Texas Academy of Family Law Specialist (TAFLS)
Founded in 1984, the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists was created by a group of Board Certified family law attorneys. The organization was previously known as the "Texas Association of Family Law Specialist Attorneys."
The TAFLS was created to networking opportunities for Board Certified family law specialists in Texas as they worked together to improve their skills.
Membership in TAFLS is limited exclusively to board certified family law attorneys and paralegals. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) has certified fewer than 900 attorneys in family law. Many of the top family law attorneys in Texas have also joined TAFLS.
Members of TAFLS enjoy access to its periodic newsletters that discuss recent developments in case law and other issues important to family law attorneys in Texas.
Contact Information for TAFLS:
Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists
1400 West 7th Street, Suite 400
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
Membership in TAFLS
The membership sections of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists (TAFLS) include:
- Regular Membership - Any person licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and who is Board Certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization shall be eligible for regular membership in the Academy. A regular member shall have the right to vote on Academy business.
- Retired Member Status - In the event that a regular member of the Academy retires from the legal practice in good standing, upon application by the regular member, the Board of Directors may approve that regular member being placed into Retired Member status. An individual in Retired Member status shall be entitled to all the advantages of regular membership, including the right to vote on Academy business. An individual in Retired Member status shall be required to pay annual dues timely in the amount set by the Board of Directors in order to maintain that status.
- Associate Membership for Paralegals - Any person holding a current certificate as a Board Certified Paralegal (or Legal Assistant) in family law issued by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization shall be eligible for Associate Membership in the Academy. Associate Members are non-voting members and are not eligible to hold office.
- Honorary Memberships - The Academy may bestow Honorary Memberships upon any deserving person or persons. An Honorary Member shall be entitled to all the advantages of regular membership, except for the right to vote on Academy business. An Honorary Member does not need to meet the qualifications for regular membership in the Academy and is not required to pay dues.
The membership dues are waived for any regular members who is a Judge of County Court with jurisdiction in family law matters, a District Court, a Court of Appeals, or the Supreme Court, or who is a duly appointed statutory master handling primarily family law matters.
Events of TAFLS
The TAFLS holds a regular meeting of the membership of the Academy in conjunction with the State Bar of Texas’ Advanced Family Law Course each year. TAFLS also hosts two events each year including TAFLS Trial Institute and the TAFLS Annual Dinner.
- the TAFLS Trial Institute - The TAFLS Trial Institute includes mock trial demonstrations and is open to TAFLS members and non-TAFLS members.
- the TAFLSAnnual Dinner - The TAFLS the Annual Dinner is held on Wednesday evening during the annual State Bar of Texas Advanced Family Law course in August. The Annual Dinner hosted by TAFLS is only to members and their invited guests. At the annual dinner, the TAFLS Board presents the Sam Emison Award.
The Sam Emison Award
The Sam Emison Award is given each year to a person who has demonstrated a significant commitment and made significant contributions to the practice of family law in the State of Texas. The recipient of the Sam Emison Award receives a plaque, statue and/or other physical recognition of the award.
The recipient of the Sam Emison Award shall be entitled to attend the Academy’s next Trial Institute without paying a course registration fee.
Past Presidents of TAFLS
The Past Presidents of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists include:
- Sherri A. Evans, President-Elect
- Stephen J. Naylor, President
- 2018-2019 Hon. Judy Warne
- 2017-2018 Jo-Al Cannon Sheridan
- 2016–2017 Jonathan J. Bates
- 2015-2016 Rick Robertson - Plano
- 2014-2015 Larry L. Martin – Dallas
- 2013-2014 Charles E. Hardy - San Antonio
- 2012-2013 Joseph Indelicato, Jr. - Houston
- 2011-2012 Diana S. Friedman - Dallas
- 2010-2011 Heather King - Southlake
- 2009-2010 Charla Bradshaw Conner - Denton
- 2008-2009 Barbara D. Nunneley - Hurst
- 2007-2008 Ellen Yarrell - Houston
- 2006-2007 Hon. Douglas R. Woodburn - Amarillo
- 2005-2006 James M. Loveless - Fort Worth
- 2004-2005 G. Thomas Vick, Jr. - Weatherford
- 2003-2004 Brenda Keen - Houston
- 2002-2003 Katherine A. Kinser - Dallas
- 2001-2002 Sally Holt Emerson - Amarillo
- 2000-2001 Gary L. Nickelson - Fort Worth
- 1999-2000 Hon. Frank W. Sullivan, III - Fort Worth
- 1998-1999 Larry H. Schwartz - El Paso
- 1997-1998 Hon. Don R. Emerson - Amarillo
- 1996-1997 Harry L. Tindall - Houston
- 1995-1996 John Compere - San Antonio
- 1994-1995 Jack W. Marr - Victoria
- 1993-1994 Brian L. Webb - Dallas
- 1992-1993 Coye Conner - Tyler
- 1991-1992 J. Lindsey Short - Houston
- 1990-1991 Richard Orsinger - San Antonio
- 1989-1990 Michael Gregory - Denton
- 1988-1989 Stewart W. Gagnon - Houston
- 1987-1988 Paul Rothermel - Dallas
- 1985-1987 Oliver Heard - San Antonio
- 1983-1985 Earle Lilly - Houston
- 1981-1983 William C. Koons - Dallas
- 1978-1980 Jon N. Coffee – Austin
- 1976-1977 Thomas G. Bousquet – Houston
This article was last updated on Thursday, March 4, 2021.