Criminal District Attorney s Office
Kenda L. Culpepper
After graduating from Texas A M University in 1989, Kenda Culpepper attended Southern Methodist University School of Law. While there, she concentrated on preparing for a trial practice. She was President of Trial Advocacy and chaired the Mock Trial Competition. In her third year, the law school faculty honored her as the top student in Trial Advocacy. She also competed as a member of the Jessup International Moot Court Team where she won 8th place in a five state area for Individual Speaker.
After graduating from SMU Law School in 1992, Ms. Culpepper joined the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office where she was a prosecutor in both the misdemeanor and felony trial sections from 1992 to 1995. While there, she handled cases ranging from misdemeanor theft and DWI cases to felony drug cases, Aggravated Robbery and Murder. High profile cases included Attempted Capital Murder, Mexican Mafia Murders, gang murders, etc. She received extensive trial experience in those years as she was in the courtroom almost every day of that tenure. For a stretch of time, she was known to have the highest conviction record of her colleagues.
In December of 1995, Ms. Culpepper left the District Attorney’s Office to go into private practice. While there, she practiced almost exclusively criminal law and became Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1999. She became a partner at the Dallas firm of Milner and Finn, and, in 2004, she and former Judge Jim Pruitt created the law firm of Culpepper Pruitt maintaining offices in both Dallas and Rockwall, Texas.
Although, during that time, she practiced primarily in the Metroplex area (Dallas, Rockwall, Collin, Denton and Tarrant Counties), Ms. Culpepper handled cases in locations across the state including Houston, Lubbock, San Antonio, Waco, Austin and South Texas. She is licensed to practice in the State of Texas and the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas.
In November, 2008, Ms. Culpepper was honored to be elected as the Rockwall County Criminal District Attorney and served a two year term that remained due to a vacancy in the office. She has been re-elected to a four year terms in 2010 and 2014. She supervises twenty-eight employees, and her office handles almost all of the criminal prosecutions in the County of Rockwall and is comprised of the following divisions: felony and misdemeanor trial divisions, juvenile/cps/mental health commitments, white collar, civil, criminal appeals, and JP/bond forfeitures.
Ms. Culpepper is the state chair of the State Bar of Texas’ Professionalism Committee and is a past chair of the Dallas Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section and Criminal Law Section. In 2013, she was one of two statewide lawyers to receive the prestigious “Certificate of Merit” which is awarded by the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and past presidents to recognize a Texas lawyer’s outstanding contributions to the legal profession. Ms. Culpepper is also honored to be a member of the William “Mac” Taylor American Inn of Court whose membership is restricted to law professors, judges, and lawyers who have distinguished themselves not only with their legal skills but with their high legal ethics and dedication to civility as well.
While in private practice, Ms. Culpepper was a faculty member of the state-wide “Texas Trial College”. This faculty is comprised of many of the top ranked trial lawyers from across the state. Ms. Culpepper was also on the faculty of the “WEST” (Weapons Education Safety Training) program from 1996 to 2008. This class teaches weapons law and law regarding self defense and protection of property to groups including attorneys and law enforcement officers, and she is considered an expert on these subjects by many of her colleagues. She has been a guest speaker for many associations on various legal topics and has spoken at well over 150 different events and CLE’s over the last 8 years.
Ms. Culpepper is on the Board of Directors of the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association and the Texas Bar College and is the President of the Board of Directors for the Rockwall County Children’s Advocacy Center. She is also on the Legislative Coordinating Board of the North Texas Crime Commission and is the Course Director for the 2016 State Bar Advanced Criminal Law Course. Locally, she has served on the Board of Directors for the Rockwall ISD Education Foundation, the Rockwall County Bar Association, the Rockwall Noon Rotary Club and Rockwall MusicFest; and she is a Life Founding Fellow and former Trustee of the DAYL Foundation. She is a member of the TDCAA Training Committee and has served on the planning committee of the Texas Elected Prosecutor Conference as well as on a state-wide ad hoc committee appointed to review issues regarding eyewitness identification, Brady and their relevance to recent exonerations. In 2015, she was honored to be part of the team of lawyers and investigators who won the statewide “Lone Star Award” for their work in the capital murder conviction of former Justice of the Peace Eric Williams, who killed the Kaufman County District Attorney, his wife and one of his assistant DA’s.
In 2001, Ms. Culpepper was selected to be a member of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Leadership Class where she was one of the founders of The Freedom Run. After the September 11th tragedy, members of this class founded The Freedom Run to benefit the American Red Cross and bring together the citizens of Dallas to show their support for the nation. The Freedom Run became the largest first year 5K running event in the history of Dallas and continues in its 15th year, benefiting the Dallas Police Department’s Assist an Officer Foundation which aids police officers who are injured or killed in the line of duty. Ms. Culpepper was a co-chair of that event for several years.
Ms. Culpepper has been named by Texas Monthly as a “Texas Super Lawyer”, by D Magazine as one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas”, and by Forbes SkyRadio as one of “America’s Most Influential Women”.
The Rockwall County Criminal District Attorney’s Office prosecutes approximately 2200 criminal cases annually. Our Office receives criminal complaints from several local agencies of the communities that are within the county line of the smallest county in Texas.
In addition to prosecuting felony and misdemeanor complaints, Our Office handles the prosecution of juvenile offenders, representing CPS / APS in matters before the court, acting as Civil Attorney for the County, finalizing the process for obtaining protective orders, mental health commitments, and advising law enforcement.
Our Office structure consists of the following:
Criminal District Attorney
Financial/White Collar Division
Family Violence Division