State Bar of Texas, Family Law Section, Family Law Council:
The Family Law Council serves as the Board of Directors for the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. The Family Law Section has more than 5,000 members. Members of the Council are nominated for membership and voted upon by Council members. Each Council member is a volunteer and serves a five year term. Each year five attorneys are selected for membership on the Council. There are 25 members, four officers, and one ex-officio officer. The Council is instrumental in creating, developing and presenting professional development programs for section members as well as authoring and publishing family law publications and assisting in the review of legislation which affects family law in Texas. Mr. Sutherland has been privileged to serve on the Family Law Council. He has also co-authored the 2010 Family Law Section Publication, The Ultimate Checklists, 3d Edition and the 2016 State Bar of Texas publication the Annotated Texas Family Code. He also served as the Course Director for the State Bar of Texas, Family Law Section’s 2014 Marriage Dissolution Institute.
The Texas Family Law Foundation:
The Texas Family Law Foundation is a volunteer group of attorneys who monitor, read, review, lobby and write legislation affecting the practice of family law in the State of Texas. The Family Law Foundation has been instrumental in lobbying against the passage of poor legislation as well as informing and assisting the Legislature in the passage of bills vital to the efficient administration of Family Law Practice. Richard T. Sutherland is a lifetime fellow of the Foundation.
The Texas Bar Foundation:
The Texas Bar Foundation is a volunteer organization which solicits charitable contributions and provides funding to enhance the rule of law and the system of justice in Texas, especially for programs that relate to the administration of justice; ethics in the legal profession; legal assistance for the needy; the encouragement of legal research, publications and forums; and, the education of the public. Annually one-third of one percent of Texas attorneys are nominated for membership. Nomination is based on outstanding contributions to the legal profession as well as a commitment to the community. Election as a Fellow is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a member of the State Bar of Texas Richard T. Sutherland is a Sustaining Life Fellow of the Foundation and served on the 2012 District 14 Nominating Committee.
Forms and the Need for Skilled Legal Counsel:
There are many forms available on-line for spouses seeking a divorce. Unfortunately, these forms do not explain the difference between tangible and intangible assets nor do they explain the terminology or meaning of terms such as joint managing conservators, standard possession order visitation or net resource income. Forms do not tell the purchaser that he or she is now acting as his or her own attorney and that neither the district clerks nor the judges are permitted to give legal advice. The forms do not explain how to present evidence, how to prepare for trial or what to say when you arrive. Sadly, many form-based divorces result in a failure to fully divide the community estate often ignoring a key asset such as retirement. Only a knowledgeable licensed Texas attorney can provide you with the information necessary to properly address all of the issues which arise in a divorce. Richard T. Sutherland is a skilled, knowledgeable licensed Texas attorney with more than 40 years of practice in the area of family law.