Judge Darlene Byrne: National CASA Association Judge of the Year and NCJFCJ President

November 24, 2015

Written by:
J. Dean Lewis, Judge (retired)
Former Member, National CASA Association Board of Trustees
Past President, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges 

Judge Darlene ByrneAt the National CASA/GAL Annual Conference held this past summer in New Orleans, Judge Darlene Byrne was named the National CASA Association Judge of the Year. In July, 2015 Judge Byrne was sworn in as President of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). The NCJFCJ and the National CASA Association have an extended collaborative history, The Judges’ Page being only one of many joint efforts to encourage judicial leadership, education and advocacy in support of abused and neglected children and youth. 
"Judge Darlene Byrne has been a strong and consistent supporter of the CASA program in her home state of Texas and across the country. She is always a thoughtful voice on behalf of the children we serve," said Tara Perry, Chief Executive Officer, National CASA Association.
“She is a leader and a role model who truly takes to heart the critical importance of her role in the lives of children and families,” said Tina Amberboy, Executive Director of the Texas Children’s Commission. “The State of Texas is fortunate to have a leader and champion like Judge Byrne. Our children are especially so, because of her commitment to ensuring that each child’s voice is heard.”
Judge Byrne delivered a heartfelt acceptance speech at the National CASA/GAL Awards Banquet that exemplifies her passion and appreciation for the volunteer advocacy offered by CASA volunteers. Watch her acceptance comments.
Judge Byrne personifies the NCJFCJ commitment to judicial leadership in the court and in her community of Travis County, as well as at the state level in Texas. She also promotes judicial leadership at the national level. Her article “How Can Judicial Leadership Make a Difference for Victims?” is but one example.
Judge Darlene Byrne has served as Judge of the 126th Judicial District Court in Travis County (Austin), Texas since 2001. Prior to serving on the bench, she practiced law for thirteen years in the areas of employment, commercial, and governmental entity litigation. A graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, Judge Byrne serves as Vice Chair to the Supreme Court of Texas’ Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families, as well as the past Chair of the Data Subcommittee for this Commission.
Judge Byrne is a member of the Travis County Juvenile Justice Board, a founding team member of the Travis County Family Drug Treatment Court, and a co-chair for the Austin Do The Write Thing Challenge. She is the recipient of the Government Service Award for 2005 presented by the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association.
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