Section members will elect Section of Family Law Officers and Council Members for the 2020–2021 bar year at the 2020 ABA Family Law Section’s Annual Business Meeting in Chicago, IL. 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
Candace B. Peeples, Birmingham, AL
Candace B. (Candi) Peeples is partner and owner in the Birmingham, Alabama, law firm Peeples Law, a boutique-styled practice solely focused in the 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.
Candi has been actively involved in the ABA Family Law Section since joining in 2000. She 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, served as the Section Secretary (2018-2019), and currently serves as the Section Vice Chair.
In 2014, Candi was honored to receive the 2014–2015 Chair’s Award. She 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. Candi 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. Peeples is a frequent CLE presenter for both local and national organizations.
one position, one-year term
Thad F. Woody, Atlanta, GA
Thad Woody is the Executive 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, 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 American Bar Association Section of Family Law for over a decade and currently serves as the Secretary of the Section. Additionally, he served for three years as the Co-Chair of the Continuing Legal Education Committee, where 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.
Thad received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also served as Senior Class President. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Following law school, he served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Sarah E. Parker of the North Carolina Supreme Court. He is a member of the United States Supreme Court, Georgia State Bar, North Carolina State Bar, and the Supreme Court of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and is frequently listed as both a Super Lawyer by Atlanta Magazine and a Legal Elite by Georgia Trend.
one position, one-year term
Brian M. Karpf, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Brian M. Karpf is a partner with Young, Berman, Karpf, and Gonzalez, P.A., in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is a Florida Bar Board-Certified Family Law Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator. Brian focuses his law practice in the areas of family and divorce law, appeals, mediation, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology matters, mediation, and Hague Convention international child-abduction cases.
Brian has served on the Council of the ABA Family Law Section since 2010 and has chaired and/or served on nearly every substantive Section Committee. He is presently co-chair of the CLE Committee and Health and Wellness Committee. He previously co-chaired the Sponsorship Committee for multiple years, amongst others.
Brian was appointed by the president of the Florida Bar to serve on its Family Law Rules Committee until 2017, and he was elected to the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar’s Young Lawyer’s Division, a role he held until he aged out. He now focuses his efforts almost exclusively on the ABA Family Law Section, attending every Conference and nearly every committee meeting, including those he no longer officially sits on. He served on the Board of Directors of KidSide, whose mission is to provide funding to ensure that Family Court Services serve the needs of children and parents suffering from family conflict. Brian now sits on the Board of Directors of LEV Traveling Children’s Museum. He is also a fellow of the Florida Bar’s Leadership Academy.
Brian is a frequent author and presenter on a variety of family law and social media topics. He was named by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Family Law for every year since 2013. In 2014, he was honored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as one of South Florida’s Top 40 Lawyers Under Age 40. He also received the Rising Star Award in South Florida Business and Wealth’s Leaders in Law awards.
one position, three-year term
Scott Friedman, Columbus, OH
Scott Friedman is an Ohio State Bar Association Board Certified Specialist in Family Relations Law. He is also licensed to practice law in the State of Florida.
Scott was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and attended The Columbus Academy. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Miami University and his Juris Doctorate from Capital University Law School, where he was honored with the Order of the Curia.
Scott served as chair of the American Bar Association Family Law Section in 2013-2014 and is currently a Section Delegate to the House of Delegates in the American Bar Association. Throughout his career Scott has held many other positions within the American Bar Association Family Law Section.
He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 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. Scott has been listed in Best Lawyers In America for Family Law 2014-2020. Scott was named Lawyer of the Year in Family Law for Columbus, Ohio by Best Lawyers in America for 2020.
Scott has been an instructor at the American Bar Association Family Law Section’s Trial Advocacy Institute.
He has also written many articles and publications, and he has spoken nationally regarding all areas of family law. Scott is also a family law certified mediator and has been trained in the Family Law Collaborative Law Process.
For over twenty years, Scott has handled family law matters. His practice includes handling complex financial matters, child custody, dissolutions, post decree support, custody modifications, and pre-marital agreements. Scott has extensive family law trial experience, and while it is his goal to resolve matters out of court, he is extremely comfortable taking a case to trial, if necessary.
Scott is married and has three children and two stepchildren. Scott enjoys his family time very much. He loves to ski, exercise, read, and strives to have a positive work life balance.
two positions, three-year terms
Jennifer A. Brandt, Philadelphia, PA
Jennifer A. Brandt is 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.
Jennifer is a frequent legal commentator on national and local television and radio. She is the editor of the Family Law Focus Blog and is a monthly contributor to the Martindale-AVVO Blog. Jennifer has received numerous honors: The Philadelphia Business Journal named Jennifer as one of its Women of Distinction; she was named a “Power Woman” by Main Line Today magazine; Suburban Life magazine named her a Top Family Law Attorney each year since 2015 and she has been named by Philadelphia magazine as a Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer” each year since 2015 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 and the Camden County Family Law Committee and is Chair of the Program Support Fund Committee and Vice-Chair of the By-Laws Committee of the ABA Family Law Section.
Lilka B. Martinez, Placerville, CA
Lilka Martinez is a solo practitioner in Placerville, California. She practices 100% family law. 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 former faculty member of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College, which is considered one the most prestigious and selective trial advocacy colleges in America.
Lilka is originally from Uruguay, South America, and lived in Mexico before settling in Northern California over 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.
She was co-chair of the Member Benefits Committee from 2015–2018, and a member of the Bylaws Committee for the term 2016–2017, the Strategic Planning Committee (2017–2020), and Finance Committee (2019–2020). She is currently a member of Council (2017–2020), the CLE Committee (2019–2021), and Diversity Committee (since 2012). She has also been newly appointed to the Family Advocate Board of Editors.
Council, Region III
one position, three-year term
Andrea L. Cozza, Westerville, OH
Andrea L. Cozza is a graduate of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She has been honored as a “Rising Star” by Ohio Super Lawyers in 2010, 2012–2013, 2015–2016 and received the honor of “Super Lawyer” in 2017–2020. Andrea is certified as a Specialist in Family Relations Law by the Ohio State Bar Association and is a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She is certified as an Arbitrator by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and has completed training in mediations involving family law matters and domestic violence.
Andrea has previously served as Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Committee of the ABA Family Law Section and is currently Vice Chair of the Alimony Committee. She serves her community bar association as Co-Chair of the Guardian ad Litem sub-committee for the Columbus Bar Association Family Law Section.
Andrea’s practice is entirely dedicated to family law, and she also serves as a Guardian ad Litem for children in custody cases. Her firm, Treneff & Cozza, LLC, is designated as a Best Law Firm with U.S. News & World Report for 2017–2020.
Council, Region V
one position, three-year term
Judith A. Hoechst, Littleton, CO
With her law office in the Denver area, Judith has represented clients in Assisted Reproductive Technology law and the complex issues related to family formation since 2010. Caring for babies, children and their parents has always been the focus of Judith’s professional life. Prior to and while attending law school, Judith worked as a pediatric intensive care nurse and a Level III-IV neonatal intensive care nurse at several children’s hospitals, and as a pediatric oncology nurse at the Cleveland Clinic. While maintaining a busy law practice, she continued to work on weekends in a Level IV NICU for many years.
Judith changed the focus of her law practice from medical negligence and massive tort litigation to Assisted Reproduction law in 2010. With personal insight into formidable issues of loss and emotional pain those struggling with fertility and family formation are facing, she feels passionate about representing her clients as well as advocating for ART-related legislation in Colorado.
Judith has been admitted by examination to the State Bars of Ohio, New Mexico, and Colorado. She is a proud member of the ABA’s Family Law Section and the ART Committee, she is the Continuing Legal Education Liaison to the Family Law Section and the ART Committee, and she is a Region V Family Law Section Council Member. She is a member of both the ART Committee’s Legislative Sub-Committee and the Judicial Sub-Committee. She is also proud to be a member of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. She is Vice Chair of ASRM’s Legal Professional Group and is a member of RESOLVE, Path2Parenthood, Men Having Babies, the Colorado Bar Association, and the Colorado Women’s Bar Association. She is actively working with RESOLVE, colleagues and Colorado state representatives on ART-related legislation and advocacy in Colorado.