Top-Rated Family Law Specialists

Reviews from Our Clients

  • “Excellent Lawyer”


  • “Exceptional at walking you through the legal process”

    Ziad K

  • “Excellent attorney”

    Carol M

  • “Words cannot describe the gratitude that we have”

    Cindi F

  • “Honest, trustworthy, and hardworking”

    Vicki S

  • “Looked out for my best interests and supported me”

    Lori N

  • “This is definitely the team you want on your side; they are a cut above the rest.”

    Nicole S.

  • “Do yourself a favor, trust Dennis Slate and his team to represent you in your time of need.”


  • “I immediately knew if I ever needed him as a lawyer he was going to be my secret weapon in court.”

    Ray & Christina V.

  • “The team is great and professional.”

    Happy Client

  • “Thank you for your hard work, and for treating Mike and me with respect...”

    Charlotte S.

  • “I have used him for various personal transactions and he never disappoints!”

    Lisa M.

  • “Dennis was there for me, stood by me thru the entire ordeal and made me feel safe at all times!”

    Tammy A.

  • “No matter what came up, he kept pushing and figuring things out.”

    Ashley C.

  • “He took on my case with only 5 days until we had to go to court and he represented himself as if he knew me for years.”

    David Villanueva

Karlene Poll

Appellate Attorney A photo of Karlene Poll

Karlene Poll joined Slate & Associates in 2022 as founder of its appellate section. She has extensive experience as an appellate lawyer and working at every level of Texas appellate courts. In her most recent position as a partner at a prestigious appellate boutique, Kuhn Hobbs, PLLC, Karlene’s practice gravitated towards family-law and CPS cases, where she found her passion. She represents clients of Slate & Associates as well as individual clients across the state. Often, she is brought onto a client’s team by outside family-law lawyers when a case needs advanced trial court motions drafted, assistance at trial, or when cases reache the appellate level.

Karlene graduated salutatorian from South Texas College of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the South Texas Law Review. While working full-time and attending the school’s night program, she won several national, state, and local writing awards attached to scholoarships, including the Association of Legal Writers’ “Scribes Award” (best moot court appellate brief in the country), the Texas Family Law Association’s law review award (best family law review article in the state), and the Houston Bar Association Appellate Section’s brief award (best appellate brief written by a student at the city’s three law schools).

Karlene began her legal career as a briefing attorney for the late Texas Supreme Court Justice James A. Baker and then served as a law clerk for the Honorable Harold R. DeMoss Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit before joining Baker Botts LLP’s appellate section. At Baker Botts, she gained particular expertise in Texas Jury Charge practice, often joining trial teams to write and argue motions, advise on legal strategies and error preservation, and handle the jury-charge conference and post-trial motions. Karlene served as lead appellate counsel and argued cases before the Texas Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and several of the intermediate Texas Courts of Appeals.

Texas Monthly magazine rated Karlene an appellate practice “Rising Star” her last three years at Baker Botts and a Super Lawyer in 2020. Before founding Kuhn Hobbs, PLLC’s Houston office, Karlene was a staff attorney for Chief Justice Sherry Radack on the First District Court of Appeals in Houston. She resumed private practice so she could devote a portion of her practice to representing parents in parental-termination cases. She is also an adoptive parent, so she understands the intricacies and the real personal stakes regardless of who she is representing in a family-law or CPS case.

Karlene varied experience also includes representation in the family-law courts through the Houston Bar Volunteer Lawyers program, staffing legal clinics for HIV/AIDS patients, and representation of military veterans in the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. She has served as lead counsel on amicus briefs in the Texas Supreme Court, representing scholars and leading family-law counsel all over the country in cases involving significant family-law and custody policy and law. She is especially proud of taking, as lead attorney, a criminal pro bono case all the way to the United States Supreme Court, where she obtained a reversal for her client.

Active in the legal community, Karlene served as a council member of the Houston Bar Appellate Practice Section for seven years before being elected Chair of the section in 2016. She is a member of the Texas State Bar Appellate Section’s Amicus Committee. She has also written and presented on a wide variety of legal topics at local and statewide conferences.

Karlene is a single mom, widowed in 2015. She and her incredibly loved-and-missed husband Geoff have four sons. Karlene spends her free time with her great village of friends, joyfully taking advantage of every moment watching her children and their friends grow up and develop into amazing people.

  • Dennis M. Slate
    Dennis M. Slate Founding Attorney
  • Robert I. Kuehm
    Robert I. Kuehm Associate Attorney
  • Ben J. Raia
    Ben J. Raia Associate Attorney
  • Shirley A. Mitchell
    Shirley A. Mitchell Associate Attorney
  • Lauren F. Durso
    Lauren F. Durso Associate Attorney
  • Brittany N. Henderson
    Brittany N. Henderson Associate Attorney
  • Dennis M. Slate Founding Attorney
    Dennis M. Slate

    Dennis M. Slate serves most of Greater Houston with offices in Deer Park, Houston, and a Brazoria County office in Pearland. Slate is a board-certified family law attorney with over 17 years’ experience, and thousands of cases under his belt. Slate is well respected in the court system and is a powerful advocate to have by your side. Read Full Profile

  • Robert I. Kuehm Associate Attorney
    Robert I. Kuehm

    Robert I. Kuehm is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Robert was admitted to the Texas State Bar in 2007. Robert is a second generation family law attorney that has focused his practice exclusively on helping clients with their family law issues

  • Ben J. Raia Associate Attorney
    Ben J. Raia

    Ben J. Raia is an Associate Attorney at Slate & Associates. He has been practicing law since 2008 focusing on family law matters, including divorce, child custody, asset division, protective orders, modification of orders, and adoption; as well as drafting wills and ancillary documents along with other probate matters, including administrations, guardianships, heirship proceedings, and estate planning.  Read Full Profile

  • Shirley A. Mitchell Associate Attorney
    Shirley A. Mitchell

    Shirley A. Mitchell is an associate at Slate and associates. Her practice is primarily focused on family law. She has represented clients in complex litigations, mediations and appeals involving domestic relation matters. Read Full Profile

  • Lauren F. Durso Associate Attorney
    Lauren F. Durso

    Lauren F. Durso is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She was named a Super Lawyer in Family Law by Texas Monthly Magazine in 2014 and 2015. Prior to that, Lauren was named as a Rising Star in Family Law by Texas Monthly Magazine in 2005 and from 2007-2014. Read Full Profile

  • Brittany N. Henderson Associate Attorney
    Brittany N. Henderson

    Brittany is an Associate Attorney at Slate & Associates with a passion for serving clients. Since joining the firm, she has helped serve clients in all aspects of family law, including complex divorce, child custody and asset division matters. Prior to joining the firm, Brittany consulted individuals and small businesses in tax related matters.

  • NAFLA 2022
  • Board Certified Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Houston Texas Magazine
  • Expertise Best Divorce Lawyers in Houston
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Family
  • Super Lawyers

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Please note, the attorneys at Slate & Associates, Attorneys at Law, are only licensed to practice in the state of Texas, and cannot assist with out-of-state cases.