Chief Justice Linda B. Thomas (Ret.) presided over the trial of numerous cases, which involved traditional family law dilemmas as well as business enterprise issues, complex financial transactions, and interstate and international jurisdictional conflicts.
Board certified in family law since 1981, Chief Justice Thomas was the recipient of the 1990 Sam Emison Award for meritorious contributions to family law – the highest honor in family law that can be bestowed in Texas.
Chief Justice Thomas is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law, teaching family law as well as trial and appellate procedure since 2003. Throughout her judicial career, she has been active in continuing legal education, particularly in the area of family law. Additionally, for the past several years, she has authored the annual case law update on parent and child issues for the SMU Law Review.
Chief Justice Thomas has been involved in the following representative family law matters:
- Appellate review involving sufficiency of evidence, presumptions, and jury instructions in custody and property cases
- Assessment and valuation of assets in property division, including stock options, employee stock-purchase plans, executive-benefit plans, and retirement plans
- Child support awards involving special needs, educational, medical, and otherwise
- International dispute involving parental kidnapping, enforcement, and modification orders
- Interstate jurisdictional issues involving child support orders
- Interstate jurisdictional issues involving conservatorship and modification of custody orders of other states
- Issues affecting children when dealing with sex abuse and family violence
- Modification actions involving children, including relocation disputes
- Post-divorce proceedings to resolve undivided assets
- Pre- and post-marital agreements involving property and children, including contracts executed in other jurisdictions
- Property characterization and equitable claims in property divisions
- Property distributions involving multi-million-dollar estates
- Property division and conservatorship issues involving same-sex couples
- Property partition agreements during marriage and their effects at time of divorce
- Receiverships and creditors’ rights in divorce proceedings
- Significant religious differences of parents and effect on ability to parent and engage in religious activities with children
- Termination of parental-right cases
- Third-party and grandparent access as it relates to minor children
- Viability of attempts to set aside and/or modify contractual settlement agreements