State Bar of Texas Blog
Random Profile: Judge Antonia (Toni) Arteaga, San Antonio
For Random Profiles, we randomly pick one of our 87,000-plus attorneys and do a Q&A. We've found that every Texas lawyer has an interesting story. Will yours be next?
The part of my job I do best is: Care. I take the situation at hand seriously and never lose sight of the lives affected, both positively and negatively, by my decisions.
The best piece of advice ever given to you and by whom: Three things you need to be successful in court … (1) preparation (2) preparation and (3) preparation ... by the Honorable Larry Noll.
Latest pursuit: Completing my first half-marathon.
Talents (beside law): I can make an amazing princess castle cake.
Current Project: Learning how to create balloon animals.
Favorite food: Any breakfast food, especially chorizo and egg with papitas.
Favorite movie: The Poseidon Adventure (the original).
Favorite sport: basketball or football - as long as one team is UT or the Spurs.
Collects: I collect refrigerator magnets.
Family: Married with two children. My daughter turns 6 this month; my son is 3.
Areas of Practice: My court is one of general jurisdiction. Though I may preside over both civil and criminal matters, the 57th is traditionally a civil court.
Education: University of Texas at Austin and St. Mary’s University School of Law.
Bet you didn’t know: I am the youngest of eight sisters. No brothers. I was supposed to be a boy, Antonio or Tony.
Another little known fact: I played basketball in the Alamodome. As a law student, I organized an intramural women’s basketball team consisting of other law students. We made it to the final championship game which was played prior to a Spurs game in the Alamodome. Yes, we won that championship game.
Bad habit: Putting too many things on my “To Do” list each day … there’s always something left to do.
Culinary talent: I make the BEST homemade enchiladas according to my husband.
Community involvement: San Antonio Women’s and Girls’ Foundation, Bexar County Juvenile Board, NEA’s Read Across America, Texas Family Law Foundation, Mexican American Bar Association (Scholarship Committee Chair - 9 years), Community Justice Program, St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, Guest Speaker at area schools, 5K and 10K charity runs and more.
Mentors/heroes: Mentors include many of my Bexar County judicial friends, especially Judge Larry Noll who was also my family law professor. My hero without a doubt is my mom, a young widow left with 7 little girls (ages 2 – 12) without a high school diploma she still managed to provide a solid foundation for us in every way.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing attorneys today? Running a business in a tough economy.
Favorite saying/quote: That’s just like Jesus.
Pet peeve: Professionally…tardiness, especially during jury trials. Personally, anything that infringes on our family time.
Secret for staying young: I have no good answer. The bench actually seems to age a person. So, if anyone knows a good way to get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles, please let me know.
Favorite TV program: Top Chef.
The last movie: Was just yesterday … Gnomeo & Juliet.
Favorite magazine: Who has time?
Favorite restaurant: Paesano’s.
Hobbies: “reading” while I run – while training for the half-marathon, I began uploading audio books onto the iPod (I adversely possessed my husband’s old iPod).
Current reading material: The Help.
Memorable vacation: The Bahamas.
Favorite album: Greatest Hits of Barry Manilow, Kenny G, Selena, Sting or The Bee Gees. There, now I’m showing my true colors.
Favorite music/musician: Depends. Anything instrumental, most Tejano or contempory Christian music.
Favorite place to find albums: I only have time for iTunes.
My favorite weekend retreats are: Road trip to Grandma’s house in my hometown … no cell phone coverage, no politics.
If I had more time, I would: Spend more time with my children at the bookstore or exploring a new park.
Best thing about being a lawyer/judge: Making a positive difference in the lives of others, especially in the lives of the children.
What most people don’t know about me? I love Tejano music.
If you were not an attorney, what profession do you think you would be in? I would want to explore a career in psychology. In the alternative, I would like to decorate cakes all day.
What’s the turning point that made you decide to become an attorney? No turning point, somehow I’ve known from a very early age that I wanted to be an attorney.
When you are not practicing law, what do you like to do? Volunteer at events or just spending time with my family and friends.
Who are the people you admire the most and why? Educators. The educators I know are selfless, hard-working and truly care about the children entrusted to them.
What has changed the most technologically or practice wise since you have been licensed? The paperless system now used by our Bexar County Civil Courts.
Antonia is the 57th District Court Judge.
You can also view Antonia’s TexasBar.com profile.
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