JoAl Cannon Sheridan
JoAl Cannon Sheridan is a well-known and experienced trial lawyer in the area of family law. Board Certified in Family Law since 2008 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, JoAl is recognized both statewide and nationally as a frequent speaker to both lawyers and judges on complex family law topics, including third-party and grandparent cases, conservatorship, interstate and international jurisdictional issues, complex marital property law, and professionalism and ethics.
JoAl relocated to Austin in 2008 after a successful 14-year practice in East Texas. After becoming extremely involved in the Central Texas legal community, she was honored in 2019 to found Sheridan Family Law PLLC, with recently retired Judge Leonard Saenz joining the firm. Judge Saenz is Board Certified in both Family Law and Criminal Law.
JoAl’s commitment has led her to assume numerous leadership positions in notable organizations and initiatives throughout the state and country, and has provided her the opportunity to cultivate her heart for service, both to her clients, her profession and the community. JoAl currently serves as President of the Texas Family Law Foundation, which promotes sound public policy and legislation during the Texas Legislative Session. JoAl testifies frequently before State Senate and House committees on issues of family law, and is considered a valuable resource on family law matters by many lobbyists and Legislators.
Additionally, JoAl is the Immediate Past-President of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, Immediate Past-President of the Austin Bar Association Family Law Section, former Council member of the State Bar of Texas Family Law Section from 2001-2011, where she has served on its Legislative Committee since 2001. Prior to that time, JoAl was the youngest ever elected Director to the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors, where she served as Chair of the Legislative Committee, Co-Chair of the Legal Services to the Poor committee, and on the Executive Committee.
Professionalism has always been the core of how JoAl practices law, which manifests itself not only in how she deals with her clients and colleagues, but also in her service to the legal community and public. Appointed by the Texas Supreme Court to the Board of Disciplinary Appeals from 2008-2014, she served as Vice-Chair of the board from 2009-2013, and Chair of the Board from 2013-2014, presiding over many appeals of attorney grievance matters. She currently serves as the Chair of the Professionalism Committee of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a national elite organization of highly skilled, leading practitioners in the area of family law. Only approximately 1,650 family lawyers throughout the United States are accepted as Fellows in the Academy. JoAl also serves on the Legislation, Membership, and Public Service committees.
Recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer every year since 2004, JoAl is also listed in the 2014-2018 editions of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of Family Law. JoAl holds an AV Rating from Martindale Hubbell, which is the highest lawyer rating for both ability and ethics. In 2017 she was named a Top 50 Lawyer in Central and West Texas.
JoAl has developed a reputation for being a direct, skilled and zealous advocate who also understands the often emotionally charged issues that arise in a family law matter. She is known for being reasonable, articulate, prepared and courteous, while being sensitive to the needs of families to be able to move forward in a positive way in an atmosphere of meaningful co-parenting relationships.
JoAl’s practice focuses on complex custody and property cases, with a particular affinity for third-party custody, grandparent issues, and interstate jurisdictional matters. JoAl feels strongly that the representation of her clients during these most difficult, emotional times is a calling as much as a profession, and that the tone that is set from the outset of the matter is key to promoting constructive familial relationships throughout the case and beyond.
In her spare time, JoAl is active in St. John’s United Methodist Church, where she sings in the choir and plays in the Jones Memorial Handbell group, as well as serves on the Endowment Fund Committee. JoAl and her husband, Dirk, hold professional level Dive Master certifications, and enjoy tennis and cross-fit training.
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- Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- Fellow, International Academy of Family Lawyers
- Fellow, Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists
- AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
- Recognized in U.S. News Best Lawyers in America—Family Law since 2014
- Recognized as 2017 Top 50 Lawyers in Central Texas—Super Lawyer
- Recognized as a 2018 Best Law Firm by U.S. News
Pro Bono Activities
- Officer, Texas Family Law Foundation
- Endowment Fund Committee
Certified Legal Specialists
- Board Certified in Family Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 2008
- Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, Immediate Past-President
- Austin Bar Association Family Law Section, Immediate Past-President
- State Bar of Texas Family Law Section, Former Council member, 2001 to 2011
- State Bar of Texas Board of Directors, Elected Director
- State Bar of Texas, Legislative Committee, 2001
- State Bar of Texas, Legislative Committee, Chair
- State Bar of Texas, Legal Services to the Poor committee, Executive Committee, Co-Chair
- Texas Supreme Court, Board of Disciplinary Appeals, 2008 to 2014
- Texas Supreme Court, Board of Disciplinary Appeals, Vice-Chair of the board, 2009-2013, Chair of the Board, 2013-2014
- Professionalism Committee of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Chair