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October 09, 2023 From the Chair

From the Chair: End of Summer and New Beginnings

Brian M. Karpf

As summer comes to an end, kids go back to school, and trees start changing colors, it feels like a new year and an opportunity for new beginnings. I could not be more thrilled to begin my term as the Chair of the Family Law Section and am looking forward to a year of incredible CLE programming, networking, and friendships as we hit the ground running with this ABA year.

I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself to this extraordinary community of family law professionals. Born and raised in South Florida, my passion for helping people navigate through complex, high-conflict family law issues undoubtedly stemmed from watching my father, Mitchell Karpf, a Past Chair of the Section, lead by example. After graduating from law school, I began working at my current firm, where I learned the ins and outs of the practice of family law. Today, I am a member of the AAML and IAFL, a Florida Board Certified Specialist in Marital and Family Law, and am proud to be the Managing Partner of Young, Berman, Karpf & Karpf, P.A. When I am not in the office, you can find me spending time with my wife and our two children. One could say that family is truly at the heart of everything that I do.

This year, for the very first time, our Section is having its Fall CLE Conference in Louisville October 10–14, 2023, and I am looking forward to a wonderful time with you all. Also for the first time, we are using a hypothetical financial issue-focused fact pattern that will carry through the CLE programming each day, so that our attendees have the benefit of learning a case from inception to conclusion. For our Spring CLE Conference, we will travel to Boston April 30–May 4, 2024, where we will again take a case—this time focused on children’s issues—from consultation through trial. I am excited for the incredible programming and networking opportunities that await us and look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones!

With regards to the theme of this month’s issue of Family Advocate, as a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator, I have a deep appreciation for the immeasurable value of ADR and the benefits that it provides to so many of our clients. Through my experience as both a family law attorney and a mediator, I have witnessed the benefits of ADR for clients who wish to avoid the uncertainty and costs of a litigated trial. While the practice of mediation has certainly changed over the last several years, largely as a result of the worldwide pandemic, there has also been a great number of developments that have made mediation more accessible to a broader range of clients. Personally, in my own practice, I have found that many of my clients—especially where emotions are running high—have benefitted from the ease of Zoom mediation.

As the Section’s year begins, I want to thank everyone for welcoming me, including our Section’s staff, Council, past chairs, and members, and look forward to speaking to each of you in Louisville and Boston!

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Brian M. Karpf is the Chair of the ABA Family Law Section and a partner with Young Berman Karpf & Karpf P.A. He is a Florida Bar Board Certified divorce and family law lawyer and mediator and fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the International Academy of Family Lawyers.