V.L. v E.L.
Parents' rights are easily the most important fights of a family law practice. When V.L. was denied those rights after her Georgia adoption of the children she and her same-sex partner conceived via assisted reproductive technology and the couple's split, the trial court agreed with Heather that V.L. was indeed entitled to visitation with her children. Subsequent appeals went all the way through both the state's appellate courts and finally to the U.S. Supreme Court, which found that the Alabama Supreme Court had erred in denying recognition of V.L.'s parental rights. As any other ruling would have been devastating to her client and to basic notions of American justice and family law policy, Heather is particularly pleased to have led this fight.
Strawser v. Strange
Heather was thrilled to serve as local counsel for the National Center for Lesbian Rights in this case, which her clients originally won representing themselves. When the clients and others like them found their marriages delayed in Mobile and other areas of Alabama, the team took on additional plaintiffs and joined forces with the ACLU of Alabama, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State to seek enforcement, establishing a class of defendants (probate court judges) and plaintiffs (those seeking to marry a same-sex partner) prior to the Obergefell ruling which finally established that not only were same-sex couples entitled to the same right to recognition of their marriages as others, but to marry in all 50 states.