Yanta is seeking the seat previously held by Judge Peter Sakai before he stepped down to run for Bexar County judge. A graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law, she was elected to preside over the 150th District Court in 2014, losing her bid for reelection in 2018. She was appointed to the 73rd District Court in 2010.

Hear from the candidate

Why should voters choose you?

I am the most experienced and qualified to serve as a civil district court judge. First and foremost, I have seven years of experience as a civil district judge, performing exactly the work tasked of the 225th District Court. In addition to deep judicial experience, I have 29 years of  experience as a lawyer and six years of experience as an arbitrator and mediator. I am board certified in appellate law, which confirms my expertise in handling many of the issues judges routinely address: procedure, discovery, jury charges and trial procedure. I have taught law and have written over 300 articles on law. In addition to my qualifications and experience, my heart is dedicated to serving the law and the people of Bexar County, especially children in the foster care system. As judge of the 150th District Court, I and a team of community volunteers created PEARLS Court, which to this day focuses on providing mentorship, life skill training, love and healing to teen girls in foster care. 

What do you see as the top challenge facing our local court system, and how should it be addressed?

Access to justice remains the most critical challenge of our court system. As a society, we need to continue to ensure that all people can seek help from the legal system —from family law cases to property rights and business disputes. There are at least two ways the judiciary could consider fostering broader access to justice: First, we need to make the presiding system more efficient — too many folks are paying per-hour rates for lawyers who are having to wait for an available court. Because of the expense of seeking judicial help, many people are forced to compromise their rights and their safety. Second, the judiciary should continue the hard work of developing therapeutic and restorative programs in strategic areas like the child and abuse dockets and family cases involving domestic violence so that our children and families are protected.

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Sakai’s former bench draws 2 candidates with deep experience in family law

The San Antonio Report’s 2022 Voter Guide

This article was assembled by various members of the San Antonio Report staff.