Sam recently entered his 26th consecutive year of being able to dunk a basketball. He also happens to be a Board Certified family lawyer with 15 years’ experience. Sam’s practice focuses on divorces for professionals and business owners and their spouses. Sam’s style tends to be deliberate and understated. He is a listener first, and chooses his words intentionally.

Sam is an experienced litigator and mediator, with a deep understanding how divorce presents an intersection of psychological dynamics, logistical problems, and math—and how these themes are likely to play out over the course of negotiation and trial.

Sam’s colleagues and opponents will tell you that he is focused on problem-solving. He is honest and diplomatic in negotiations, but when negotiation fails, Sam is a talented advocate, a worthy adversary in the courtroom. Sam’s wife would describe it as, “he thinks he’s right about everything.”

Sam acquired his Southeast Texas accent growing up in Port Arthur, and took it with him to college at Trinity University in San Antonio. Sam moved to Austin in 2002 and went to law school at the University of Texas. Despite the urban environment and erudite pursuits, the accent persists…

In his young life, Sam was a cagey basketball player, a decent trumpet player, and an Eagle Scout. At Trinity, he joined the country-western dance troupe and sang bass/baritone in the college choir (while getting a Political Science degree). Law school tested Sam’s tolerance for sitting still and reading, and saw Sam desperately clinging to past glory though intramural sports. Sam also explored the outer limits of choir nerd-dom by singing in (and eventually arranging for and conducting) the law school a cappella group.

Contemporary Sam is a devoted husband, a seasoned wrangler of small children, a player of “dad basketball,” and a drinker of black coffee, red wine, and anejo tequila. When he’s not in the office, you might find Sam grilling steak, hanging out with South Austin neighbors, watching Longhorn football, or hastily resolving AppleTV remote-control disputes while holding a baby.

Sam lives in Barton Hills with his wife Lauren (a functional medicine Nurse Practitioner) and their three children, Hazel, Harrison, and Holland, and their remarkably tolerant golden retriever, Bodhi.

Click Here to Learn More About Sam’s Expanded Mediation Services.

Click Here to Learn More About Sam’s Litigated Divorce Services.

Recent representative cases:

  • Texas Supreme Court victory on validity of Mediated Settlement Agreements – Highsmith v. Highsmith, No. 18-0262, 2019 WL 5482657 (Tex. Oct. 25, 2019)
  • Mediator for the successful settlement of a divorce involving a well-known Austin business with several local storefronts
  • Jury trial of a divorce with characterization and valuation issues pertaining to real estate in India.
  • Settlement of a divorce with a $7MM+ estate including real estate in Texas, D.C., and Morocco.
  • Jury trial successfully representing a father in preventing mother from moving away from Austin with the 2 year-old and 1 year-old children.
  • Appeal regarding validity of a Mediated Settlement Agreement.
  • Successful settlement of a child custody case for a father with severe but well-managed bipolar disorder.
  • Settlement of a divorce with a $6MM+ estate with complex separate property, reimbursement, and valuation issues.

Honors & Affiliations

  • Selected in 2018 as one of the Top 100 Up-and-Coming Lawyers in Texas, across all practice areas (by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business)
  • Selected to the 2019 Super Lawyers list for Central Texas family law attorneys (by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business)
  • Selected to the Texas Rising Stars list for Central Texas family law attorneys in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 (by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business)
  • J.D., University of Texas School of Law, Texas
  • B.A., Trinity University, Texas
  • State Bar of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • Board Certified Family Law – Texas Board of Legal Specialization – 2013
  • Recertified in Family Law – Texas Board of Legal Specialization – 2018
Speaking Engagements
  • Speaker: Technology Issues in Family Law: Device and Data Security, and Avoiding Evidence-Gathering Pitfalls Texas State Bar Annual Meeting – Austin, TX – June 2019
  • Speaker: Shaping the Settleable Case:  Aggressive is Not a Synonym for Advocate Austin Bar Association Family Law Section CLE – May 2019
  • Author/Panelist: Choosing Your Clients Advanced Family Law – San Antonio, TX – August 2016
  • Speaker: Hot Topics in Family Law Austin Bar Association Bench Bar Conference – Austin, TX – April 2016
  • Panelist: Understanding the New Sensitive Data Filing Rules TexasBar CLE Webcast – Austin, TX – March 2016
  • Speaker: Rights, Powers, and Duties: Creative Solutions (by Barbara D. Nunneley) Family Law Essentials – San Marcos, TX – September 2013
  • Speaker: Agreements Between Counsel and Parties: Rule 11, MSAs, and Other Settlement Agreements (by Charla Bradshaw Conner, et al.) Family Law Essentials – Waco, TX – June 2011
  • Preparation for Temporary Orders Hearings: What to Do in the Last 100 Days/ Hours/Minutes; Burdensome Limitations (by Jonathan Bates and Hon. John Roach, Jr.) Family Law Essentials – Victoria, TX – October, 2009
  • “Show Me the Money!” Advanced Collection Methods (by Stephen J. Naylor) Family Law Essentials – Marble Falls, TX – September 2009
  • The Intersection of Bankruptcy and Family Law Texas Bar Poverty Law CLE – Austin, TX – April 2009 (author/speaker)
  • Understanding Discovery Rules: A Primer (by William M. Reppeto) Family Law Essentials – Seguin, TX – November 2008
Community Involvement
  • Young Men’s Business League of Austin

Meet My Colleagues