Brandi H. Fernandez is a celebrated attorney based in Crandall, Texas. With more than twenty years of experience, Ms. Fernandez is the vice president of Cheney, Fernandez & Associates, P.C., where she focuses her practice on criminal, appellate, family, and probate law. For her legal prowess and industry-leading service, she has been listed among the ten best in client satisfaction by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys™, among other honors.
A 1996 graduate of Texas Tech University School of Law, Ms. Fernandez originally went into law out of a desire to be a force for good in the world. She recalls:
I have always been motivated by helping people. Before going to law school, I was involved in the Concho Valley Adult Literacy Council, and I continued literacy projects throughout my time at law school by helping establish a literacy program at Texas Tech.
It was through her experiences with literacy projects and as a volunteer with West Texas Legal Services that she learned that many of the “legal” problems which affected people were really symptoms of non-legal issues. From there, she learned to incorporate non-legal solutions to legal issues thereby earning her a reputation for being an “out of the box” legal advocate.
Before forming Cheney, Fernandez & Associates, Ms. Fernandez served as the interim chief and first assistant district attorney for the Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office. During this time, she received the prosecutor of the year award by the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association and was featured both on CNN and in the American Bar Association's ABA Journal for her top trial skills and her ability to handle high-stress situations.
Today, Ms. Fernandez uses her unique insight into the other side of the courtroom to help protect the rights of the criminally accused. Additionally, as both an attorney and a qualified mediator, she looks out for the best interests of clients going through emotional family law issues or in need of will or probate services. No matter how complex a case, Ms. Fernandez is committed to helping her clients understand the law and move forward through real-world solutions.
While she was a member of the Texas Young Bar Association Ms. Fernandez was a contributing editor of the American Bar Association’s Fair Labor Standards Act manual and the co-author of a workplace violence training program for employers through the Texas Bar Association. Since those early years, she has served as the president of the Lamesa Bar Association and currently serves as vice-president of the Kaufman County Bar Association. As a thought leader in her field, she continues to support her peers through frequent presentations to the local bars. She also strives to keep clients and the public informed through her free educational blog.
Ms. Fernandez's position of prominence offers her a unique vantage point from which to view the latest developments in her field. Commenting on trends in the family law realm, she noted the increasing demand for collaborative law in family-related cases:
In the past, many divorce cases would become very combative, which would be very costly and leave children caught in the middle. But now there is a bigger push for more cooperative options which are easier on children and also keep costs down. There’s still more work to be done on it, but I think that it is definitely a step in the right direction.
In addition to her thriving practice and her role as the vice president of the Kaufman County Bar Association, Ms. Fernandez is a member of both the State Bar of Texas (including the Appellate, Probate, and Criminal Law sections) and the National Association of Professional Women. Through her firm, she is also actively involved in various non-profit organizations in her community, including the Crandall High School Mock Trial Team, Jake-E’s Riding Round-Up, and the Kaufman Christian Help Center. As an industry sponsor for the Crandall High School Mock Trial Team, she volunteers her time to coach and inspire high school students who desire to be future legal advocates. Her goal is to encourage the next generation of attorneys to understand the that being an attorney is more than just a “business”; it’s also a profession which needs to be protected through skill and honor in the courtroom.
Ms. Fernandez’s passion for law is a family tradition. Her grandfather, Carl Peek, served as a non-lawyer county judge for Concho County for thirty years. Even though he never attended law school, she remembers his pearls of wisdom for good advocacy: know the facts, know the law, and come with honor. She still displays his vintage books in her office to remind her of his pearls of wisdom.
With over two decades of success behind her, Ms. Fernandez has no intentions of resting on her laurels. Moving towards a bright future, she plans to continue taking an active role in her state and local bar associations as a way to mentor new and aspiring attorneys. She also plans to expand her commitment to her community as a member of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness because of the increasing overlap in mental health issues and legal issues. Ms. Fernandez views her status as a top attorney not as an achievement but as an opportunity to promote effective advocacy in the legal profession.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)