Meet The Chair:

Welcome to our website!

My name is Mark Briggs and I am proud to be the fifth Chair of the Child Protection Section of the State Bar of Texas. I’ve been practicing Child Protection Law in Far West Texas for just short of 25 years. I’ve represented parents, children, tribes, foster parents and other family members in all kinds of child welfare cases at both the trial and appellate levels. I remember the Presiding Judge in El Paso asking me, a baby lawyer at the time, to join the appointment wheel he was forming all those years ago. My response was, “You want me to do what?” Initial concerns aside, these years of practice in this field have been richly rewarding and I am very glad I took him up on the offer. I hope each of you feels the same way about your choice to make a difference in the lives of Texas children and their families.

Our section is wonderfully diverse. It is also very new. We are still experiencing growing pains as we work to find out what assistance the Section can be to attorneys practicing in our vital, yet underappreciated, area. We want to hear from and include attorneys from all over the state, both rural and metropolitan. In the next year, some of you will have the opportunity to see locally offered, live CLE from some of the best practitioners and judges in the state. The intention is that this will not be out-of-town people telling the local practitioner how practice child welfare law, but more an exchange of information regarding what has been successful in other areas of the state with feedback on what has been successful for the local practitioners. This exchange is vital as information about how Child Protection (or Child Welfare) law is practiced throughout the state needs to be shared and best practices identified.

Over the next year, we also hope to have more focused judicial outreach. Judges on every level have been a big part of the formation of this section. We want to hear what judges think, from what is working and what is not working in their local practice to identifying resources. We’d like judges to attend our advanced program and bring their appointment wheel. I believe that justice for Texas families is best served by having informed judges listening to presentations of well-developed cases from knowledgeable attorneys, whether that be in Harris County or Loving County. If you’re a Presiding Judge, Associate Judge or Cluster Court Judge and are interested in receiving more information on this outreach or on how bring in the CLE discussed above to your jurisdiction, contact any of our board members or officers.

Finally, a personal outreach: if you are a Texas Child Welfare attorney or judge and you’d like to bounce an idea or discuss something, feel free to email me. Send and I promise to get back to you. I may not know the answer, but we’ll find it together. I’ll talk Child Welfare Law with you until you wish I’d just hush.

Mark Briggs, Chair