Licensed 15 years in the State of Texas, District of Columbia and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Board Certified in Child Welfare Law.
Law Offices of Lyda Ness-Garcia P.C.
609 Myrtle, Suite 102
El Paso, Texas 79901
• Child Welfare Law Specialist, July 2010
• Member of the State Bar of Texas, 1997
State Bar Number 90001279
• Member of the State Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, April 1998
Inactive Status. Bar Number 88382
• Member of the State Bar of the District of Columbia, April 1998
Inactive Status. Bar Number 467237
• Licensed to practice in the Western Federal District
• University of Texas School of Law
Juris Doctorate, 1994-1997
Studied International law and Human Rights at the University of London.
• University of Michigan
Bachelors of Art in English and Creative Writing Honors, 1988- 1992
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Studied women’s studies and literature at the University of East Anglia,
• Greenhill’s High school
High school diploma, 1984-1988
Ann Arbor, Michigan
• Kingswood and Cranbrook Institute Middle School, 1983-1984
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
• St. Catherine’s British Embassy Elementary School, 1975-1983
• Law Office of Lyda A. Ness Garcia, PC. November 2002 – Present. El Paso, Texas
Attorney and Counselor at Law: Solo practitioner and owner of a high volume legal practice in the area of family law and child protection. Represented thousands of parents and children in child abuse and neglect cases as part of a small group of specialized attorneys. Represented young women in Jane Doe parental bypass cases. Managed paralegals, legal assistants and associate attorneys in delegating responsibilities and duties. Proficient in software and expertise required for accounting, bookkeeping and billing responsibilities, including overseeing a complex calendaring and docketing system for legal and internal deadlines and ensuring that staff adheres to those deadlines. Highly experienced in litigation, including multiple jury trials. Able to multitask and manage high volume litigation schedule in addition to running the business.
• El Paso County Attorney’s Office. April 1998 - February 2002. El Paso, Texas
Assistant County Attorney: Represented the Texas Department of Protective And Regulatory Services in child abuse and neglect cases. Duties include daily in-court representation at permanency, placement and status hearings; preparation of orders, pleadings, discovery, briefs and other required documents; representation at bench and termination trials involving the termination of parental rights; and participation in committees to advocate children’s rights and improve judicial and social policies. Litigated multiple jury and bench trials as first chair.
• Travis County District Attorney’s Office. May 1997 – August 1997. Austin, Texas.
Law Clerk, Austin, Texas: Worked under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys representing the State of Texas in child abuse cases where the State sought termination of parental rights. Assisted in taking depositions, formulating trial tactics, drafting interrogatories, and preparing pleadings and motions. Litigated multiple bench trials.
• Juvenile Public Defender’s Office Travis County. January 1997 – May 1997.
Student Attorney: Represented juveniles in criminal trials under the supervision of a public defender. Responsible for client intake and investigation. Lead attorney for multiple bench trials.
• Children’s Rights Clinic. January 1996 – May 1996. Austin, Texas.
Student Attorney Ad Litem: Represented children under the supervision of a Professor in cases in which the state sought custody or termination of parental rights. Conducted investigation and discovery. Responsibilities included witness interviewing and contact with social agencies. Participated in all stages of litigation.
• Women’s Advocacy Project. November1994 – February 1995. Austin, Texas.
Legal Volunteer: Researched and complied a database of the legal procedures and resources available to victims of domestic violence in districts throughout Texas. Implemented a statewide hot line to provide legal advice and referrals.
• Public Interest Research Group. September 1992 – April 1993. Austin, Texas
Public Relations: Acted as a liaison to the media. Organized the 1992 Toy Safety Conference in Austin, Texas. Researched and disseminated information regarding product safety.
• National Environmental Law Center, September 1992 – April 1993. Austin, Texas
Facilitator/Fundraiser: Assisted the Center in bringing class action suits against polluting industries in violation of environmental laws. Supervised employees on fund-raising and educational campaigns.
• Ford Motor Company. 1990-1992. Milan, Michigan.
Part-time and seasonal employment assembling Taurus bumpers at plastics plant during midnight shift. Member of UAW.
• Safe House for Battered Women. June 1988 – June 1989. Ann Arbor, Michigan
Advocate: Prepared pending cases for trial and obtained Restraining Orders. Engaged in investigative work and general victim advocacy for battered women and children.
Professional Memberships and Activities
• Co-founder of Stand with El Paso Women, a political action committee supporting women’s rights through political action and supporting pro-women candidates. (July, 2013 – present)
• Speaker and author of Creative Parenting Seminar for social workers at the Domestic Relations Office (June 2013)
• Speaker and author for Child Protective Services Law Enforcement Training (April 2013)
Board of Trustee for Emergence Network formally known as El Paso Mental Health and Mental Retardation and Chair of the Public Relations Committee. (March 2011 – present)
• Board of Directors Delegate for Emergency Network for Texas Council of Community Center. (March 2011 – present)
• Board Member for Rio Grande Adelante a nonprofit organization committed to educating and empowering the LGBT community. (March 2011 – present)
• Chair of El Paso For Equality – a political action committee committed to bringing equality to all El Pasoans through the amendment of the City Charter. (December 2010 – present)
• Judicial Candidate for the 388th District Family Court (2008)
o Endorsed by the North East Democrats
o Endorsed by the Black El Paso Democrats 2008 Primary
o Received plurality of votes by Mexican American Bar Association
o Received plurality of votes by Camino Real Mexican Americans
• Facilitator, Organizer and Speaker at “The Alphabet Soup of Child Representation: Kids in Court- Representing Children.” (September 2006)
• Member of the Advisory Council, Children Cope with Divorce. (September 2006 - 2009
• Secretary, Executive Committee, El Paso Family Bar Association. (January 2006 – January 2008)
• Member of the State Bar Of Texas. (November 1997 – present)
• Member of the Mexican-American Bar Association. (2007 – present)
• Member of the El Paso Women’s Bar Association. (2007 – present)
• Member of the American Bar Association. (2002 – present)
• Model Court Advisory Committee, County Attorney Representative. (1999 - 2002)
• Child Welfare Board Of El Paso County, Legal Advisor. (1998 – 2001)
• Texas Young Lawyers Association. (1998 – 2001)
• Marion Boner Scholarship for Public Interest Work, Travis County Women’s Lawyers Association, Recipient (1996)
• American Journal Of Criminal Law, Member. (1995 – 1996)
• The University Of Texas Women’s Law Caucus, Convener. (1995 – 1996)
• The National Lawyers Guild, Coordinator. (1995 – 1996)
• The Environmental Law Society, Member. (1994 – 1996)
• Carl W. Wilson Novice Mock Trial, Participant. (1995)
• Thad R. Hutcheson Moot Court, Semi-Finalist. (1994)
• Latin American Solidarity Committee, Co-Convener. (1988 – 1991)