A Message from Judge Lisa A. Millard

I am Judge Lisa A. Millard. I have had the honor and the privilege of being your Judge of the 310th Family District Court for the last twenty-four (24) years. I am a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a mother and a grandmother. Family is the most important part of my life. The 310th Family District Court has a policy of putting children first. I treat everyone who comes to the 310th Family District Court with dignity, respect and fairness.

In my 24 years on the bench, I've had extensive experience handling complex property cases and custody cases, as well as CPS cases, adoptions, child support/contempt cases and paternity cases.

AN EXPERIENCED JUDGE

  • 24 YEARS AS JUDGE OF THE 310TH FAMILY DISTRICT COURT
  • HEARD OVER 25,000 CASES

Judge Lisa A. Millard has the experience, temperament and personality to be a judge.

A good judge should be a good listener, patient and fair.  You have to make sure the Court maintains dignity.  I feel being an attorney and being a Judge are very honorable professions...Also crucial is a sense of empathy for those coming before the Court.  This can be tough on a family court judge, who hears emotionally disturbing cases on a day-to-day basis.  Being a good judge requires knowledge of the law, the rules of evidence and procedure, an even temperament, immense patience, appreciation of the role of the attorneys and customs of practice.  A good Judge is not born, but rather forged by good attorneys, study of the law and practice at the craft.  Being a good family court judge requires commitment to the law, to the people appearing as witnesses, parties, friends and family and the children." -- Judge Lisa A. Millard

About Judge Lisa A. Millard

Children's ArtJudge Lisa A. Millard, born in Houston, Texas, is the daughter of Judge Richard W. and Frances Millard.  The Judge has two brothers, Michael D. Millard, a Court Coordinator, and John Millard, an attorney.  Judge Lisa A. Millard is the mother of a beautiful daughter, Shannon, and the Nana of two perfect grandchildren, Peyton Elisabeth (20) and Colin Richard (14). Her dog, Lucy, is also a big part of the family.

Judge Lisa A. Millard grew up in the Spring Branch area of Houston and is proud to have many friends she has known since kindergarten.

Judge Lisa A. Millard spent a lot of time with her grandmother, whose family was one of the original families of Bellaire, Texas.

The Millard family is very patriotic. Her father and brother are Marines. Her family has served in the military dating back to the American Revolution.

Her office is full of children's works of art.

"They're a visual reminder of why we're here," said Millard, who began collecting the pieces shortly after she first took the bench in 1995.

The art also represents an attempt to make the children who come to the court more comfortable. Each young visitor is given a stuffed toy and chance to color or paint while they wait to see the judge, and each is invited to display the work with the rest of Millard's collection.

Millard has her own childhood memories of spending time in a courtroom, but her visits were under much different circumstances.

Judge Millard's dog, Lucy
Judge Millard's dog, Lucy

Her father was a judge for almost 40 years, and she came to court to visit him while he was on the job.

Law School

Millard decided law school would lead to the best future for her and her young daughter, Shannon, and she enrolled at the South Texas College of Law.

The professors Millard encountered at South Texas were impressive role models, though she says her greatest influences then and now have been her mother and father.

"My parents always taught me I could do whatever I wanted to do," she said. "They taught me to work hard and about being fair."

Millard also relied on the unconditional love and support she received from her grandmother. Now a grandmother herself, she says she continues to count on the support of her family.

Family District Court Judge

Millard has the personality to be a judge. "A good judge should be a good listener, patient and fair. You have to make sure the court maintains dignity. I feel being an attorney and and being a judge are very honorable professions...Also crucial is a sense of empathy for those coming before the court. This can be tough on a family court judge, who hears emotionally disturbing cases on a day-to-day basis."

Judges_2017_Millard_078-640x460.jpgBecause Millard has jurisdiction over the children served by her court until they are 18, she is able to follow their progress for a while. And sometimes -- Millard would say not often enough -- she hears from these children as adults.

"I actually got a card from two children who've reached maturity. They had gone through a very tough time. It was very satisfying to see they were OK."

Leader in Judicial Education

In addition to her work in the courtroom, Millard takes pleasure in her professional activities, including memberships with the State Bar of Texas Family Law Section, the Texas Center Of The Judiciary, the Texas Bar Foundation, the Houston Bar Association's Family Law Section, and several committees for the Harris County Board of District Judges. Millard says she is proudest of her role as a group facilitator for the general jurisdiction course at the National Judicial College held earlier this spring in Reno, Nev. There, she met judges from throughout the country.

"The course almost is like a mentoring program and covers areas such as procedure, evidence and court management. I didn't realize at the time when I took the course how much it assisted me," Millard said. "It's very good training for new judges. Returning to the course as an instructor several times was a learning experience in itself," she said. "An experienced judge has more questions to ask than a new one and sees the material from a different perspective. It takes a couple of years to settle in and find your own style," she said.

She enjoys telling others what judges do.

Breast Cancer Survivor

Judge Millard is a breast cancer survivor.

Two weeks after losing her beloved father to lymphoma, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. During her illness she continued to work while she had her surgeries and her chemotherapy treatment.

Judge Millard is a fighter and a survivor. She now works to help others with breast cancer.

Importance of Family

swearing-in_1995-caption.jpgAnd while Millard understands her role as a representative of the court, she surrounds herself with plenty of reminders of her human side. In addition to her children's artwork, a section of Millard's office is a gallery of family photos. The most frequent models are her granddaughter, Peyton, who is 20, and her grandson, Colin, who is 14. There also are photos of Shannon, from infanthood on up, along with Millard's son-in-law, niece and nephew, friends, grandparents and Millard's parents.

Millard says one of her most prized photos depicts the day she became a judge, when her dad swore her in to office. Her line of work has shown her how important a strong family can be.

"I was very lucky. I had wonderful parents who loved and adored each other and their children," she said.

The Christmas for Foster Children Program

Judge Millard sponsors a Christmas for Foster Children Program every year for people to donate to children in Child Protective Service (CPS) programs to ensure that these children receive Christmas gifts. Millard's grandchildren always give up one of their own gifts and choose a foster child/CPS child to receive a gift instead.

"In the first year of the program, the only things one 9 year old boy wanted was a coat, underwear and tennis shoes," she said. "Needless to say we got him all he asked for -- plus toys! This program has been a great success and everyone loves donating." 

Judge Millard has never had a child left out -- even when their case was not in her court.

Family law does not happen in the vacuum of the family courthouse, but in the homes of the children, the streets of the city and the lives of those we touch.

It is my goal to craft solutions that are fair, workable and within the statutes we are given to work with as judges.”