Known to many as “Judge Essie,” Judge Esmeralda Peña Garcia (Ret.) is “Of Counsel” at Johnson Garcia LLP. She joined the firm after serving the City of Houston and State of Texas as a Municipal Court Judge for over 30 years before her retirement from the bench. In recognition of her many years of Judicial Service, Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed October 11, 2016 as “Judge Esmeralda Peña Garcia Day” in the City of Houston. Judge Garcia has been recognized with numerous awards over the years, including the Texas “Women Making History” Award, the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the National Hispanic Professionals Organization-Houston Lifetime Achievement Award. She has received Official Proclamations and Recognitions from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, U.S. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia and Chief Justice Nathan Hecht of The Texas Supreme Court of Texas, The National Hispanic Bar Association Service Award, the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston, the Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston, in recognition of her Judicial and community service to Houston, the Hispanic community and the State of Texas.
Judge Essie received her BA in Sociology from the University of Houston 1974 and her Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law Center in 1982. In 1981, she was elected President of the UH Student Bar Association, making her the first Hispanic to serve in this position, and leading the effort for the inclusion of minority students on the Admissions Committee. She has received the “Distinguished Service Award” from the UH Law Center Faculty. Prior to law school, Judge Garcia worked for Harris County Children’s Protective Services on the Abuse Team.
Following her retirement from the bench, Judge Essie wanted to return to private practice to help those in the community who have been injured and/or impacted by serious accidents. She is committed to bringing justice to those most in need after suffering personal injuries due to the negligence of others. Call Judge Essie today if you need help!