Michelle Williams received her undergraduate degree from Stephens College and earned her law degree from Texas A & M University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas. While attending law school, Michelle interned at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office in the Family Violence Unit and began working for a family law firm in Dallas, Texas. Immediately after graduating law school in May of 2005 and admittance to the State Bar of Texas in June of 2005, Michelle opened her own firm dedicated to family law and has been practicing family law exclusively for over eighteen years. Michelle is also a trained mediator in civil and family law. Upon learning about the creation of the Dallas County Child Protection and Permanency Court, Michelle volunteered to assist aged out foster youth prior to establishing the nonprofit Friends Investing in Foster Kids with the other board members. Her philosophy is “if my child has something, whether it is a prom ticket, cap and gown for graduation, a driver’s license or a Christmas present, the youth in the Child Protection and Permanency Court should have access to that as well.”
When Michelle is not working or volunteering, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to concerts with her son, and traveling the world.
Graduated from St. Edward's High School, Austin Texas
Four year tour in the U.S. Navy, Interior Communications Technician Second Class
Graduated from San Diego State University, BA Economics, Minor Political Science
Employed with a major telecommunications company for 32 years
Volunteer work with United Way San Diego in Fundraising
Staff with United Way San Diego in Fundraising
Volunteer with Dallas CASA as a Court Appointed Special Advocate
Staff employee of Dallas CASA supervising volunteer advocates
Two adult sons, seven grandchildren
Professional Positions Held:
President, Communications Workers of America, Local 9509
Board member, San Diego United Way
Board member, Gibson Place, a youth housing organization
Member then Chair, Dallas County Child Welfare Board
Member, Volunteer Retention Committee of Dallas CASA Board of Directors
Board Member, Bringing Black Boys Back, a youth mentoring organization
Treasurer, Friends Investing in Foster Kids, a 501(c)(3), focused on supporting the work of the Dallas County Child Protection and Permanency Court
Krista “Kris” Balekian Hayes, Attorney of Family Law is double board-certified in the areas of family law and child welfare by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has been identified as one of Best Attorneys in America©. Kris earned her law degree at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio after completing her Bachelor of Business Administration at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She continued her education by earning a Master of Business Administration at St. Mary’s University School of Business. Kris worked in the area of family violence at the District Attorney’s office and spent years defending matters involving family violence allegations. Kris also spent over fifteen years practicing in various areas of civil litigation before finally finding her home in family law. Having practiced in criminal, civil, and family matters, Kris brings a vast amount of experience to her clients.
Kris is an accredited mediator in all civil, family, and CPS matters. She enjoys college football, wakeboarding, snowboarding and spending time with her children.
Kevin O’Brien is a retired entrepreneur who has volunteered in support of the needs of foster children in various capacities since 2016. He currently serves as a court appointed mentor for aging out foster youth.
in domestic litigation and arbitration in a variety of jurisdictions throughout Texas and the U.S. With that foundation, Josh routinely handles divorces, child custody cases, child support enforcement and contempt actions, and modifications of support and possession. He also handles more unique family disputes, such as custody disputes involving international jurisdictional challenges, grandparents’ rights, and same-sex marriage issues.
As a compliment to his work as an experienced litigator, Josh is also a certified mediator in civil and family law. Josh has the training and skills to guide his clients successfully through the mediation process, as well as litigation. Regardless of the venue, Josh knows his clients need to have a voice and that advising them with candor about their options and respect for their decisions allows them to develop realistic expectations and results. Josh enjoys bringing his combined experience in both civil and domestic litigation to get his clients the best possible outcome for their unique situation.
In recognition of his work in family law, Josh was named to the “Texas Rising Stars” in family law list, a Thomson Reuters service, in 2014 and 2015, and he has been recognized as a “Texas Super Lawyer” in family law from 2019-2023. Josh was also named to the “Best Lawyers in America” in family law, by BL Rankings, from 2019-2023, and he was a “Law Dragon Leading 500” in family law in 2020. Josh is a member of the Family Law Sections of both the State Bar of Texas and the Dallas Bar Association and a Barrister in the Annette Stewart American Inn of Court. Josh is also a Fellow of both the Texas Bar Foundation and the Dallas Bar Foundation.
In furtherance of his service to children and families, Josh served as a part-time magistrate for the Dallas County Truancy Courts from 2009 to 2017. Josh was appointed to the Dallas County Welfare Advisory Board in 2019 and served on the Dallas County Child Welfare Board in 2021.
An active member of his local community, Josh has held various leadership positions in his Homeowner’s Association, including serving as President and Secretary. Josh has also volunteered as a Volunteer-In-Patrol (VIP) for his local crime watch and as a tutor in the Forerunner Mentoring Program, an after-school program aimed at providing positive male role models for boys in the Lake Highlands area. Josh previously served as a member and Vice-President of his children’s elementary school Dads Club, and he and his wife most recently served as Presidents of the Lake Highlands Wildcat Club, the athletic booster club supporting Lake Highlands junior high and high schools.
Josh is married to his wife, Tricia, and they have two daughters.
Jodi McShan is a dynamic legal professional with a passion for excellence and a diverse range of expertise. She embarked on her academic journey at Vanderbilt University, where she completed her undergraduate studies, laying the foundation for a future filled with accomplishments.
Recognizing her fervor for the legal field, Jodi pursued her Juris Doctor degree at the prestigious University of San Diego School of Law. During her time there, she honed her legal skills, developed a keen understanding of the intricacies of the law, and solidified her commitment to justice.
Jodi's dedication to continuous growth and specialization led her to further her education with a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from the University of San Diego. This advanced legal education allowed her to delve deeper into her areas of interest, establishing her as a true authority in her chosen field.
With a drive to make a meaningful impact, Jodi McShan established the Law Office of Jodi McShan, PLLC. As the founder and lead attorney, she tirelessly advocates for her clients, offering insightful legal guidance and leveraging her extensive knowledge to achieve favorable outcomes.
Jodi's pursuit of excellence doesn't stop at the legal realm. She is also the visionary force behind McShan Florist Inc., a business that brings beauty and joy to the community through enchanting floral arrangements. This dual role showcases her multifaceted talents and her ability to successfully navigate different domains.
Associate Judge | Child Protection and Permanency Court
Judge Delia Gonzales is originally from Victoria, Texas and graduated from Sam Houston State University in 1998 and graduated from Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 2002. Judge Gonzales practiced in the area of child welfare and family law for 15 years as an attorney and mediated family law and child welfare cases for 6 years. Judge Gonzales is the Associate Judge Child Protection and Permanency Court in Dallas County through the Office of Court Administration. Judge Gonzales serves on multiple committees through the Texas Children’s Commission and the National Center for Juvenile and Family Court Judges. In 2020, Judge Gonzales was awarded the Texas CASA Judicial Innovation and Leadership Award. Recently, Judge Gonzales was awarded the Ken Fuller Pro Bono award by the State Bar of Texas for her dedication and leadership to the youth that the Court serves. Judge Gonzales has built the foundation and fundamentals for the court to assist children who are in the permanent custody of CPS to help the youth in her court obtain positive permanency, enhance outcomes for youth in care and address wellbeing issues. She has had several articles in the Dallas Morning News spotlighting the success of the Court.
Retired entrepreneur who has volunteered in support of the needs of foster children in various capacities since 2016. He currently serves as a court appointed mentor for aging out foster youth.
Josh’s practice focuses primarily on family law and domestic litigation, though his practice is anchored by extensive civil litigation experience representing a variety of small and mid-sized businesses. He has represented clients in domestic litigation and arbitration in a variety of jurisdictions throughout Texas and the U.S. [ MORE ]
Jodi began her academic journey at Vanderbilt University, where she earned her undergraduate degree. Driven by her passion for law, Jodi pursued her Juris Doctorate at the prestigious University of San Diego School of Law. Continuing her pursuit of legal expertise, she also obtained an LLM (Master of Laws) degree from the University of San Diego [ MORE ]
Judge Delia Gonzales is originally from Victoria, Texas and graduated from Sam Houston State University in 1998 and graduated from Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 2002. Judge Gonzales practiced in the area of child welfare and family law for 15 years as an attorney and mediated family law and child welfare cases for 6 years. [ MORE ]