• Zak Martinez

    Zak Martinez, an associate at Duffee + Eitzen, was born in Dallas, and raised in the nearby suburb of Rockwall, where he graduated from Rockwall High School in 2010. He attended Southern Methodist University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Religious Studies.

    After graduating from SMU, Mr. Martinez went on to attend Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth. He was selected as a Public Service Law Fellow during his first year of law school. As a Fellow, he completed hundreds of hours of pro bono public service work at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office in California. Mr. Martinez then served on the Board of the Fellowship at his law school, planning fundraising events, and encouraging other law students to participate in pro bono public service work. During the summer after his second year, he was selected as a specialized intern for the family violence unit at the Rockwall County District Attorney’s Office in his hometown. It was while working here that he found a passion in helping people get out of toxic situations, which led him to want to work in family law.

    Mr. Martinez did some of his coursework at the University of San Francisco School of Law in the Bay Area. There, he expanded his legal portfolio by taking classes like Maritime Law and International Human Rights, and also participated in the LGBT law student organization, OUTlaw, and the Criminal Law Society.

    After he graduated law school in 2017, Mr. Martinez took the bar exam and was admitted to practice in Texas in November 2017. He also took the Uniform Bar Exam, and was admitted to practice in the State of Colorado in January 2019, and to the State of Utah in May 2019. He clerked for a labor and employment law firm in Dallas, where he gained valuable insight into civil law proceedings before he joined Duffee + Eitzen in 2018. He has a penchant for travel and aviation, his favorite destination being Hong Kong. He also enjoys spending time with his parents, former and current Dallas Police Detectives, and his younger sister, Brooke, a student at Rockwall High School.

    Bar Admissions

    • Texas, November 2017
    • Colorado, January 2019
    • Utah, May 2019

    Education

    Texas A&M University School of Law, Fort Worth, Texas

    • J.D. – 2017
    • Honors: Public Service Law Fellow and Board Member of the Fellowship

    University of San Francisco School of Law, San Francisco, California

    • J.D. Visiting Student 2016

    Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

    • B.A. – 2013 Economics and Religious Studies

    Professional Associations and Memberships

    • State Bar of Texas, Member, 2017 – Present
      • Family Law Section
      • Aviation Law Section
      • LGBT Law Section
      • Criminal Justice Section
      • Labor and Employment Law Section
    • Colorado Supreme Court, January 2019 – Present
    • Utah Supreme Court, May 2019 – Present
    • Dallas Bar Association, Member, 2017 – Present
    • Collin County Bar Association, Member, 2018 – Present
    • LGBT Lawyers of Utah, 2019 – Present
    • Collaborative Divorce Professionals of Colorado, 2019 – Present

    Best Family Lawyers in Plano

vanessa sheppard
  • Vanessa Sheppard
    Vanessa has developed a practical understanding of a wide range of issues and disputes related to family law and she uses her experience, resolve, and sound judgment to craft effective solutions for her client’s complex problems. She has worked on a variety of family law cases including divorce, child custody, paternity, modification of custody and visitation, post-divorce enforcement issues, annulments, and common law marriages.  Vanessa believes one of the most important aspects of her practice is seeing the “big picture” and knowing that every person and every case is unique. Vanessa will effectively represent the individual interests of every client to help them achieve their legal goals.
     Vanessa earned her law degree from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law where she graduated cum laude. Before that, she graduated magna cum laude from Southern Methodist University. Vanessa enjoys volunteering in her local community and spending time with her husband and dachshund.
    d magazine lawyer

    Best Family Lawyers in Plano

    Vanessa Sheppard

    Rated by Super Lawyers

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Marianne Howland, divorce attorney at Duffee+ Eitzen
  • Marianne Howland

    Marianne Howland, a partner at Duffee + Eitzen, has been practicing family law for over ten years. She graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law in 2006. Since graduating, she has handled cases ranging the entire spectrum of family law from adoptions, custody battles, pre and post-nuptial agreements, to divorces and post-divorce modifications and enforcement. She is very comfortable in the courtroom litigating her client’s case. However, she encourages clients to settle their issues amicably when possible. Prior to joining Duffee + Eitzen, she had her own law practice for 10 years.
    She has two small children and has personally been through a divorce. She brings these experiences to every case and has compassion and knowledge that assists her in her representation of each of her clients. This experience allows her to give her clients the kind of attention and advocacy they deserve.

    Experience
    Family Law Attorney, Law Office of Marianne Howland
    October 2007-2018
    A sole practitioner representing clients in divorces, custody matters, child support matters, termination of parental rights, and protective orders in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, and Denton County.

    Staff Attorney at Legal Aid of Northwest Texas

    December 2006-October 2007
    Worked as the onsite attorney at Genesis Women’s Shelter. Represented women in divorces, custody disputes and protective orders.
    Education
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law
    • J.D. 2003-2006
    The University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
    • B.A. History – 2003 (with Distinction)
    • Honors: Dean’s List
    Professional Associations and Memberships
    • State Bar of Texas, Member
      • Family Law Section
      • Trial Section
    • Dallas Bar Association, Member
    • Attorneys Serving the Community
    • Member of Oak Cliff Women and Business

    Best Family Lawyers in Plano

George Shake, Partner at Duffee + Eitzen
  • George Shake

    George Shake, a partner with Duffee + Eitzen, L.L.P., has been practicing law in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since graduating from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. He practices family law and special education law. George received undergraduate degrees in English Literature and Business from the City University of New York. George received a Master’s degree in School Psychology from the University of North Texas and became licensed to practice school psychology.
    He worked with families directly for several years, assessing children and helping parents and schools to create educational programs for those children. George developed specialties in ADHD and Autism and has participated in countless special education meetings, discipline meetings, and teacher conferences. He has held administrative positions in several local public schools. He has written policies and trained school personnel to comply with federal and state regulations for serving children with special needs.George has been working on behalf of individuals with disabilities for twenty-five years and training professionals throughout the Dallas area for fifteen years. George’s work in family law often involves families with children with disabilities.

    George Shake Avvo
    Best Family Lawyers in Plano

  • Jodi Bender

    Jodi Bender, a partner at Duffee + Eitzen L.L.P., represents clients in all types of family law matters such as divorce cases including simple or complex, property division, child custody cases, modifications, termination and adoptions, enforcement actions, and drafting pre and post-nuptial agreements. Jodi’s practice involves both litigation and participation in the collaborative or cooperative process. Jodi has been practicing law in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area since graduating summa cum laude from Texas A&M University School of Law.

    Best Family Lawyers in Plano

hunter lewis baylor
  • T. Hunter Lewis

    T. Hunter Lewis is an experienced Family Law litigator and appellate attorney focused on the unique needs of his clients who are facing life-changing legal matters surrounding divorce, including child custody, possession and support, complex marital property division, pre- and post-marital agreements, paternity, and LGBT issues. He is active in local and statewide Family Law organizations, holding multiple leadership positions in the Family Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association and serving on the Legislative Bill Review and Auction committees of the Texas Family Law Foundation. He also serves on the Mock Trial Committee of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers. In addition to his selection to the Texas Super Lawyers listing, he has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America listing and is a member of The National Advocates: Top 40 Under 40. Hunter is a 2010 graduate of Baylor University School of Law. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Baylor University in 2007.

    A respected family law litigator and appellate attorney, Mr. Lewis’ practice is focused on divorce; child custody, possession and support matters; complex marital property division; pre- and post-marital agreements; questions of paternity; and LGBT-related issues

    d magazine lawyerBest Family Lawyers in Plano

    Best Lawyers Award Badge

     

  • Lisa Greenwood Duffee
    Lisa Duffee, partner of Duffee + Eitzen LLP, has been named to the Best Lawyers In Dallas list by D Magazine. Duffee, practicing law in the Dallas area for over three decades, efficiently represents her clients as a Dallas Family Attorney- negotiating, documenting and securing financial settlements in complex property cases. Prior to her transition to family law in 2000, Duffee was a partner at 2 large law firms in Dallas handling complicated business and real estate litigation matters.

    As a family law attorney experienced in the field of collaborative law, Duffee employs a compassionate spirit, business acumen, and innovative problem-solving skills to formulate strategies that assist clients in reaching their goals. Duffee is known for seeking resolution through negotiation, facilitation of communication, and a clear understanding of the client’s end-goals. The resulting resolutions minimize expense, emotional toll, and psychological impact. Duffee is known for her ability to find unique and creative solutions to best solve her clients’ needs.  Her respectful demeanor and deep-rooted empathy for clients affirm her reputation as a creative caretaker.

    Duffee is active in the Dallas community supporting organizations such as Meals on Wheels, The Bridge, North Texas Food Bank, and Attorneys Serving the Community, and the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP). She is also involved with Collaborative Law Dallas, State Bar of Texas, Texas Indian Bar Association, and is a former board member of the Family Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association. Duffee + Eitzen pledged $50,000 to the endowment fund of the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program of the Dallas Bar Association and is a founding supporter of the SMU VanSickle Family Law Clinic

    Best Family Lawyers in Plano (more…)

Melinda Eitzen, Master in Collaborative practice, family law
  • Melinda Hartman Eitzen

    Melinda Eitzen, recognized by D Magazine as one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas” and one of the “Best Family Law Mediators in Dallas”, is an attorney on the forefront of the collaborative law movement in Texas, is a partner in the Dallas-Fort Worth area based family law practice of Duffee + Eitzen.

    Focused on multimillion-dollar divorces, custody modifications, paternity cases, and premarital agreements, Melinda Eitzen is highly experienced in all facets of family law, and well versed in managing high-profile cases. She is the daughter of beloved retired Judge, Merrill Hartman, who was a Dallas District Judge for 22 years on both the Civil bench and Family bench.

    Melinda Eitzen has utilized her expertise in the practice of Collaborative Law to pen lectures, articles, and books on the subject including co-authoring “Divorce The Collaborative Way. Is It The Way For You?” and “Considering Divorce? Critical Things You Need to Know.”. In addition, she has presented dynamic lectures on many family law issues and the practice of family law. She has received the distinction of being a “Super Lawyer” multiple times by Texas Monthly Magazine (every year from 2003-2006 and every year again from 2009-2017) and one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas” by D Magazine. Melinda is the recipient of numerous awards, particularly for her pro bono work and for teaching others how to do pro bono work.

    Melinda has served as President of the Collin County Bar Association and as a Member of the Board of Directors of Texas Lawyers for Children from 2011-2013, as President of the Plano Bar Association, as a chair of the Collaborative Law Alliance of Collin County, Vice President of the Collin County Bar Association, chair of the Good Works Committee of the Collin County Bar Association, director of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, director of Texas Young Lawyers Association, and chair of the Family Law Section of the Collin County Bar Association.

    Melinda Eitzen has a true passion for helping people through difficult times. She has an exceptional mix of both compassion for her clients and an unyielding toughness on her opponents in the courtroom This unique blend gives her clients someone to talk to and someone they can depend on to protect their interests and get them everything they deserve. Melinda Eitzen is your Dallas Family Attorney.

    CollaborativeDivorceEitzen


    Best Lawyers Award Badge

    Best Family Lawyers in Plano

Marilea W. Lewis, partner at Duffee + Eitzen
  • Marilea W. Lewis

    Tough and experienced, yet compassionate and approachable, Marilea W. Lewis blends an impressive family law background with a client-friendly style, providing a winning combination for those she represents. Board Certified in Family Law, and with a background which includes nearly 25 years on the bench as a Dallas Judge, she is also an accomplished mediator for both general and family practice, and is qualified to sit as a private judge.

    Her professional admissions include the State Bar of Texas, the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

    Widely honored, and respected as one of the best attorneys in Texas, Judge Lewis has been chosen among Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers, recognizing the top 5% of lawyers in the State of Texas, since 2012, and has also been recognized by Thomson Reuters among the Top 100 Attorneys in Texas, The Top 50 Women Attorneys in Texas, and the Top 100 Attorneys in Dallas/Fort Worth. She has been selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America by Woodward White since 2013, and recognized as one of Best Lawyers’ Women in the Law since 2016, named to the ranks of Lawdragon Inc’s Best 500 Family Law Lawyers in 2020, acknowledged multiple times in DCEO Magazine’s Dallas 500 as one of the Most Influential Leaders in North Texas, has attained four-time recognition among D Magazine’s Best Lawyers in Dallas, possesses a “Superb” 10 rating by AVVO.com, and is a winner of the Exemplary Judicial Faculty Award by the Texas Center for the Judiciary. She is also a member of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists.

    Judge Lewis served on the bench of the 330th District Court in Dallas for eight years after sitting as Associate Judge of the 330th District Court for ten years. She began her judicial career as Master/Referee of the 305th District Court in 1986. A fifth-generation Texan, she is originally from Waco, and is particularly proud of her status as a “Double Bear”, having received undergraduate and law degrees from Baylor University. Outside of work, she is actively involved with Executive Women of Dallas, La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas, the Dallas Chapter of Pi Beta Phi Alumnae, and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Dallas. She is also active in her church, serving as a Verger and on Altar Guild. A true Renaissance woman, she is also a certified yoga instructor

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    Best Family Lawyers in Plano

  • Mo Martin

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