joan foote jenkins


JO JENKINS

Managing Partner

713.600.5500 p
713.600.5501 f

jjenkins@jenkinskamin.com

 

 

best laywers 2009 - lawyer of the year

Joan Foote “Jo” Jenkins, named partner of Jenkins & Kamin, LLP, has devoted her practice solely to family law for her entire 29 year career. In recent years Jo has expanded her litigation practice to include collaborative law and service as a mediator and arbitrator.

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Jo is a sixth generation Texan who spent four years in the Chicago area where she graduated from high school.  After acquiring her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas in 1972, Jo worked in business and politics, raising her two children, Jessica and John, while attending law school.  Graduating from South Texas College of Law in 1982, Jo joined the firm in 1985.

Jo was board certified in family law in 1987 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Over the years Jo has devoted countless hours to the advancement of the family law profession, including serving as Chair of the Texas Family Law Foundation, a state wide organization devoted to promoting legislation to protect Texas families who must seek help from our judicial system.  Jo is also Chair of the Pattern Jury Charges Committee for Family Law. She served as an ex officio membership of the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee, responsible for advising the Court on necessary changes to our Texas procedural and evidentiary rules and a member of the Texas Supreme Court Child Support and Visitation Guidelines Committee.  Jo was elected Chair of the Family Law Section of the State Bar in 2002 and she continues to serve as member of the Legislative Committee of the Family Law Section.

Jo also maintains her membership in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a national organization limiting participation to those family law specialists who have achieved a reputation for excellence in their field.  Jo is also a member of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, having handled cases involving cross-border issues.

Recognized by her peers for high ethical standards, in 1995 Jo received the highest honor bestowed upon a family lawyer in the Houston area, the David Gibson Award for Professionalism and Excellence in the Practice of Family Law awarded annually by the Gulf Coast Family Law Specialists.  Jo was selected by her peers to be included in the current edition of Best Lawyers in America, an honor she has received for over 15 years and was selected as the 2010 Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers.  Jo has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyer, a Thomson Reuters business published by Texas Monthly magazine each year since the inception of this award.  She has also been named as one of the Top 50 Women Attorneys in Texas and Top 100 Houston Region Attorneys; all by a Thomson Reuters business published by Texas Monthly magazine.

A frequent author and speaker at family law related seminars, Jo's bibliography includes a diverse range of topics from complex property issues to child custody, evidence, trial tactics and summary judgments.  Jo is a co-author of O'Connor's edition of the Texas Family Code, entitled Family Code Plus and the O'Connor's Family Law Handbook.

Her commitment to continuing legal education has also included her leadership as course director for some of the most respected family law seminars sponsored by the State Bar of Texas as well as her inclusion as a faculty member and speaker at many seminars, including those sponsored by the State Bar of Texas, the University of Texas, and other organizations devoted to the continuing legal education of family law attorneys.

The mother of two grown children, Jo understands the high stakes that can be involved in family law litigation and she takes her responsibilities to heart.  When she's not in the courtroom or at work in her office, Jo enjoys gardening and spending weekends at her home in the Hill Country.

Year Joined Organization:

1985

Areas of Practice, Complex Family Law Matters including:

  • Divorce
  • Complex marital property issues arising during and after divorce
  • Custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Pre and Post Marital Agreements
  • Paternity
  • Collaborative Law
  • Mediation and Arbitration

Certification/Specialties:

  • Board Certified, Family Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 1987
  • Arbitrator, Certificate of Achievement, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Mediator, A. A. White Dispute Resolution Institute

Bar Admissions:

Texas, 1982

Education:

  • South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas, 1982 J.D.
  • University of Texas at Austin, 1972

Published Works:

  • Bankruptcy, Before, During and After Divorce Advanced Family Law Seminar, State Bar of Texas
  • Standing in a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship Advanced Family Law Seminar, State Bar of Texas
  • Wrapping Up the Case Marriage Dissolution Institute, State Bar of Texas, August
  • The Strategy of a Custody Case (Co-Author), Encyclopedia of Matrimonial Practice
  • Developing a Winning Theme, Witnesses and Effective Demonstrative Evidence, American Journal of Family Law
  • Jurors' Perspectives of Family Law Trials - A Survey and Analysis, Marriage Dissolution Institute, State Bar of Texas
  • Bankruptcy and Divorce, Marriage Dissolution Institute, State Bar of Texas
  • Proving and Collecting Attorneys Fees, Marriage Dissolution Institute, State Bar of Texas
  • Recent Cases, Interesting, Alarming and Otherwise, Marriage Dissolution Institute, State Bar of Texas
  • Standing in a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, Advanced Family Law Course, State Bar of Texas
  • Professionalism in Family Law, Family Law Conference for the Practitioner and Legal Assistant, South Texas College of Law
  • Protective Orders, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Daubert Examination of a Psychological Expert, Annual Trial Institute, Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists
  • Summary Judgment:  An Overlooked, Underused But Useful Tool, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Expect the Unexpected, Winning Techniques Seminar
  • Attorney Fees (Setting and Collecting Fees), Annual Family Law Institute
  • Retracing:  Conflicting Rules of Tracing, New Frontiers in Marital Property Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Premarital Agreements:  Negotiation and Litigation, Advanced Drafting:  Estate Planning and Probate Court, State Bar of Texas
  • Modifications Made Easy, Family Law Conference for the General Practitioner and the Legal Assistant, South Texas College of Law
  • Getting Clients and Keeping Them (And You) Happy:  Contracts and Fee Collections, Getting Hired, Getting Paid, Getting, Out, Third Annual Family Law Institute
  • How to Try a Reimbursement Case, Marriage Dissolution Institute, State Bar of Texas
  • Protective Orders, TRO’s and Other Emergency Measure, Family Law Seminar, Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program
  • Reliability and Validity of Psychological Testing for Custody Determination, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Avoiding the Reinvention of the Wheel or Trial Preparation Made Easy – Where to Look – What to Use, The Ultimate Trial Notebook, State Bar of Texas
  • Characterization of Trusts and Business Entities, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Closing the File, Including Closing Documents, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Economic Contribution, Texas Lawyer
  • Valuation, Characterization and Division of Unusual Assets, New Frontiers in Marital Property Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Winning Trial Techniques for the Property Case, Annual Trial Institute, Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists
  • It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over!  Closing the File:  Practice Tips & Checklists to Avoid the “M” Word, Family Law on the Front Lines, University of Texas
  • Relocation – Where is Anyone Going?, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Relocation – Where is Anyone Going?, Legal Assistants University, State Bar of Texas
  • Brainteasers – Unresolved Questions of Property Law, New Frontiers in Marital Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Relocation Issue is on the Move, Texas Bar Journal
  • Modifications, Family Law Seminar, Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program
  • Dividing Business Entities; Stock Options; Enforcing Property Divisions Through Receiverships; Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans; Trust Property, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Conflicts of Laws – Texas Law and the Restatement and Its Applicability to Our Practice, New Frontiers in Marital Property Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Relocation of Children After Divorce and Children’s Best Interests:  New Evidence and Legal Considerations, AFCC Judicial Conference
  • Discovery Don’ts, Marriage Dissolution Institute, State Bar of Texas
  • Modifications, Family Law Seminar, Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program
  • The Burden of Pleading & Proof When Seeking Economic Recovery in Divorce Cases, New Frontiers in Marital Property Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Practical Preparation for TRO Hearings, Temporary Orders Hearings and Trial, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Valuation Discounts for Closely Held Companies, New Frontiers in Marital Property Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Divorce and Domestic Violence:  Dealing with Protective Orders in Divorce Court and Criminal Court, Criminal Law Conference, South Texas College of Law
  • Maximizing the Take at a Final Property Hearing, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Business Valuation Scenarios, New Frontiers in Marital Property Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Professionalism, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Issues for the Advanced Collaborative Law Practice, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas
  • A Dictionary of Business Organizations and Trusts Encountered in the Family Law Case, New Frontiers in Marital Property Law, State Bar of Texas
  • ADR Drafting Issues:  Collaborative Law, Mediation and Arbitration, Advanced Family Law Drafting Course, State Bar of Texas
  • Family Law Legislative Update, Family Law Institute, Houston Bar Association
  • Legislative Update, Marriage Dissolution Institute, State Bar of Texas
  • Practical Preparation for Final Non-Jury Trials, Advanced Family Law Boot Camp, State Bar of Texas
  • Legislative Update – Presenting Our New Statutes and a few Reflections on the Mystery that is Democracy – the 81st Legislative Session in Action, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas
  • Legislative Updates in Family Law, Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar, State Bar of Texas
  • Arbitration:  Does It Have a Place in Family Law?, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas
  • The ADR Playing Field today, Marriage Dissolution Institute, State Bar of Texas
  • Reimbursement, Advanced Family Law, State Bar of Texas

Speaking Engagements:

  • Advanced Family Law Course, State Bar of Texas, Faculty member for 21 years
  • New Frontiers in Marital Property, State Bar of Texas
  • Advanced Expert Witness Course, State Bar of Texas
  • Marriage Dissolution Institute, State Bar of Texas
  • Family Law for General Practitioners, South Texas College of Law
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Spring Meeting and Fall Meeting
  • Ultimate Trial Notebook, State Bar of Texas
  • Annual Family Law Institute, Houston Bar Association
  • Annual Trial Institute, Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists
  • Winning Techniques in Family Law Litigation, State Bar of Texas
  • Family Law Practice Seminar, Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program
  • Texas Marital Property Institute, University of Texas School of Law
  • Advanced Drafting Course, State Bar of Texas
  • Family Law Institute, University of Houston Law Center
  • Divorce Litigation Support Seminar, Houston Bar Association, Family Law Section and Houston Chapter TSCPA
  • Spring Shadows Glen - Law and Mental Health Symposium
  • General Practice Institute, University of Houston Law Center
  • General Paralegal Skills: Selected Subjects in Law and Case Management, State Bar of Texas
  • Family Law: A Team Approach, Houston Bar Association
  • Legal Assistants University, State Bar of Texas

Honors and Awards:

  • 2010 Lawyer of the Year – Houston, Best Lawyers in America, Woodard/White
  • Voted Texas Super Lawyer in a poll sponsored by a Thomson Reuters business published in Texas Monthly magazine each year since inception of this award in 2003, also selected as one of the Top 50 Women Attorneys in Texas in 2004 and 2007 through 2010 and Top 100 Attorneys in Houston Region in 2007 through 2010.
  • Named One of The Best Lawyers in America, Woodard/White, 1998 - 2011
  • Recipient, David A. Gibson Award for Professionalism and Excellence in the Practice of Family Law, presented by Gulf Coast Family Law Specialists, 1995
  • Course Director and Program Chair, New Frontiers in Marital Property, State Bar of Texas, 2000
  • Assistant Course Director, Annual Trial Institute, Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, 1997
  • Co-Course Director, Advanced Family Law Seminar, 1995, 2003

Professional Associations and Memberships: