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William B. Connolly

Managing Partner

A recognized leader in family and juvenile law Houston.

William B. Connolly (“Bill”) is from Houston, Texas and he has been a family, juvenile, protective services trial and appellate attorney for nearly 40 years. He is Board Certified in Family Law, Juvenile Law and Child Welfare Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a NACC Child Welfare Law Specialist and is a bar leader in the creation of the newly approved Texas Child Welfare Law Board Specialization. Bill is a former Adjunct Professor of Juvenile Law and has lectured and mentored attorneys, judges, CPS (DFPS) officials, juvenile court officials and healthcare professionals on a variety of subjects including substance abuse, addiction, mental health issues, confidentiality and privilege (including HIPAA) and many trial and appellate issues in family, CPS and juvenile law Houston.

Bill has extensive litigation and appellate experience in matters of all sizes and complexities relative to conservatorship, property division, termination of parental rights, child abuse and neglect and juvenile delinquency. A former Adjunct Professor of Juvenile Law, he has extensive experience in handling difficult family issues such as substance abuse and addictions, Issues in mental health issues, domestic violence and child custody (conservatorship) matters. Bills also know that the emotional and psychological cost on families is frequently too high. Accordingly, several years ago he expanded his practice to include mediation and alternative dispute resolution services such as Collaborative Family Law.

Since 1981, Bill has been active in the Houston and State Bar of Texas and has served as Chair of the Juvenile Law Section for the Houston Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas. He has authored many articles and has served as a lecturer, presenter, and mentor to attorneys, judges, CPS and probation professionals and mental health providers across Texas.


South Texas College of Law, J.D. (1979)

The University of Windsor, B.A. (1974)

Areas of Practice

Family Law

Juvenile Law

Child Welfare Law

Civil Appellate Law

Certified Legal Specialties

Family Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Juvenile Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Child Welfare Law, National Association Counsel for Children (NACC)

Child Welfare Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

  • Professional Associations and Memberships

    Texas Super Lawyer

    Board Certified – Family Law – Texas Board of Legal Specialization

    Board Certified – Juvenile Law – Texas Board of Legal Specialization

    Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist – National Association Counsel for Children (NACC)

    Chair – State Bar of Texas, Juvenile Law Section (2009)

    Chair – Houston Bar Association, Juvenile Law Section (1995)

    Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) – (Board of Directors – Texas – 2004 – 2005)

    Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists (TAFLS)

    Texas Family Law Foundation

    Gulf Coast Family Law Specialists

    AV Rated – Martindale-Hubbell

    Adjunct Professor of Law – South Texas College of Law – 1998-2001

    Mediator, Civil Trial, Family, Appellate and Other Civil Disputes

    Collaborative Family Law Institute

    Continuing Legal Education Speaker/Author – 1981-Present

    Permanent Commission on Children, Family Youth – Texas Supreme Court (Collaborative Counsel)

    Member, College of the State Bar of Texas

    Member, Houston Bar Association (Sections: Juvenile, Family and Appellate)

    Member, Houston Bar Foundation

  • Writings, Speeches and CLE Presentations

    Legal and Professional Writings, Speeches and CLE Presentations: William B. Connolly

    A Quantum Leap: Defending a 262 Hearing After HB7: Ethical Considerations and Effective Assistance of Counsel (October 27, 2017)

    Urgent Need and Reasonable Efforts: Defending a DFPS Case 262 Hearing: Ethical Considerations and Effective Assistance of Counsel (April 14, 2017)

    Defending a DFPS Case, Section 262 Adversary Hearings: Ethical Considerations & Effective Assistance of Counsel – Annual Adjusting the Bar Conferences (2010 – 2018)

    Unraveling the Gordian Knot: Records Privacy and Client Confidentiality in a Digital World – The Lovett Center (December 2, 2015)

    The Privacy Enigma: Legal and Ethical Issues of Clinical Practice in the Electronic Age – The Coalition of Behavioral Health Services (October 13, 2015)

    La Vida Loca (The Crazy Life): Practice Strategies for DFPS Litigation – 39th Annual Advanced Family Law Conference (San Antonio – 2013); Dallas Bar Association (2013); Houston Bar Association (2014)

    Standards for Risk Assessment, Termination and Reunification Decisions and Internal Appeals in Region Six (6) DFPS Cases – The 4th Annual Juvenile Law Conference (September 20-21, 2013)

    Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse: Creative Solutions – Association for Conflict Resolution Houston Chapter Domestic Violence

    Mediation – Advanced Skills Training (May 25, 2012)

    Substance over Form; New Legal and Ethical Duties of Ad Litems – 25th Annual Juvenile Law Conference, February 28, 2012

    Case Law Update – Juvenile Law Conference (September 25, 2010)

    Creative Solutions in Substance Abuse Cases – University of Texas Parent-Child Relationships Conference (January 29, 2010)

    Abuse, Addiction and the Legal System – 23rd Annual Juvenile Law Conference (February 18, 2010)

    Interesting Developments in Family and Juvenile Law – Houston Bar Association (November 17, 2009)

    Trends in DFPS Termination Cases (A Call for Reform) – The Children at Risk Child Conference (2008) and 21st Annual Juvenile Law Conference (2008)

    On the one hand… Confidentiality, Medical and Mental Health Issues in Juvenile Cases – 20th Annual Juvenile Law Conference (2007)

    On the other hand…Confidentiality, Medical and Mental Health Issues in DFPS Cases – 20th Annual Juvenile Law Conference (2007)

    Handling Drug and Alcohol Issues in a Family Law Case – 2007 Family Law Conference (2007)

    Without a Trace: Confidentiality, Privilege and the Legal Process – The Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse – Houston (2007)

    Mixed Metaphors: Hidden Meanings and New Ideas for a Changing World – 2006 Parenting Plan Conference – Dallas, Texas (2006) and Houston, Texas (2006)

    Same Difference – Determinate Sentencing – Nuts and Bolts of Juvenile Law Seminar – Austin, Texas (2005-2006)

    Trouble in Mind: Representation of Juveniles with Mental Illness and Mental Retardation – Nuts and Bolts of Juvenile Law Seminar – Austin, Texas (2006) and Galveston, Texas (2006)

    No Reversible Error-Preserving Error and Perfecting Appeals In DFPS Termination and Conservatorship Cases – Galveston County Bar Association (2006)

    Overcoming the Blame Game – Ethical issues, Parenting Plans and Parenting Coordinators – Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Texas Chapter-State Conference (2005)

    2005 Legislative Update – SAPCR Legislation Affecting Juvenile Practice – Houston Bar Association – Juvenile Law Section Meeting – Houston (2005)

  • Recent Cases

    Family Law

    Obtained Custody for Grandparents

    Successfully defended a custody modification case

    Obtained Custody for Father

    Successfully defended parent in Protective Order case

    Obtained Custody for Grandparents

    Obtained Custody for Father

    Juvenile Law

    Obtained early termination of probation on Aggravated Robbery Case

    Secured Dismissal of Cases involving a Sex Trafficked Girl

    Secured Dismissal of Aggravated Robbery case

    Assisted in defense of child on Sexual Assault charges

    Obtained a no disposition (punishment) on assault case

    CPS(DFPS) Child Welfare Law

    DFPS Ordered to provide a disabled parent “reasonable accommodations” in a Family Service Plan

    Successfully defended a parental rights termination case

    Obtained termination of parental rights and grandparent conservatorship

    Successfully defended several initial custody determinations against DFPS on behalf of parents

    Obtained return of child to parents from CPS

    Obtained Custody for grandparents over foster care placement in contested case

    Obtained reversal of child abuse finding against parent in a CPS Administrative Review

    Appellate Law

    Secured Appellate Court ruling voiding adverse Orders against Client by trial court judge

    Participated with a team of attorneys in Texas Supreme Court decision reversing the Austin Court of Appeals and redefining the “Acceptance of Benefits” doctrine in Texas

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