Dawn Ryan Budner
Dawn Ryan Budner combines over 20 years of comprehensive litigation practice with a passion for making a difference in the lives of her clients. As an equity partner with Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, Dawn achieved notable verdicts in the state and federal courts. Dawn’s business litigation background provides a unique skill set that benefits her clients in divorce cases involving complex property and business issues.
Dawn is also trained in collaborative divorce, which employs a customized team approach to guide the parties toward interest-based solutions that are not available at the courthouse. Even in litigation, clients benefit from Dawn’s training and application of collaborative tools wherever possible to elevate the process and improve outcomes.
Dawn graduated in the top 2% of her class at the University of Texas Law School, earning the honors of Chancellor and Order of the Coif, and serving as an Articles Editor on the Texas Law Review. After law school, Dawn served as a briefing attorney to the former Chief Judge of the Western District of Texas.
Throughout her career, Dawn has provided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal services, many in family cases. In 2008, Dawn and her husband founded the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance, which provides competitive policy debate programs serving over 1,000 Dallas public school students every year. Dawn also serves on the board for The Wezmore Project, created by SMU Opera alum Eddie Coker to help kids develop emotional wholeness.
Dawn’s peers recognized her talent and experience when naming her a “Rising Star” and “Super Lawyer” in the Texas Monthly magazine polls. In 2017, Dawn was selected “10 Best in Client Satisfaction” by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys, “Top 5%” of America’s Most Honored Professionals by the American Registry, and “Family Law Top 10” by Attorney and Practice Magazine.
My divorce was complicated and ugly and I was a wreck. Thank all the little gods for Dawn. She’s a badass attorney, who has the unique ability to combine her keen intelligence with intuition and experience. I knew the moment I met her she would be a champion for me. I trust her completely. She radiates confidence, professionalism, and expertise. She’s a force to be reckoned with, and the coolest thing? She managed my almost weekly freak-outs with grace and compassion. She was available and personable. Seriously. It wasn’t about the fees for Dawn. She cared about me as an individual. I can’t praise her highly enough, and let me just give a shout-out to all the women I worked with at Calabrese Huff. Excellent law firm, incredible staff.- Jane Harris
A lawyer with class, strength, intelligence and heart
Before I learned about Calabrese Huff through an attorney friend, I had hired four different attorneys to handle my case involving child custody and visitation. When I met Dawn, I knew I had found the right person. I hired Dawn immediately because she impressed me in consultation with her intelligence, kindness, care and wit. She was the first lawyer who I felt from the beginning believed me and had confidence in me.
Dawn is lovely, kind-hearted, witty, intelligent and funny. I felt very comfortable talking to her. I needed someone who would bring lightness to the situation; it helps in this kind of matter to have someone who can make you laugh. At the same time, I knew my case required someone who was not going to be fooled by the opposing party’s lies and manipulations, someone who would go directly for those lies and expose them. Dawn did just that. She became an absolute expert on my case: her grasp of detail is astounding. My only initial concern was that she might not be tough enough, but Dawn proved me wrong. Her spirit is kind, but she is sharp and cutting when she needs to be.
A cornerstone to Dawn’s approach is being fully prepared. While other lawyers suggested I complete a chronology, she supplied me with a blueprint and required I complete one. It was painful and tedious, but the chronology Dawn had me do, which covers five years of extensive evidence, was THE turning point in my case. Once completed, I realized I would forever be able to refute the opposing party’s lies and false claims. The chronology is my greatest defense moving forward.
In court, Dawn is classy and poised. She is outstanding even with a judge she has not met before. She is strong and assertive but affable, professional in dealing with opposing counsel, likable but tough. She uses her tremendous charm to appeal to the other side, which helps her client receive the desired outcome. Dawn brought home a big win. She is the one lawyer who won my case for me as fully as it could be won at the present time. Her careful study is what allowed her to be so well versed and quick on her feet in examining me as a witness and cross examining the other party.
Dawn’s firm was upfront about the expectation regarding fees and worked hard to ensure they managed costs. Dawn’s billing was the most thorough and clear of any representation I have had. Her firm was gracious to sometimes not charge for certain work. Dawn is also meticulous about assigning work to her legal assistants and aides, which was cost efficient in a very expensive process. Dawn’s responsiveness was the most professional and receptive of any attorney I have had. When I emailed her in the evening and over the weekend she would often respond right then. It was comforting to know she was with me hand in hand through the whole process.
Dawn Budner is classy, smart, gracious, kind, witty, charming, funny, strong and savvy. She had a strategy that she employed and it worked. Part of her approach is for her client to also be completely prepared. We worked as a team and she was respectful toward me at all times. I felt like I was in good hands from day one with Dawn. I always felt she was ahead of the game and had a strong and effective strategy to win.- professional working mother
I Can’t Praise Her Highly Enough
My divorce was complicated and ugly and I was a wreck. Thank all the little gods for Dawn. She’s a badass attorney, who has the unique ability to combine her keen intelligence with intuition and experience. I knew the moment I met her she would be a champion for me. I trust her completely. She radiates confidence, professionalism, and expertise. She’s a force to be reckoned with, and the coolest thing? She managed my almost weekly freak-outs with grace and compassion. She was available and personable. Seriously. It wasn’t about the fees for Dawn. She cared about me as an individual. I can’t praise her highly enough, and let me just give a shout-out to all the women I worked with at Calabrese Budner. Excellent law firm, incredible staff.- Author and mother of two
Exceptional services performed
It was beyond cumbersome when my husband and I received court orders on a Saturday afternoon and the hearing was only four days away. Our immediate instinct was to find the best lawyer in Dallas since it pertained to a family dispute. Within minutes we came across The Calabrese Law Firm and left a message for a hopeful return but left overnight with a frantic state of mind.
The minute I was walking out the door to go to the work I received a call from the law firm requesting if we could come in and meet with Dawn for a consultation. Without hesitate and only minutes after speaking to the staff I was convinced we would not be disappointed in our decision to meet later in the day. Upon arrival, we were greeted immediately and no time was wasted when Dawn was conducting our consultation. She was very direct but sincere; she made in clear to hear all of the information but did not judge. We knew her intentions were in our best interest and she could provide tenure experience in the field to win our case.
With only two days left to the hearing Dawn delegated and gained all of the supporting documents needed for our defense. Entering the courtroom the day of our hearing was literally a day of confidence my husband and I had not felt in four days. Dawn demonstrated such poise and proficiency in the courtroom it was if she had been preparing our case for months.
We won that day in the courtroom and it was all because of Dawn and the team at Calabrese Huff that made this possible. My honest opinion if you are seeking a phenomenal lawyer-Seek Dawn Budner.- Jennifer Chandler