Monday, May 21, 2012

Women of NCDD: Mimi Coffey (Dallas/Ft. Worth)

I first met Mimi Coffey in 2004. She was a rising star in DUI defense out of Ft. Worth and I was very impressed with both her knowledge and her tenacity. 
I was transitioning from a felony trial practice to DWI defense and looked to Mimi for inspiration.  She forged the science path that I later followed. 
Though our styles and personalities are very different, I have always thought of us as kindred spirits.  We both believe in justice and the greatness of the Constitution.  Mimi doesn’t just talk about being a Constitutional Warrior, she walks the walk.
 From her website:
Mimi Coffey is a trial attorney with 17 years experience.  She is the founder of The Coffey Firm, with law offices in Dallas, Tarrant and Collin counties.  She is board-certified in DWI by the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD) and has been the Texas delegate for the NCDD for several years.

She has also appeared numerous times as a legal commentator for CNN, National Fox News, as well as local Dallas/Fort Worth stations on DWI-related stories.  She is also a frequent speaker at both national and state-wide seminars.

She is a prolific trial attorney with a proven trial record.  She has tried over 300 cases, with 80% of them being jury trials in her 17-year career.  Her success include everything from .21 breath tests, blood tests  to 3 car accident cases just  to name a few. Mimi’s cases have also made good case law for the State of Texas.  For example, in Tarvin v. State, it was found that weaving within your own lane was not a traffic violation. In Lajoie v. State, the courts determined that the defendant’s request to have his attorney must be suppressed as opposed to used as evidence of guilt.

She is the author of Texas DWI Defense:  The Law and Practice.  She is also the author of three nationally-published articles and four state-wide articles.

Mimi has twice attended Indiana University’s Borkenstein Course for state toxicologists both on alcohol and drugs.  She has also completed the NHTSA SFST Course, SFST Instructor Course and the 12-Step DRE Mini-Course Program.  She is also one of the first attorneys in the United States to attend the Axion Labs Gas Chromatography Training. Her minor in college was Geology lending her a comprehensive and disciplined scientific mind when it comes to scientific and mathematical issues such as blood and breath testing.

Mimi has won the President’s Heart of a Champion Award presented by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) numerous times.

Mimi also led the effort to get the State Bar of Texas’ Board of Legal Specialization to recognize the NCDD’s DWI Certification.

Mimi has been active over the past 4 legislative sessions in fighting against bad DWI laws.  Her efforts prevented the breath/blood test refusal as being a separate crime.  She has advocated for true deferred adjudication for DWI.

Mimi also sued a Dalworthington Gardens police officer for illegally drawing blood.  Since her lawsuit, the 2nd Court of Appeals ruled against police officers drawing blood.  (The Court of Criminal Appeals overturned this).

Mimi also sued the Texas Department of Public Safety for its double jeopardy surcharge program.  Since the initiation of her suit, Texas DPS  has instituted amnesty programs based on one’s earning potential.

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