Jim Piper has long been a trusted, respected name in the Texas family law community and is the most senior attorney at PiperBurnett. Named “of counsel” in 2017, Jim remains very active in the practice of law and continues to handle the most contentious and complex cases in Central Texas. Jim’s experience and years in the courtroom make him a valuable resource to both the clients and attorneys and PiperBurnett.

Jim believes in taking a client-centered team approach, and in providing thoughtful, prompt and compassionate, yet touch representation. Jim’s practice is focused solely on representing clients who need help in the area of complex family law litigation and trial work.

In addition to being Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Jim is listed in the 2016 - 2017 editions of The Best Lawyers in America by Woodward White. Thomson Reuters has selected him to Texas Super Lawyers every year from 2011 to 2016, and also as one of the Top Attorneys in Texas (as listed in Texas Monthly). He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell (the highest rating possible) and is also included in the National Bar Registry of Preeminent Lawyers.

The first 10 years of Jim’s career were spent at the Legal Aid Society of Central Texas serving indigent clients. Jim has built a reputation of excellence among his peers and has been recognized with some of the profession’s most prestigious accolades.

His practice, at that time, was general civil litigation and he served as lead counsel on numerous class actions lawsuits in Federal District Court. This experience gave him an advantage when his practice shifted exclusively to family law. In addition to his expertise in family law, Jim possesses a strong background in accounting. This makes him particularly adept at helping high net worth clients deal with complex financial needs such as business valuations, property valuation and division, asset tracing and other finance related issues. Jim has represented parties in divorces or other high stakes family law matters, including a Fortune 500 CEO, an Academy Award winner, prominent public officials and elected representatives, professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, and business owners of virtually all types and sizes of businesses.

In addition to his expertise on business and financial matters, Jim has also handled and tried many custody and child related matters. He has expertise in all such issues and has lectured on how to try and handle matters including those involving addictions and mental health issues, the use of mental health professionals, possession (visitation) schedules for very young children, and cases where one parent wishes to relocate outside of the Central Texas area with the children.

Jim is frequently retained by other lawyers to assist as co-counsel in complicated matters involving litigation on family law issues.

He understands that divorce is stressful for any client and that the stakes are very high. Jim brings compassionate but firm representation, negotiation and litigation experience to the table. His goal is to help clients achieve unparalleled results, whether their case is pursued inside or outside the courtroom.


  • The University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas – J.D., 1974
  • Baylor University – B.B.A., summa cum laude, 1971

Licenses, Certifications & Bar Admissions

  • Board Certified – Family Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 1988 – Present
  • Supreme Court of Texas, 1974
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1980
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1980

Professional Experience

  • Evidence Jeopardy – Texas Center for the Judiciary, 2014
  • Evidence Jeopardy – Austin Bar Association Bench Bar Conference, 2013
  • Hearsay: Common Evidentiary Mistakes and Challenges in Family Court – Austin Bar Association, Family Law Section, 2013
  • Custody Evaluation – Austin Bar Association, Family Law Section, 2013

Honors & Awards

  • Selected for The Best Lawyers in America in Family Law, 2016 - 2017
  • Texas Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters as published in Super Lawyers Magazine and Texas Monthly Magazine, 2011 - 2016
  • AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
  • Past Faculty Member – Texas College of Trial Advocacy
  • AVVO Superb Rated Attorney

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists
  • Travis County Family Law Advocates
  • State Bar of Texas, Family Law Section
  • American Bar Association
  • Family Law Section Austin Bar Association
  • Williamson County Bar Association
  • Riverbend Church

We do one thing and one thing well – family law. We approach each case from a position of strength because we have been battle tested in high stakes litigation. And won.

News & Resources

Jim Piper and Michael Burnett Honored as 2016 Texas Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters

PiperBurnett is excited to announce that Jim Piper and Michael Burnett have been named Texas Super Lawyers for the 6th consecutive year.

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Tracing of Separate Property Assets

Not all property that you hold is community property. And while the law seems clear, spouses often fervently disagree on when or how a property was acquired.

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