Leader Biographies

Meet the leaders of the ABA Section of Family Law!

Clicking on the contact link will take you to the leader's entry in the ABA Member Directory. (Please note that only ABA members will be allowed to access that information. Please view the Directory Usage Agreement here.)

We will continue to update this page. If you are a Family Law Officer or Council member, just send your photo and short bio (no more than 350 words) to Marsha Boone.

Officers

 

Lori Nelson
Chair

Lori NelsonLori W. Nelson focuses her practice primarily in the area of domestic and family law. Lori's case load consists of family law cases representing individuals of all sexes, ages and economic backgrounds, in trials, evidentiary hearings, mediation, and every other phase of domestic practice. Her cases have covered every aspect of family, including, but not limited to: divorce; modifications; adoptions; child support; and, complicated custody cases involving mental health issues. They have also involved, among other things: contract interpretation; probate law; intellectual property; real property law; water law; and, criminal activities intersecting in a family case. Lori has also conducted extensive legal research and writing including writing appellate briefs and trial memoranda.

She is the co-chair of the Utah State Bar Governmental Relations committee and the legislative liaison for the Family Law Section, past chair of the Family Law Section Executive Committee and has served as a member of the Judicial Council Standing Committee on Children and Family Law since its inception in April 2000. She was named Family Law Lawyer of the year 2001-2002 and is listed in "The Best Lawyers in America" 2003-2006 editions and in the 2007 "Super Lawyers" edition for family law. Lori served as an adjunct professor of legal writing at Westminster College from 1994-2000.

Lori is a trained mediator with extensive mediation experience. Lori received her JD from the University of Utah in 1992, during which time she was a member of the National Moot Court Team, and a regional semi finalist. As a third-year representative of the Women's Law Caucus, Lori organized the first Women's Law Caucus scholarship lecture with a panel who presented the Gender and Justice Task Force Report. Lori received her Bachelor of Science degree in Philosophy from the University of Utah in 1987.

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Greg J. Ortiz
  Chair-Elect

Greg OrtizGreg Ortiz practices family law exclusively and is a partner in the law firm Ham and Ortiz, LLC. Mr. Ortiz obtained his bachelor of arts in economics from University of Colorado and his juris doctorate degree from University of Denver.

Over the last seven years he has worked in various capacities in the areas of juvenile and family law. He has published and spoken on many topics in the area of family law. Mr. Ortiz has been a member and leader on numerous committees with the American Bar Association Family Law Section including the CLE Planning Committee, Long Range Planning, Diversity Committee, Marital Property Committee, Nomination Committee, and has been a producer of numerous programs during the American Bar Associations Family Law Section's Spring and Fall CLE Conferences. Mr. Ortiz is a member of the Family Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association; Colorado Indian Bar Association; Colorado Hispanic Bar Association; and Metropolitan Denver Interdisciplinary Committee. In addition, Mr. Ortiz has volunteered his services to numerous legal aid and pro bono legal services in the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area.

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Mary Vidas
Vice Chair

Mary VidasMs. Vidas is a partner in the law firm of Blank Rome LLP. She is admitted to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey and has been routinely admitted pro hac vice in Delaware.

She is a Past Chair of the Philadelphia Family Law Section and is an active member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. Ms. Vidas has previously served as Chair of the Taxation Committee and the Scope and Membership Committee of the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association. She also served for several years as a member of the American Bar Association Family Law Section Continuing Legal Education Committee. Ms. Vidas is presently serving as a member of the American Bar Association Family Law Section Executive Council and Vice-Chair of the Taxation Committee. Ms. Vidas has served as a member of the Executive Council of the Family Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and is presently serving as President of the Nicholas Cipriani Family Law Inn of Court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ms. Vidas is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers serving on the Board of Examiner Committees for the National AAML Organization. She is an officer in the Pennsylvania Chapter of the AAML and currently serves as the Chair of the Pennsylvania Chapter Board of Examiners. Ms. Vidas lectures and writes frequently on family law issues. Since 2005, she has been named as one of the top ten leaders of matrimonial and divorce law in Philadelphia, PA. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and her J.D. from Temple University School of Law in 1984.

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Roberta S. Batley
Secretary

Family Law attorney Bobbie Batley is dedicated to helping her clients get through one of the most trying times of their life with the goal of reaching a better place emotionally and financially post-divorce. Bobbie embraces her cases with a thoughtful passion for each client’s individual needs and concerns. She then works diligently to create the best options for resolving the last chapter of their marriage.

A skilled trial lawyer who brings equal tenacity to the settlement table, Bobbie believes the best way to settle a case is to be prepared for trial. She also values Collaborative Divorce as a powerful option for her clients and offers advanced Collaborative techniques and interest-based negotiation skills.

Bobbie’s commitment to families is evident not only in her case work, but also in the time she spends working with organizations and within the Court system to decrease the animosity in family law and find solutions for families in transition.

The New Mexico native was born and raised in Farmington, and grew up in a family business. This experience gives her an intimate understanding of the dynamics in cases that involve family businesses.

Bobbie is a regular speaker for the ABA Family Law Section and other continuing legal education programs and has lectured nationally on such topics as business valuation, property division, working with expert witnesses, spousal support, trial strategy, and careers in Family Law. She has also authored articles on such topics as Electronic Evidence and The Text Message as Evidence.


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Deborah Akers-Parry
Financial Officer

Deborah Akers-ParryDeborah Akers-Parry has served as ABA Family Law Section financial officer from 2004 to 2008, as a member of the Publications Board, since 2000; Trial Advocacy Institute faculty 1992-1994, 1997; and is a member of the Litigation Section.

She is a fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and member of American Bar Foundation. Ms. Akers-Parry is active in the Ohio Bar as a delegate to Council of Delegates since 1990; Family Law Committee since 1984 (chair 1994-96); Family Law Certification Board 1999-2000; Specialization Committee (chair, 2001-03). Cuyahoga County Bar Association: Family Law Section since 1985 (chair 1992-93); Trial Advocacy Institute chair 1990-91, 1993; Certified Grievance Committee 1986-96. Cleveland Bar Association: Family Law Section 1987 to present (chair 1989-90); Professional Ethics Committee 1987-93. Life Member, Eighth Ohio Appellate District Judicial Conference. Frequent Lecturer and Author on Family Law. Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 1987-present; Martindale Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers since 1993; Ohio Super Lawyers, 2004-08, Top 100 Lawyers in Ohio (2006) and Top 50 Women Lawyers in Ohio (2004-07), Law and Politics/Cincinnati Magazine.

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Scott N. Friedman
Immediate Past Chair

Scott FriedmanScott N. Friedman exclusively practices Family Relations Law with Friedman & Mirman Co., L.P.A. in Columbus, Ohio.

Mr. Friedman is also licensed to practice in the state of Florida. Mr. Friedman is an Ohio State Bar Association Family Relations Law Specialist.

Mr. Friedman received his Bachelor of Arts from Miami University and his Juris Doctorate from Capital University Law School where he was honored with Order of the Curia.

Mr. Friedman is a member of the Columbus Bar Association's Family Law Committee, the Ohio State Bar Association Family Law Committee, and the American Bar Association Family Law Committee. Mr. Friedman is active with the Family Law Section of the ABA serving on Council, former Co-Chair of the CLE Committee, SCOPE Committee and a member of many other committees.

Mr. Friedman lectures frequently for the Ohio State Bar Association, American Bar Association, and Law Education Institute.

Mr. Friedman is a graduate of the American Bar Association's Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute.

Contact Information

 

 




Anita M. Ventrelli
Section Delegate

Anita VentrelliAnita M. Ventrelli is a partner of Schiller DuCanto and Fleck LLP. She has a strong background in trial and settlement of complex matters, employing her extensive experience in computer analysis and litigation support techniques.

A graduate of DePaul University School of Law, Ms. Ventrelli was recommended by peers to Best Lawyers in America, the Leading Lawyer's Network and Illinois Super Lawyers and was named one of the "40 Under 40 Illinois Attorneys to Watch" in 2003 by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. Ms. Ventrelli is currently a member of the Board of the Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute as well as a faculty member.

She is a past chair of the ABA Section of Family Law, and has served on the governing council, the Publications Development Board, the Continuing Legal Education Committee, the Long Range Planning Committee, and formerly chaired the Domestic Violence/Family Abuse Committee and Ethics Committee. Ms. Ventrelli is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a member of the Board of Managers of the Illinois Chapter. The Illinois State Bar Association named Ms. Ventrelli Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year in 2001. She served on the Illinois State Bar Family Law Section Council, chaired the Minority and Women Participation Committee, was a member of the Special Committee on Women and the Law, and served on the Judicial Evaluation Committee.

Ms. Ventrelli has lectured on family law topics for the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association and community groups. She is a co-author of the "Trial Practice Considerations" Chapter of the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education's Illinois Family Law Series and has published articles in the American Bar Association's Family Advocate magazine and other periodicals.

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Marshall J. Wolf
Section Delegate

Marshall WolfMarshall J. Wolf of Cleveland, Ohio is a partner in the Family Law firm of Wolf and Akers. Mr. Wolf is a founding member of the Trial Advocacy Institute faculty and was involved in the creation of the Institute by the Family Law Section.

He is a Past Chair of the Family Law Section and currently represents the Section as a Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates. Mr. Wolf was the founding President of the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America and Ohio Superlawyers.

Mr. Wolf is a frequent lecturer on Family Law Trial Techniques and Procedure. He served as keynoter and head of the U.S. Delegation to the First World Congress on Family Law and Rights of Children in Sydney, Australia and has appeared before legislative and executive branches of government, including both branches of Congress on Family Law matters.

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Council Members

Jean Crowe
At-Large

Jean CroweJean Crowe, lead attorney, Family Law Section, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, is a 1981 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and has a diploma from the Institute on International and Comparative Law, Paris.

She joined the Legal Aid Society in 1985, after private practice in Madison, Wisconsin. She is a frequent presenter at local, state, and national events on the issue of domestic violence. Currently she serves on the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence, as a member and as liaison from the Section of Family Law. She is also section liaison to the ABA Commission on the Renaissance of Idealism in the Profession and to the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services. She is a council member for the ABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division. She serves on the Family Law Quarterly Board of Editors. In Tennessee, she has served as the state chair of the Domestic Relations Section for the Tennessee Bar Association and is a member of the Domestic Relations Code Commission. She served on the original Tennessee Child Support Commission, the Child Support Advisory Task Force, and on the DHS Enhanced Child Support Enforcement Committee. She helped found the Nashville Coalition of Domestic Violence and is chair of its board of directors. She was instrumental in establishing the Davidson County Domestic Violence Death Review Team and is its current chair. She is a member of the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court.

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Michael Mosberg
At-Large

Michael MosbergMichael Mosberg is a partner with Aronson Mayefsky & Sloan LLP in New York, where he represents clients in all aspects of family law.

Actively involved in city, state and national bar associations, Mr. Mosberg is chair of the Matrimonial Law Committee for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (2011-2014), a member of the ABA Section of Family Law Section (chair, Trial Practice & Techniques Committee; member, CLE and Sponsorship & Fundraising Committees), a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (member, Technology Committee), and a member of the Family Law Section of the New York State Bar Association (member, Executive and Membership committees).

Mosberg frequently lectures and writes on topics involving family law and trial practice. He has spoken before the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (New York Chapter), the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the New York County Lawyers Association and the Legal Education Institute. He has authored "Prenuptial Agreements in New York: An Overview" (2011) for the treatise Drafting Prenuptial Agreements (Aspen Law & Business), "Avoiding Deposition Pitfalls" (Winter 2010), and "The Secret To Success: Using Witness Consultants to Prepare Your Client" (Fall 2009), among other articles.

Mr. Mosberg was recently selected as one of the Ten Leaders in Matrimonial and Divorce Law in New York City under the age of 45 and a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers. Prior to joining the firm, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Virginia M. Morgan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

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Karl Topor
At-Large

Karl ToporKarl W. Topor's practice is primarily focused on family law issues including divorce, litigation, mediation, and collaborative law.

He is licensed throughout Massachusetts, in the United States District Court, and the United States Supreme Court, and has received advanced certification as a mediator and collaborative law attorney.

Mr. Topor is a member of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys Board of Delegates, fellow of the American Bar Foundation, founding member of the Association of Family & Conciliation Courts—New York Chapter, member of the American Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association, American Association for Justice, and sits on the board of directors of the Divorce Center in Newton, Massachusetts. He is also Public Education chair of the Divorce Center where he teaches, organizes, and coordinates seminars for the public on divorce and family-law issues. He is involved in several pro-bono groups, including the Senior Partners for Justice Volunteer Law Project of the Boston Bar Association, which is dedicated to promoting justice for all litigants in the family court system.

Mr. Topor is actively involved in the American Bar Association Section of Family Law in numerous capacities. He has been chairperson of the Bankruptcy Committee for several years. He also serves as an executive member of the Alimony, Child Support, and Law Practice Management/Technology committees of the Section of Family Law and is the liaison from the ABA Section of Family Law to the ABA Law Practice Management Section. Mr. Topor has written articles on a variety of topics covering family-law issues and frequently speaks, moderates, and produces various CLE programs at the local, state, and national level.

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Lori A. Colbert
At-Large

Lori ColbertLori A. Colbert is an owner in the firm of Mendel & Associates, Inc., in Anchorage, Alaska. She is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College (Claremont, California) and Willamette University College of Law (Salem, Oregon).

Her practice focuses on family law to include divorce, child custody and support, wills and adoption. Ms. Colbert is a member of the Alaska and American Bar Associations. She served for eight years as the co-chair of the Family Law Section of the Alaska Bar Association. She has been active in the American Bar Association Family Law Section as a member of the CLE committee, as a member and co-chair of the Diversity Committee and as a member and co-chair of the Member Benefit Development Committee. Lori is also on the Host Committee for the Spring 2013 meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. Lori has served as the vice-president for the M. Ashley Dickerson Chapter of the National Bar Association. She is a lifelong Alaskan and the mother of two daughters.

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Samuel V. Schoonmaker, IV
At-Large

Samuel V Schoonmaker IVSamuel V. Schoonmaker, IV is the founding member of The Schoonmaker Legal Group, LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, a law firm dedicated to the practice of appellate and family law. From 1996 through March 2007 he worked at Schoonmaker, George & Colin in Greenwich, where he was a partner handling complex financial, custody and appellate matters. Previously, he was a litigation associate at Day, Berry & Howard.

Sam Schoonmaker graduated from Yale College, Cambridge University, and Columbia University School of Law.

He created and serves as editor-in-chief of Appellate Preview and Family Law Alert, two e-newsletters that analyze decisions rendered by the Connecticut appellate courts and notify the bar of significant developments. He created the multimedia legal education program known as Case Flash. He is a frequent speaker at CLE programs, and is on the faculty of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Appellate Advocacy Institute.

Mr. Schoonmaker has served on the Board of Editors of Family Law Quarterly since 2008, and is managing editor of The Connecticut Family Lawyer. His recent print publications include Hot Tips: Multimedia Legal Education in a Flash, 35 Family Advocate 44 (Winter 2013) and Criminal Law or Family Law: The Overlapping Issues, 44 Family Law Quarterly 155 (Summer 2010).

He co-chaired the ABA Family Law Section’s Continuing Legal Education Committee in 2004. He served for three years as financial officer of the ABA Family Law Section, and received the Chair’s Outstanding Service Award honoring the individual who made the greatest contribution to the Section during the year.

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Peter M. Walzer
At-Large

Peter WalzerPeter M. Walzer is the founding partner of the Southern California law firm Walzer & Melcher LLP which is focused exclusively on family law. 

He is a past president of the Southern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and is a former chair of the executive committee of the State Bar Family Law Section. Mr. Walzer has been a Certified Family Law Specialist for 23 years and is a former president of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists.

He is co-chair of the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the ABA Section of Family Law. He is chair-elect of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section. He is a vice president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He was named Family Law Person of the Year in 2009 by the Southern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He was named Fellow of the Year by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2010.

He is a nationally recognized expert on premarital agreements and a preeminent divorce trial lawyer.

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Jonathan Wolfe
At-Large

Jonathan WolfeMr. Wolfe focuses his practice on sophisticated business litigation and matrimonial disputes. He began his career practicing as a member of the Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy litigation department in New York. Mr. Wolfe's practice at Milbank focused on securities and commercial litigation.

Mr. Wolfe utilizes his background in financial disputes to represent clients in complex matrimonial matters. He represents leaders or the spouses of leaders from the business, professional and entertainment/sports communities. A significant portion of his practice is devoted to business valuation (including private equity and hedge funds), the treatment of trust assets in divorce and the protection of non-marital assets. He also assists clients in all other aspects of matrimonial and family law, including custody, parenting time, and the negotiation and preparation of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

Mr. Wolfe has been featured or quoted in a wide variety of local and national publications, including the New York Times, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, Consumer Affairs, The National Law Journal, Law.com, New Jersey Star Ledger, New Jersey Lawyer, New Jersey Law Journal, American Journal of Family Law, Commerce Magazine and NJBIZ.

Mr. Wolfe is a frequent author and lecturer on a wide variety of legal issues throughout the country. He is a member of the American Bar Association Board of Governors and House of Delegates. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and holds a variety of leadership positions in the American Bar Association Family Law Section, served as Chair of the Family Law Committee for the ABA General Practice Section, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association Family Law Section. He received the 2008 Professional Achievement Award from the New Jersey State Bar Association, was recognized as one of New Jersey's top "40-Under-40" business leaders by NJ BIZ, a leading New Jersey business publication, and has been recognized by Law & Politics and New Jersey SuperLawyers as a "Rising Star" since 2006.

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Anne Marie Jackson

At-Large

Anne Marie Jackson is a principal at Ain & Bank, P.C. where her law practice focuses exclusively on family law, including litigation, negotiation, appellate work and Collaborative Law. Prior to practicing family law, in 1994-95 she was a law clerk to the Honorable Theodore G. Bloom of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

 

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Kendra Randall Jolivet

At-Large

Kendra Randall Jolivet is a partner in the Baltimore law firm, Randall & Sonnier, LLC. Her firm regularly practices family law, child advocacy, personal injury, wills and civil litigation. Kendra has garnered tremendous respect for her advocacy, tenacity and genuine compassion. Among her successes is a jury verdict for over 2 million dollars in a products liability trial.

Kendra is a member of the American Bar Association (Past Chair of Family Courts Committee-2010 to 2014, Co-Chair of the Member Benefits Committee- 2013 to present, and Member of the Continuing Legal Education Committee- 2013 to present- Family Law Section), Maryland State Bar Association (Past Organizing Committee Member- Entertainment & Sports Law Section), Baltimore City Bar Association (Co-Chair of the Lawyer Referral & Information Service Committee- 2013 to present and Member of the Judicial Selections Committee- 2012 to present), the D.C. Bar Association, the National Association of Children's Counsel, & Alliance of Black Women Attorneys. Kendra also co-hosted the "Lawyers Who Care" radio broadcast which addressed legal and community issues (local and national).

Kendra’s life centers on children and the law. Kendra participated on the Model Court Executive Committee for the Juvenile Court in Baltimore City which is charged with implementing measures to improve the court. She is the co-founder and Board Member of A Step Closer Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization which benefits youth. She is also a Board Member of the Liberty Community Development Corporation. Kendra is the visionary for She Matters Girls' Empowerment Programs where the mission is to inspire, cater to and showcase female accomplishments. She Matters is a girls’ empowerment movement for 9 to 17 year olds that sponsors annual conferences, camps, award ceremonies and summits on topics such as domestic violence, job preparation, career exploration, conflict resolution, dating, and financial literacy; all aimed at increasing the knowledge, self-esteem and opportunities for young women. Through the success of She Matters, He Matters was formed and has flourished for our young men. For the past 12 years, Kendra’s law firm has sponsored a holiday party for children in foster care to ensure they had at least one gift (but normally two gifts) for Christmas each year.

Kendra has received honors from the Mayor of Baltimore, Senator Barbara Mikulski, American Minority Contractors and Businesses Association, The Children’s Home, Baltimore City Community College, Morgan State University, the County Executive of Harford County, her alma mater, Towson University and her church, Set The Captives Free Outreach Center. Kendra was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2010 by The Daily Record. In 2014, Kendra received the Legacy Award from the Alliance of Black Women Attorneys and Outstanding Contribution Award from the American Bar Association Family Law Section. Her law firm has been featured in Grace & Glory magazine and The Baltimore Business Journal.

Although she is thankful for all the accomplishments and accolades, Kendra’s best moments are spent being a great mother to her two beautiful children

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Allen Gary Palmer
Region I

Allen PalmerAllen Gary Palmer is a partner with Halloran & Sage, LLP, in Westport, Connecticut, and focuses his practice in the area of family law. He routinely represents spouses, children, unmarried couples and same-sex couples through a wide range of life’s changes and milestones including divorce, prenuptial agreements, marriage, adoptions, child custody and child support.

As a certified guardian ad litem (GAL), Allen often accepts appointments to represent children both as attorney and as GAL. He presently serves as a Special Master for contested child custody matters pending on the Regional Family Trial Docket in Middletown, Connecticut, and also serves as Special Master on the Stamford and Danbury family dockets. He previously served on the panel of appointed counsel in the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters and in various probate courts, where he accepted court appointments to represent indigent children and parents in matters brought by the Department of Children and Families. He also has served as assistant corporation counsel for the City of Danbury.

Allen is a member of the Family Law Sections of the American and Connecticut Bar Associations. In this capacity in both associations, he actively participates in the Section’s conferences and serves on numerous committees. In addition to serving on the ABA Family Law Council, he is also currently the Vice-Chair of its Custody Committee, and a member of its Ethics Committee, Public Service Committee, Sponsorship Committee, and Trial Practice and Techniques Committee. He is also on the Host Committee for the ABA Family Law Fall 2014 Conference. He is an ABA Advisor to the Uniform Law Commission Study Committee on Third Party Access. He is the current Vice Chair and previous CLE Chair, Secretary and Treasurer for the CBA’s Family Law Section.

He produces and presents CLE programs for the ABA, and frequently presents case updates at the CBA’s Family Law section meetings. Allen is also an active member of the Fairfield County Bar Association Family Law Section.

Allen has written numerous articles pertaining to family law. He also served on a panel entitled “Introduction to Family Law in Connecticut” at the Connecticut Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, where he lectured on pendente lite and trial proceedings. He has also lectured at the American Bar Association Family Law Section, where he recently presented a program on cross-examining mental health experts, which he will be presenting as part of an ABA webinar later this year. Allen appears in the internet CLE series Case Flash which reviews recent family law cases for members of the CBA Family Law Section.

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Linda Ravdin
Region II

Linda RavdinLinda J. Ravdin practices family law exclusively with the Bethesda, Maryland, law firm, Pasternak & Fidis, P.C. She is admitted to practice in Virginia (1974), Maryland (1984), and the District of Columbia (1974).

From 2003 to 2008 she was chair of the ABA Section of Family Law Publications Development Board; she continues on the board as a member. Linda has written for the Family Law Quarterly as well as the Advocate. She has participated in numerous section CLE programs at ABA Annual Meetings and at the section Fall and Spring CLE conferences. Linda is the author of Premarital Agreements: Drafting and Negotiation (2011), published by the ABA Family Law Section.  She is also the author of TM849-2d Marital Agreements (Tax Management Inc., 20012) and Domestic Relations Manual for the District of Columbia (LexisNexis, 2002, updated  annually) (with coauthor, Hon. Diane Brenneman). From 2010-2012 she served as the ABA Family Law Section's Advisor to the Uniform Law Commission Committee on Premarital and Marital Agreements.  Washingtonian magazine has named her to its best divorce lawyers list since 1995.

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William R. Biviano
Region III

Bill BivianoWilliam R. Biviano is principal of Biviano Law Firm in Warren, Ohio. Bill is a 1974 graduate of Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio. Thirty years ago, he limited his practice to matrimonial law.

Bill is a long-time member of the American Bar Association and the Family Law Section. He is a frequent presenter and author addressing issues from law practice management for the solo practitioner, trial preparation and presentation techniques, UCCJEA issues, retainer agreements and domestic violence defense techniques.

Bill is a Certified Family Relations Law Specialist in the State of Ohio and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Bill has been selected as an Ohio Super Lawyer from 2005-2012 and was again selected as one of the top 100 lawyers in Ohio. Best Lawyers awarded Bill Lawyer of the Year for the Akron/Youngstown region. Bill is a sustaining member of the Ohio State Bar Association and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

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Henry M. DeWoskin
Region IV

Henry DeWoskinHenry M. DeWoskin is a partner at the law firm of Alan E. DeWoskin P.C. in St. Louis, Missouri.

His practice consists of family law, military law, wills, estate planning, probate, social security and general civil litigation. Mr. DeWoskin is admitted to practice law in Missouri, Illinois, the U.S. Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

Mr. DeWoskin holds multiple leadership positions in the ABA Section of Family Law, the ABA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. Currently, he serves as Chair of the Family Law Section’s Long Range Planning Committee, Co-Chair of the Member Benefit Development Committee, and Co-Chair of the Sponsorship & Fundraising Committee.  In addition, he has served on the Section’s Bylaws, CLE, Diversity, Military, and Young Lawyers committees. Further, he is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. Further, Mr. DeWoskin is a frequent speaker of continuing legal education on military family law for local and national organizations.

In addition, he is a major in the Judge Advocate General's Corps in the United States Army Reserve. He received his B.A. from Bucknell University in 1992 and his J.D. from Temple University in 1996.

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Virginia Dugan
Region V

Virginia DuganVirginia R. Dugan is an attorney and shareholder with Atkinson & Kelsey, P.A., the oldest and largest divorce and family law firm in New Mexico.

She specializes in alimony, child support, collaborative law, and pre- and post-nuptial agreements. Prior to being elected to the Family Law Section Council, she served as chair of the section's Scope & Correlation and Marital Property committees and was a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Continuing Legal Education.

She is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a member of New Mexico Supreme Court's Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Committee, a past president of the New Mexico State Bar's Board of Bar Commissioners, and has chaired the New Mexico State Bar's Committee on Professionalism and Bench & Bar Committee.

With an "A" rating from Martindale-Hubbell, she has been listed as a Southwest Super Lawyer annually since 2007, in Best Lawyers in America since 2010, and was named Best of the Bar for Family Law in 2011 by New Mexico Business Weekly.

She has lectured and taught about a variety of domestic relations issues for the ABA, National Business Institute, Lorman Education Services, Today's Law School, and New Mexico State Bar.

She earned her J.D. degree from the University of New Mexico's School of Law and holds master's and doctoral degrees in education from the same institution.

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Allen M. Bailey
Region VI

Allen BaileyAllen M. Bailey, J.D., is a family law practitioner and former municipal prosecutor in Anchorage, Alaska. He has been on the ABA Section of Family Law Council since August 2011.

Bailey is co-author of Alaska's statute establishing a presumption against awarding custody of a child to a batterer. He was a member of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence in 2006-2009 and is currently FLS Liaison to the commission.

He is currently chair of the section's Domestic Violence Committee and is a former chair of the Custody Committee. He also serves on the section's Publications Development Board. Bailey was president of the Abused Women's Aid In Crisis, Inc., Board of Directors in 2010-2011 and is a member of the Anchorage Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Caucus. Bailey is a member of the Executive Committee of the Alaska Bar Association's Family Law Section and in 2011 received the Alaska Attorney General's Pro Bono Award.

He authored a chapter in The Impact of Domestic Violence on Your Legal Practice; A Lawyer’s Handbook, 2d Ed., ABA Commission on Domestic Violence (2004), and reviewed Bancroft and Silverman, The Batterer As Parent: Addressing the Impact of Domestic Violence on Family Dynamics, and Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men for the 2005 domestic violence issue of the Family Law Quarterly.

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Kathleen (Kathy) A. Hogan
Editor, Family Advocate

Kathy HoganKathy Hogan is a partner in the Denver, Colorado law firm of McGuane and Hogan, L.L.P. She is also of counsel to Rutkin & Oldham in Westport, Connecticut.

She limits her practice to family law and focuses on complex financial and custody issues at trial and on appeal, as well as prenuptial and marital agreements. She also regularly volunteers as a pro bono lawyer for family law matters.

She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee School of Law where she was associate editor of the Law Review. She is admitted to practice in Colorado; Connecticut; New York; Tennessee; and US District Court.

Ms. Hogan is a frequent writer and lecturer, both nationally and locally, on issues relating to family law. Among other publications she is the author of the two-volume set Colorado Family Law and Practice, published by West Publishing, as well as the three-volume set Connecticut Family Law and Practice. She has also written for the AAML Journal, the Family Advocate, and other publications. Most recently she has lectured about trial preparation tactics and complex interstate jurisdictional issues.

Ms. Hogan has been involved in the American Bar Association Section of Family Law for most of her professional career, and has served as chair or co-chair of a number of committees. She is also a member of the Colorado Bar Association Section of Family Law, a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Family Law, and designated as a Colorado Super Lawyer.

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Linda D. Elrod
Editor, Family Law Quarterly

Linda ElrodLinda D. Elrod is the Richard S. Righter Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Washburn University Law School Children and Family Law Center. She has been teaching family law for thirty-seven years. In 2011 she was a Fulbright Senior Specialist for the Dublin Institute of Technology.

She has been a visiting professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis and Florida State University School of Law.

She currently serves on Council for the American Bar Association Family Law Section and on the U.S. Secretary of State Legal Adviser's Advisory Committee on Private International Law (ACPIL). She has been Editor-in-Chief of the ABA Family Law Quarterly since 1992. She is past chair of the ABA Family Law Section (2000-01); was co-chair of the ABA Child Custody Pro Bono Advisory Board from 2001-2008; and served on the Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children. She served as Chair of the Committee which drafted the ABA Standards for Lawyers Who Represent Children in Abuse and Neglect Cases and on the committee which drafted the Custody Standards.  In 2000 she coordinated an international, interdisciplinary think tank on "High Conflict Custody Cases - Reforming the System for Children." In 2007 she was an official observer for the International Society of Family Law to the Hague Conference on Private International Law which was drafting the Hague Convention on the International Enforcement of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance.

In 2013, she was selected as the Reporter for a new drafting committee for a Uniform Family Law Arbitration Act. She previously was the Reporter for the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act (UCAPA) which has now been enacted in twelve states. She sits on the Joint Editorial Board on Family Law for the Uniform Law Commission. She founded the Family Law Section of the Kansas Bar Association and served as its Chair. She has served on the Kansas Supreme Court Child Support Advisory Committee since its inception in 1984. She is the author of a national child custody treatise, a two volume Kansas family law treatise, and co-author of a nationally used family law textbook. She has written dozens of articles and has spoken at international, national, and regional programs.

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Gail D. Baker
Publications Board Co-Chair

Gail D. Baker received her BA degree from the University of Minnesota in June 1978 and graduated from Suffolk University Law School in Boston in May 1981.

After a short time practicing family law in Minneapolis, Gail became the Executive Director and staff attorney for Legal Assistance of Olmsted County (LAOC) in May 1982. After 3 ½ years, Gail went into private practice eventually opening Baker Law Offices on September 18, 1989. Her focus has always been family law.

Gail has been active in local, state and the American Bar Associations including the ABA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) & Family Law Section (FLS) on their publications boards (including chairing both), developing Standards for Representation of Children in Child Abuse and Protection(1996) and Custody cases (2003), Steering Committee on Unmet Legal Needs of Children (1998 –2002), and Standing Committee of Publishing Oversight (SCOPO) from 2008-2011). Gail has also been active in the Minnesota and Olmsted County Bar Associations, including as president of the OCBA in 1997-98.

Gail was an assistant public defender handling child protection and juvenile delinquency cases from 1992 to 2000 and has been on several MN Supreme Court taskforces and Rules committees including the Taskforce on Foster Care and Adoption 1996-97, co-chair of the Child Protection (CHIPS) Rules Committee 1998-2000, CHIPS curriculum committee 2000 and Delinquency Rules Committee 2000-2002.

Gail is actively involved in the community on and chairing Boards of various groups and organizations including the Rochester Rotary Risers, Family Services Rochester, The Reading Center/Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota and the Rochester Area Family Y.

Gail also is a trained Rule 114 qualified family law neutral, Guardian ad Litem, represents guardian ad litems, and has been a high school mock trial coach, and mentor/big sister.

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Steven Nathan Peskind
Publications Board Co- Chair

Steven N. Peskind has been designated “One of the Best Lawyers in America.” Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. He is the only lawyer in Kane County, Illinois recognized in the Best Lawyers directory.

Steven N. Peskind is a highly accomplished family and divorce attorney who has been honored with numerous awards and distinctions throughout his career. He has argued before the Illinois Supreme Court in cases that have significantly affected a custodial parent’s right to move from Illinois and questioned the constitutionality of the Illinois Parentage Act.

In 2007 the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers elected Steven as a member following an intensive admittance process. The Academy is universally regarded as the nation’s most exclusive organization of family lawyers.

The following year, Steven was recognized as a “Super Lawyer” and has earned that designation every year since. Also in 2008, then-Minority Leader of the Illinois House of Representatives, Tom Cross, appointed Steven to serve on a legislative commission to review and recommend improvements to Illinois’s family laws.

Having been in practice for nearly 28 years, Steven is bringing his vast experience to the classroom. He is helping to train the next generation of family law litigators by serving on the faculty of the Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute. His focus on the future of the field was recognized in October of 2011, when the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education presented him with the Michael S. Cohen award for “Continuing Commitment and Contribution to the Professional Education of Matrimonial Lawyers.”

Steven’s academic achievements have made him a leader in the field of family law. In 2005, Steven was honored with admission into the American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects. He has written a multitude of articles that have appeared in various scholarly publications, including bar journals and law reviews. He was recently appointed editor of the Fall 2012 edition of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Journal that will focus on custody issues. His first book, The Family Law Evidence Handbook, was published by the ABA Family Law Section Publishers in April of 2013.  His second book, Divorce In Illinois is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2013.

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Candace (Candi) Peeples
Continuing Legal Education Co-Chair

Candi PeeplesCandi Peeples is partner in the Birmingham, Alabama law firm of Shaw & Peeples LLC. She has concentrated her practice solely in the areas of Family Law since 2000.


Candi is a fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
and was chosen by Birmingham Magazine as one of the city's "Top Attorneys" in the area of Family Law from 2009-2012. She was also selected in 2010 and 2012 by Alabama Super Lawyer Magazine as a "Rising Star" in this statewide publication and selected by the Birmingham Business Journal "Top 40 Under 40" in 2005.

Ms. Peeples is a former chair of the Family Law Section of the Alabama State Bar, and serves as a council member and Committee Chair of the American Bar Association Family Law Section. Candi is a frequent presenter of Continuing Legal Education for both local and national organizations and participates in pro bono activities by providing family law services to low income clients. Ms. Peeples earned her B.A. degree at the University of Georgia and her J.D. degree cum laude at Cumberland School of Law of Samford University.

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Michael Aaron Mosberg
Continuing Legal Education Co-Chair

Mr. Mosberg a partner with the firm, represents clients in all aspects of family law.Actively involved in city, state and national bar associations, Michael is a Fellow of both the American Academy and International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Chair of the Matrimonial Law Committee for the New York City Bar Association, and a member of the Family Law Section for both the American Bar Association (Co-Chair, Sponsorship Committee; Member, Council; Member, CLE Committee) and the New York State Bar Association (Member, Executive and Membership Committees).Michael frequently lectures both within New York State and nationally on topics involving family law and trial practice. Organizations before which he has spoken include the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (NY Chapter), the Alabama State Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association and the Legal Education Institute. He is the author of Avoiding Deposition Pitfalls (2010) (with Jonathan W. Wolfe), Depositions Gone Wrong: The Seven Deadly Sins (2009), and The Secret To Success: Using Witness Consultants to Prepare Your Client (2009). He has also contributed to the Matthew Bender and Co. publication New York Civil Practice: Matrimonial Actions (2009) and authored a chapter entitled Prenuptial Agreements in New York: An Overview (2011) for the treatise Drafting Prenuptial Agreements (Skoloff, Singer & Brown, Aspen Law & Business).Michael has been selected as one of the Ten Leaders in Matrimonial and Divorce Law in New York City under the age of 45 and for inclusion in New York’s Best Lawyers (2014) and Super Lawyers (2011-2013). Prior to joining the Firm, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Virginia M. Morgan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

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Brian Karpf
Young Lawyers Division Liaison

Brian KarpfBrian M. Karpf is a Florida native. He graduated cum laude from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2004 where he was president of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity. Mr. Karpf received his Juris Doctor from Florida International University in 2007. He was also distinguished by the CALI Excellence for Future Award in Intellectual Property law, a recognition given to the student with the top grade in the course. Mr. Karpf was named by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star for 2013-2014. No more than 2.5% of lawyers under 40 years old receive this honor.

Mr. Karpf focuses his practice in the areas of Family Law, Appeals, and International Child Abduction cases in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Naples. He has represented high net worth clients, celebrities and athletes and is routinely involved in complex cases involving divorce, child custody and timesharing, alimony, equitable distribution, and business valuation, as well as international custody disputes. Mr. Karpf acted as both moderator and panelist for the American Bar Association Section of Family Law presentation, "Evidence for Family Lawyers," and as moderator of "Identifying and Solving Tax Issues in Family Law Cases." He is also the founder of www.lawyerlunch.com and www.caretotrade.com.

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David Shelton Kershaw
Law Student Division Liaison


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Robert T. Gonzales
Board of Governors Liaison

Robert GonzalesBob Gonzales is Of Counsel, Hylton & Gonzales, Maryland, and received his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1976.

Bob has served in the ABA House of Delegates since 1994. From 2004-2012, he served as Maryland's State Delegate in the House. He also chaired the Steering Committee of the Nominating Committee. He chaired the Minority Caucus of the House from 1996-2002 and was a member of the Committee on Rules and Calendar. Bob chaired the Standing Committee on Constitution and Bylaws and also served on the Standing Committee on Meetings and Travel and the governing body of the ABA Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity. He is a member of the ABA sections of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law and Individual Rights and Responsibilities.

In addition, he served as the American Bar Foundation’s Fellows State Chair for Maryland. He was President of the Maryland State Bar Association (1995-1996) and the Bar Association of Baltimore City (1992-1993). Bob also served as President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents in 2001-2002. His wife’s name is Louise Michaux Gonzales.

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Edward Henry Newman
Parliamentarian


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