Surratt Law, Our Team
Kimberly M. Surratt, Attorney
Kimberly Surratt has a license to practice law in both Nevada and California. She began her legal career in 2002 in insurance defense before transitioning into family law only one year later and she opened Surratt Law Practice in 2007. She has now practiced in family law for over 17 years and Surratt Law Practice has been open for over 13 years.
In 2004, Kimberly Surratt had her first surrogacy matter. She has immersed herself in assisted reproduction law, parentage, and adoption. She has lobbied all the reproductive law changes in Nevada to date, including a major change in insurance law mandating surrogacy coverage. Kimberly Surratt became a fellow with the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys in 2010 and today she is on the board of trustees for the Academy. Kimberly Surratt’s extensive knowledge in family law, parentage law and surrogacy has allowed her to speak on both the national and international level. She has a passion.
Kimberly Surratt served for eight years on the executive council and has been the vice chair and then chair of the State Bar of Nevada Family Law Section. In addition, she is the President-Elect of the Nevada Justice Association and the chair of the domestic lobbying committee. She has lobbied with the Nevada Justice Association since 2004. Her lobbying career is long but she has worked on bills such as Nevada Domestic Partnerships, the Uniform Collaborative Law Act, post-adoption contact agreements, a complete rewrite of all surrogacy statutes, and numerous other family law, reproductive and adoption statutes.
Travis H. Clark, Attorney
Travis is a native of the Reno/Sparks area. After graduating from Edward C. Reed High School in 1999, Travis attended the University of Nevada Las Vegas where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. Upon graduation Travis returned to the Reno/Sparks area and begin a career in Marketing. Travis worked diligently as the Marketing Coordinator for a local pet product manufacturer from 2004 to 2009. Desiring more from his professional career, in 2009 Travis made the decision to attend McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California. After Graduating at the top of his class in May of 2012, Travis was admitted to the California Bar that same year.
After graduation, Travis clerked for the Honorable Thomas L. Stockard and Honorable Robert E. Estes in The Tenth Judicial District Court located in Churchill County. In Churchill, Travis presided as Special Master over Judgment Debtor Examinations, fulfilled the role of Bailiff in all court proceedings and worked with the Judges to issue timely and meaningful opinions.
In July of 2013, Travis returned to Reno to clerk for the Honorable N. Patrick Flanagan where he had the unique opportunity to work closely with a renowned Judge of impressive tenure. This experience gave him a unique understanding of the Washoe Court system and experience within the Northern Nevada legal arena. Travis was admitted to the practice of law in Nevada in 2014.
Travis was named one of Nevada’s Elite Up and Coming Attorneys and received the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Northern Nevada award from Nevada Legal Services for his pro-bono work in 2016. Travis was recently appointed to the Nevada State Bar Disciplinary panel for the north where he and a panel preside over attorney discipline matters.
As a fifth generation local Nevadan Travis represents his clients with intelligence, zeal and compassion. While divorce might not be unique, it is unique to you. Travis offers services in pre-divorce and post-divorce litigation, estate planning, and mediation.
Melissa L. Exline, Attorney
Melissa L. Exline graduated with her law degree in 2002, passed the California Bar Exam in July that year, and immediately returned to Sparks, Nevada – her childhood home. Upon return, Melissa took the Nevada Bar Exam and has been practicing law since. As background, Melissa graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 1999 with a dual degree in Philosophy and Political Science and earned her JD from Golden Gate School of Law in San Francisco. She loved her undergraduate studies, learning how to think critically and it has served her well as a lawyer.
Melissa’s first six years as an attorney were spent honing her skills in civil litigation, working in a broad spectrum of areas. However, once her friend and colleague started her own practice, and in September 2008, Melissa began working at Surratt Law Practice with Kim Surratt, practicing Family Law full-time. Melissa took her first divorce case to trial in October 2008, with a successful result in a contentious custody battle. She was hooked. She enjoys working closely with clients. Since 2008, Melissa has taken many family law cases to trial, from contentious cases on relocation, termination of parental rights, termination of guardianship to divorce with custody elements and complex business divisions. In working with clients, Melissa’s perspective is get to know her clients reasons, identify with what they are asking for in a case, and truly grasp the financial issues regarding real property, retirement, business, and overall asset division. Despite her trial work, she usually urges attempting a route that is less costly, both financially and emotionally. Settlement is always pursued when it meets the client’s needs.
Doing divorce and custody work flowed naturally into preparing client’s estate plans. Since 2009, Melissa has working closely with families to prepare their Revocable Living Trusts, Wills, and various Powers of Attorney for financial and health care. When the viewpoint is taking care of your family, having the estate plan complete is one more piece of the puzzle. It is nice to help client’s plan ahead for their family needs.
Working with people in family law and estate planning means Melissa has the opportunity to truly help people. The issues are not “just business” or a simple dispute about money. It is about people’s lives, their futures, and making sure the ones they love are take care of – and the clients Melissa works with know her work matters.
Melissa is married to Nathan Exline (and his family of dedicated Wolf Pack fans). They share three children. The Exline’s enjoy Disneyland and the great outdoors (i.e. camping, hiking, spending time at Lake Tahoe, and skiing a family).
Abigail L. Jaquette, Attorney
Abigail L. Jaquette is proud to be a native Nevadan, having been born and raised in Carson City. She owes her passion for helping families during times of crisis to her father, who has practiced family law for over forty years. Abigail attended the University of Nevada, Reno, where she received a Bachelor of Science in International Business and a Bachelor of Arts in French, degrees she received with high distinction and with an emphasis in Economics and Marketing.
Abigail received her Juris Doctorate from the Gonzaga University School of Law, where she graduated cum laude in 2010. During law school, Abigail completed an externship for the Honorable Tari S. Eitzen at the Spokane County Superior Court and served as a Guardian Ad Litem through the CASA program at the Spokane Juvenile Court, where she volunteered as an advocate for abused and neglected children.
Upon graduation from law school, Abigail returned to Northern Nevada to complete a clerkship for the Honorable James Wilson, Jr. at the First Judicial District Court, where she gained knowledge and experience in both criminal and civil matters. After her clerkship, Abigail practiced in the areas of civil defense litigation and appellate law and worked for the Attorney General in the Special Prosecutions Division. Abigail joined Banales & Associates in 2014, where she represented clients in all areas of family law, including dissolution of marriage, child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, domestic violence protection orders, and post judgment modifications.
In 2016, Abigail welcomed an opportunity in public service at the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office. She joined the office as a Deputy District Attorney in the Child Welfare Division, where she represented the Washoe County Human Services Agency in its efforts to protect the abused and neglected children of our community. After a couple of years in the child welfare division, Abigail was recruited to the criminal division, where she successfully prosecuted hundreds of cases to conviction.
Abigail is certified in basic mediation and strives to settle her cases, but as a former prosecutor, she can zealously advocate for her clients in the courtroom. Abigail’s personal experience with divorce and co-parenting provides her clients with an attorney who truly understands the emotional waves associated with family law litigation. Her two young children keep her very busy outside of work. Together they enjoy just being outside and the beauty of Lake Tahoe.
Dawn Kaufman is Kimberly Surratt’s paralegal and the office manager of Surratt Law Practice. Dawn was raised in Texas but has spent most of her life in the Truckee Meadows. She has been married for over 30 years and has 3 adult children. Dawn has been working as a legal assistant/paralegal since 2001. She began working with Kimberly Surratt in 2004 and had the privilege of being asked to accompany Kimberly when she started Surratt Law Practice in 2007. Since then Surratt Law Practice has grown into the wonderful and caring family law office that it is today. Dawn works directly with Kimberly on ART (Artificial Reproductive Technology) matters and believes that it is a rewarding feeling to assist clients in growing their families and being the “light” at the end of their fertility struggles tunnel.
Dawn Kaufman states: “Our attorneys and staff work extremely hard to provide the best service for our clients. We approach each case individually and craft solutions tailored to meet the needs of our clients”.
Heather Dillard was born in the South and spent her early childhood in Georgia. She moved to Reno when she was eleven with her family. Despite being from the South, she calls Reno home and couldn’t imagine living elsewhere. Heather has been working in family law since 2005 and with Surratt Law Practice since 2010.
Heather is committed to handling your sensitive family matter with professionalism and competence. She does her best to ensure that clients are kept up to date on all issues concerning their cases and to assist them in any way possible. It is Heather’s goal to make stressful and emotional situations less stressful and emotional for clients during a divorce, custody or other family law matter.
Carmen L. Luna
Paralegal, Carmen L. Luna, joined the Surratt Law Practice team in December 2019. Carmen brings seven years of paralegal experience to SLP along with her extensive experience in management. Carmen’s transition to being a family law paralegal was a natural one. She enjoys helping and assisting clients with what sometimes may be their most difficult times and guide them through their personal and legal processes. She takes pride in giving clients her utmost professionalism, care, and simply lending a listening ear. Carmen’s approach both professionally and personally is to make something better than how she finds it.
When Carmen is not slaying legal dragons, she enjoys surrounding herself with her family and friends, entertaining with a glass of wine in her hand, reading mindless fiction, also with a glass of wine in her hand, and living an active life.
Tamara Bunt was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley and moved to Sparks, Nevada in 2006. She feels blessed to have found a perfect fit when she joined the Surratt Law Team in 2010. Tamara had been out of the work force for years and her new “work family” Kim Surratt, Melissa Exline and Dawn Kaufman handled her just like they do clients. With kindness, patience, and true compassion. Tamara is the Office Administrator for Surratt Law and will be your first point of contact when reaching out to firm. She takes pride in her role as Office Administrator and tries to make possibly the hardest phone call you have ever made a little less scary. Divorce is never easy or painless but having a compassionate and empathetic ear on the other end can help you get the process started. Tamara has made that scary phone call for herself and when you are ready, she is there to assist you.