This website is a political advertisement paid for by Allison Mathis, Candidate for 338th Judicial District Court. Anthony Scardino, Treasurer.
Iam a native Houstonian who grew up in Spring Branch.When I was a teenager, I watched my brilliant, funny aunt struggle with a crack cocaine addiction that destroyed her life and sent her in and out of prison for years.I also watched several friends lose their bright futures due to their entanglement in the legal system due to non-violent drug offenses.I worked my way through my bachelor's degree in English at UH-Downtown as a coffee shop waitress, which was perfect for me because I love books, coffee, and serving people. I went on to get a master's degree in Literature, but realized that as much as I loved reading and teaching, I could not escape the overwhelming feeling that I needed to do something involving the broken criminal justice system. I went to South Texas College of Law and graduated cum laude in 2012.
After law school, I took a job as a public defender in the Republic of Palau, a small island nation near the Phillippines. While I was there, I litigated a case that resulted in the end of solitary confinement in the Republic, and mandated that the government improve the conditions of the local jail to comply with humanitarian standards. I was promoted to chief, and during my time in leadership there, was able to increase our funding and double the size of our office.I also taught Criminal Law at the local community college and participated in shaping alternatives to incarceration and revising the Palauan criminal codes.
I came back to the United States and worked as a public defender in Fort Bend County, Texas,, and served on the board of the Fort Bend County Criminal Defense Attorneys Association. I met my husband, Mike, and I got pregnant with our daughter, Julia. I began writing about my experiences practicing law for some criminal defense trade publications, and I was hired as a public defender in Aztec, New Mexico, in large part because of my experience working with indigenous people and being creative in situations where resources are scarce. In addition to my job handling a heavy docket of serious felonies, I also taught Criminal Law and Legal Ethics to paralegals.
In 2018, I was recruited to be the Tribal Public Defender for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Reservation in LaConner, Washington. I loved being involved in the Tribal community there, and I was responsible not only for defending people in Tribal Court, but also coordinating with Federal attorneys when there were related Federal charges against my clients. I conducted the first jury trials at Swinomish Tribal Court in over a decade. I was also actively involved in the fantastic Swinomish Healing to Wellness Courtand worked to develop a driver relicensing program that decreased arrests and helped people get back on the road safely and legally.
I came back to Houston to join the Harris County Public Defender's Office. I started there as a felony trial attorney, but after a year was chosen to help develop the new Post-Conviction Writs Division with my boss, Bob Wicoff. I reviewed the work of police, prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys to make sure that if the government was going to convict someone and take years of their life from them, they had done it right.
In February of 2021, Mike and I welcomed our son, John. The week I returned from maternity leave, I filed a posthumous pardon application on behalf of George Floyd, who had been wrongfully arrested and falsely convicted in Houston in 2004, years before his tragic death at the hands of police.
In 2022, I was tapped to lead a project office representing Operation Lonestar defendants in rural courts in border towns of Texas. I supervised about 30 lawyers and carried my own docket of serious cases. I developed litigation strategies, managed staff, and built relationships. I am exceptionally proud of the work that I have done that has brought me to this place in my life, and I feel very strongly that my diverse experiences make me uniquely qualified to be a judge.
I am not afraid of doing the right thing, and I will not be a spectator to cruelty or incompetence.My children deserve a safe, just community, governed by reason and law rather than emotion and whim, and you and your children deserve that, too.
My house in Ngchesar, Palau
Local Paper announcing Ruling on Jail conditions
Mike, Julia and I celebrating Christmas in the high desert
Sunsetat the courthouse in Aztec
being sworn in to Tribal court
two new york times articles that detail the unusual circumstances of the pardon application I filed on behalf of Mr. Floyd
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