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Judge Inna Klein and her Husband David Klien

Hello

I am Inna Klein. I am running to be Re-elected as the 214th District Court Judge.

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My Story

I was born in the seventies, during the Cold War in Moscow, Soviet Union. My parents were both scientists with advanced degrees but with very limited opportunities due to our Jewish heritage. We were forbidden from practicing Judaism. My parents were blacklisted from numerous employment opportunities, and I would have been disqualified from applying to countless universities regardless of my grades and qualifications.

 

Both of my parents’ families came from Ukraine, and our family lived there for many generations. Many of my family members survived the Holocaust, but some did not and were killed in the concentration camps. Throughout my childhood, my parents were detained and questioned by Soviet authorities. Some of my first childhood memories include experiencing and surviving pogroms.

In the late 1980’s, my parents decided to do everything in their power to legally immigrate to the United States, which meant that we had to leave everything we ever knew or possessed behind in order to have a chance at the American Dream. My parents knew that immigrating also meant leaving our extended family behind. Leaving meant that my parents had to separate and have my father go first and my mother, my toddler brother and I go later. Leaving meant walking out of our apartment in the middle of the night without saying goodbye to most of our family and friends. Leaving also meant that if caught, there would be severe consequences. On March 1, 1991, my mother, brother and I walked out of our apartment for the last time carrying two suitcases, one of which was filled with my textbooks. We also had a treasure of $200, which was the extent of our family’s finances and had to last us until an undetermined date.

 

I remember very clearly as our plane landed in New York City. I remember feeling exhausted, relieved, scared, ecstatic, and so filled with faith. I spent the next six months watching my toddler brother and learning English by watching soap operas while my parents worked long hours. I started high school still not knowing English well enough to converse with my classmates. I recall the day when I cried in the restroom in high school because I could not speak or understand English, and nobody wanted to give me the time of day. I gathered myself and realized that the only way to honor my parents’ sacrifices and to make a life for myself would be to pray daily, to work harder than I could imagine at the time, to strengthen those around me, to give back to my community and to never forget where I came from.

 

I was elected to the National Honor Society in high school. I then attended and graduated from an outstanding university, where, for the first time in my life, I was not the only Jewish student in the class.  I took out loans, worked after school and summer jobs, and went on to start law school. While still in my first year of law school, standing among a sea of other immigrants, in the middle of Faneuil Hall, in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, where many years ago our nation’s forefathers proclaimed it “The Cradle of Liberty”, I recited the oath of citizenship and became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America.

 

While in law school, I spent a year interning with the office of the Public Defender. After graduating from law school, I worked for a civil litigation firm in Rhode Island until my move to Texas. I spent six years working as an assistant district attorney representing the State of Texas in numerous criminal cases. In 2013, I was appointed to be a municipal court judge, where, among other matters, I presided over the juvenile caseload. In my 3.5 years as a municipal court judge, I presided over thousands of juvenile and adult cases.

In 2017, I became the presiding judge of the 214th District Court. In Nueces County, district court judges preside over general jurisdiction courts, which means they preside over criminal (felony), family, and civil dockets. In 2018, I became the judge over most of the domestic violence probation cases. We were also awarded a technology grant by the Governor’s office. In 2018, I was elected and then reelected in 2019 to be the Local Administrative Judge for Nueces County District Courts. In 2019, our court became one of the first two courts in Texas to be designated as a Court of Excellence by the Office of Court Administration. I served three years on the Judiciary Curriculum Committee, which is responsible for developing and executing continuing education for Texas judges. I have also served on the Texas Bench Book committee, which develops the reference book used by Texas judges for the guidance on how to address and preside over their caseloads.

I am a frequent presenter at local schools on civics, domestic violence, and my own personal history of living the American Dream. In 2022, I became part of the team of local leaders who organized the first annual weeklong summer program for local high school students to educate them on the organizational function of local government.

Education and Experience

Education

1999

  • BA degree in Biology and General Sciences, a minor in Legal Studies and a minor in Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literature at Brandeis University Waltham, Massachusetts.

2002

  • Juris Doctorate New England School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts.

Experience

2007 - 2013

  • Nueces County Assistant District Attorney.

2013-2017

  • City of Corpus Christi Municipal Court Judge.

2017

  • Elected to 214th District Court.

2017 & 2019

  • Unanimously elected by the Board of District Court Judges to be the Local Administrative Judge.

2018 - Present

  • Presiding Judge over the specialized domestic violence probation caseload for seven districts courts.

Community Involvement and Interesting Facts:

  • Immediate Past President of the Corpus Christi Bar Association.

  • Vice President of Congregation Beth Israel.

  • Member of the League of Women Voters.

  • Corpus Christi Rotary Club.

  • Board Member of the Nueces County Republican Women.

  • Board Member of the YMCA Corpus Christi.

  • Involved in an online animal rescue group while sharing a home with three spoiled and loved dogs.

  • Married to David Klein, a native Texan, Eagle Scout, a graduate of University of Texas undergraduate and law school.

  • Two Kids: Alexander is a Flour Bluff High School graduate, Eagle Scout, and Texas State University graduate with an undergraduate degree in business. Isabella is a Flour Bluff High School graduate and is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree.

  • I am bilingual.

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