Please let me introduce myself …
I’m Susan Skinner, your Judge of County Court at Law #14, a misdemeanor criminal court. With your help I was elected to the Bench on January 1, 2015. Since being Judge, I have handled over 7,500 cases and reduced the number of cases on the court’s docket by over 40 percent.
In addition to the misdemeanor criminal docket, I proudly preside over the only Animal Abuse Docket, which I implemented after being elected, upon seeing the needs of the community.
It is unfortunate, but the high volume of misdemeanor cases in many courts prevented misdemeanor animal cruelty cases from being given the attention they require. Since the creation of the Animal Abuse Docket, the backlog of pending animal cruelty cases has been resolved quickly and the cases now have access to timely trials and dispositions. The Court is now in a better position to address appropriate sentencing unique to these types of cases by working closely with the District Attorney’s Office, Animal Control Services, and the Bexar County Community Supervision Department.
A majority of the misdemeanor cases that come before me are Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) cases. DWI is a serious concern in our community. I will continue to strictly interpret and enforce the law in all DWI cases to protect our families from impaired drivers.
Meaningful experience with every side of a criminal case
I have dedicated my career to our legal system, and I bring more than 30 years of experience to the bench. In those three-plus decades, I have worked in a variety of roles in the criminal justice system. As a child protective services worker, I have assisted people who were victims of crime. As a probation officer, I have supervised people who have been convicted of crimes. As an assistant district attorney, I have prosecuted people who committed crimes. As a criminal defense attorney in private practice, I have represented people who were charged with crimes. And as a judge, I have adjudicated cases where the defendant has been charged with a crime. Add it all up, and I think it’s fair to say that I have worked on every side of the typical criminal case.
Why does experience matter so much in this election? It matters because a judge must be fair to all parties in a case — the victim of a crime, the government as the prosecutor, and the defendant as the accused. But it’s difficult to be truly fair to all parties if you haven’t been on each side of a case before. If your only experience is on the prosecutor’s side, you might forget the importance of a defendant’s constitutional rights. If your only experience is on the defendant’s side, you might underestimate the negative impact crime has on society. And if your only experience is on the victim’s side, you might not appreciate the significance of the legal issues that are often contested by the government and the defendant in any given case.
I’ve sat at the defendant’s table as defense counsel and at the government’s table as the prosecutor. I’ve been called to testify as a witness, both for child protective services and for the probation office. And I’ve sat on the bench the last three years as a judge. I think my well-rounded experience, which has allowed me to see a criminal case from all sides, has specially prepared me to serve as your judge for County Court #14.
I am honored and humbled to announce that I have received the following endorsements and awards:
- San Antonio Police Officers’ Association
- Bexar County Adult Probation Officers’ Association
- America’s Top Ten Animal Defenders 2018 by the Animal Legal Defense Fund
- Pastors PAC
- Texas Leadership Institute for Public Advocacy
- JUDGE COUNTY COURT AT LAW NO. 14, BEXAR COUNTY, TEXAS – JANUARY 1, 2015 – Present
- Presiding Judge over misdemeanor animal cruelty docket and general misdemeanor docket
- 1/1/15 through 6/1/18 over 8,000 court cases resolved
- Created the only Animal Abuse Docket in Bexar County
- America’s 2018 Top Ten Animal Defender Award recipient – Animal Legal Defense Fund
- SIXTEEN YEARS BEXAR COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
- Felony prosecutor for the Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force
- Felony first chair prosecutor – responsible for the prosecution of child death cases, domestic violence homicide cases, serious child abuse injury cases and sex crimes against children
- Domestic violence supervising attorney – responsible for the training and supervision of family violence prosecutors, protective order attorneys, advocates and DHS attorneys
- Felony juvenile prosecutor, county court misdemeanor prosecutor and law intern
- SEVEN YEARS CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, PRIVATE PRACTICE
- Practiced in all Bexar County misdemeanor and felony criminal courts
- SEVEN YEARS BEXAR COUNTY ADULT PROBATION DEPARTMENT
Court Supervisor and Coordinator – supervised and trained officers, developed departmental policies, investigated and prepared pre-sentence investigation reports, testified in court proceedings and maintained a caseload of up to 250 probationers
- TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
Child protective service caseworker – initiated legal action for removal of children from severe abuse and neglectful situations, provided casework to families and placed children in substitute care, and former foster parent
- MARY’S UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
JURIS DOCTOR, CUM LAUDE – Top 10% of graduating class
- Licensed by the State Bar of Texas – November 1992
- American Jurisprudence Awards:
- Criminal Procedure, Commercial Paper, Juvenile Law,
- Criminal Justice Administration, Trial Advocacy
- Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society, John Harlan Honor Society
- Finalist Mock and Moot Court Competitions
- Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
- Bexar County District Attorney’s Office
- Texas Rural Legal Aid, Kerrville, Texas
- OUR LADY OF THE LAKE UNIVERSITY, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
- TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY, SAN MARCOS, TEXAS