Boe Bowen | Attorney Appointments in Family Law Cases

On this week’s “Texas Family Law Insiders” podcast, we speak with Boe Bowen. Boe is the Managing Partner of the Bowen Law Firm, PLLC in Houston. He is licensed to practice in the State of Texas and is a Certified Mediator, Family Mediator, and Arbitrator that can offer his services in all Alternative Dispute Resolution Matters. Boe is also a member of the prestigious Texas Bar College.

A lifelong Texan and family man, Boe didn’t take the usual path to becoming an attorney; he’ll tell us a bit about his journey from being the first in his family to receive post-secondary education to graduating from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston.

Family law cases sometimes require court-appointed attorneys. There are multiple types of court-appointed attorneys, and Mr. Bowen has served in and worked with all capacities. We sit down with him to learn more about these appointments, including:

  • What an Amicus Attorney does and who they represent
  • The role of an Attorney ad Litem 
  • What types of cases might require a Guardian ad Litem 
  • And more

Mentioned in this episode:


Boe Bowen: The approach from the beginning is going to make all the difference. You’re not our enemy any more than you are ours. We’re in this to hopefully work together and do what is best for the children.

Voiceover: You’re listening to the Texas Family Law Insiders podcast. Your source for the latest news and trends in family law in the state of Texas. Now, here’s your host attorney Holly Draper.

Holly Draper: We’re excited to welcome Boe Bowen today to the Texas Family Law Insiders podcast. Boe was born and raised in Texas and was the first in his family to receive a post secondary education. He graduated magna cum laude from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication and history. He graduated from Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston in 2013. Today, Boe is the managing partner of The Bowen Law Firm, PLLC in Houston. He’s licensed to practice in the state of Texas, and it is a certified mediator, family mediator and arbitrator that offers services in all alternative dispute resolution matters. Boe is also a member of the prestigious Texas Bar College. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Boe: Thank you for having me. I appreciate the introduction.

Holly: So can you start out by just telling us a little bit about yourself?

Boe: Yes, ma’am. My name is Boe Bowen, and I am a family man. I actually created my law firm so I can assure that I had time with my family, which is why it makes sense why offer Family Law because I believe there’s nothing more important than family.

Holly: How did you get started in family law?

Boe: Oddly enough, when I went to law school, I had no intention of practicing Family Law. I didn’t take the class, I didn’t prep for it on the Bar. But sure enough, the first client that walked through my doors was a family client. And we haven’t turned back, we’ve been helping them ever since. I thought I was gonna do Uniform Commercial Code and things like that. But turns out this is more exciting.

Holly: I was exactly the same way I had zero interest in doing family law when I was in law school didn’t take the class, I thought, why would you want to get messed up in people’s business like that. And when I started my own practice, I felt like I had to take whatever walked through the door. And family law cases started coming through the door. And what I had wanted to do originally was to be a litigator. But I realized pretty quick that litigation firms, you don’t get to do a whole lot of litigating. And that was one of the things that drew me to family law originally, it was quicker pace. Get to be in the courtroom a lot more but also that you truly get to help people and make a difference.

Boe: You’re absolutely right. And for me, it’s actually helped my marriage. I hear in and out the mistakes that husbands and wives make. I don’t make as many now because of it. It has also helped me appreciate my wife because she is crazy. Don’t get me wrong, but she’s not that crazy. And I’m blessed.

Holly: Yes, it definitely makes you appreciate what you have for sure. I agree. So can you describe how you got to be where you are today?

Boe: By making a lot of wrong choices to be fair. I’m actually a high school dropout, I did not take the most direct route to get here. I went to serve in the military as well. They helped straighten me out when my dad failed, which is hard to say concerning he was a Pentecostal preacher and a marine corps drill instructor. He did his best to keep me on a tight line. I didn’t stand to it. So coincidentally, I got ran by trial and error. And I always wanted to be an attorney. I did not know what it took. I don’t even know you actually had to go to undergraduate to go to law school first. That’s how far off I was from even picking the right path to start. So I don’t encourage people to follow my route.

Holly: Take the easier path, right?

Boe: Please yeah, they’ll be much happier. I learned a lot. I’m able to connect with a lot of my clients and jurors because I’ve had a lot of those different jobs working way through but outside of that there’s such an easier route to get there. Listen to your parents. They do no better. Mine did too.

Holly: So how would you describe your current practice?

Boe: I hate to say a general practice but want to say it’s more family centered. Because pretty much everything that a family would need aside from immigration or criminal law. We offer I mean, the whole gamut of family. You know, divorce, with or without kids. Enforcement’s, modifications, my favorite being adoptions. We also offer wills and trusts and estate planning, and of course probate when it’s time to put those wills and trusts in place. In addition to the full gamut of civil litigation, like breach of contract, things of that nature, and we just started offering personal injury.

Holly: All right, well, that’s quite a quite a repertoire you all have, but does family law take up a big portion of your practice.

Boe: Yes, ma’am. I’d say thing was good 50 to 60% of the practice. The other 40% is the outliers such as estate planning, probate, civil litigation and personal injury. Personal injury by far is the smallest segment. The good 30% of that within maybe estate planning and probate, but the overwhelming majority is definitely family law.

Holly: Alright, so today, we brought you here we’re going to discuss the roles of different attorney appointments that we may see in our family law cases. Specifically amicus attorneys, guardians Ad Litem and attorneys Ad Litem. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with those types of attorney appointments?

Boe: Yes ma’am. One I’ve worked with them all in those capacities. We had cases that would apply. And I’ve also served in all those capacities myself. So I’ve actually had both sides of it.

Holly: What are the key differences between an amicus attorney, a guardian ad litem and an attorney ad litem?

Boe: Thank you. It’s a great question. Well, I will start with an amicus attorney and the focus of an amicus attorney is to provide legal services to the court. While the focus of an attorney Ad Litem is provide legal services to a person. So again, an amicus, an amicus attorney, or an AA is an attorney appointed by the court in a usually a private law, private law family case. It is their role to provide legal services necessary to assist the court in protecting a person’s best interest. An example would be that an amicus attorney might be appointed in your case assuming a court needed assistance in protecting normally the best interest of a child. But it’s not limited to a child.

They can also be someone who is incapacitated. It does depend on the courts needs. But in that situation, the amicus would have a conversation with you, your child in any other parties involved. They’re gonna make home visits, interview other people with knowledge of the case such as teachers, doctors and relatives. They’re going to attend hearings and mediation, and then the amicus would then use that information to make a recommendation to the court about what is best for the child or the person representing. In my experience is normally a minor. So again, if the amicus is appointed in your case, it’s important to understand that the amicus attorney does not, let me say that again, does not represent you or the child.

So neither one is their interest. The interest is to help the courts. So you need to keep that in mind when you have an amicus, you are not the client. Versus an attorney Ad Litem, on the other hand when they’re appointed to provide legal services to a person. And they’re supposed to actually advocate for their wishes. Now whether the client is a parent or a child, the ad litem will owe this person complete loyalty, confidentiality in all communications and diligent, competent representation. That is not the same in an amicus. Again, amicus is focuses more helping the court.

And that brings us to a guardian ad litem the last person or a GAL, which is buy far most common in my opinion in CPS cases, but they do go outside of that. You can find on our Texas family code 107. They cover each of these people. It gives you more information regarding the three, but a guardian ad litem, according to Texas family code 107 point 001 subsection five, it means that a person is appointed to represent the best interest of the child again, and it doesn’t have to be a lawyer. An amicus is Latin for what is called friend of the court. That’s a beautiful title. You’re not going to get that title anywhere else in the law. So enjoy it while you got it. Like they do the best interest of the child.

Again it doesn’t have to be a lawyer. It can be a volunteer advocate, a non attorney licensed professional such as a counselor or social worker, or actually any adult whom the court determines to be competent. They can then qualify them arguably to serve as a guardian ad litem. In CPS cases, a lot of times you see that through a company called kafir, a Court Appointed Special advocates. I’ve worked with him intensively and they have a very important job. Attorneys can also be appointed to the dual role of an attorney at Litem and a guardian ad litem. But anytime there’s a conflict, you got to ask and have a guardian ad litem come in if you’re the attorney. But again, all this is outlined under Texas family code 107. And that’s usually the best place to start regarding your duties and whatnot.

Holly: Do attorneys need any types of certifications to receive those appointments?

Boe: That we actually do. Now not as a guardian ad litem for my experience, but as the amicus. I’m sorry, as the guardian ad litem, and as the attorney ad litem, you do. But I didn’t remember having one for the amicus occurred because they can they can appoint who they like in my opinion is easy to list anyway. But for a GAL and AAL to be you do, yes, ma’am. It’s an easy class, a lot of bar associations offer them for free. The Houston Bar Association did it a couple years ago. I know did it last year. It takes less than a day. $25 to complete it to the state bar in they can then certify you so can take these types of cases.

Holly: Is that something that you have to take on an annual basis if you want those appointments? Or is it one and done?

Boe: It’s normally once every two years. And once you’ve had it I think for at least five, then it ups it to renewing every four years after that. But it’s at least at a minimum every two the stars. And there’s a process to keep going back. The state wants your money too. They charge for those classes. The CLEs to get these this qualification typically.

Holly: So you mentioned earlier about guardian ad litem as possibly being a non attorney, be that casa or therapist or whoever the court deems is appropriate to the guardian ad litem. But I would assume those people haven’t necessarily taken any training because they’re not attorneys. So is it just an attorney serving as a guardian ad litem that has to be trained and there’s no requirement for certification for non attorneys?

Boe: Well, from my experience, with casa they were trained, but they were trained through Casa. The Court Appointed Special Advocates and they had their own boxes to check and normally once they done that were presented to the court and then the court would appoint casa and then they designated those people once they had the training. I do not know if it’s the same training, because I’m not sure as an attorney, but I do they do have some base training to help with that.

Holly: And I know I’ve had judges in cases, randomly appoint a therapist or somebody like that as a guardian ad litem to try and help sort through what’s going on in the case. But there was never any discussion about the certification, or is this person qualified? They were just appointed.

Boe: Well, the Guardian Litem, the court does have in my opinion, to say I want this person to have whether or not they have the adequate training. And they determined in their own court that they’re competent and qualified then my opinion, they’re allowed to designated as a guardian ad litem. So different rules with the court can do things that we can’t, but generally, in my opinion, if an attorney is serving that role, they’re going to have that certificate of training to the state that says they at least can do this. Right. And it’s only actually the training is for guardianship, which is odd, even though we refer to it as an attorney Ad Litem.

Holly: It’s weird. I’ve noticed that in the past, where it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with representing children in CPS litigation or anything like that.

Boe: It doesn’t! Every training I’ve had, and I’ve gone to at least five times, nothing really applies to the actually the ad litem for the children. That’s why we have to go back to the Texas family code. And if they’re in those sections to see what they’re supposed to do and not to do. Texas family code 107.

Holly: All right, so let’s start out go a little bit deeper on the amicus attorney. So what types of cases should an attorney consider requesting an amicus from the court?

Boe: Yes ma’am, as we stated before, the amicus attorney is an attorney appointed by the court and approved typically a private law case and their roll is to provide legal services necessary to assist the court in protecting the person’s best interest. Now, for example, when an amicus might be appointed in a case if the court feels they need assistance in protecting the best interests of your child. I have noticed that courts, don’t normally want to make this decision on your own.

So it’s not uncommon for them to appoint an amicus attorney to help them make that decision, in addition to asking for a social worker to come in and do what’s called a home study. And then normally what I’ve seen, when you got the amicus attorney, and you’ve got the home study, the social worker, they normally align, and when that happens is they’re either going to be with you, are they gonna be against you. So it’s either you got one against three, or you’re three against one, you often see the odds as well as I can, how that can help out the case.

Holly: So in Houston, do you see that fairly often to have both an abacus and a child custody evaluation?

Boe: I’ve had them several times in a row. It also depends on if there’s any money in the estate, the court is not going to appoint us if there’s no one to pay these people. So usually when I don’t ask for those things may have that type of fights because we don’t have the funds for it. But fortunately, we have something called the DRO in Houston, that can do things based on income, which can help offset some of that. But when you have two parents who are working off minimum wage, it doesn’t matter, they’re not going to have the money for it. At which point then the court has to roll up the sleeve and ideally, the kids over 12 and do some in chair interviews in session to help otherwise no, then we’re just on our own.

Holly: In my practice, it was just obviously up in the Dallas area as opposed to the Houston area. But I have never seen both an amicus and a custody evaluation done in the same case. We will often request one or the other, I usually see an amicus as a quicker, less expensive route than a custody evaluation. But I can find it’s sort of certain judges prefer amicus, certain judges prefer a custody evaluation. And it’s helpful to know what your particular judge has a preference for.

Boe: A good attorney knows the law. A great attorney knows the judge. And so what that will typically ask for both in court was given we will they don’t we’ll pick one of what went by asking both one get one of the two. But you’re right. They don’t normally always do it. But there’s money for it. And I can stack the deck deck in my favor. I can get three against one against you. I’m going to take that.

Holly: So when should an attorney consider requesting a guardian ad litem?

Boe: Oh, here’s how I play the game in the past. So if I know what the child wants. And say child wants to go with my client, the dad right or the mom in this case? I’m going to ask actually not even for GAL I’m asking for an ad litem because an ad litem is supposed to push what the child wants, not the best interest. And then if I know they represent that they want to go with mom, well, then I’m going to ask for the amicus because the amicus will take into consideration, of course, what the kid wants, but that is no, that’s not the main priority is to look into best interests. So it does depend on your case, in my opinion on how you want to approach it.

But keep in mind again, a guardian ad Litem under Texas family code 107 1, subsection five, it means a person is appointed to represent the best interest of the child. It’s is dangerous. The same as the amicus. It’s not always about the best interest and is it different what you need. You got to ask for what helps your case. So I base it on my case. And anytime I have some sort of big dispute between the parties, I let them know that there’s a big potential this person is going to come in, they’re paying for it and here’s what they’re going to do. And if it looks like it’ll help me more than hurt and than they can afford it, well asl for it. And if not, then I don’t. So it is a case by case.

Holly: And in so many cases in family law. A lot of the evidence that the parties have comes from the children. And you can almost never actually get that into evidence. So it can be really helpful. Having one of these court appointments, who can actually talk to the child and get that information, as a way of getting that factored in to the court’s decision.

Boe: What’s really good about these two people is that they don’t have any dog in the race. They don’t really care who when you’re losing this, you’re supposed to enter clean hands, no biases, look at the big picture and truly recommend what is best for these kids. And everything goes right. And actually, more often than not, it does work out that way. But more often than not that people do do their jobs. We also have some that get a little more crazy, like the runaway amicuses. And good luck controlling them. You’ve got to object, object, object and get ready to appeal. I’ve dealt with that myself. You just have to do your best, but there’s times it can bite you in the butt.

Holly: Yeah usually, if we’re going to request an amicus, we have our list of people that we know have served as amicus before and we trust their judgment. And we think, you know, they’re not going to be the runaway amicus. And so we’ll specifically request one of those people to avoid that exact problem.

Boe: It sounds like y’all agree more in Dallas than we do in Houston. If we don’t get an agreement, the courts going off their list and we don’t know who it’s going to be and that’s what happened last two times we’ve done this. I don’t know what it is about family law and people trying to fight it is nowhere near as cutthroat as it is my civil practice. Meaning estate planning, probate and I don’t understand why Family Law is that way.

Holly: Earlier you mentioned something about a dual role between a guardian ad litem and an attorney Ad Litem. What is a dual role situation? Can you kind of explain that a little bit more for everyone?

Boe: That normally happens in smaller counties, but even now the smaller ones are adopting causes us to do it. This happened more while serving in Waller county with Judge Andell. Great judge. Anyway, he took me under his wing and boy helped me out when I first started practicing many years ago. And that’s actually how I cut my teeth wasn’t CPS cases with this guidance. So sometimes again, smaller counties they can’t afford, don’t have enough volunteers. So they’ll serve in the dual role, whereas the Guardian ad Litem, and we’re having the attorney at Litem. The problem is, there are times that what the child wants is not in their best interest. I apologize for the example. But it’s the easiest way to make this point clear.

And it’s happened. I said we have my little girl who was abused by their guardian, it can be a mom or a dad, the child now wants to return to that guardian. We know that is not in the child’s best interest. But I’m now in a dual capacity. What do I do? I can’t advocate for that. I know that’s not what’s best for her, though when you have those types of conflicts is when you ask the court to separate the two and then it can appoint someone else as a guardian ad litem, so you can truly push into your job as the attorney ad litem. And then they’ll come in and argue why they should. That way you can keep everything right with your client. That’s the most extreme version.

Holly: I used to do CPS appointments in Dallas, and we would see attorneys appointed in a dual role all the time in Dallas. And it always concerned me that if you realize there’s a conflict along the way, and you have to request an appointment because of it. Well, now the judge automatically knows that you think what the child wants is not in their best interest. Because otherwise you wouldn’t be requesting.

Boe: That’s true. It does tip them off. But there’s no other way to do it. That’s as I understand it, it is what it is. But at least you can still represent for what they want. And hopefully not get it at that point. I know it’s weirder than turning to want to fight for your client and lose. But in those kinds of fights. That’s why I’m willing to put it on my console rest, my GALs to step up and put me down because I don’t want it to win this, but I still have to go and fight. It’s a weird position to be in.

Holly: It definitely is. And it’s not unusual for children who have been in an abuse or neglect situation to want to return. And it may or may not be in their best interest depending on circumstances, obviously, but it’s hard to see for sure. So with any of these court appointments that we’ve been talking about, we had an abacus or a GAL or an AAL, what role does that attorney play if you come down to having a bench trial?

Boe: The rules are all the same. If you’re the attorney ad litem you’re supposed to push what that client wants. So if it’s a minor, it could be a PlayStation. I’ve literally had them forced me to go to court and ask the court for PlayStation. We’re trying to run a trial. But that’s how extreme it is. To push, even if something as baffling. For example, the young lady who wants to go back with her father who sexually abused her her mother who sexually abused her. Obviously that’s not what’s best for them. We still have to argue and do that. So you’re going to do your job and you’re going to present your case and everything else and then they come back and go against you.

So anytime you have that many parties. The GAL is not an attorney as a guardian Litem. They’re more of a witness in my opinion. They don’t get to call witnesses for discovery, anything of that nature should be reserved for people have the attorneys in their name, like an amicus attorney, and then the attorney ad litem. So therefore, attorneys we get the profound discovery. We get to call witnesses to get to object. I mean, we’re full in it versus getting the guardian ad litem. They’re more of a witness to be used, in my humble opinion by the as litem or the amicus. And of course, the court can call them in on their own. But outside of that they can. There submitting reports and all that. We don’t do that as amicuses and the attorney ad litems. We are not to be used as witnesses. So there is definitely a difference in those roles.

Holly: What if the guardian ad litem is an attorney?

Boe: If they’re serving the dual role, but there serving a dual role then as the attorney ad litem well in my opinion they get to ask questions as such. If you’re serving as a GAL, you’re still the case you are a witness. But then you cannot also be the attorney. You can’t be both. You can’t be a witness and the attorney. Unless Unless there’s always the one caveat, attorneys fees, then of course we can testify. We’re not supposed to. And the only time I’ve seen a difference were tax cases, and that’s where they have the the attorney ad litem submit an affidavit. But outside of that one small realm. I don’t see attorneys ever submitting those types of things as witnesses. I’m sure there’s other areas I’m aware of. But as a general rule, we don’t do that.

Holly: So if an amicus attorney or attorney Ad Litem is not a witness is not giving testimony, do they still have an opportunity to give their opinion, especially the amicus to the court about what they believe is in the best interest?

Boe: Yes ma’am, my opinion, they’re often going to do that through witnesses, but they also can do an opening, they get to do a closing. So they get their time. They’re a full on attorney.

Holly: Okay, so we talked about bench trial, and you just mentioned a jury trial where you’d had an amicus involved. Is there any difference with these court appointments, when you have a jury trial versus a bench trial?

Boe: The jury does make other makes decision regarding facts, and the judge makes some regarding law. So yes, there’s a bit of a split. But regarding the roles, no, ma’am. There’s just a difference in who you’re trying to convince. But in the end, ultimately, the judge is still going to have their say. So you want everyone on your side. And it’s just, again, a difference of who you’re trying to give hints at which time but the judge is still there the whole time calling balls and strikes, they’re going to hear it all, and you still need them on your side. So my opinion not not really my approach to either a bench or jury in that regard hasn’t changed significantly. Maybe I missed something on that. But no, in my opinion, I don’t treat it much different.

Holly: What can an attorney do that’s not a court appointed attorney, but one of the other attorneys on the case, to help their clients put their best foot forward with the amicus, or an ad litem?

Boe: Well, I’m going to advocate for document document document. And as we know, Texas is a one party state. When in doubt, report, follow up with email, follow up with text. And I found when my people do that, it’s much easier to keep the amicus in line or if it’s an ad litem for a CPS case. You want to communicate with them, you want to work with them as well, in my opinion, because once you get under that microscope, they’re gonna find things you may not want, if you don’t put yourself in that position is to want to be easier on you.

I always encourage people when again, document, document, document, record the phone calls, if you can, there’s all kinds of apps available. I personally like an app for an iPhone is called tape a call pro it’s 11 bucks. And if you have an Android, there’s another app called call x c a l l x like x ray. Now, tape a call pro is also available on Android, it came out recently. But what I like about call x better is the fact that you can automatically record your calls. So you don’t have to go and click and go through the setup. It just does it automatically.

It helps my clients that way. But again, I would encourage you to record any and all communications. And as soon as you’re done with those phone calls, I want you to then text that person to follow what y’all just discussed or an email. And then by doing those, it’s easy to show if you did what you’re supposed to or not. And when I do that I don’t have the issues that we do. Murphy’s Law plays when you don’t do it, we’ll need it. But if you do it, I won’t. So I say do it, we don’t need it. If we’re there any less. That means less work means less fees means less money they have to pay wins for everybody.

Holly: So are there any ethical considerations attorneys need to worry about in communicating with an amicus or an ad litem, outside of the presence of the other attorney or anything like that?

Boe: Well, if you’re represented by counsel, and you have an amicus involved and an Ad Litem and other things really case, I’d recommend you do your communications with your attorney there. Now there are times you’re going to have home visits and as an ad litem I can just show up so can the amicus things like that. They can open the doors, get the camera rolling, call your attorneys anything coming with as well. It wasn’t uncommon for me to go to my client’s homes and be there for those visits.

Be it CPS. the ad litem or the amicus or the guardian ad litem. And here’s what’s crazy. If you have multiple kids, it can be multiple ad litems. If their interest conflicts. They’re gonna appoint multiple ones. Now you got one more person than your life that is popping in as well. You have to work with him during that period of time is a very stressful, but it’s temporary. And that’s why I keep explaining to my clients, it’s this much time, it’ll become this much time. If you start making it difficult to cooperate, simply do what you need to check the boxes and get them out of your life.

Holly: And I meant more specifically, are there ethical concerns for us as attorneys, in communicating with the amicus or the ad litem?

Boe: In my opinion, you’re going to treat as you would any other occasion. You’re going to treat them like opposing counsels, do your best to represent your client and also make sure you’re being full disclosure for what you need to be disclosed. In terms of ethical wise, no ma’am, we actually have immunity unless we truly violate it. So when it comes to immunity, all these three positions are immune under the Texas family code 107 point 009. Unless, say, renew for number one recommendations made with opinions given in our official capacity, unless we did it with a conscious indifference or reckless disregard to the safety of another.

And we did it in bad faith with malice, or we were grossly negligent or willfully wrongful. From my experience, people who serve in this capacity, this is not going to apply. When you’re working as an attorney at Litem, or as an amicus or as a Guardian ad litem, you’re typically doing at a reduced rate or for free, at least from my experience it was. They’re not going to do these things to you. Now doesn’t mean they wouldn’t, but if they did, this is how you get them liable outside of that. No, ma’am, we’re protected.

Holly: So any last tidbits of information about these court appointments, amicus, guardian ad litem, Attorney Ad Litem that you think it’s important for Family Lawyers to understand.

Boe: I would approach them open minded, don’t come out on the fight from the beginning. Keep in mind, we’re simply working on the problem just like you are too. So again, I recommend kill them with kindness. Don’t come out swinging trying make their life difficult. All it’s going to do is make it more difficult on you. So again, the approach from the beginning to make all the difference. You’re not our enemy, any more than you are ours. We’re in this to hopefully work together and do what is best for the children. And if people can long keep that on the forefront.

And remember, we’re simply doing our jobs, and ideally together to do what is best for these children. The rest of the BS usually falls aside. I get we have to proffer and do stuff for our clients, I understand all that. But when you’re one on one with the other counsel, there’s no reason to for those shenanigans and games. All that’s gonna do is alienate you from the other side and make it that much more difficult for you all to come together. You didn’t your client then. You made it more expensive and more difficult. Your job is to come in and get them satisfaction, the quickest and most reasonable way possible.

Alienate the other side is not going to do that. And also keep in mind where people too, we have bad days, just because you had one poor one and come back in that second time and still try to kill him with kindness. I’m willing to bet you’re going to be surprised with the reaction. So at my firm, that’s what we try to do. And if I hear something different, I can promise you, I’ll be getting onto my associates. But y’all are not the enemy, we are all in this together. And ultimately, the goal, again, is to do what’s best for the child, and who can’t want that? A better future for civilians.

Holly: Right, I agree. 100%. So one last question that I like to ask all of my guests on the podcast is if you could give one piece of advice to young Family Lawyers, what would it be?

Boe: Get a mentor. The Houston Bar Association does them. I’m sure Dallas has the same option to get out there and get with these people that will help you. And if you don’t know, get your butt on Texas bar CLE and join that become a member of the gosh, I’ve never not been one of the trial, not Trial Lawyers college. I did that too. That was fantastic with Mr. Spence is the Texas bar college sorry, had slipped my mind I use it all the time to get a membership, Texas bar college. Alright, pay to do double seal, ease and get access to all that stuff. And here’s what I found those geniuses like Mrs. King and all them to do these CLEs, call them. They’ll actually answer questions about it. I’ve been shocked with the feedback I’ve gotten from these leaders of the State Bar, they’ll help you just be patient with them.

They’re busy too. Nine out of 10 times when I call a bunch of CLEs, have those questions. They’ve answered them and helped me. And if I’m still doing that, you know, at 8, 9, 10 years I won’t be doing it at 20. So there’s no such thing as a dumb question. Get your think group all together. And don’t be scared to use those bigwigs at the State Bar. They’ll help you. And I’m not exempt. I’m not a bigwig. I’m no Heather King, nothing like that. I hope to be someday, if I can help me with, give me a call 713-574-7777 set a time to speak with me. I’ll do what I can to help you. But again, we’re all in this together. And I want the state bar to think of it more that way. Yes, I’m going to fight you in court. But it doesn’t mean we can’t have lunch at the end of it.

Holly: Yeah, I I’ve run into issues where clients want you to be super aggressive. They don’t want you to be agreeable. They don’t want you to work with opposing counsel. And we’ve essentially had to say that’s not the way we operate. If you want someone that operates that way you can find another attorney. But our integrity is very important to us. And we are going to maintain that in all of our cases.

Boe: And that’s one case we’re working on. I’m going to work with his attorney again. And then I did the same as you I explained to him are you doing, I said, I’ll fight them if that’s what you want. But here’s what’s going to happen with your fees. And then they go oh, and then they realize you should be happy, I’m getting along with opposing counsel, because we’re going to get this done cheaper. The more I fight and push them, the more you’re going to have to pay. And clients don’t want to pay us anymore. I’ve never met a client happy with their bill, no matter if we keep burning out. They always wish it was cheaper. And I don’t know, if I can get it for cheaper, I want it cheaper.

Holly: But sometimes you get what you pay for, right?

Boe: Absolutely true. But we’re not cheap. That our hourly rates, our hourly rates I built we build them out of what you make, but we do our best to save them. So that’s one of the ways we do it by not attacking the opposing side and set them off and beginning. Why go right into it, acting like you’re going to a war. No, not going to get this done with a civil conversation. The savings, as you know, can be hundreds of 1000s of dollars when it’s said and done

Holly: Well, and having those good relationships with opposing attorneys can help you reach agreements in cases where you otherwise might not be able to do it. And that is almost always going to be better for the client.

Boe: Agreed, because you got it done sooner. If it gets done sooner, they get it done cheaper. And not to mention, those attorneys may end up being judges someday, I’m holding the run in 20 years myself. I tick them off too much. They’re gonna remember me on the bench.

Holly: This is true. But when you’re on the bench, you have the power. It’s the opposite way if the if you tick them off and they end up on the bench, right?

Boe: That’s right. So I think even with that expectation, it’s easier to kill everybody with kindness, if you’re going to fight and have those kinds of issues do it before the court. It’s easy and watch. They normally behave themselves when they’re in front of the judge anyway.

Holly: Agreed. All right. Well, thank you so much for joining us today. Hopefully, our listeners got a lot of good information about the different kinds of court appointments that they may see in their cases. And look forward to meeting you in person some day.

Voiceover: That Texas Family Law Insiders podcast is sponsored by the Draper Law firm. We help people navigate divorce and child custody cases and handle family law appellate matters. For more information, visit our website at

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