The Howl

Law Office of River del Llano


Beginning in 1995, River owned and operated the Law Office of Ann del Llano, specializing in high conflict divorce and custody cases, and social justice lobbying and community organizing at the local, state and federal levels.  Ann legally changed her name to River in 2016 as she transitioned careers.  In 2010, River was a finalist for the Austin Police Monitor, head of Austin's police civilian oversight system.


River in the News

Ann del Llano and APD Chief Art Acevedo on Public Safety and Race Relations: Leadership Austin Engage Speaker Series   What is the current landscape around public safety and race relations? The complexities of this intersection have long been grappled with by city leaders, and yet some posit the conversation never makes significant strides toward permanent community action.  What innovations are needed to move toward constructive change? Leadership Austin, December 7, 2010


Police Monitor Finalists Share Visions for More Transparent APD, by Josh Rosenblatt .... “The police monitor’s department has only worked on individual complaints one at a time, and it has authority under the contract to work on policy issues, the broader issues,” del Llano said. “If I’m monitor I want to move into looking at policy issues, like racial profiling and others ..... “I wouldn’t contribute so many hours of my time to make the department better if I didn’t love the department and love my city. I was disappointed that the police monitor office was created weaker than what the citizen panel wanted. One reason I would like to be monitor is the next monitor will probably help renegotiate the next police contract and help renegotiate the monitor’s office.”....  InFact Daily, December 8, 2010


Police Monitor Finalists Weigh In On APD’s Use of Force, by Ashley Porter    “Candidate Ann del Llano believes the use of force rules should more specifically outline the department's value of protection of life. Del Llano is an attorney who previously worked with the Police Oversight Focus Group. She pointed to the Houston Police Department's use of force policy which bans using deadly force in order to protect property.  "If our officers take a human life to preserve property, that is not a violation of policy,” she said. “So that's just one simple example of how important it is to have these policies."  YNN TV (formerly News 8), December 7, 2010


Austin Police Monitor Finalists Narrowed to Four: Candidates Will Participate in Community Forum Next Month, by Tony Plohetski  " .... del Llano worked with the American Civil Liberties Union with a specialty in the Texas criminal justice system and state budget. ‘She has contributed to several successful efforts to pass state and local legislation and budget priorities,’ the city said in its release.....” Austin American Statesmen, November 23, 2010

The Power of Judges and the Roles They Play: An Interview with Southern Shift's Ann del Llano, by Davey D.  “Citizens of the United States of America have now lost their place at the table in our democracy.... The rules are all going to change now... Now that corporations can give their money straight to elected officials all around the country, say goodbye to the rules that we’re all used to playing under.”   Breakdown FM, February 11, 2010


Supreme Planning in Business: Balancing Creative and Critical Thought, by Cedric Muhammad.  “....I recently was further enlightened on this subject through conversation with a client—a brilliant lawyer, political professional and entrepreneur, Ann del Llano ....”   The Final Call, February 18, 2008

Debate sizzles on city charter amendments, by Kate Alexander.  “Some Austin heavyweights offered up answers for Kass and the rest of the crowd at a public forum sponsored by St. Edward's University. On one side: Bill Bunch of the Save Our Springs Alliance and Ann del Llano of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. On the other side: former Mayor Gus Garcia and former Council Member Daryl Slusher....del Llano said the measure ‘is about people having access to their government.’ ....”  Austin American Statesman, April 14, 2006


UT group fights pot penalty: Marijuana rules should be same as for alcohol, which is deadlier, it says, by Karen Brooks.  “....’If you look at the rules about how you can be suspended from school, we believe the university is encouraging drinking,’ said Ann del Llano, a civil-liberties lawyer working with SAFER Texas. ‘We see this as a life-or-death matter. If they had brought [Mr. Phoummarath] an infinite amount of marijuana and forced him to consume it, he'd be alive and breathing today.’”  Dallas Morning News, February 13, 2006


Conference brings social ills to the fore: Organizers aim to improve conditions in low-income areas, by Frank Trejo.  “....’The sessions today have been electrifying and energizing,’ said J. McDonald Williams, chairman and founder of the Foundation for Community Empowerment .... Ann del Llano ... spoke about the impact incarceration and felony convictions have on people and communities. She noted that in Texas, someone who is convicted of a felony is labeled a felon for life and barred from certain services and even jobs.  ‘In our constitution, a felon is a second-class citizen,’ she said....”  Dallas Morning News, October 28, 2005

Prosecutors Get Pounded: The district attorneys meet their own personal Alamo in the 79th Legislature, by Jonathan York.  “For more than 30 years, district attorneys have held sway on criminal justice issues at the Texas Capitol.... For the first time in recent memory, the prosecutors received a series of stinging setbacks on major legislation they opposed....Ann del Llano, a lobbyist with the ACLU of Texas, said people were wondering where the prosecutors had been....”  The Texas Observer, June 24, 2005


A huddle to help ex-cons adjust: Group talking about how to provide jobs, housing, counseling, by Mike Ward.  “....a group of more than 70 state and local leaders -- including ... a Who's Who of justice and civic leaders -- sat down with the woman and other ex-convicts, their family members, top parole officials and even crime victims to plot how to help ex-convicts become law-abiding, taxpaying citizens once they leave prison....Ann del Llano, criminal justice liaison for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said the new interest in helping ex-convicts is occurring nationally ‘as most people realize that prisoners do their time and then come back to the community....”  Austin American Statesman, May 1, 2004

Citizen oversight of police needed now more than ever, by Ann del Llano.  “....The city has the perfect opportunity to fix the lack of police discipline right now by insisting on meaningful amendments to the police meet and confer contract....”  Austin American Statesman Op Ed, February 4, 2004


Patriot Act gets a Texas defender: U.S. attorney making public case in support of much-criticized law,by Steven Kreytak.  “....’Americans should not be investigated and not have their privacy invaded unless there's probable cause to know they have committed a crime,’ said Ann del Llano, an Austin lawyer....”  Austin American Statesman, September 21, 2003


Focus group to suggest hiring police auditor, by Jason Spencer.  “....Detective Mike Sheffield, a task force member and president of the police association, suggested that members of the task force participate in those talks. Ann del Llano, chairwoman of the Sunshine Project for Police Accountability, lauded Sheffield's suggestion. `’That's pretty radical thinking,'’ she said.....”  Austin American Statesman, January 11, 2000


Idea for gangs: Face thy neighbor, by Dave Harmon and Angela Shah.  “.... Ann del Llano, a lawyer for Shang Yahoshua, another of the injunction defendants ... said she became very interested in the circle idea after Earle's office started talking about reduced sentences for two pending drug charges if Yahoshua participates in a circle.  ‘When you start talking like that, people come to the table in a hurry,' she said.....”  Austin American Statesman, October 17, 1998


In Texas Town, Pact Separates Religion and High School Sports  “....It was a teacher who first contacted the A.C.L.U., said Ann del Llano, the lawyer who filed the suit. ‘Students were starting to drop out of athletics,’ Ms. del Llano said, ‘and she was concerned that more were going to be dropping out soon.’....”  The New York Times, April 4, 1996


Client Reviews


Ann handled our adoption case and did an exceptional job. It was a smooth process as she was very attentive to our case. Her staff was very helpful as well. Her fees were way below what other attorneys had quoted us. She was very honest with us and we didnt have to miss work since she took care of all the paperwork.  I highly recommend her and would hire her again.


Ann is without a doubt the most honest, principled attorney I have ever met.  She is an excellent communicator, efficient, and gets the job done.  She has helped me in the past with my divorce and most recently helped settle probate issues for my elderly mother whose husband had passed.  I would highly recommend her to anyone needing help with family law issues.


Ann listened, commiserated, and never promised anything except good representation.  I like the way she worked with the opposing party's lawyer.  Once I sensed the sheer legal capability of Ann and her assistant Noelle, I had to feel sorry for anyone who opposes them. 


Ann did an outstanding job, she can really kick ass in court.  I have hired Ann for two different cases and she did an outstanding job.  The only thing I should have done differently is to have hired her for my divorce several years ago.  To watch her work in court is poetry in motion!  Frankly, I wish I had a legal problem to hire her for now but I can't think of any.


I thought it was a simple matter but there were a few points that weren't discussed in mediation and Ann helped illuminate them.  She was thorough and attentive.  She handled my case quicker than expected.  It was a pleasure working with her office.   She is intelligent and professional and I really appreciate her help.


I am grateful and pleased.  All my needs were addressed correctly and timely.  I also appreciate that her office worked with me long distance.  I had a divorce modification case and had to hire an attorney in Austin while living in Singapore.  I started to feel very confident from our first Skype conversation and the feeling of security followed me all the time with Ann and assistant Noelle.  

The case was about cutting child support for my six year old daughter.   The opposing party suggested cutting it more than 50%.  The matter was very serious for me and would mean a great change in my daughter's lifestyle if the opposing party won.  I was in close contact with Ann and Noelle for six months working hard on the case.  Ann was able to build and present the case so that we didn't need to go to court at all.  She was able to prove that they didn't have enough grounds to present the case, and to my great pleasure was able to get agreement for my attorney fees to be paid by the opposing party.  I'm happy.


As unfortunate as it is to go through a divorce, it was a pleasure working with Ann.  I feel like she handled my case well.  She listened to all of my concerns and applied her expertise appropriately.  She also has a helpful assistant who keeps her in line!


Ann answered all my questions and provided additional information that I wasn't aware I needed to know.   She was very responsive.


Ann and Noelle made a rough time in my life bearable. She walked me through a divorce, and to be honest, I could not have had a better team. She is fair, kind, and cares about her clients. Thank you both, for all the support and understanding. You made a very difficult part of my life easier, and I will always be grateful to you both. I would never hesitate to recommend this team for anyone they can help.


I hired Ann to do a will for me. She did a great job and was very detailed and helpful. This was the first time I had ever had a will done so was unsure what to expect. She (and her office staff) were always available, easy to get in touch with, and made the process much easier than I thought it would be. Her fees are very reasonable. I highly recommend her services and in fact gave her number out today to someone looking for a family lawyer here in Austin.