Shearman And Sterling

News March 27, 2023

Shearman & Sterling Litigation Partner Samuel Cooper Presses Texas Supreme Court on Behalf of Children

Shearman & Sterling Litigation partner Samuel Cooper argued before the Texas Supreme Court on March 23 in a case concerning a Texas Family Code requirement that a trial court conducting a bench trial shall, upon request of a party in a custody proceeding, interview a child 12-years or older to learn about the custody wishes of the child.

Cooper, appearing as pro bono counsel, told the state’s Supreme Court justices that trial courts often ignore this statutory mandate even though individuals—such as Shearman & Sterling’s client here—have waived their jury trial right in order to secure the child’s interview. By enforcing the statutory requirement, Cooper said, the Supreme Court could ensure that a proper voice is given to children in custody determinations and improve decisions in those matters.

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