Domestic Assault Defense Team

Kiele Linroth Pace



The Pace Law Firm, P.C., was founded by Attorney Kiele Pace in 2007. Prior to starting her own private practice, Kiele served as an Assistant Criminal District Attorney in Polk County, Texas.

Kiele was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 2000. Before law school, Kiele earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business.   Full Profile →


Jackie Wood



Attorney Jackie Wood has more than 20 years of experience as a trial lawyer and serves as lead trial counsel for the firm. Jackie’s experience includes 12 years as one of the most effective prosecutors with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.

After retiring to private practice, Jackie continued her commitment to excellence in the arena of criminal defense and began developing expertise in strangulation allegations. She has earned the distinction of being the first recognized forensic expert on the subject in Texas whose knowledge is based on legitimate science.

Jackie also maintains her own private practice. Her complete profile is available on her website.


Linda Icenhauer-Ramirez



With almost 40 years of experience, Attorney Linda Icenhauer-Ramirez has tried every level of criminal case, from misdemeanors to death penalty cases, and has triumphed at every level of the criminal justice system.

Linda is a highly regarded leader in the areas of criminal trials and appeals. She brings invaluable expertise to her role as mentor and appellate supervisor of the firm’s trial team. Linda also maintains her own private practice.

Linda graduated from The University of Texas School of Law in 1978. Prior to entering private practice, she was a research and drafting attorney for the state’s highest criminal court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin, Texas.


Patrick Saccocio



Attorney Patrick Saccocio has almost thirty years of experience as a trial lawyer and served as the firm’s lead attorney in 2016 and 2017, before returning to his home state of New York. Patrick’s primary activities with the firm now relate to Title IX and student misconduct defense as well as opening a new office in New York City.

Patrick is a founding member of the New York law firm Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC. Prior to entering private practice, Patrick was an Assistant District Attorney with the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

Born and raised in Rotterdam, New York, Patrick graduated from the College of William and Mary School of Law in 1988. Before law school, Patrick attended the State University of New York at Albany, where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science.

Patrick is admitted to practice in New York, Arizona, California, and Texas, as well as before the U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York.


Melissa de la Garza



Attorney Melissa de la Garza has worked with the firm since 2014 and served as the firm’s lead attorney in 2017. Melissa now works with the firm on a part-time basis and maintains her own private practice.

Melissa has developed an unparalleled expertise in jail release and bond related issues in Travis County. Many excellent attorneys and law firms have relied on Melissa’s expertise over the years in some of their toughest cases.

Melissa was born and raised in Dallas and is a 2006 graduate of the St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. Before law school, Melissa earned a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Methodist University in 2001.


Payal Jethva



Attorney Payal Jethva works with the firm on a part time basis, primarily providing assistance in trial court and with jail release and other bond-related issues.

Payal also maintains her own private practice, in which she focuses primarily on criminal defense, but she is also skilled in family law matters related to divorce and child custody. In addition to her local practice in Travis, Williamson, and Hays Counties, Payal has several years of experience in federal court and in the state courts of Harris County, Texas.

Payal graduated with honors from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in 2008 and earned an LLM in International Law from the University of Houston Law Center in 2011.


Rachel Manning



Rachel Manning brings a diverse set of skills to the table. Her role with the firm includes helping clients improve their lives and become an effective part of the defense team. Rachel also provides invaluable assistance and support to the firm’s trial team.

Rachel earned a Master of Social Work from Hunter College in New York City in 2014 and a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights and Latin American/Iberian Studies from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, in 2008.

Rachel’s academic background, work experience, and passion for helping people enable her to be an extremely effective advocate for our clients.


Christopher “Criss” Cole



Christopher Cole is a paid intern providing general office support to the firm on a part-time basis while attending Texas State University and studying for the LSAT.

Criss is particularly adept at organizing electronic files and documenting core business processes to ensure that they are performed at the highest level of quality and consistency.

As Criss moves forward with his legal studies, the skills he has developed will give him an edge with respect to the practical business of law.


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