Two veteran prosecutors are donning new titles this week after Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney Joe Shannon made top-level changes on his staff.
Christy Jack – a 22-year prosecutor who was Chief of Criminal District Court No. 3 – has been promoted to Deputy Chief, joining the top brass on Mr. Shannon’s 325-member staff. As a member of Mr. Shannon’s cabinet, Jack will help supervise various court teams and specialized units and help manage the day-to-day operations of the District Attorney’s Office.
“As a law school intern 23 years ago, my greatest hope was to one day join the ranks of the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office,” Jack said. “Even then, I knew the statewide reputation of the office and its members. During my time here, I have been blessed with tremendous mentors whose commitment and professionalism is unsurpassed. Their example inspired me to dedicate my career to this office. I am thrilled to have the opportunity and grateful to have been entrusted with this position.”
Jack’s former title as Chief of Criminal District Court No. 3 now belongs to Assistant District Attorney Tiffany Burks, who returned to the District Attorney’s Office this week after a two-year hiatus to support her husband in the military. Burks is tasked with overseeing the prosecutors and cases assigned to CDC3, a felony court presided over by state district Judge Robb Catalano.
“Tarrant County is by far one of the best – if not the best – District Attorney’s Offices in the state,” Burks said. “I’m elated to be back. I’m really humbled to have been asked to come back.”
To be sure, both prosecutors have a wealth of education and experience.
Burks, who earned her law degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, has been a prosecutor since 1997. She started out in Fort Bend County before moving to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office in 1999. Burks worked as a felony prosecutor in the Juvenile and Gang Units before being promoted in 2008 to Chief of Criminal District Court No. 1.
Burks has guest lectured for the State Bar of Texas on a variety of topics, including death penalty litigation and juvenile justice. In 2007, she received the L. Clifford Davis Legal Excellence Award from the Black Women Lawyers Association of Tarrant County. In 2010, she was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Board of Regents of Midwestern State University, a six-year term that expires in 2016. Burks is also a past President of the Tarrant County Black Bar Association.
Jack was hired by the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office in 1991 immediately after she graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law. She quickly rose through the ranks and has served in a variety of specialized units and has held a number of supervisory roles, including in the Misdemeanor Unit and as chief prosecutor of Criminal District Court No. 1 and Criminal District Court No. 3.
Jack, who has tried more than 200 cases before juries, specializes in capital murder and sexual assault cases and is a frequent lecturer on those topics. Twice a year since 2007, she has delivered the keynote address to the state’s newest generation of prosecutors. In March 2012, Gov. Rick Perry reappointed Jack to the Governing Board of the Office of Violent Sex Offender Management, where she and two others are tasked with overseeing the state’s most violent and dangerous sex offenders. Last year, Jack was named the 2012 Go-To Lawyer for criminal prosecution by Texas Lawyer magazine.
“I am delighted to have both of these experienced lawyers on our staff,” said District Attorney Joe Shannon. “Christy has earned her promotion through years of hard work and diligence. Tiffany’s return to this office is particularly timely and her talent and calm demeanor were missed during her absence. Both are recognized statewide as outstanding mentors and trial attorneys.”
- Melody McDonald, Public Information Officer