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After being a stay-at-home mother, I returned to school when my youngest child entered kindergarten in 1987. I obtained my B.A. with a double major in Psychology and Sociology from University of California Davis in two-and one-half years and my Juris Doctor from University of California Berkeley in three, always with a focus on family and criminal law. While at University of California Davis, I completed an internship at Harper House Shelter for Battered Women in Sacramento. My Psychology thesis, "The effect of the Co-variation Principle on the Perception of the Correlation of Concurrent Causes" was legally focused.
At University of California Berkeley, I honored in Community Property and graduated in three years. I took the California bar in 1992 and passed the bar exam on my first attempt. I was admitted to practice in both the state and federal courts on December 2, 1992. My legal thesis was a prediction of increased custody litigation as a result of California's new law tying the non-custodial parent's visitation time, percentage of total time, to the amount of child support ordered.
I practiced family, dependency/neglect/juvenile and criminal law in Bakersfield, California from 1992 until 1999. A large amount of my practice consisted of the representation of children. During this time, I also wrote appeals for the California Appellate Project, which is charged with appellate representation of indigent criminal defendants in the state.
I relocated to Redding, California, in Northern California, in 1998. In Redding, I continued to practice in the same areas of law. At the request of the courts, I covered the Public Defender's calendar while they searched for a new appointee. Also at the request of the courts, I acted as the Family Law Facilitator until they could advertise for, and hire, a new Facilitator.
In 2000, I was contacted by the Department of Human Services in Modoc County, California and asked to act as their legal counsel while the county sought a new County Counsel (attorney). I did this until May of 2001, when I was appointed Modoc County Counsel. While acting as county counsel, I represented all county departments, including representing the county in various water and county's rights actions against the United States. One such action against the United States Department of the Interior was Kandra v. United States, 145 F. Supp.2d 1192 (2001). The majority of my work, however, was in representing the Department of Human Services in Dependency/Neglect proceedings. I continued to represent Modoc County until 2003, when I returned to private practice.
In 2005, we returned home to Arkansas, where I taught college level Psychology until 2008. During this time I continued my remaining California cases to completion.
In 2009, I opened my law practice in Arkansas. I continue to limit my practice to Family Law, Dependency/Neglect/Juvenile and Criminal Law. With respect to Family Law, I handle anything from divorce, custody, support and stepparent adoption or guardianships. I generally represent parents in Dependency/Neglect matters and minors in Juvenile Delinquency matters. I am certified by the Arkansas Public Defender's Commission to provide representation in matters up to and including, A and Y felonies, 40 years to life. I am certified as an Attorney Ad Litem to represent children in both Domestic Relations Court and Dependency/Neglect Court.
I purposely limited the number of cases on my case load so that I can give the kind of personal attention to my cases that is necessary to provide first-class representation.
Professional Associations and Memberships
Arkansas Bar Association, Member, 2009 – Present
Arkansas Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member, 2009 – Present
Arkansas Bar Association, Juvenile and Child Welfare Section, Member, 2009 – Present
Arkansas Bar Association, Juvenile and Child Welfare Section, Board Member, 2011 – Present
Arkansas Bar Association, Criminal Law Section, Member, 2009 – 2012
Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers, Member, 2009 – Present
California Association of Women Lawyers, Member, Committee on Domestic Violence in the Community, 1993 – 1996
California Association of Women Lawyers, Chair, Legal Subcommittee, 1993 – 1996
California State Bar, Member, 1992 – Present
California State Bar, Family Law Section, Member, 1992 – 2001
California State Bar, Member, Standing Committee on Domestic Violence, 1999 – 2002
California State Bar, Criminal Law Section, Member, 1992 – 1997
CA County Counsel’s Association, Member, 2001 – 2003
CA County Counsel’s Association, Ex Post Facto Section, Member, 2003 – Present
CA Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Member, 1993 – 2008
Minor’s Counsel Roundtable, Founding Member, 1996 – 2005
Beyond the Bench, Member, 1999 – 2005
Shasta County Bar Association, Member, 1999 – 2007
Kern County Bar Association, Member, 1992 – 1998
Kern County Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member, 1992 – 1998
Kern County Bar Association, Criminal Law Section, Member, 1993 – 1998
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