For the last fourteen years I have maintained a general law practice, and my legal experience has encompassed every kind of case heard by a district court judge.
Since I first began practicing in 2002, a large part of my practice has been dedicated to protecting children from abuse and neglect, and in helping parents get the services they need in order to reunite with their children. As an attorney for both Orange and Chatham County Departments of Social Services, I have had the unique perspective of seeing how the issues in our courtrooms mirror the needs of our communities. Many of the same families that are involved in DSS court are also involved in domestic violence court, in our substance abuse or mental health treatment courts, or have family members with criminal charges related to addiction or mental illness. It is important for our district court judge to have this global perspective and experience in all of the areas of district court in order to better understand the people we serve and the root causes of their court involvement.
Also as a lawyer with a small general practice, I have had the opportunity to stand beside many people through their encounters with our legal system. I have helped clients through appearances in criminal and traffic court, through separations from their spouses, through disputes over the custody and support of their children, through incompetency proceedings for family members, and through instances of domestic violence in their homes. I know first hand the financial and emotional toll that navigating our legal system can have on the people and families appearing involved with our courts. Having a District Court Judge who is mindful of the emotional and financial costs being paid by the parties appearing before her is essential to having a fair and efficient legal system. Click here to see my resumé.
Committed to our Community.
I grew up in rural western North Carolina, and I value relationships within a community. My family and I have made our home in this district for the past 17 years, and we are dedicated to serving the people who live here. My husband, Drew, has been a police officer for the town of Chapel Hill since 1999, and we have two boys, Ryan (7) and Cooper (5), who are enrolled in our public schools, involved in youth sports, and participants in Cub Scouts.
Since I have lived in Orange County, I have served on the boards of three non-profits: EENP, Inc., Caramore Community, Inc., and Josh's Hope, Inc. I have also served Orange County as a member of the Planning Board, and I am the current chair of the Orange County Board of Adjustment. I want to continue serving my community as a district court judge.
A district court judge has the unique perspective of seeing the many unmet needs of our communities--particularly the needs of our youth and our community members living with mental illness and addiction. In many cases, individuals in need of educational or mental health support end up in our courts because there are not sufficient resources to meet their needs in our communities. As your next district court judge, I will work in our communities with families and leaders to identify ways to reduce court involvement for our youth and for people living with mental illness and addiction.
I have already been working to help people living with mental illness and addiction obtain stable housing, employment, and family relationships through my service on the boards of Josh’s Hope, Inc. and Caramore Community as well as through my work as an attorney for the Orange and Chatham Departments of Social Services. In these roles, I have seen how substance abuse and mental illness can often lead to repeated and unwanted encounters with our court system and the disruption of the lives of children and families.
As the mother of two young boys growing up in this community, I am concerned about the outcomes of all our children who encounter our legal system, whether it is through foster care, through our juvenile justice system, or through their parents’ divorce and custody dispute. As your District Court Judge, I will be committed to working with court, community and school leaders, law enforcement officers, and parents in order to reduce court involvement and improve outcomes for all of our children.
Dedicated to Equality.
One of my favorite things about being a lawyer in a small town has been learning the different and diverse stories of the people who live here. Our community is a collection of people from all walks of life who each deserve respect, fairness, and consistency in their interactions with our courts. As your District Court Judge, I pledge to be fair, respectful, impartial, and consistent in my application and analysis of the law in each case. I pledge to be aware of and question implicit biases that are present in our justice system, and I am dedicated to providing all citizens of Chatham and Orange Counties dignity, respect, and equal access to justice in our courts regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.