Parker County Today September 2017 - Page 10

Gabe Vick 8 in fact give the wills away if you have to. When you get older you can live on probating them.” Later he did a lot of real estate law, and he owned a title company and, eventually, that was all he did.” When and how did Tom Vick decide to build a career in family practice? “When Dan Carney and Don Chrestman came over here and we were forming this partnership,” Vick said, “Dan had been a prosecutor and Don did transactional law, and Dad did real estate law, so family law just sort of fell to me.” The Family Man At some point, Vick realized that he derived a great deal of satisfaction out of practicing family law, at least he does on “most days,” he said. “There are days when I’d like to do anything but practice family law. But, it’s an opportunity to impact people’s lives. In family law, we’re representing good people at some of the worst times in their lives. We get to help them piece their lives back together and make sure their children’s best interests are served in whatever they’re doing. The idea is to help them get through that time without destroying all the rela- tionships that they need to preserve.” Is there a secret to being a successful family lawyer? “The secret to the longevity of a family lawyer is that you have to leave it right here when you go home,” Vick said. “Because, if you take all these people’s problems as your own, you won’t sleep at night.” What’s the biggest challenge in practicing family law? Without skipping a beat, Vick answered, “Keeping your sanity. It used to be that the bigges t challenge in being a part of a small law firm was dealing with the technology. That was 15 years ago. Now, with my iPad, I have access to the technology that was only accessible to the biggest law firms with high dollar I.T. departments. Technology has certainly leveled the playing field.” As Bar President, Vick hopes to improve access that the general public has to attorneys and to make seek- ing excellent legal counsel more affordable to far more people through technology, perhaps using something like Skype. “As bar president, I’d like to see the technology in our courtrooms advance so that lower and middle income Texans could have greater access to the justice system,” Vick said. “If I’m in this office and I have a hearing in Breckenridge, as it is now, I have to drive to Breckenridge, go to the courtroom where I wait my turn, then participate in the 20-minute-long proceeding, and then drive back. The client has to pay for all of that time. But, if I could do that via a Skype-type program, here’s how it could happen — I could just turn my computer on and participate in a 20-minute court proceeding. Just think of the money it would save the client. If we can bring the cost of that down, it makes the legal/justice system far more accessible to many more Texans.” A Most Noteworthy Case When asked what has been his favorite case so far, Vick smiles. “Favorite?” He said. “I had a couple that were noteworthy. One was the YFZ Ranch case.” The year was 2008 and Vick had been active in the Family Bar Association for years. “I’d just come off of being the president,” Vick said. “I didn’t know all 6,000 Texas attorneys in family law, but I knew a lot of them,” Vick said. “If somebody called and said they needed a family law attorney in Lampasas, I’m sure I could come up with somebody.” That came in handy in April of 2008, when acting on the outcry of an alleged teen victim of physical and sexu- al abuse at the FLDS compound in Schleicher County, Texas. Child Protective Services and Texas Department of Public Safety officers entered a compound owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. There, they served search and arrest warrants and carried out court orders designed to protect the chil- dren of the congregants. Over the course of several days,