Pd. pol. ad for the Campaign to Keep Judge Renée Yanta,
Lionel Sosa, Treasurer, P.O. Box 15438 San Antonio, TX 78212

Judge Renée has the Heart...

Early Voting Starts: October 22 - November 2
Election Day: November 6th, 2018

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for Children & Families

Judge Renée also brings a special expertise with children to the Bench. Besides raising two children—her daughter Jackie, a Major in the Air Force Reserves and Professor at the Naval War College, and her son Brandon, who carries a Masters in English Literature and teaches pre-AP English at Churchill High School—Judge Renée earned her Bachelor of Science in Education and taught in public schools for nine years. Even after starting law school, Judge Renée stayed focused on helping children, volunteering as a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader, teaching voting rights to high school students, and developing and serving as a mentor in a teen pregnancy prevention program in Hallandale ISD. Judge Renée’s heart has always been dedicated to children. So when presiding in family matters, Judge Renée always considered the best solution to ensure children are safe and that they are blessed with stable, strong, and loving relationships with both of their parents. 

So it is not surprising that Judge Renée felt called to make a more profound positive impact for one of the most challenged groups in our community:  teen girls who will spend the rest of their childhood in Foster Care. She innovated and built a cutting-edge therapeutic court—PEARLS   Court—that provides trauma-informed counseling, necessary life-skill training, and profound and heart-filled mentoring to teen girls in Foster Care. Statistics warn that these girls rarely finish high school, often have babies while still in their teens, and often do not have the opportunity to grow into strong and successful women. But the participants in PEARLS Court—PEARLS Girls—are dramatically changing these statistics! With the love and partnership of the Department of Family and Protective Services, Children’s Court, and 50+ volunteers and partners, the PEARLS Girls are thriving. In fact, the first two Seniors in PEARLS Court graduated in June 2017—to a huge celebration! This Court would not exist but for the vision and heart of Judge Renée. 

P.S.:  Judge Renée absolutely adores being “Ne-Ne” (her grandma name) to Emily, Hudson, Josie and Jefferson!  She has about 1000 pictures of her grandchildren (which she’d be happy to show you if you have a couple free hours!)

For Service

Besides a full docket and thriving PEARLS Court, Judge Yanta stays focused on community service. She has been president/chair of numerous organizations, including the University of Incarnate Word Development Board, the St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association, the San Antonio Bar Foundation and the Bexar County Women’s Bar. She currently serves on the Bexar County Juvenile Board and the University Health Foundation Board.

In addition to providing her expertise to Boards, Judge Renée is a hands-on volunteer. She helped to start and then taught in a teenage pregnancy prevention program in Harlandale ISD. She has always been a mentor, to Girl Scouts, to high school students, to law students, to women attorneys—even creating a national mentoring program for young women in the legal profession.

She helps out at SA THREADS—a no-cost boutique for foster children. She participates with the fatherhood training program, Compadre y Compadre. She serves meals at SAMM Ministries and delivers meals to Seniors in the Meals on Wheels program. She mixes vaccines for puppies and kittens at the Animal Shelter and packages hundreds of pounds of food at the Food Bank.

But her heart beats most tenderly for the Girls of PEARLS Court, where she invests hundreds of hours. She truly loves each of her PEARLS Girls, mentoring, maintaining high expectations, and celebrating with each PEARLS Girl as she grows into strong, inspiring, successful young woman.

for the Law

While still raising young children, Judge Renée entered St. Mary’s University School of Law.  It wasn’t long before she discovered her love for the law. She earned the highest grade in many of her classes and was on Dean’s List every semester of Law School. In her second year, one of her papers was selected for publication in the St. Mary’s Law Journal. She ultimately served as Editor in Chief of the Journal. In 1993, Judge Renée graduated summa cum laude, one of the top two students in her class. 

Judge Renée then went into private practice, handling a wide range of litigation, first at Fulbright & Jaworski, and then at Cox Smith, as head of the Appellate Practice Group, and ultimately as a partner in the civil litigation firm, Beirne, Maynard & Parsons. She was routinely in trial, addressing the law questions of the cases, from motion practice, to arguing evidentiary rulings, to creating the jury charge. She mediated and arbitrated divorce cases and other family law litigation. And she handled appeals all the way to the Texas Supreme Court and the Fifth, Tenth and Federal Court of appeals. 

While Judge Renée developed a state-wide reputation, and an expertise that enabled her to become Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, she still remembers what it felt like as a three-year lawyer having her first oral argument before the Texas Supreme Court. Despite a dry mouth and shaking knees, her argument that day helped clarify Texas law.  Judge Renée went on to have many more cases before the Supreme Court, and almost every appellate court in Texas.  But that early experience motivated Judge Renée to begin building a deep expertise in the law so that, 13+ years later, she would have the tools and qualifications to take the Bench for the first time in 2010.

When in private practice, Judge Renee was perennially named a Super Lawyer, was awarded an AV rating—the highest possible—by the preeminent rating service, authored hundreds of legal articles, and has served as one of the authors of the State Bar Pattern Jury Charges for many years. Judge Renée especially enjoys teaching law and is a frequent speaker at attorney continuing legal education courses. She has also been an adjunct professor of law at St. Mary’s University School of Law, teaching trial and appellate procedure.

For The Military

Judge Renée brings a lifetime of experience to the Bench.  She is a “Military Brat,” following her dad all over the world, wherever he was stationed as an Air Force pilot. Her brother, niece, nephew, daughter and son-in-law have also all served in the military. So Judge Renée is very familiar with the challenges of the military life, and the impact on military families. 

 

Once, she presided by Skype over an adoption where a military couple stationed at Misawa Air Force Base in Japan adopted their son born at Landstuhl Military Hospital in Germany!

This kind of background was especially helpful when serving as a family law judge in Bexar County, where so many military families need help from the court system. She’s even known to use Skype and other technology to help military personnel handle their legal needs. Once, she presided by Skype over an adoption where a military couple stationed at Misawa Air Force Base in Japan adopted their son born at Landstuhl Military Hospital in Germany!

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