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Appellate Law

I am focused on helping my clients make the best legal decisions during some of the most challenging times in their lives. As a recognized leader in divorce and family law, I am known for strategic thinking, compassionate personal service and continued success in the courtroom.


I know how to help my clients because I understand the emotional and financial stakes involved in divorce, property division, child custody and other legal matters.

I resolve cases in a manner that fits each of my client’s needs. Whether you are able to come to a collaborative agreement with the other party in your case or you proceed with traditional litigation, I have the knowledge and the proven trial skills to help you achieve your legal goals. Most importantly, I will protect your best interests, ensuring that the legal steps I take with you today will benefit your life tomorrow and for years to come.


Harris v. Vanegas, 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 9352 (August 21, 2014)

Description: Grandmother was awarded managing conservatorship at trial. The children’s biological father had been incarcerated since 2008. Although the children’s father and mother lived with Grandmother many years ago, both moved out and voluntarily surrendered possession of the children to Grandmother. In 2008, pursuant to a Child Protective Services (“CPS”) investigation, Mother signed an affidavit of relinquishment placing the children in the care of Grandmother. Mother revoked this affidavit in 2011, which prompted Grandmother to file a petition seeking a court order awarding her managing conservatorship of the children. At trial, the court concluded Grandmother had legal standing to bring suit under the Texas Family Code. The trial court awarded Grandmother sole managing conservatorship and awarded Mother possessory conservatorship. Grandmother was awarded child support and a judgment for past due child support. Mother appealed, arguing the trial court erred in concluding Grandmother had standing to bring suit and by appointing Grandmother managing conservator.

Outcome: Fifth Court of Appeals at Dallas affirmed the trial court’s decision to award managing conservatorship to Grandmother. The Court held that Grandmother had standing to bring suit under Tex. Fam. Code Ann. §102.003(a) (9), (10) (2014). The Court held that Grandmother was properly appointed as managing conservator because the parental presumption was rebutted under Tex. Fam. Code Ann. §153.373 (2014). The mother relinquished control of the children to Grandmother, and the finding that awarding the Grandmother managing conservatorship was in the children’s best interest was implied.

Coffin v. Bank of Oklahoma, N.A., 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 578 (January 16, 2014)
Description: The Bank of Oklahoma, N.A. acquired Ms. Coffin’s home at a foreclosure sale. After Ms. Coffin failed to vacate the premises, the Bank commenced eviction proceedings. The trial court awarded possession of the property to the Bank and Ms. Coffin appealed to the county court at law. The county court at law conducted a jury trial and the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Bank. The trial court entered judgment in favor of the Bank, which included awards of possession of the property to the Bank, damages, and attorney’s fees. Ms. Coffin filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and a motion for new trial. The Bank filed its response and requested sanctions. The trial court denied Ms. Coffin’s motions and levied sanctions against her and her attorney, promoting the appeal. Ms. Coffin argued the amount of damages awarded to the Bank exceeded the amount the Bank requested in its live pleadings and that the trial court erred in awarding attorney’s fees to the Bank. Ms. Coffin and her attorney additionally argued that the trial court erred by sanctioning them.
Outcome: Fifth Court of Appeals at Dallas affirmed the trial court’s judgment against defendant and her attorney for damages and sanctions.