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Section Highlights

FLS Nominating Committee Posts Slate

Cindy Swan

Section members will elect Section of Family Law Officers and Council Members for the 2019–2020 bar year at the 2019 ABA Family Law Section’s Annual Business Meeting in San Francisco, California. To be eligible to vote, an individual must be registered for the meeting and be a nonstudent member of the Section whose good standing can be certified by official Association records for thirty days prior to the day of the voting. Here are the Officer and Council nominees.


one position, one-year term

Michael A. Mosberg

New York, NY

Michael A. Mosberg, a partner with Aronson Mayefsky & Sloan, LLP, has been actively involved in the ABA Family Law Section for more than a decade. In 2014, he received the 2013–2014 Chair’s Award for his contributions to the Section. He previously served on Council and as Co-Chair of the CLE Committee, Chair of the Sponsorship and Fundraising Committee, and Chair of the Trial Practice & Techniques Committee. Michael currently serves as an officer of the Section in the position of Vice-Chair, and he is a Co-Chair of the Section’s Diversity Committee.

In addition to his positions with the ABA, he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), 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, Michael was appointed to serve as a member of the New York State Matrimonial Practice Advisory and Rules Committee.

Michael frequently lectures both within New York State and nationally on topics involving family law and trial practice. He has presented to, among other organizations, the ABA, the New York State Bar Association, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (NY Chapter), the New York State Judicial Institute, 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 he 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 2018.

Admitted to practice in both New York and Connecticut, Michael has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America (2015–2019), New York’s Best Lawyers (2014), and Super Lawyers (2011–2018). Prior to joining his law firm, Michael served as a law clerk to the Honorable Virginia M. Morgan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.


one position, one-year term

Candace B. Peeples

Birmingham, AL

Candace B. (Candi) Peeples is partner and owner in the Birmingham, Alabama, law firm The Peeples Firm, a boutique-styled practice solely focused on traditional areas of family law and assisted reproductive technology. Candi, a former chair of the Alabama State Bar Family Law Section, was honored to be chosen by her Section peers as the 2013 Attorney of the Year. She has been actively involved in the ABA Family Law Section since joining in 2000 and has served on the Section’s governing Council (2011–present), Continuing Legal Education Committee (2009–2018), and Sponsorship and Fundraising Committee. She is a former chair of the Alimony Committee. Candi currently serves as the Section Secretary (2018–2019). In 2014, she was honored to receive the 2014–2015 Chair’s Award.

Candi is a fellow in the Alabama Chapter of the AAML and the IAFL. She is also certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Family Law Trial Advocate. She is consistently chosen as one of Birmingham, Alabama’s Top Attorneys in the area of family law by Birmingham Magazine, and she was also recognized by the statewide publication, Alabama Super Lawyer Magazine. Candi is a frequent CLE presenter for both local and national organizations.


one position, one-year term

Thad F. Woody

Atlanta, GA

Thad F. Woody is a partner with the law firm of Kessler & Solomiany, LLC, in Atlanta, where his practice focuses exclusively on family law matters. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Georgia State College of Law, where he teaches family law and domestic litigation. Thad has extensive experience representing clients in matters relating to divorce, child support, child custody, prenuptial agreements, and legitimation and paternity actions. He has successfully represented a variety of clients, including notable entertainers, athletes, and high-profile executives. Thad is trained as a guardian ad litem and has performed pro bono services on behalf of the Atlanta Lawyers Foundation.

Thad has been an active member of the ABA Family Law Section for over a decade and most recently completed a four-year position on its Council. Additionally, he served for the past three years as the Co-Chair for the Continuing Legal Education Committee, and he was responsible for planning legal education opportunities for members of the Section throughout the country. Thad has served on various Section Committees, including Strategic Planning, Nominating, and Finance. He also takes a special interest in expanding the reach of the Section and has worked as both a Chair of the Diversity Committee and the Fellowship program to further promote diversity and inclusion initiatives within the Section.

Prior to joining his firm, Thad served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Sarah E. Parker of the North Carolina Supreme Court. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, Georgia State Bar, North Carolina State Bar, and the Supreme Court of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. He is frequently listed as a Super Lawyer by Atlanta Magazine and a member of the Legal Elite by Georgia Trend.

Council, At-Large

two positions, three-year terms

Maureen McBrien

Newton, MA

Maureen McBrien is an equity partner at Brick, Jones, McBrien & Hickey LLP, which is a divorce and family law firm in Newton, Massachusetts. In addition to handling general family law matters at both the trial and appellate court levels, Maureen’s practice also involves litigating, mediating, and/or acting as a consultant on family law-related issues that arise from the use of assisted reproductive technology.

Maureen is the co-author with Bruce Hale of the ABA’s Assisted Reproductive Technology: A Lawyer’s Guide to Emerging Law and Science, now in its third edition, and the co-author of the fourth edition of Massachusetts Practice—Family Law and Practice. She is on the Publications Board for the ABA’s Family Law Section and has been a Section member for ten years, with connections to both family law and assisted reproductive technology members. She is additionally a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Maureen was elected a Rising Star by Boston Magazine each and every year from 2007 through 2014 and has been named a Super Lawyer each year since 2015.

Maureen has also written for periodicals, and she is often quoted by the Wall Street Journal and other publications. She has served as a panelist for legal education programs for the ABA, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Boston Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association, Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, and the Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio. She is a legal consultant to author Jodi Picoult.

Richard B. Vaughn

Los Angeles, CA

After a successful law career providing litigation, contract, technology, marketing, and corporate legal services to individual clients, companies, and municipalities in Chicago and Los Angeles, Richard B. Vaughn became a parent through surrogacy and egg donation. He then shifted his practice to assisted reproduction law, becoming the founding principal of International Fertility Law Group, one of the most successful and best-known law firms in the world focusing exclusively on assisted reproductive technology (ART) law.

Rich served the ABA Section of Family Law as Chair of the Assisted Reproduction Law Committee from 2013–2018, developing education for ART attorneys, model legislation for governance of U.S. ART law, and model legislation for ART providers, as well as guidelines for international surrogacy, parentage, and citizenship rights. Rich currently co-chairs the Section’s Membership Committee, and he is also a member of the Section’s Bylaws Committee.

Rich has served on the National Board of the American Fertility Association, and he is an active member of the American Academy of Adoption and ART Attorneys (AAAA), the Academy of California Adoption and ART Lawyers (ACAL), the California Bar Association (CBA) and its Family Law Section, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Legal Professionals Group, and the National LGBT Bar Association. In addition to co-authoring the ABA book Developing a Successful ART Law Practice, he has been published in numerous professional journals, including the ABA periodicals SciTech Lawyer, for which he also served as issue editor; Family Advocate; and Family Law Quarterly. He has also written for the International Family Law Journal, American Journal of Family Law, Australian Family Law Journal, and Family Law News of the State Bar of California. Rich has presented at numerous legal and family-building conferences around the country and the world, and he has been cited and/or interviewed as a fertility law expert in numerous television and radio shows and printed news reports.

Away from the office, Rich and his husband are proud advocates for LGBT equality and parenting as members of the Family Equality Council, and Rich also provides community service in the medical, health, and wellness industries as an experienced fitness instructor, triathlete, and former paramedic.

Council, Region I

one position, three-year term

Karen M. Platt

New York, NY

Karen M. Platt is a partner in Pryor Cashman’s Family Law Group. She has extensive experience negotiating and litigating a range of matrimonial law issues, including, among others, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, spousal support and child custody, and complex asset distributions. Karen is also a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer.

Prior to and during law school, Karen worked in the financial industry as a registered representative at a major investment company; her background in retirement planning has been a tremendous asset to her work as a matrimonial attorney.

Karen is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Family Law Section, where she co-chairs the Amicus Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee. She is also an active member of the ABA Section of Family Law, where she serves as Chair of the Marital Property Committee. She is Region 1 Representative to Council, Liaison to the Standing Committee on Professionalism, and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and of the CLE Committee. She also a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, as well as of the New York Women’s Bar Association.

Karen has been named a leading attorney in family law by Best Lawyers in America (2012–2019) and a leading attorney in family law by Super Lawyers (2014–2018).

Council, Region VI

one position, three-year term

Stacy D. Heard

Seattle, WA

Stacy D. Heard, of the Law Office of Stacy D. Heard, PLLC, is an attorney who practices exclusively family law in Seattle, Washington. Stacy opened her law firm in 2005 and is licensed to practice in Washington State and Oregon. She handles cases involving high-conflict parenting/custody situations, international custody and Hague Convention cases, relocation, complex financial matters, restraining orders, and child support. She is trained in alternative dispute resolution (mediation and arbitration) and in collaborative law. She is also qualified as a Title 26 Guardian ad Litem.

Stacy is a Co-Chair of the ABA’s International Law Committee. She is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts (AFCC) U.S. and Australian Chapters, and she is a past president of the Washington State AFCC Chapter. She is also a member of the International Bar Association and International Association of Family Lawyers.

Stacy is the author of Washington Family Law, (LexisNexis Practice Guide, 2019) and is currently co-authoring a book for the ABA Family Law Section on attorneys collaborating with parenting evaluators. Stacy is a frequent speaker on parenting plans in the State of Washington, nationally, and internationally. She was a member of the 2012 ABA Family Law Section’s delegation to Cuba for a joint program with the Union of Cuban Jurists.

Stacy’s CLE presentations include: “Family Law Attorneys and Parenting Evaluators: Professional Collaboration”; “Deconstructing the Custody Evaluator’s Report”; “Updates on Relocation Assessment: Mental Health and Legal Perspectives”; “Psychological Custody and Placement Evaluations”; “Regional Guidelines and Larger Body of Research Informed Paradigms”; “Debt Cancellation”; “Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Plans”; “Current Events for Family Lawyers: Legislative and Case Law Update”; and “Handling Complex Custody Matters.”

Stacy is a member of the U.S. Department of State Hague Convention Attorney Network representing clients pro bono or on a low-fee basis. She also volunteers as a pro bono attorney for the Center for Children & Youth Justice in Seattle, and she received the Washington State Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation from 2012–2017.

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Cindy Swan

Director, Family Law Section

Cindy Swan, JD, is director of the ABA Section of Family Law.