On July 16, 2016 at the State Bar of Texas Annual Leadership Conference the Texas Access to Justice Commission presented its 2016 Pro Bono Service Award to the Collaborative Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and Collaborative Divorce Texas ( formerly the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas). Receiving the award for Collaborative Divorce Texas was Camille Milner, its current President. Receiving the award for the Collaborative Law Section of the State Bar of Texas was Jack H. Emmott III, its former Chair.
Shown in the photograph alongside Camille Milner and Jack Emmott are Frank Stevenson, the President of the State Bar of Texas and Tom Vick, the President-Elect of the State Bar of Texas.
The Collaborative Law Pro Bono Project was created through the joint efforts of Collaborative Divor
ce Texas and Houston collaborative attorney, Norma Trusch, who was instrumental in developing the forms used and in the training of the attorneys who participated in the project; Alissa Gomez, Executive Director of the Houston Volunteer Lawyers who enthusiastically supported this endeavor; and the Collaborative Law Section under Jack’s leadership. Norma was out of town and was unable to attend.
Jack believes that every family should be entitled to a dignified, confidential, client-centered, peaceable divorce resolution process which protects children from the harm done to them in adversarial litigation. The collaborative di
spute resolution process should not be a privilege of the purse. Parents, married couples and their children have serious problems and needs that are not confined to the wealthy, upper social-economic part of our society. One could argue that the poor have an even greater need for such help than do the wealthy. The poor do not have access to the array of highly qualified therapists and mental health care professionals that others do.
Jack says, “ I believe this Project in Texas holds hope for thousands of poor families and their precious children to have legal outcomes which preserve and protect important and sacred relationships; in short to bring about a change that is generational and with an incalculable positive and lasting impact on society for years to come.”