Who I Am – Camille Milner
I was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1958. After moving here in 1963, I grew up in Denton and graduated from Denton High school in 1977. I attended the University of North Texas (formerly NTSU), graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree (double major in History and Political Science). I then attended the University of Texas School of Law, from which I graduated with a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree in 1983. After graduation from law school I returned to Denton, I opened up my own law office after gaining experience working for a couple of different law firms in the area. I have been in private practice since 1984. I also served as the Municipal Judge for Denton from 1985-86.
My practice began in the workers’ compensation and personal injury field; I also gained experience in various areas of civil and criminal practice, but eventually I settled in family law, estate planning and probate, and guardianship. I became Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 2001. Also since 2001, I have been very active in Collaborative Divorce, which I believe is a “new world paradigm” which will forever change the practice of law in a very positive way for clients, their families, and our society at large. In 2018, I was recognized as Master Credentialed Collaborative Divorce Professional by Collaborative Divorce Texas.
What I Do
Collaborative Divorce: My primary focus in all three areas of my practice is now in Collaborative Law. Through the Collaborative Divorce process, the attorneys and other professionals (such as a communications coach, financial planner, child specialist, retirement specialist) assist the parties in resolving their cases by interest-based negotiation (positive/constructive) rather than position-based negotiation (negative/destructive) without the trauma or expense of “going to court.” This is accomplished by face-to-face meetings where we explore the parties’ interests, goals and options and in a very civilized approach and reach a “win-win” resolution for the parties.
Family Law: I help individuals and families restructure from a married family to a two-household family without ravaging their relationship, their children or their estate. If the parties have children they will always be “blood-kin” because they share their children. My job is to help then transition to a sort of distant relative relationship; we may not always like our relatives but we do almost always love them and are able to work with them for the good of the family.
Guardianship: I assist individuals and families in developing and implementing a long-term plan that will most effectively enable them to care for their incapacitated loved one in their personal and financial needs.
Probate: I assist individuals and families in developing and implementing a long-term estate plan that will meet their needs during their lifetime and most efficiently and cost effectively transfer their estate to those persons or entities they wish upon their death. This estate planning includes such documents as Medical Powers of Attorney (dealing with issues regarding health care), Statutory Durable Powers of Attorney (dealing with financial issues), Designation of Guardian in the Event the Need Arises, Physician’s Directive (Living Will), and other estate planning issues and documents.
Litigation: As I have said, my primary focus is now on collaborative law in family, probate, estate planning and guardianship. However, in certain cases, litigation becomes a necessity. In those cases, after practicing over thirty years, I am ready and able to litigate if that becomes a necessity. As a lawyer, litigation is probably the most stimulating of all legal exercises. Drafting pleadings, written interrogatories, requests for production of documents, taking depositions, and going to trial is what most lawyers trained for in law school. Great television is made about famous trials. But in the end, huge amounts of money are spent and both parties usually feel that they have been ravaged by the judicial system. One collaborative lawyer stated that he believes it is much easier to go over to the Courthouse and “rip out the jugular vein of the other side” than to keep emotions in check for hours at a time during the collaborative negotiation process and resolve the case through that type of diplomacy. Whatever the client’s desire, whether litigation or collaborative, I am ready to represent them, but it is obvious which is my preference. That is not to say that I do not personally love trial and the adrenaline rush that winning gives me, but I must put my client’s and his or her children’s or family’s best interest before my own, and therefore I am compelled to present an honest picture of the options. However, even just recently I was involved in a three-week custody and property trial in a divorce case. All the attorneys in the case had tried to persuade the parties to settle prior to trial, but both parties desired to have a trial. About two-thirds through the trial, my client asked to speak to me in the conference room outside the courtroom. That client broke down and cried at that point, saying that it was not possible to understand prior to trial how painful and destructive it would be. That client won the case, but after hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on attorneys, expert witnesses, and the litigation process, I think if that client could tell other clients anything it would be do whatever you possibly can to avoid the cost to the family relationship and the family estate that comes with trial.
Camille Milner is an Experienced and Board Certified Family Law Attorney in Denton, Texas.
To schedule an appointment contact her office at 940-383-2674.