Criminal & Family law
DON'T GET CAUGHT IN A LEGAL DOWNPOUR
COLLEEN A. DUNBAR, ATTORNEY AT LAW
In February of 1952, I was born on Long Island, New York to the late Charles and Marguerite Dunbar, their third child and first daughter. My beloved sister Debbie was born one year later. My parents moved their family from New York to Colorado, via Ohio, where my father bought a radio station in Colorado Springs in 1957. At that radio station, my father met my future stepmother Jane who was an employee. A torrid affair began and after a long and difficult separation, my parents were divorced. Dad married Jane which increased the family from four children to seven. The family would later grow to a total of eight children with the birth of Katherine, the “ours” in the “yours, mine and ours” saga that was our family.
Our family relocated to Aspen, Colorado in late 1958, where my parents stayed until their move to Palm Beach, Florida in 1965. By the time of the move, my mother and father were embroiled in a lengthy, extraordinarily expensive, two state custody battle for me and my siblings. The 1960-1965 cost of that five year litigation exceeded a quarter of a million dollars.
I graduated high school at Palm Beach High School in 1969 and moved to Gainesville, Florida where I attended and graduated from the University of Florida in December of 1972. During my time at the University, I played ladies tennis for the university, served as a Student Senator and also as an executive in the production of Gator Growl, which was and still is billed as the world’s largest student produced show. I graduated Magna Cum Laude in December of 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism.
After graduation, I worked as a legislative aide in the Florida House of Representatives and later as an aide to a Florida Senator. My work in the political arena ended when I started law school at Southern Methodist University in the fall of 1973. I graduated in May of 1976, took the Texas bar examination and was admitted to practice law on November 1, 1976.
I moved back home to Aspen, Colorado for nearly two years where I worked as a law clerk for the County Judge and several law firms. During that time in Aspen, I met (and played softball with) Claudine Longet who was later tried for the murder of her lover, Spider Sabitch. I also met Ted Bundy who was under arrest for one of the serial murders that he committed across the United States. I was researching a case in the county law library where Mr. Bundy was handcuffed to the table in the middle of the library located in the back of the Pitkin County District Court. He introduced himself to me. Bundy later escaped from the very same courtroom less than a week later.
In the fall of 1978 I moved back to Dallas to learn how to practice law. I worked briefly for a law firm but was encouraged to strike out on my own in early 1979, by many judges and other colleagues. I was one of a handful of women lawyers who practiced criminal defense in the North Texas area. To say that I was blessed by the opportunity to learn from the best of the best, such as Robert Hinton, George Milner, Sr., Bill Alexander, and many others, is an understatement. Those incredible attorneys taught me how to practice law the right way. I have forever paid it forward by doing the same for many “baby lawyers” who I am proud to say are now some of the best litigators in this state, if not the United States.
My practice is concentrated in criminal defense, both state and federal. I have always done family law, but I limit the amount of family law cases that I take. Family law cases are inherently time consuming, expensive and emotionally taxing. As a child of my parent’s exhausting custody fight in the 60’s, I believe that I have a unique perspective to offer parents who are going through the breakup of their family.
I have been married and divorced four times, am seriously involved with a wonderful man and am the proud mother of two grown sons and one adorable grandson. I am blessed with my siblings, my many friends and trusted colleagues.
Suffice it to say that my approach to life and to my practice is one of compassion, understanding and objectivity. I am not your Judge, I am your advocate.
39 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
I wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas and to give thanks to God for bringing you into my life. Simply put, you saved my life.
After relapsing on alcohol, I turned insane and was subsequently arrested with a felony charge of breaking into a habitation. In a panic, I searched the Internet for a female lawyer who did not specialize in DUI/DWI cases. Your elegant website drew me in so I called. " Don't you worry, Hon." (I can't remember the endearment you frequently use, or am I imagining this?) Call me as soon as you are formally charged. I'll take it from there." What a blessed, blessed relief.
Colleen, without knowing me from Eve, and no conditions, your staff came and posted bail within hours of my arrest. When I came to your office on Hood Street, I expected to see groups of lawyers and paralegals scurrying around. Instead, I was scooted into your sunny, private office by your warm and friendly assistant, and right away I knew everything really was going to be alright.
What a wonder watching you work your magic in the courtroom. With confidence and sheer charisma, you negotiated a reduction in my probation from five years to two years. A year later, we walked into the courtroom, and I was free. No more probation. No more nightmares.
Again, thank you for your unconditional dedication and genuine undivided attention; for giving me back my life; and teaching me what it means to treat others with respect and kindness that you gave me. It is an honor to have you as my life-long lawyer. And God bless the "Girls in the Hood!"
SHIRLY BROTTNOVEMBER 28, 2012
Colleen Dunbar is an attorney who truly cares! Not only about your case, but you as a person. She showed me love every step of the way, and I must say I was a high maintenance client. Gina, her assistant, was as caring as Ms. Dunbar. Not only did I get a great outcome with Dunbar's highly educated skills, I feel like I made a friend for life. If I ever need an attorney again I would definitely seek out Ms. Dunbar and/or her recommendation. I suggest you go with Attorney Dunbar for knowledge, skills, connections and tender loving care!! Take it from me a very satisfied client and now what I consider a very dear friend of Attorney Dunbar. With my deepest sincerity, JAH@
A Profound Lesson
To a stranger, I appear to be a typical college student from middle-class white suburban America. For the last four years, I have attended Texas A&M University seeking a degree in Political Science and English, always with the intention of going to law school. What is not overtly apparent is the important role that my childhood exposure to the American judicial system has played in my decision. The experiences that I faced in my youth have heightened my perception of justice and inspired my unfaltering determination to pursue a career in the field of law.
As a child I was caught in the middle of a painful custody battle between my parents. At six years of age I remember sitting in a dingy gray lobby reading Highlights magazine with my step-mother and awaiting my interview with the court appointed counselor. I had little understanding of the situation in which I was involved. I do recall, however, the exhaustion in my father's face as he patiently attempted to explain to me that he was doing what was best for me. The friendly counselor seemed to offset my parents' nervousness and I gladly accompanied her to a large room full of toys, unafraid to talk to a complete stranger.
Throughout the custody battle, I remember many evenings that my parents would meet with our attorney, Colleen Dunbar. Ms. Dunbar saw my struggle and confusion and did everything in her power to ensure that I would be kept out of the custody proceedings, a potentially traumatizing event for a young girl. She was a positive force in my life at that time. It was because of Ms. Dunbar's advocacy that I was removed from a neglectful environment and placed in a stable and loving home. A fierce woman, she seemed larger than life and became my childhood heroine.
Ms. Dunbar followed through for me yet again when she aided my step-mother in filing for legal guardianship of me. Her persistence and dedication once again fought for my best interest. My youthful introduction to the judicial system formed the foundation for my attraction to the field of law. It is my respect for role models like Colleen Dunbar that has inspired me to want to serve others in the quest for justice. I would like to impact someone's life as positively as Ms. Dunbar has impacted mine.
It was Gandhi who said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. " Because of Ms. Dunbar's great impact and my parent's guiding hand I have tried to live my life by this statement. The result of her hard work has provided me with a supportive foundation that has inspired the independent and productive young woman that I have become. My development throughout my interaction with Colleen Dunbar and the judicial system has revealed my passion for the law, sense of self and intense dedication to others.
Have you ever meet some who you immediately liked and feel like you have known them for years? That was how I feel the first time I had the pleasure to work with Colleen Dunbar. Divorce is never an easy thing to go thru; So much uncertainty and fear. Through the entire process, Colleen was there to answer my questions, keep me calm and helped me thru this difficult time. I call her the Gentle Giant. She knew exactly what to say to keep my ex happy and make him think he was in control, but really keep the upper hand the whole time. I was very happy with the job she did and the settlement she was able to get for me. If you are looking for someone to be there for you and get the job done, then you could not ask for a better Attorney then Colleen.
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage"-Lao Tzu
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3141 Hood St. Dallas, TX 75219
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