Section members will elect Section of Family Law Officers and Council Members for the 2022–2023 bar year at the 2022 ABA Family Law Section’s Annual Business Meeting in Chicago. 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
Brian M. Karpf, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Brian M. Karpf is a partner with Young, Berman, Karpf, and Karpf, P.A., in Boca Raton, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is a Florida Bar Board-Certified Family Law Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator. Brian is a Fellow in both the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and international Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL). He focuses his law practice exclusively in the areas of family and divorce law, including litigation, appeals, mediation, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
Brian is presently the Vice-Chair of the ABA Family Law Section (FLS). He has served on the Executive Council of the FLS since 2010 and has chaired and/or served on nearly every substantive Section Committee. He continues to Chair committees while serving as the FLS Secretary.
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 FLS, 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. Karpf 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.
Karpf is a frequent author and presenter on a variety of family law and social media topics. Karpf was named by Super Lawyers 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. Karpf is also recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the field of Family Law.
one position, one-year term
Lyne Ranson, Charleston, WV
Lyne Ranson is located in Charleston, West Virginia. She has been an attorney for thirty-eight years, now exclusively practicing and mediating complex family law matters. She is the founding member of one of the largest law firms in the state devoted solely to family law matters. For the last several years she has served as Chair of the West Virginia State Bar family law committee. Lyne has been very active in the ABA Family Law Section (FLS) with broad experience as CLE co-chair for several years, serving on Council, the Long Range Planning committee, chairing the Alimony & Spousal Support and Marital Property Committees as well as being appointed to the Nominating and Finance Committees. Last year she served as Secretary for the FLS. Lyne was selected as a fellow in the AAML and serves on their Board of Governors and is Co-Chair of Chapter Leaders. She has been a state, local, and national family law speaker presenting topics on alimony, valuing marital property, client management, dividing family businesses, and prenuptial agreements. Lyne was previously a Trial Advocacy Skills instructor for many years at WVU College of Law and at the U.S. Department of Justice when she was a federal Assistant U.S. Attorney. She was elected as the second Circuit Court Judge in the state. She enjoys traveling, family, and spending time in Florida at her second home.
one position, one-year term
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 reproductive 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 and mediates and arbitrates family law cases.
Jennifer is an active member of the ABA Family Law Section. She is in her second term as a Council member and is currently the chair of the Program Support Fund Committee, member of the Finance Committee, and the FLS liaison to the AICPA and the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism. She was a former member of the Strategic Planning Committee and CLE Committee, former co-Vice-Chair of the Bylaws Committee, former Chair of the Sponsorship Committee, the Law Practice Management Committee, and the Scope and Correlation Committee of FLS. She is a member of the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Camden County Bar Associations. She is co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Children’s Rights Committee and member of the Camden County Family Law Committee.
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: 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 and “Five-Star Attorney” for consecutive years, and she has been named by Philadelphia magazine as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer each year since 2015 and previously as a Super Lawyer—Rising Sta” 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. Jennifer is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an organization of select lawyers dedicated to expanding knowledge and advancing justice.
two positions, three-year terms
Maureen McBrien, Needham, MA
Maureen McBrien is a founding partner at Brick, Jones, McBrien & Hickey LLP—a divorce and family law firm in Needham, Massachusetts. Maureen handles family law related matters at both the trial and appellate court levels. She is an advocate of arbitration as an alternative to resolving family law disputes.
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 is the co-author of the 4th 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 many years, with connections to both family law and assisted reproductive technology members. She is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Maureen has been elected as a Super Lawyer each year since 2015.
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 Vaughn became a parent through surrogacy and egg donation and shifted his practice to assisted reproductive technology (ART) 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 ART law.
Richard has served the ABA Family Law Section as Chair of the Assisted Reproductive Law Committee 2013–2018, developing education for ART attorneys, model legislation for governance of U.S. ART law, model legislation for ART providers, and guidelines for international surrogacy, parentage, and citizenship rights. He has co-chaired the FLS Membership Committee, served on the Bylaws Committee, and presently sits on the Finance and CLE Committees.
Richard has also served on the National Board of the American Fertility Association and is an active member of the American Academy of Adoption and ART Attorneys (AAAA), the Academy of California Adoption and ART Lawyers (ACAL), 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 an ABA book “Developing a Successful ART Law Practice,” he has been published in numerous professional journals, including the ABA’s SciTech Lawyer, for which he also served as issue editor, Family Advocate, Family Law Quarterly, the International Family Law Journal, the American Journal of Family Law, the Australian Family Law Journal, and the California Bar Association Family Law News.
Richard has presented at numerous legal and family-building conferences around the U.S. and the world, including the International Academy of Family Law Surrogacy Symposium, the Cambridge University International Surrogacy Forum, and Yale University School of Law and California Western School of Law. He has been cited and/or interviewed as a fertility law expert in numerous television and radio shows and printed news reports, including CNN, The Washington Post, Parenting Live Magazine and National Public Radio, among many others.
Away from the office, Richard and his husband are proud advocates for LGBT equality and parenting as members of the Family Equality Council, and Richard 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
Michelle Piscopo, Philadelphia, PA
Michelle Piscopo is Of Counsel in the Matrimonial Practice Group of the Philadelphia office of Blank Rome LLP. She graduated, cum laude, from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 2001. Ms. Piscopo is a member of the American and Pennsylvania Bar Associations and is a member of each association’s Family Law Section. Michelle is currently the Chair of the Taxation Committee of the ABA Family Law Section and is a member of the Editorial Board of Family Advocate. Michelle has been recognized by Ten Leaders as one of the top ten attorneys in matrimonial and divorce law under the age of 45 for the Greater Philadelphia area. She served as an officer of the Nicholas A. Cipriani Family Law American Inn of Court in Philadelphia from 2013 to 2015. She is also a volunteer for the Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program. Michelle writes and lectures on family law issues.
Council, Region VI
one position, three-year term
Stacy Heard, Seattle, WA
Stacy Heard is a family law practitioner in Seattle, Washington. Stacy advises clients on divorce, legal separation, complex financial issues, parenting plans and custody disputes, international child custody disputes, relocation, paternity, and modifications of parenting plans and child support orders, as well as other post-dissolution matters. Stacy is a past President of the Washington State Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (WA-AFCC). Stacy also serves on the Council for the ABA Family Law Section and is the Chair of the International Law Committee. Stacy is a volunteer attorney for the U.S. State Department Hague Convention Attorney Network. She frequently teaches Continuing Legal Education courses on family law to other professionals throughout the United States and internationally.