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Debra S. Casaceli

Family Attorney at Houston, TX

4.8   17 reviews

also known as Debra Sue Casaceli

  • Licensed for 23 years
    State TX
    Acquired 2000
    Eligible to Practice in Texas No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Debra

Learn Debra’s areas of practice.


Debra Herndon has been an attorney for Laura Dale and Associates, P.C. since 2014. She is an experienced Senior Associate Attorney who focuses her practice on helping individuals facing family law challenges. With over twenty years of experience representing clients in all phases of litigation in trial court and appellate court, she is qualified to fight for you and your family’s rights. She is experienced in drafting marital property agreements—including pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements—and handles cases regarding: divorce, adoption, custody issues, paternity, and mediation issues.

Debra’s passion has always been family centered. She graduated with honors, cum laude, from Queens College in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. Subsequently, she received her Master of Social Work degree with a focus in Child Welfare from State University of New York at Buffalo in 1997. She then graduated from Tulane University School of Law were she obtained her Juris Doctorate degree in 2000. She has been licensed to practice law in the state of Texas since 2000 and is one of only 860 lawyers in the entire state of Texas to qualify as Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is a member of several legal organizations, including: the Houston Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, Fort Bend Family Bar Association, Gulf Coast Family Law Specialists, and the Association of Women Attorneys. She is an advocate of family law matters and has spoken at conferences on divorce, mediation, and spousal support. Houstonia Magazine recognized her as one of “Houston’s Top Lawyers” in 2013 and 2015, and in 2012, she was recognized by Avvo for the “Client’s Choice Award.” Outside of practicing law, she loves to travel and enjoys spending time with her cats and dogs.

Photos and videos


Laura Dale & Associates, PC
1800 Saint James Place
Suite 620
Houston, TX, 77056


4.8 / 5.0
  17 customer reviews
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1 Star
Posted by anonymous | September 15, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Honest, hard working, and efficient
Deb is honest and will tell you the pros and cons of your case - no sugar coating - which is exactly what you need in any family matter process. She’s very knowledgeable and highly experienced and will do all that she can to help you achieve best results. She is also very focused on achieving an end to the process rather than continuing the fight. Highly recommend Deb and her team!
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Posted by anonymous | August 1, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Deb is professional and detail oriented. She provides support in a calm demeanor that is much needed in a divorce situation. She is knowledgeable in finding resources that is out of her scope because the case complexity.
Posted by anonymous | December 8, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Debra and her staff were knowledgeable friendly and compassionate. I really appreciate the time they took with me as I went through this difficult time in my life. At my first visit, Debra looked at the petition and advised that the demands were excessive especially when she and I knew there was adultery involved. My ex and I agreed to the terms in the final decree. Then she and her attorney attempted to make multiple changes one week before the hearing. With Debra's help we were able to identify these changes were not required by any legal statue and I was within my rights to be fair and reasonable. I had originally planned to go Pro-Se. I am so glad I found Debra and her firm. They saved me not just from financial ruin but a lot of heart ache.
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Posted by anonymous | August 25, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional, Experienced & Effective representation
Debra represented me in my divorce, entering the case mid-stream with complications. She was able to digest a long history of events very quickly and navigate my case to a speedy conclusion while defending my position goals. She is creative and very personable. I always came away from meetings or conversations with peace of mind by her confidence and knowledge of law.
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Posted by Maria HF | July 31, 2014
The best Attorney I have ever had.
Mrs. Herndon provided me with the best advice and service since the first moment we met. She has shown much knowledge, empathy and the utmost professionalism in her representation of my case. She helped me to clarify things, understand all my options and formulate the best approach to my needs. Mrs. Herndon has been personally involved in all aspects of my case, keeping always an open communication and being available at all times. I have absolute peace of mind knowing that she is handling my affairs.
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Posted by James | July 16, 2013
Choose Debra Herndon as your Divorce attorney!!!
Debra Herndon should be at the top on any one’s list as the attorney to represent a client. She is understanding of and compassionate about her client’s situation, needs and desires. Debra is extremely knowledgeable and experienced with the laws and the legal system. She is aggressive, yet cautious in her representation. She is tenacious and thorough!!! Throughout our case Debra was available and responsive to our inquiries, making sure we had clear understanding of what to expect and she made sure we ALL were well prepared!!! When Debra Herndon is your attorney, there are few surprises!!! She prepares for all possibilities!!!
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Posted by Glynn | July 16, 2013
My divorce 2010
I was extremely pleased with the representation I got from Debra. She worked hard to be fair with me and with the other party. She tried to maintain a cost effective representation which in the light of opposing counsel's efforts was truly amazing. She and her staff gave my case a personal feeling that I was not alone in this and worked hard to inform and instruct me as to the ins and outs of the system. I recommend her without reservation or hesitation. She works hard and smart, two good things.
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Posted by Joanne | July 15, 2013
Excellent, professional service during the most challenging time of my life
Debra, her paralegal Valory and the entire firm provided the legal services during the custody battle initiated by my children's father. It was an ongoing, challenging case that depleted my family's resources; financial, time, emotion, serenity. It takes a special, prepared, and unique individual to provide both the best legal defense as well as sufficiently meet the holistic and emotional needs of the client family. Debra and her staff not only met, but exceeded that expectation. Efforts were made to be cost-conscious. Communication was timely, professional, and I never felt "out of the loop"; a frustration I hear from other people in similar legal circumstances. My case was difficut, but ultimately, due to the diligence of Debra and her staff, we "won". I recommend Debra and the firm wholeheartedly.
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Posted by Laura | March 6, 2013
I met one of the smartest women on the planet when I met Deb Herndon. My case was referred to Deb after my former attorney had to step down due to health reasons. My former attorney selected her for me and I am eternally grateful. Deb is highly intelligent and knows the law, her delivery is as poised as velvet, she is budget-conscious, and Deb has become a true friend. Deb Herndon is a package deal. She is the attorney you want on your side of the table rather than the opposite. I highly recommend her representation.
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Posted by anonymous | June 13, 2011
My first conversation with Debra and her staff placed me on a winning team with a sense of security and confidence.
Debra Herndon and her capable staff expedited a very difficult situation for me, and saved the expense of any unnecessary frustration . During the process of my divorce I found myself under most extenuating circumstances that did not allow flexibility. I took comfort knowing I was in good hands. My recommendation carries the highest reguards.
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Posted by Kacie | June 10, 2011
Gave me a sense of security and mostly my life.
When I first met with Debra I was in need of a divorce and child custody orders put in place. She was very diligent, knowledgeable, and since. It was the first office I walked into after numerous recommendations. There was no amount to put on the exceptional work she does. Most important she gave me a new start/ a new life!!!!
Posted by anonymous | May 26, 2011
My case was fairly complex when Ms. Herndon took it over. There were domestic violence and mental health issues. Ms. Herndon was informed about this type of situation as well as the complicated money issues. Due to the nature of the trust accounts involved and the evasiveness of the opposing party, I felt confident that Ms. Herndon was one of the few that was be able to handle and understand the custody battle as well as the property situation. I was counseled well given my particular situation. I believe that I ended up with the best scenario I was able to receive at the time. Her staff was extremely helpful and dedicated as well.
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Posted by Karen | May 26, 2011
client comments
I found Debra to be a refreshingly focussed and objective lawyer. She was extremely thorough and excelled at adding perspective to our sessions. I enjoy working with her and recommend her to others needing advice and help with pre marriage agreements.
Posted by R Zein | July 28, 2010
Pleasant to work with, knowledgeable, and confident.
I have worked with debra for more than a year and with her firm for >3 years. I have to say my experience has been very pleasant. My divorce/child support case has been very complicated especially that my kids live outside the US, my ex resides in one state and my self in another. Because I worked with this firm before and achieved pleasant results, I used the firm again last year when issues arised and matters got more complicated.I had high hopes that things will get resolved. I was worried about the international component of my case since some of the items can't be resolved in US. however, I was really impressed by Debra especially during the court hearing. She is very intelligent, knowledgeable, and always well prepared. With her intelligent questions to my ex, and her reasoning, she was able to finally prove to judge the reality and truth.Debra went above and beyond to help me to the best she could, and she made me aware in advance of what might not work to my advantage especially with "the international component of my family matter). Debra is honest and very responsive. For the above reasons, I highly recommend debra to handle your family/custody matters.
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Posted by Jocelyn | July 28, 2010
Review Deb Herndon
Deb handled my divorce, which was particularly messy and involved a custody dispute. Not only did she handle all of the matters of law with excellence, she talked to me whenever I needed to know about my case, or when I was alarmed by something in particular that happened. Everyone in her office treated me kindly and with respect, and worked with me on appointments and payments. Deb personally was always very calm and controlled, which helped me stay focus on the case and less on the emotion of the divorce. Whenever I had a question or concern, she addressed it quickly and completely. I highly recommend her to anyone needing a divorce attorney!
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Posted by Joe | July 27, 2010
Knowledge of my case made all the difference in the world....
By the time I met Deb, I had learned to become my own attorney as my custody case was a brutal one and one that was made more difficult by my ex continuing to move the venue from across cities and states. With the amount of information I had gathered, my 'summary' had grown to 40 pages. By the time Deb got involved it seemed there was no way to get her up to speed on everything so I focused on the highlights and was confident this would have to be good enough... It wasn't until the cross examination of my ex that I realized just how prepared Deb was. The way that she used her knowledge of my confusing case to catch my ex in lies made it one of the most enjoyable days of my life. I know court is never fun, but this was different. This was finally having the judge see that the truth had always been on my side, and the lies and deception were finally revealed to be just that. Since our case was so riddled with he said/she said and many confusing stories - I was truly elated when I saw just how well Deb not only understood it, but knew it well enough to ask the right questions at the right time to expose my ex for who she really was... I had high expectations for Deb as she came highly recommended, but she exceeded what I thought could be done in one day of court. And guess what? My ex finally decided she didn't like court as much as she used to and we haven't been back since... From 15 court dates in 4 years to none in the last year - that sort of says it all...
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Posted by anonymous | May 20, 2013
This lawyer charged approximetely $10,000 to retrieve approximetely $10,000.
We hired Debra Herndon to simply retrieve an overpayment with the Attorney Generals office, we did most of the work, supplying a detailed report with all the proof required. We met with the AG and did not go to court. This was settled in a meeting with the AG's attorney before going in front of a Judge. The AG agreed that we were correct. The funds returned to us were approx. $10,000. Debra Herndon's bill was also approx. $10,000. A win for the attorney and a total waste of time and money for us as effectively we received nothing. Herndon asked for a retainer at the first meeting which was paid and indicated that this retainer of $5,000 should be sufficient and whatever was not used would be returned. This was not the case. A final bill was sent to us for approximately another $5,000. My view is that this is a typical case where the attorney is not looking after the client but themselves. We thought that we were in good hands, obviously we were not.
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AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Senior Associate Attorney
  • Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
  • 2014 - Present
  • Associate Attorney
  • Holmes, Diggs & Eames, PLLC
  • 2009 - 2014
  • Associate Attorney
  • Allison Jones & Associates, PC
  • 2000 - 2009


  • Tulane University Law School
  • Juris Doctorate
  • 2000
  • State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Master of Social Work in Child Welfare
  • 1997
  • Queens College
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
  • 1995


  • Fort Bend Family Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2017 - Present
  • Gulf Coast Family Law Specialists
  • Member
  • 2013 - Present
  • Association of Women Attorneys
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
  • State Bar of Texas, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2009 - Present
  • Houston Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2001 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Board Certified - Family Law
  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • 2017
  • Top Lawyers
  • Houstonia Magazine
  • 2015
  • Top Lawyers
  • Houstonia Magazine
  • 2013

Speaking Engagements

  • Taking Control Workshop
  • Spousal Support
  • 2013
  • Taking Control Workshop
  • Mediation
  • 2011
  • Taking Control Workshop
  • Divorce
  • 2010

Attorney endorsements

Received (10)
Given (17)
Endorse Debra
Family Attorney | Jan 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Feb 28
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Despite being my opposing counsel, she was professional, respectful, and extremely knowledgeable. It was a pleasure working with her."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Nov 16
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer and her work. Deb is always thoroughly prepared, well spoken, and extremely knowledgeable. She is a determined and passionate advocate for her clients."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Nov 15
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Deb is very grounded, honest, and reasonable. She advocated for her client while simultaneously remaining cordial to work with. A very good attorney."
Family Attorney | Jun 15
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer. Debra is one of the smartest and most diligent family law attorneys I know. She works tirelessly for her clients and obtains spectacular results for her clients both in and out of the courtroom."
Family Attorney | Feb 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Debra is a straight-shooter who knows family law very well. She lays out the realistic options a client has and likely outcomes, something not all lawyers choose to do."
Family Attorney | Feb 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Debra is honest and forthright attorney who I feel comfortable sending people to when I am conflicted out of cases"
Family Attorney | Feb 10
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Debra is an excellent family law attorney with the skill and expertise to handle anything that comes her way. I never hesitate to turn to her for advice and guidance when I encounter something new in a case. I strongly endorse this lawyer and her work."
Family Attorney | Jul 12
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer's work. Debra Herndon is extremely hardworking and committed to her clients. She is also incredibly knowledgeable about family law."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jun 30
Relationship: Supervised lawyer
"Debra Herndon is an excellent divorce and family law attorney. Clients appreciate her hard work and good results in court. She is extremely well-informed on all family law issues and always puts the client first. She has an apt nick-name given to her by one of her clients: The Velvet Hammer."
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Houston Family Lawyer Debra S. Casaceli
Debra S. Casaceli
Family Attorney
Houston, TX
Licensed for 23 years