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

Roberta S. Batley
Chair

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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Melissa Avery
Chair-Elect

Melissa Avery is Of Counsel with the law firm Broyles Kight & Ricafort, P.C. in Indianapolis, Indiana. She has been practicing Family Law for 20 years and has distinguished herself both locally and nationally as a premier family law attorney. Melissa has served a wide range of clients throughout central Indiana in matters involving dissolution of marriage, high net worth divorce, custody, visitation, child support, alimony, business valuation in divorce, property division, divorce and retirement benefits, adoption law, paternity, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. She provides her clients with knowledgeable and compassionate advice. Melissa has discreetly resolved many complex cases involving businesses and other high-value assets and has been widely recognized for her family law accomplishments.

She is a certified family law specialist (Indiana Independent Certifying Organization), a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Ms. Avery has been listed as an Indiana Super Lawyer since 2005 and as one of Indiana’s Top 25 Female Lawyers since 2007 by Law and Politics Magazine.

Ms. Avery served as the American Bar Association Family Law Section CLE Co-Chair from 2011 to 2014, on the Section Council from 2005 to 2014, and chaired the marital property committee from 2007 to 2010. She currently serves as the Sponsorship Committee Co-Chair and has been nominated to be the Section’s Secretary for 2015-2016.

She is also currently a member of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and serves on the Webinar and the Impact of Divorce on Special Needs Children Committees.

Ms. Avery is Past Chair of the Indiana State Bar Association Family Law Section Chair and was a member of the Board of Governors from 2009 to 2011.

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Jonathan Wolfe
Vice-Chair

Jonathan Wolfe is managing partner of Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C., and represents clients in substantial family law matters in multiple jurisdictions both domestically and internationally. He has been listed repeatedly as one of the “Leading Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers, one of the nation’s “500 Leading Lawyers” by Lawdragon, and a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers Magazine. His matters have been featured widely in the national media, and he is regularly called upon to comment publicly on a variety of family law topics.


In addition to his many professional accolades, Mr. Wolfe has been active in the ABA Family Law Section (FLS) since his tenure as law student liaison in 1999. He currently serves as a council member-at-large. Previously, he served in numerous leadership positions, including co-chair of the Member Benefit Development Committee, chair of the Scope and Correlation Committee, vice-chair of the Long Range Planning Committee, and vice-chair of the Trial Practice & Techniques Committee. Additionally, he has been a member of the section’s CLE, Sponsorship, and Nominating committees. In 2014, he received the Section Chair’s Award for his service to the FLS.


Mr. Wolfe’s involvement with, and service to, the ABA extends beyond the FLS. He served on the ABA Board of Governors from 2008 to 2011 and on the Fund for Justice and Education (FJE) Council from 2012 to 2014. He also spent almost 10 years (2005 to 2014) as a member of the ABA House of Delegates. More recently, he finds himself serving as chair of the Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund.


Locally, Mr. Wolfe is active in the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) and has served on the Family Law Executive committees of both the NJSBA and the New York City Bar. He is also a regular lecturer and author for various family law associations.

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Michael A. Mosberg
Secretary


Michael Mosberg has been actively involved in the Family Law Section of the ABA since joining the Section in 2008. In 2014, he received the 2013-2014 Chair's Award for his contributions to the Section. He has previously served as Co-Chair of the Sponsorship and Fundraising Committee and Chair of the Trial Practice & Techniques Committee.  Mr. Mosberg presently serves as Co-Chair of the CLE Committee (a position he has held since 2014), and as a member of both the Finance Committee and Council (first in a Member-At-Large position and later as CLE Co-Chair).

In addition to his involvement with the ABA, he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, the former Chair of the Matrimonial Law Committee for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (2011-2014) and an active member of the New York State Bar Association. In 2014, Mr. Mosberg was appointed to serve as a member of the New York State Matrimonial Practice Advisory and Rules Committee.

Mr. Mosberg 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), which he updated in 2016.   

Michael, admitted to practice in both New York and Connecticut, has been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America (2015-2016), New York's Best Lawyers (2014) and Super Lawyers (2011-2016).

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Anne Marie Jackson

Financial Officer

Anne Marie Jackson is a founding partner at Feldman Jackson, PC located in Bethesda, Maryland.  She is licensed to practice in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia.  Her practice focuses exclusively on family law and helping individuals negotiate their way through the difficult experience of separation and divorce.  Anne Marie pursues negotiation, litigation, and Collaborative Law depending on the particular circumstances.  She is a fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and has been included in Super Lawyers and in Best Lawyers in America, and has been noted among the top divorce lawyers by both the Washingtonian and Bethesda Magazine.


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Mary Vidas  

Immediate Past Chair

Ms. 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. Ms. Vidas is an active member of the ABA Section of Family Law and currently serves as Section Vice Chair.

She is 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 and Bankruptcy Committees 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 has served as a member of the Executive Council of the Family Law Section of the Pennsylvanian Bar Association and is a past President of the Nicholas Cipriani Family Law Inn of Court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Ms. Vidas is in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and recently served as the Immediate Past-President of the Pennsylvania Chapter.  At present, she serves as a member of the Admissions and National Test Committees of the National AAML.  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. Ms. Vidas obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and her J.D. from Temple University School of Law.

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Scott N. Friedman
Section Delegate


Scott N. Friedman is a partner and owner at Friedman & Mirman Co., L.P.A. a practice exclusively devoted to Family Law. He is an Ohio State Bar Association Board Certified Specialist in Family Relations Law. Mr. Friedman is also licensed to practice law in the state of Florida.
Mr. Friedman served as chair of the American Bar Association Family Law Section for 2013-2014 and has also served as Secretary (2010-2011), Financial Officer (2008-2010), Region Representative (2002-2008), CLE Co-Chair (2005-2007) and he has chaired numerous other ABA FLS committees.  Since 2014, Mr. Friedman has served on the ABA Working Group for Unaccompanied Minors and has been the co-chair of the recruitment committee.

Mr. Friedman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial lawyers. He 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 Section. Mr. Friedman has been listed in Best Lawyer’s In America under Family Law for multiple years.

Mr. Friedman is an instructor at the American Bar Association Family Law Section's Trial Advocacy Institute. He has consistently been named an Ohio Super Lawyer by Law & Politics. Mr. Friedman has and continues to serve on many Boards for many different organizations.


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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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Council Members

Jennifer Anne Brandt
At-Large

Jennifer A. Brandt is Co-Chair of the Cozen O’Connor Family Law group.  She has significant experience representing parties in divorce, custody, and support/alimony matters throughout both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  She assists parties in adoptions, guardianship issues and matters concerning assisted reproduction technology.  Her involvement in family law litigation extends to both the trial court and appellate levels.  She also negotiates prenuptial, post-nuptial and cohabitation agreements on behalf of clients.

In 2016, the Philadelphia Business Journal names Ms. Brandt as one of its Women of Distinction.  Ms. Brandt was named a 2014 "Power Woman" by Main Line Today magazine.  She was selected by Suburban Life magazine as a 2015 and 2016 Top Family Law Attorney.  She is recognized as one of the Ten Leaders of Greater Philadelphia - Age 45 and Under - In Matrimonial and Divorce Law.  She was also named by Philadelphia magazine as a 2015 and 2016 Pennsylvania "Super Lawyer" and previously as a "Super Lawyer - Rising Star” for several consecutive years.  She was one of American Lawyer Media’s “Lawyers on the Fast Track,” and subsequently was asked to be a judge for this competition.  In 2016, Jennifer was asked to join the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, an organization of select lawyers dedicated to expanding knowledge and advancing justice.


In addition, Jennifer is an active member of the Family Law Sections of the American, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Camden County bar associations.  She also is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Children’s Rights Committee, the Camden County Family Law Committee, and co-chair of the Sponsorship Committee, chair of the Law Practice Management Committee and former chair of the Scope and Correlation Committee of the ABA Family Law Section.  She also serves as a panelist for the Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel program in Camden County.  She is a member of the Certification Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section.  Jennifer is former chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Membership Committee and a former member of its Executive Committee.

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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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Brian M. Karpf
At-Large

Brian 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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Lilka B. Martinez
At-Large

Lilka Martinez is a partner in the law firm Weiner Martinez, LLP, in El Dorado Hills, California. The focus of her practice is family law, although she also practices civil rights and other civil litigation. She earned her J.D. degree “with great distinction” from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, while working full-time as a paralegal. She is also a graduate and a faculty member of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College, which is considered one the most prestigious and selective trial advocacy colleges in America.

 

Ms. Martinez is originally from Uruguay, South America, and lived in Mexico before settling in Northern California almost 15 years ago. She is committed to promote diversity in the legal profession, being one of the first ABA Family Law Section Diversity Fellows, and a CLEO/Thurgood Marshall distinguished alumna. She is a member of the Family Law Section of the California State Bar, El Dorado County Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association, and often volunteers at her alma mater to provide assistance to Spanish speaking members of the community.

 

Ms. Martinez was co-chair of the Member Benefits Committee during the 2015-2016 term, and was reappointed to that position by Mary Vidas for the 2016-2017 term. Ms. Martinez has also been a member of the Strategic Planning Committee (2016-2019), Bylaws Committee (2016-2017) and Diversity Committee (since 2012). Outside of the ABA, she is active in the Family Law Section of her local County Bar and teaches trial skills to other lawyers throughout the country.

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Chaim Steinberger
At-Large

Chaim Steinberger has been practicing family law for almost 20 years. Before opening his own practice, he worked at some of the most prestigious law firms in the country and served as a law clerk to a federal judge. After going through a nasty divorce himself, he said, “There’s got to be a better way.” He now strives to practice that better way by incorporating the “best practices” of every aspect of litigation, negotiation, and mediation into every case. He is “committed to excellence,” and strives to make divorce a healing process instead of a destructive one. By mentoring, lecturing, and mediating, he tries to give back to the community.

As a member of the ABA Family Law Section for more than 15 years, Mr. Steinberger has been active in the section and its events and activities. He served as chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee from 2009 to 2011 and vice chair of both the Ethics Committee (2010to 2013) and Pro Bono Awards Committee (2006 to 2009). He has been attending section meetings regularly since 2002. He currently serves as the section’s liaison to the AFCC and is a regular presence on the section’s ESQ listserv.

Mr. Steinberger is involved with his local bar associations as well. He serves on the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Task Force on Family Courts, and he co-chaired the NYSBA Dispute Resolution Section’s Collaborative Law Committee. He also is active on committees of the New York City Bar, New York County Lawyers’ Association, Brooklyn Bar Association, and the Brandeis Law Society.

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Robert T. Terenzio

At-Large

Robert Terenzio owns a law firm that exclusively practices in assisted reproductive technology law. Over the twenty plus years Robert has been in this field, he noticed that the best support he could provide his clients was to provide them a stable legal framework within which to pursue parentage, plentiful and transparent information on the ART processes and unwavering support and counsel throughout their journey.

Robert is a member of the Florida and Connecticut Bar Associations. He belongs to the Family Law Section of both states and the Health Law Section of the Florida Bar. Robert is a committee member of the Section of Family Law, Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee for which he advises on continuing legal education programs. Robert is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology and the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics. Robert is a longtime supporter and member of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. Having a background in malpractice and risk management, Robert is a longtime advocate of national standards for non-licensed professionals in the ART arena. Robert has answered the challenge of the lack of transparency in ART by speaking to physicians, nurses, allied medical personnel, attorneys and the infertile public, in both formal settings and informal meetings, within the United States, and in Europe and South America.

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Noel Tucker
At-Large

Noel Tucker is co-owner of the Tucker Law Firm in Edmond, Oklahoma. She practices all aspects of family law but has recently been committed to growing her assisted reproductive technology (ART) practice. Through this process, she has seen firsthand the benefits of finding common ground between attorneys practicing ART law and those practicing mainstream family law. She is admitted to practice in all Oklahoma state and federal courts, as well as the Cherokee Nation and United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Tucker is a past chair of the Oklahoma Bar Association Family Law Section and continues to serve as its legislative chair. She is a contributing editor to the OBA/FLS Practice Manual and was appointed to the Professional Responsibility Tribunal in July 2013. She also is the 2016 chair of the OBA Law Office Management and Technology Committee. Established in 2004, the “Tucker Award” for outstanding guardian ad litem representation was named after her and her spouse, Phil. She was a 2011 recipient of the OBA Earl Sneed Award for Outstanding CLE Contributions and was awarded the Mona Salyer Lambird Spotlight Award in 2012.

Active in the ABA Section of Family Law since 1996, Ms. Tucker is a former council member and currently serves as liaison to the Disaster Response and Preparedness Committee. She is very active on the ART Committee and serves as its Publications chair. She has been on the Adoption Committee since her time as a law student and served as chair from 2011 to 2013. She also co-chaired the Member Benefit Development Committee from 2010 to 2012.

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Thad F. Woody
At-Large

Thad F. Woody is a partner with the law firm of Kessler & Solomiany, LLC, one of the Southeast’s premier family law firms, located in Atlanta, Georgia.  Mr. Woody has successfully represented a variety of clients including notable entertainers, athletes and high-profile executives.  Mr. Woody also serves as an adjunct professor at Georgia State University College of Law he teaches a course on family law.  Mr. Woody is trained as a Guardian ad Litem and has performed substantial pro bono services on behalf of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.  He has also been recognized as a Rising Star by Atlanta Magazine.  Mr. Woody received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he served as Senior Class President.  He received his juris doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law and, following graduation, served as a law clerk for two years to Chief Justice Sarah E. Parker of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

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Jamie Wright
At-Large

Jamie graduated from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law in May 2004 after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.  While attending law school she worked as a student attorney in the Student Law Office, Family Law Clinic, representing indigent clients in paternity, divorce, and restraining order cases. 

Jamie began her family law career as an associate attorney, working under Randall C. Mustain-Wood, at Cox, Mustain-Wood, Walker, Schumacher & Baker, in March 2005.  When the firm reconfigured in 2007, as Mustain-Wood, Walker & Schumacher, LLC, she began working under her now-partner, Timothy B. Walker.  In January 2014, she became Mr. Walker’s partner at Walker, Wright, & Associates, LLP.

Jamie is a member of the ABA Family Law Section, the Colorado Bar Association, the Douglas/Arapahoe County Bar Associations, and the Metro Denver Interdisciplinary Committee. 

She has been Co-Chair of the ABA FLS Custody Committee, on the Nominating Committee in 2013, and, is currently serving her second year as a member of the CLE Committee. 

Jamie served as a CLE moderator for the Family Law Section’s Fall Conference in 2010, and, she has produced a number of CLEs for the Family Law Section.  Jamie’s article entitled, “A Snapshot of the Financial Considerations in a Divorce,” was published in the Summer 2014 edition of the Family Advocate.

Jamie’s has practiced family law exclusively for the last (10) years representing clients in all areas of family law, including high conflict divorce and custody litigation, protection orders, support, adoption, and appeals.  She lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado with her husband of (10) years and two young sons, Kane (6) and Gage (3).

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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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Lyne Ranson
Region II


Lyne Ranson is the Chair of the WV State Bar Family Law Committee and the Kanawha County Bench-Bar Family Law Committee.  She is a former state circuit court judge and served by special appointment on cases with the WV Supreme Court. Lyne is currently the vice chair of the ABA Family Law Section Alimony Committee and serves on the CLE Committee.  She regularly speaks at national, statewide and local conferences on family law topics.  In 1982 she graduated from West Virginia University with a J.D.  While in law school she was named to the Order of the Barristers, Moot Court Board and “Outstanding Oralist” in the Lugar Trial Competition.   After law school, she worked as an Asst. U.S. Attorney prosecuting white collar crime and fraud. Lyne received the “Special Achievement Award” from the U.S. Dept. of Justice.   She has significant trial experience and has taught trial skills at the U.S. Atty General’s Advocacy Institute and WVU College of Law to 3rd year students. Prior to entering law school she was an elementary school teacher.  Lyne attended the Harvard Law School Program of Instruction for Lawyers in 2002 in negotiation and mediation.  She resides and practices exclusively family law in Charleston, WV.   In 2011 Lyne was named to the WV Supreme Court Advisory Committee. 


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Andrea Leigh Cozza
Region III

Andrea L. Cozza is a graduate of the Ohio State University and Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She is a graduate of the Associate Training Institute of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and has been honored as a "Rising Star" by Ohio Super Lawyers in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016 and received the honor of “Super Lawyer” in 2017.  Ms. Cozza is also certified as a Specialist in Family Relations Law by the Ohio State Bar Association. She has also completed the Arbitration Training Institute of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Ms. Cozza has served as a Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Committee of the ABA Family Law Section from 2013-2016 and is involved with her community bar associations, including serving as Co-Chair of the Guardian ad Litem sub-committee of the Columbus, Ohio Bar Association Family Law Section.
Ms. Cozza’s practice is entirely dedicated to family law and she also serves as a Guardian ad Litem for children in divorce and custody cases within her local court. Her firm Treneff & Cozza, LLC is designated as a 2017 Best Law Firm with U.S. News and World Report.

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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 Region IV Representative to the Family Law Section Council, and Co-Chair of the Sponsorship & Fundraising Committee.  In addition, he has served on the Section’s Bylaws, CLE, Diversity, Long Range Planning, Member Benefit Development, Military, and Young Lawyers committees.  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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Judith A. Hoechst
Region V

Judith Hoechst is a Colorado attorney who enjoys specializing in third party reproduction law. A pediatric and neonatal intensive care nurse before and while attending law school, she researched surrogacy and reproductive law when she and her husband found themselves needing the assistance of a gestational surrogate to carry their second child. Having previously worked in the areas of medical malpractice, personal injury and massive tort litigation, Judith realized a desire to help others struggling to have families.

Judith is a proud native of Buffalo, N.Y. She is a Registered Neonatal Nurse Clinician, has a B.A. in English, and obtained her law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She has been admitted by examination to the State Bars of Ohio, New Mexico and Colorado. She is a member of the ABA’s Family Law Section, ART Committee, and Health Law Section; she is a CLE Liaison in the ABA’s Family Law Section Continuing Legal Education Committee for ART CLE Planning; and she values membership in AAARTA, ASRM’s Legal Professional Group, RESOLVE, SEEDS, Path2Parenthood, Men Having Babies, The Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics, and the Colorado Bar Association’s Family Law Section, Solo Practitioner Section, and Health Law Section.

Judith works diligently to build good relationships with her clients to ensure that the legal process of each family building experience, whether through gestational surrogacy or ova, sperm, or embryo donation, is completed with confidence and peace of mind.

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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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Kendra Fershee
Editor, Family Law Quarterly

Professor Kendra Huard Fershee joined the faculty at West Virginia University College of Law in 2012. She received her J.D., cum laude, from Tulane Law School, where she served as the Senior Managing Editor of Tulane Law Review. She also represented her class to the Dean’s Advisory Council for all three years of law school, and served as a Senior Fellow in the Legal Research and Writing curriculum during her third year.

Following law school, Professor Fershee practiced commercial litigation for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in New York, NY, and Washington, D.C. Professor Fershee represented large securities firms in New York Stock Exchange and Securities Exchange Commission investigations, a multinational bank syndicate in litigation against a global telecommunications provider, and worked on several pro bono matters relating to disability rights and family law. She then spent a year teaching Legal Analysis, Research and Writing at Penn State Dickinson School of Law in State College, Pennsylvania. After her year at Penn State Dickinson School of Law, Professor Fershee taught at the University of North Dakota School of Law for five years, where she taught Lawyering Skills, Employment Discrimination, and Advanced Trial Advocacy.

At the WVU College of Law, Professor Fershee teaches family law courses, including Family Law and Parent, Child, and State, as well as Professional Responsibility and Civil Procedure.  She writes about issues affecting young parents, such as access to education, custody issues, and the process of termination of parental rights for all parents.  

Before law school, Professor Fershee had a career in political organizing. After receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan with a double major in Communications and Political Science, she worked for a non-profit political organization in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, California for five years, primarily focusing on access to public education and first amendment rights


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Joseph W. Booth
Publications Board Co- Chair

Joseph Booth is the current co-chair of the ABA FLS Publications Board. Joe has been an active member of the section since about 2000. Joe holds a Masters of Divinity degree in addition to his J.D. He has contributed to four projects for the Uniform Laws Commission (ULC) for the ABA: The most recent being the ABA observer on the Non-Parent Rights to Child Custody and Visitation Drafting Committee; then, too, as a member of the committee drafting the most recent versions of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), he was the ABA liaison; and, as a member of the committee drafting a Uniform Act pertaining to Parental Relocation.

Mr. Booth is Master of the Earl O'Connor Inns of Court. A Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), and a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (IAML). Mr. Booth lectures nationwide to private practice attorneys as well as Military Lawyers on family law issues including property valuations, child custody, child support, litigation, and attorney ethics. Mr. Booth serves as an Adjunct Professor for WU School of Law.

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Lynne A. Ustach
Publications Board Co- Chair


Ms. Ustach is a solo practitioner in New Britain, Connecticut.  She is admitted to the Connecticut State and Federal District Courts as well as the United States Supreme Court.  Ms. Ustach is currently the Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Family Law Publications Development Board.  She is also a liaison to the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Publishing Oversight.

Throughout her career, Ms. Ustach has been an active bar leader.  She has served as an Attorney Trial Referee in civil matters and a Special Master in family matters.  Ms. Ustach was a member of the Connecticut and American Bar Associations’ Young Lawyers Executive Council, the Connecticut House of Delegates and the Connecticut Board of Governors.  She was the CBA Secretary, President of the New Britain Bar Association and a member of the Hartford County Bar Board of Directors.

In addition to bar activities, Ms. Ustach has been committed to her community.  She chaired the Civil Service Commission of the City of New Britain and Family Services, Inc.  She was also a Trustee of the New Britain Museum of Art for many years and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Municipal Action Council for New Britain and the New Britain Youth Museum.

Ms. Ustach is a proud graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and Syracuse University School of Law.

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Candace (Candi) Peeples
Continuing Legal Education Co-Chair

Candi 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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Thad F. Woody
Continuing Legal Education Co-Chair

Thad F. Woody is a partner with the law firm of Kessler & Solomiany, LLC, one of the Southeast’s premier family law firms, located in Atlanta, Georgia.  Mr. Woody has successfully represented a variety of clients including notable entertainers, athletes and high-profile executives.  Mr. Woody also serves as an adjunct professor at Georgia State University College of Law he teaches a course on family law.  Mr. Woody is trained as a Guardian ad Litem and has performed substantial pro bono services on behalf of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.  He has also been recognized as a Rising Star by Atlanta Magazine.  Mr. Woody received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he served as Senior Class President.  He received his juris doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law and, following graduation, served as a law clerk for two years to Chief Justice Sarah E. Parker of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

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Lori Frio-Walker
Young Lawyers Division Liaison

Lori A. Frio-Walker, Esq., founder of Family Law Corp., P.C., devotes her practice primarily to all aspects of family and matrimonial law matters.  Lori’s family law experience includes all aspects of divorce, child custody, child support and spousal support.  Lori’s exceptional legal advocacy has earned her the recognition of her peers in prestigious publications and honors including: Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2017, Top 10 Female Family Lawyers under 40 in the State of Pennsylvania, Top 40 Under 40 Trial Attorneys in the State of Pennsylvania and being named 10 Best in Client Satisfaction among Family Law Attorneys in Pennsylvania.  
 
Lori received her J.D. degree from Villanova University School of Law and was the Editor-in-Chief of its Women's Law Forum and Associate Editor of its Journal of Catholic Social Thought.  Prior to attending law school, Lori received her M.B.A. in Management, graduating with highest honors, and her B.S. degree in Marketing from Saint Joseph’s University.  
 
Lori is trained in the divorce and custody mediation process.  She completed the 40-hour training course in Family Law Mediation.  Lori is a member in good standing of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey State Bar and is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey and the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
 
Lori began her professional career as an associate attorney at Dilworth Paxson, LLP, a large regional firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She started her time there as a summer associate attorney working on matters pertaining to real estate law, media law, corporate and business governance and business formation and dissolution.  As an associate attorney, Lori worked in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Department, where she defended trade creditors in aspects of complex Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.
 
During her free time, Lori serves as YLD Liaison to the Family Law Section, Co-Chair of the American Bar Association's, Young Lawyer's Committee of the Family Law Section and Co-Chair of the YLD Family Law Committee.  Prior to being appointed to these roles, Lori served two consecutive years as Co-Chair of the YLD, Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Committee.  She is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma International Honors Society, the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Chester and Montgomery County Bar Associations, Delta Sigma Pi Co-Ed Professional Business Fraternity and the Justinian Legal Society.

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Stephanie L. Tabashneck
Law Student Division Liaison


Stephanie Tabashneck is a second year law student at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston. Prior to attending law school Stephanie received her doctoral degree in psychology from William James College and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law. Stephanie continues to practice as a forensic psychologist with a focus on child custody. She is the author of the children’s book, ‘Dream Big! More than a Princess.’ For more information visit www.StephanieTabashneck.com.

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Maryann E. Foley
Board of Governors Liaison

Maryann was the State Delegate to the House of Delegates for Alaska from 2010-2016.  Previously, she represented the Alaska Bar Association for six years.

She served on the Section of Family Law Executive Committee from 2009-2014 including being its Chair in 2012-2013


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Virginia Dugan
Parliamentarian

Virginia 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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