Judge Tonya Parker presides over the 116th Civil District Court in Dallas County, Texas. She was first elected in November, 2010, and took the bench in January 2011. She is currently seeking her third term. Judge Parker has earned high marks in the Dallas Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Poll, and in 2015 she was named "Trial Judge of the Year" by the Dallas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. She has long maintained an active interest in community service, mentoring and public speaking.

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Parker was a civil attorney in Dallas, serving as a partner at Gruber Hurst Elrod Johansen Hail & Shank LLP (previously Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail LLP) from 2007 to 2010. She was also a partner at the civil firm White & Wiggins LLP from 1998 to 2007. During these years, Judge Parker gained in-depth experience handling commercial litigation, representing individuals, government entities, corporations and businesses in state and federal court

Judge Parker is a graduate of the University of North Texas, with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and public address. She earned her law degree at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 1998, where she was the John E. Kennedy Memorial Scholarship Recipient (awarded to only two graduating 3Ls for exemplary service) and became a champion of the Vial Hamilton Koch Knox Mock Trial Competition.

PROFESSIONAL INVOLVEMENT

Judge Parker has been highly active in the legal profession throughout her career as an attorney and judge. Her involvements include:

  • Member, The American Law Institute (2016-Present)
  • Member, Texas Center for the Judiciary (2011-Present)
  • Member, Texas Association of District Judges (2011-Present, including service as President 2014-2015)
  • Master, American Inns of Court Mac Taylor Chapter (2015-Present)
  • Barrister, American Inns of Court Patrick E. Higginbotham Chapter (2005-2008)
  • Judicial Section Member, American Bar Association (2012-Present)
  • Fellow, Dallas Bar Foundation (2007-Present)
  • Member & Numerous Leadership Positions, Dallas Bar Association (2007-Present)
  • Life Fellow & Numerous Leadership Positions, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (2006-Present)
  • Member & Numerous Leadership Position, J.L. Turner Legal Association (2004-Present)
  • Advisory Board, Dallas Women Lawyers Association (2015-Present)

LEADERSHIP AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Judge Parker has served in leadership positions such as Presiding Judge of the Dallas County Civil District Courts, appointed by her judicial peers, and maintained an active involvement in the community as a mentor and volunteer, as well as serving on many organizational boards.

  • Presiding Judge, Civil District Courts, Dallas County, Texas (2017, 2016)
  • Associate Judge Liaison, Civil District Courts (2013-Present)
  • Course Director, Advanced Civil Litigation CLE for State Bar of Texas (August 2016) 
  • Moderator, Judicial Panel Discussion on 25th Anniversary of Dondi Decision (2015)
  • Volunteer for IGNITE, a non-partisan organization aimed at building political ambition in and training young women to run for public office (2012-Present)
  • Advisory Committee Member, Interfaith Peace Chapel (2011)
  • Volunteer, Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (2000-2010) 
  • Chair, Dallas Symphony Orchestra African American Festival Committee (2009)
  • Commissioner for District 11, City of Dallas Community Development Commission (2007-April 2009)
  • Chair, Dallas Arts District Alliance Board of Directors (2009) and Board Member (2007-2009)