"After 43 years as the only family law attorney in a large Dallas law firm, it is wonderful and rewarding to be surrounded at Connatser Family Law by some of the best family law attorneys in Dallas. Everyone is dedicated to achieving the best result for each client."
Douglas A. Harrison is a veteran family lawyer known statewide for his expert handling of complex business and property claims in divorce.
Doug began his career at the international law firm Gardere Wynne Sewell more than 40 years ago and soon became the firm’s “go-to” family lawyer, often dealing with corporate and other business assets. He has extensive experience with the forensic identification, valuation and division of community property and liabilities, and the identification and tracing of separate property.
Although complex divorce litigation is his strong suit, Doug has extensive training and experience with the advanced settlement techniques involved in collaborative law.
“Collaborative law can be a most productive way to divide assets,” Doug says. “We follow the method that’s most likely to lead to success, consistent with the client’s wishes.”
In addition, Doug helps clients all across Texas with the following:
- Negotiation, drafting and enforcement of premarital and postmarital agreements and cohabitation agreements.
- Adoptions and modification actions relating to children, such as support, custody and possession.
- Issues related to the division of business property.
Handling divorces for many successful businesspeople has helped him develop effective strategies for dividing employee benefits, including non-qualified stock options, stock appreciation rights, and both qualified and non-qualified retirement and pension plans. Doug can effectively handle all issues that arise in complicated divorces, such as tax, real estate, corporate, immigration, intangible property rights and employee benefit issues.
Aubrey Connatser, Managing Member of Connatser Family Law, considers Doug a major addition to her team. “Having worked with and against him during my career, I know the quality of his advocacy, ethics and example as a person and a lawyer. In divorce, Doug is a master of complex business and property matters.”
Doug has taught family law at SMU Dedman School of Law, where he earned his law degree in 1974, and has served as a mentor to many of the area’s top young family lawyers.
He has also been recognized for excellence in the legal profession by The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White, 2007-2016); Texas Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters, 2004-2016); and Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated.
He is a member of many legal organizations, including the American Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, Dallas Bar Association, The College of the State Bar of Texas, The Collaborative Law Institute of Texas, The Collaborative Alliance, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and Annette Stewart Inn of Court.
Doug has been involved for years in divorce recovery seminars at many Dallas-area churches and as a Board Member and Vice Chair of the Fowler Christian Apartments, Inc., offering subsidized housing to the elderly.
J.D., Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law (1974)
• Member, Journal of Air Law and Commerce
• Member, Order of the Coif
• Member, The International Legal Fraternity of Phi Delta Phi
B.A., The University of Texas at Arlington, with high honors (1971) – Economics
Attorney, Aubrey M. Connatser, P.L.L.C.
Associate & Partner, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP (1974 – 2016)
Member, State Bar of Texas – Family Law & Collaborative Law Sections Member, American Bar Association
Member, Dallas Bar Association – Family Law & Collaborative Law Sections Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
Member, The College of the State Bar of Texas Member, Collaborative Divorce Dallas
Co-Chairman, Collaborative Divorce Dallas (2012 to 2014)
Member, The Collaborative Law Institute of Texas d/b/a Collaborative Divorce Texas Member, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
Member, Annette Stewart American Inn of Court
Publications, Academic Appointments and Honors
Speaker, Address at the Ninth Biennial Specialists Symposium on Texas Family Law and Community Property: Marriage Contracts and Marital Partitions
Speaker, Address to the National Business Institute Inc.: Winning for Your Client
Speaker, Address to the Association of Certified Public Accountants: Community Property – The Texas System
Speaker, Address at the Dallas Life and Remarriage Workshop: After The Divorce
Speaker, Address to the Dallas Bar Association Family Law Section: Legislative Update Report 1997: Improvements to Homesteads and Home Equity Loan
Speaker, Address at the Advanced Family Law Course (1999) (authored paper for course proceedings)
Speaker, Address at the 2014 Collaborative Law Spring Conference, “Practice Group ‘A Go Go’- Spice Up Your Practice Group”
Speaker, Address at the 10th Annual Collaborative Law Practice Conference, “Option Evaluation and Trade Offs”
Former Adjunct Professor of Law, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law – Family Law
Recognized, The Best Lawyers in America (Steven Naifeh & Gregory White Smith eds., Woodward/White Inc.) (2007-2017) – Family Law
Recognized, Texas Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, as published in Texas Monthly (2004-2017) – Family Law
Recognized, AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell® PEER REVIEW RATINGS™
Some representative clients and cases:
- Former president and CFO of a national airline.
- Clients with large amounts of inherited wealth.
- Businessmen and women who were presidents of companies traded on the NY stock exchange as well those privately held.
- The spouses of such businesspeople.
- Many doctors and lawyers and other professional persons
- Sometimes, the poor and desperate person in need of help.