.A.) in communications from the University of Louisiana (formerly University of Southwestern Louisiana) in 1990. After graduation, I moved to Houston where I worked as a public relations/marketing writer for two years at the firm of Meyer, Griffin & Wright. In 1991, I returned to Louisiana to attend law school and graduated from the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1994.
I have previously worked as a judicial law clerk, Assistant Attorney General, and associate at a local insurance defense law firm. In 2000, I took a sabbatical to stay home with my four children. When I returned to law in 2003, I was fortunate to be hired by several area attorneys to write trial and appellate briefs. I also represented law enforcement officers throughout south and central Louisiana in administrative matters as well as maintaining a general criminal defense practice.
Because I believe that to those whom much is given, much is likewise expected, in 2004, I took a position as an Indigent Defender with the 15th Judicial District Indigent Defender Office in the Juvenile Division. During my tenure with the Indigent Defender Office, I represented juveniles charged with delinquent offenses – crimes – as well as parents whose children had been taken into custody by the Department of Children and Family Services. My greatest accomplishments, however, were my work with the 15th Judicial District Juvenile Drug Court and 15th Judicial District Family Preservation Court. In the past ten years, the Juvenile Drug Court has become one of the model drug courts in the South. Additionally, I was privileged to be on the founding team of the Family Preservation Court. In addition to substance treatment, we provided youth and their families with any and all resources imaginable including education and literacy assistance, housing, food, clothing, holiday gifts and even driver’s education classes.
I joined Barry Sallinger’s firm in the fall of 2012. What impressed me and made me want to be a part of what Barry has created is his commitment to protecting the rights of his clients through extensive investigation, vigorous pretrial litigation, and effective trial advocacy. At the same time, however, he is compassionate and really wants to help people who, for various reasons, find themselves involved in the legal system.
I am admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Louisiana. I have completed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing course – the same course police officers attend – and am a member of the National College for DUI Defense where I was recently named the state delegate for Louisiana. Additionally, I have received education and training by some of the foremost experts in the country in breath, blood and urine testing in operating while intoxicated cases; gas chromatography-mass spectrometry; uncertainty and metrology; forensic crime lab accreditation; principles of standard field sobriety testing; and issues relating to operating while under the influence of cannabis and other controlled dangerous substances.
I am also a member of the Louisiana Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers and American Chemical Society.