Together We Can Make My Vision a Reality
ABOUT ASHLEY MAYES GUICE
Putting My Experience to Work
First, thank you for taking the time to visit my campaign site. It is an honor and a pleasure to be able to meet so many members of this outstanding melting pot of a community as I travel this campaign trail. As I venture out to learn more about each of you, I thought it was only fair that I tell you more about me!
I am married to the love of my life, Jonathan Guice - an Army veteran who works for the Department of Veterans Affairs. We have two children - Gavin James, 5, and Harper Grace, 3. They are my greatest blessing and their support means the world to me.
I was born and raised in Harris County, Texas. I am the proud daughter of the late James Mayes, Jr. and his wife of 46 years, Diane Mayes. I grew up near Katy, TX. I attended primary and middle school at St. Anne’s Catholic School. I attended high school at St. Pius X High School on the north side of town. I deeply appreciate how my upbringing exposed me to so many areas of this great Harris County.
I did my undergraduate studies at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. I was involved in various campus organizations. After witnessing their dedication to sisterhood and service, I became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
From an early age I was taught the importance of being a servant-leader. Both of my parents were highly involved in our church and local communities. My mother - now in her retirement - prioritizes community service to this very day. A well developed leader has no problems rolling up their sleeves and doing the hard work that public service demands. Let us not forget - a judge is a PUBLIC servant.
After stepping away from corporate America in 2008, I began law school in Louisiana. During my winter and summer breaks I interned with Attorney Hattie Shannon, a veteran attorney whose practice focused largely on representing individuals charged with felonies in Harris County who could not afford to pay for legal representation. It was a crash course on the daily workings of the Harris County Criminal Justice Center. I knew it was where I belonged.
After graduating from law school in 2011, I returned home to Houston, passed the Bar Exam and started in private practice doing criminal defense work. Working in private practice was a worthwhile entrepreneurial endeavor that allowed me to dive headfirst into the law, handling various types of cases across the State of Texas. But by 2013 it was clear that public service was calling my name.
In September 2013 I began my journey as a public servant when I was hired as an Assistant District Attorney with the Harris County DA’s Office (HCDAO). I started as a misdemeanor prosecutor in County Criminal Court at Law #3 and worked my way up through various specialty division and court assignments within the HCDAO. I gained invaluable jury trial experience, having tried everything from Class C traffic offenses up to very serious first degree felonies.
I decided to return to my criminal defense roots in June of 2019 when I accepted a position as Assistant Public Defender in the Felony Trial Division of the Harris County Public Defender’s Office (HCPDO). I was eager to work with HCPDO due to its commitment to holistic defense, which seeks to reduce recidivism by offering defendants access to much needed resources outside of the courthouse. I firmly believe that the community at large wins when persons accused receive meaningful help that addresses the effects of problems like unemployment, mental health issues, and addiction issues.
In January 2022 I was honored and humbled by the Harris County Commissioners Court’s decision to appoint me as Judge of Harris County Criminal Court at Law #3 - the very same court in which I started my career in public service 10 years ago. I was appointed to serve out the remainder of Judge Erica Hughes’ term after her prestigious federal appointment to preside over an immigration court. As the presiding judge of Court #3, I quickly learned the importance of holding all parties accountable so that cases could be resolved efficiently. I am a firm believer that this approach to docket management achieves the best results for all justice stakeholders - including the courts, victims, defendants, and our community. I presided over numerous trials and motion hearings, while managing to keep one of the smallest dockets among the 16 county criminal courts. My clearance rate was routinely above 100%, meaning that more cases were being resolved than received each month. I held myself and all attorneys in my court to high standards because I believe that best serves the pursuit of equal justice and that is what the citizens of Harris County, TX deserve. I concluded my judicial appointment committed to returning to the bench in our great county.
With my judicial goals in sight, I was blessed to be elected by County Court Judges to serve as their current Staff Attorney. In my role, my key duties include providing legal assistance to our 20 criminal and civil judges, organizing judicial education/training sessions, advising them on ethical matters, and ensuring that they stay apprised of legislative updates. I appreciate that my role allows me to daily remain involved in the betterment of the judicial system in Harris County.
There is no question as to whether I have the temperament, ability, and experience necessary to be the next Judge of Harris County Criminal Court at Law #16. Harris County’s leadership entrusted me with presiding over a court and I did so successfully. I have worked in private practice. I have sought justice as a line prosecutor handling enormous caseloads and as a senior prosecutor assisting criminal investigations for serious felony cases. I have zealously represented indigent defendants as a public defender. I have successfully managed a docket and a courtroom as a presiding judge.
My unique background has given me a clear vision for the future goals I have for Harris County Criminal Court at Law #16. The three key components to my vision are:
(1) Ensuring equal justice for all who enter the courtroom: The law does not turn on the color of your skin, the money in your account, your job title, or your social status. The law applies to EVERYONE.
(2) Efficient Resolution of Cases: Both the State and the Defense must exercise due diligence in seeing cases to their resolution and must use their time in and out of court in a meaningful way. Cases should be reset to accomplish clearly communicated tasks in a timely manner. Defendants, victims, and witnesses deserve timely resolution of cases.
(3) Encouraging Transparency Through Community Education & Outreach: There is work to do beyond the bench. As judge, I will be active in our community to ensure that Harris County citizens understand the law and know that my courtroom doors are open to them. The best way to know what is going in our courts is through first-hand observation, which I strongly encourage.
This is my vision. This is what I will bring to the bench. I am asking for your vote - not just for me, but for my vision.
Vote Ashley Mayes Guice for Harris County Criminal Court at Law #16