About Yolanda M. Torres

Yolanda received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of North Texas in 1993 and her law degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1997. Upon graduation she entered private practice and worked in the areas of professional liability, insurance defense, and medical malpractice. 
 
In 1999, she became a cooperating attorney with the Texas Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and investigated numerous allegations of Texas prison guard abuse and the use of excessive force against prisoners in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
 
In 2000, Yolanda filed a 42 U.S.C. §1983 action against the TDCJ over its policy and practice of having prison guards eavesdrop on attorney-prisoner legal phone calls.  In response, the TDCJ voluntarily changed its policy to recognize and protect the attorney-client privilege, and attorneys and prisoners can now talk on the phone privately, without TDCJ agents listening in.
 
In addition to private practice, she served as the Litigation Director of the ACLU of Texas' Prison and Jail Accountability Project from 2001 to 2005.  She also served as a cooperating attorney and participated in on-site inspections of TDCJ prison units in Amarillo, Beeville, Lamesa, Wichita Falls, Abilene, Woodville, Huntsville, and Tennessee Colony as part of the Ruiz v. Johnson prisoner class action lawsuit.
 
Yolanda has presented at Continuing Legal Education seminars on the issues of prisoner civil rights, federal civil rights litigation, the Prison Litigation Reform Act and parole and mandatory supervision.
 
In addition to the State Bar of Texas, she is a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association.  She is licensed to practice in all Texas State Courts, the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
 
She has successfully advocated on behalf of TDCJ prisoners in prison administrative matters, federal excessive force claims, parole and revocation matters, prison disciplinary cases and matters such as reversing the TDCJ's removal of family and friends from visitation lists and bans on visitation and correspondence.
 
Yolanda represents clients in criminal and civil matters and post-conviction matters including parole and mandatory supervision reviews, supervision issues and parole and mandatory supervision revocation hearings.  In addition, she has successfully defended prisoners and parolees from the imposition of Special Condition "X" which is the sex offender condition the Parole Division and Parole Board attempt to impose (and do impose) on individuals who have never been convicted of a sex offense, but whose history or prison file may contain a mere allegation of sexual misconduct.