Message from the Chair

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Message From the Chair

This year has flown by so quickly…as it seems they always do. I hope everyone is taking some time out of their busy holiday schedule to be with family, friends, and loved ones. This is also a time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the new year. I am so proud of the Family Law Section and honored to serve you as Chair. This past year, the Council and members of the various committees have been working to make the practice of family law better for you.

New Frontiers in Marital Property Law

Viva Las Vegas! New Frontiers was an amazing course this year thanks to Judge Emily Miskel and Kathy Kinser. The speakers were informative, and the topics were thought-provoking. Thank you Judge Miskel and Kathy for a great course.

Advanced Family Law Drafting

Thanks to everyone that was in Fort Worth to attend the Advanced Family Law Drafting course. Charles Hardy did an amazing job of putting together a program with speakers and topics that you can take directly back to your practice and immediately start utilizing the information.


Please remember you can order the Section’s publications anytime, and you do not have to wait until Advanced or Marriage Dissolution. The Client Notebook is a flash drive that enables attorneys to print information that is helpful to your client. You can print the applicable portions of the Notebook, place it in a binder, and give to your clients. Family Law At Your Fingertips and the Fast Guide to Family Law—Checklists for Everyday Practice are must-haves for your practice. They are my go-to source for information. The DVDs are a great source of information for clients regarding depositions, trials, mediation and social media presence. They are a great resource to share with your client. It never hurts for your client to hear the important things twice…once from you and once on the DVD!


Although this is an off-year for the legislature, the legislative committee is already hard at work getting ready for the next session. Thanks to Diana Friedman and Jack Marr for leading the legislative committee and all the members for their numerous hours and dedication.

Pro Bono

The Pro Bono Committee never ceases to amaze me. They are busy planning and implementing the pro bono CLEs across the state. Lisa Hoppes and Leigh de la Reza, along with their committee members and numerous volunteers, coordinate a CLE event in which a person can receive free credit in exchange for taking two family law pro bono cases within one year. The Family Law Section’s commitment to providing indigent Texans with an attorney for their family law case drives the Pro Bono Committee.

Point of Personal Privilege

For those of you who do not know, we lost a giant in the world of family law recently. Larry Schwartz passed away on September 24, 2017. For those of us who knew Larry, we lost a friend. He was honored by the Section and inducted into the Hall of Legends at the Advanced Famliy Law Course this year. I am glad we were able to share that special time with Larry and his family. He will be missed.

Upcoming CLE

Innovations in Child Custody Litigation
January 11-12, 2018 (New Orleans, LA)
Course Directors: Angela Pence England and Charlotte Rainwater

Texas Academy of Family Law Specialist’s Annual Trial Institute
February 15-16, 2018 (New York New York Hotel, Las Vegas)
Course Directors: Leigh de la Reza and Chris Nickelson

Collaborative Law Seminar

March 22, 2018 (ATT Conference Center, Austin, TX)

Marriage Dissolution
April 12-13, 2018 (Westin Galleria Hotel, Dallas, TX)
Course Director: Chris Wramplemeier
101 Course Director: Jacqueline Smith

Advanced Family Law
August 13-16, 2018 (Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio, TX)
Course Directors: Anna McKim and Rick Robertson
101 Course Director: Lisa Hoppes

Enjoy this holiday season, and I wish you peace, happiness, and a prosperous new year!

Cindy Tisdale
Chair, Family Law Section