Message From the Chair
– Joe Indelicato, Jr.

 

It is my great honor and privilege to begin my year of service as your Chair of the Family Law Section. I am grateful and humbled to be following in the footsteps of so many who have contributed years of their time, effort, and wisdom to the greatest Section of the Texas Bar, including Jonathan Bates, Kristal Thomson, Chris Nickelson, and Steve Naylor, just to name a few.

I’m also incredibly pleased to begin my tenure alongside our very own Cindy Tisdale, former Chair of the Family Law Section and one of only two family law attorneys to be elected to serve as President of the State Bar of Texas and who will begin her term as President-Elect, June 2022.

I want to make a special acknowledgment to Kristal Thomson and Jonathan Bates, our two most recent Chairs. Kristal stepped up and started her tenure during one of the most challenging times our nation has ever faced, not just our family bar, and she showed tremendous leadership and grace throughout the confusing and ever-changing times of COVID. She worked tirelessly to ensure the needs of our Section were being addressed and her work and organization with the Family Law Section website cannot be overstated. Jonathan took up the reins after her and continued with strong leadership and calm guidance as we have slowly transitioned back to in-person events and continued uncertainty as the world has slowly started opening back up. I hope to do their efforts and the efforts of those who came before them justice.

Of course, none of the great works that are done by our leadership would be possible without the tireless efforts of the volunteers serving on the Family Law Council and Section Committees. All of these attorneys commit to a minimum of five years of service while on Council and they work behind the scenes to ensure our publications are up to date and available, our pro bono seminars and CLEs run as seamlessly as possible, and our membership stays informed and up-to-date with the latest news and legislative issues. I want to thank each and every member of the Family Law Council and those serving on our Committees for their tireless efforts, and I want to let them know those efforts do not go unnoticed.

Those of you who know me, know that I am a strong proponent of giving back to our legal community through mentorship and service. I would encourage each and every one of you to seek out ways to become more involved with your Family Law Section, whether through active service on a Committee (you do not have to be a member of the Family Law Council to participate on a Committee!), through mentorship and speaking opportunities (Pro Bono Seminars are the best way to start), or simply by introducing yourself at a seminar. You can find information on all the different ways you can become involved, as well as all the things your Section is doing for you, at our freshly revamped Section website: https://sbotfam.org/

And while you are visiting the Section website, don’t forget to visit the virtual bookstore to see all of the new and updated publications that our Section has worked so hard in producing, including the Family Law Toolkit, Discovery workbooks, Family Law at Your Fingertips publications, instructional videos for clients, and so much more: https://sbotfam.org/shop/

Here is a quick overview of some of the current happenings in your Family Law Section:

Publications: The Family Law Section provides some of the best and most helpful publications to aid its Members and the Publications and Forms Committees work endlessly to ensure they are updated, comprehensive, and practical. These publications include those previously mentioned, but also our Texas Family Law Practice Manual. I also want to thank Georganna L. Simpson, not just for her efforts with these publications (which you can find on the online store at https://sbotfam.org/shop but also for her time, effort, and knowledge in delivering legal articles and case summaries to you through our Section Reports.

Pro Bono: Lon Loveless and Tammy Moon work throughout the year to schedule, coordinate, and bring to you our pro bono seminars, which are held throughout the state. These seminars are free to the attendees with the agreement to accept and complete 2 pro bono family law cases. These seminars are also a great way to volunteer your time and start speaking at CLEs.

Section Website: As mentioned, the website and logo have undergone significant upgrades thanks to the tireless efforts of Kristal Thomson. Make sure you check out everything the website has to offer for our Section Members at https://sbotfam.org/.

Upcoming CLEs and Meetings:

  • The State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting will be held on June 9-10, 2022 at the Marriott MarquisHouston.
  • The Advanced Family Law Seminar will be held on August 8-11, 2022 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio. Course Directors are Jim Mueller and Susan McLerran.
  • The New Frontiers in Marital Property Seminar will take place October 26-28, 2022 in Lake Tahoe. Course Director is Sallee Smyth
  • Advanced Trial Skills for Family Lawyers will take place December 1-2, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Course Director is Steve Naylor.

The course directors, planning committees, along with the State Bar staff, spend countless hours coordinating and planning excellent CLE programs. Please visit https://www.texasbarcle.com  and https://sbotfam.org/cle/ for all of the upcoming programs and brochures.

As this new year begins, I want to welcome our incoming Council Secretary, Jim Mueller, as well as new Council Members, Judge Roy Ferguson, Kelly Fritsch, Sarah Darnell, and Leigh de la Reza. These folks are no strangers to giving back to the family law community and we are excited to welcome them as part of the Family Law Council.

While there is still some uncertainty and we are still working toward regaining our equilibrium, I am encouraged and excited to continue the efforts of my predecessors and work with all of the strong, bright, and hard-working professionals in this great Section. We have one of the largest, most active, and effective Sections in the State Bar and I look forward to working with everyone as your Chair.

I also want to thank the Executive Committee, Family Law Council members, Committee Chairs and Members, Council Liaisons, as well as all of the volunteer attorneys, support staff, other professionals, and your families for all of the hard work, sacrifice, and commitment to the Family Law Section.

I look forward to another great year.

Joseph Indelicato, Jr.

Chair, Family Law Section