EXPERIENCE

The University of Texas School of Law - Austin, TX
Doctor of Jurisprudence - December 2006

  • Editor-in-Chief - Texas Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy

  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Chapel Hill, NC
    Bachelor of Arts in Economics - May 2000
    Bachelor of Arts in Political Science - May 2000
    The University of Texas at Brownsville - Brownsville, TX
    Certified Public Manager - Institute of Public Service - November 2010
    Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2, Place 2
    Judge – 2015 - Present

  • Oversee staff of 4 assistants
  • Responsible for evictions, small claims suits, criminal citations, and inquests
  • Conduct bench and jury trials for civil and criminal cases

  • The Gracia Law Firm - Brownsville & Beeville, TX
    Sole Proprietor - Lead Attorney March 2012 - Present

  • Represent clients in criminal defense, family law, and civil matters
  • Handle court proceedings: motions to revoke, motions to adjudicate, plea matters, contested hearings, and trial
  • Oversee staff of three individuals a multi-county area

  • Cameron County District Attorney's Office - Brownsville, TX
    Assistant District Attorney - Felony 2nd Chair October 2009 - March 2012

  • Assigned to 107th District Court - Prosecutor of felony crimes including, but not limited to: Murder, Burglary, Sexual Assault, Drug and Aggravated offenses
  • Present cases to grand juries for indictment
  • Responsible for all pre-trial matters including plea bargains, sentencing negotiations, and evidentiary hearings
  • Counsel and review cases with law enforcement, probation officers, victims, and witnesses

  • Assistant District Attorney - Misdemeanor 1st Chair March 2009 - October 2009

  • Assigned to County Courts at Law #1 and #2 as lead prosecutor of misdemeanor crimes
  • Supervised 2nd Chair Prosecutor, Investigator, and Paralegal and delegated work to effectively run courts
  • Prepared and led three cases to jury trial

  • Assistant District Attorney - Misdemeanor 2nd Chair November 2008 - March 2009

  • Assigned to County Court at Law #3 - charged with screening, filing, and prosecuting misdemeanor crimes
  • Tasked with case research, arguing protective orders and motions to suppress
  • Assisted 1st Chair prosecutor by coordinating with support staff and prosecuting one trial

  • The Honorable Hilda G. Tagle, United States District Court Judge - Brownsville, TX
    Judicial Intern May 2005 - July 2005

  • Drafted an order in response to a summary judgment motion involving an employment discrimination dispute
  • Observed trial and general court proceedings on a daily basis
  • Met research deadlines assigned by judicial clerks

  • Office of United States Representative Solomon P. Ortiz - Washington, DC
    Legislative Assistant January 2003 - May 2004

  • Researched legislation involving education, labor, civil service, and taxation (including Social Security)
  • Provided written responses to constituent inquiries concerning Congressional matters
  • Analyzed proposed legislation and its effects on constituents
  • Conducted meetings with elected officials, policy makers, and lobbyists to discuss district concerns

  • Special Projects/Grants Director November 2001 - May 2004
  • Spearheaded the creation of the Singapore Congressional Caucus, which fostered eventual passage of the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement
  • Served as the Representative’s liaison to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, thus ensuring that South Texas legislative concerns were addressed at the national level
  • Tracked judicial nominations and emergency declarations for the district
  • Wrote letters of support and researched grant funding opportunities for constituents

  • The City of Port Isabel - Port Isabel, TX
    Economic Development Corporation Director September 2000 - November 2001

  • Administered the daily operation of the P.I.E.D.C. with a yearly budget of $326,000
  • Applied for and secured awards on 8 grant applications totaling over $800,000
  • Directed the expansion and retention of businesses in Port Isabel
  • Served as city liaison for both the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce and the local business community
  • Interacted with area development boards, councils of government, and various state and federal agencies

  • National Center for Policy Analysis - Dallas, TX
    Research Assistant/Intern August 1999 - December 1999

  • Researched and analyzed the effects of various public policy initiatives on the U.S. economy
  • Provided written reports to agency staff
  • Published article in the Valley Morning Star on the functionality of the light rail system in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex
  • Admitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District Of Texas - 2011
  • Admitted to Texas Bar - 2008
  • English: Fluent
  • Spanish: Proficient in speaking & comprehension
  • Cameron County Bar Association - Member - 2008 - Present
  • Brownsville Convention & Visitors Bureau - 2013 - Present
  • Brownsville Public Improvement District Committee - Former Chairman - 2010 - 2011
  • Council on Legal Education Opportunity - Former Fellow - 2004