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May 06, 2024 Section News

FLS Nominating Committee Posts Slate 2024-2025

Section members will elect Section of Family Law Officers and Council Members for the 2024–2025 bar year at the 2024 ABA Family Law Section’s Annual Business Meeting in Chicago, IL, on August 2, 2024. 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 30 days prior to the day of the voting. Here are the Officer and Council nominees:


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 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 and mediates and arbitrates family law cases.

Brandt is an active member of the ABA Family Law Section, currently serving as the Section vice-chair and co-vice-chair of the Diversity Committee. She was a former member of Council, and the Finance Committee, chair of the Program Support Fund, a 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 the ABA Family Law Section. 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.

Brandt 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. Brandt was named a “Women of Distinction” by The Philadelphia Business Journal, a “Power Woman” by Main Line Today magazine, a Top Family Law Attorney and “Five-Star Attorney” by Suburban Life Magazine for consecutive years, and a Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer” by Philadelphia Magazine 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.

Brandt is also a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an organization of select lawyers dedicated to expanding knowledge and advancing justice.


one position, one-year term

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 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.

Vaughn has served the ABA Family Law Section as chair of the ART 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. Vaughn has also chaired, co-chaired, or served as an active member of the Section’s Membership, CLE, Finance, Bylaws, and Communications Committee and has served on Section Council. In addition to co-authoring an ABA book, Developing a Successful ART Law Practice, he published works in numerous ABA publications, including the ABA Science & Technology Law Section’s SciTech Lawyer, for which he also served as issue editor, Family Law Advocate, and Family Law Quarterly. His articles appear in other professional publications, including the International Family Law Journal, American Journal of Family Law, Australian Family Law Journal, and the California Bar Association Family Law News.

Vaughn has presented at numerous legal, governmental, and family-building conferences around the United States and the world, including law reform commissions in the UK and Ireland, the International Academy of Family Law Surrogacy Symposium, the Cambridge University International Surrogacy Forum, Yale University School of Law, and California Western School of Law; and 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 New York Times, The Washington Post, and NPR.

Vaughn has also served on boards and committees of the American Fertility Association, the Academy of California Adoption-ART Lawyers, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the Society for Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy, Men Having Babies, and Growing Families, and is an active member of the American Academy of Adoption and ART Attorneys, California Bar Association, and the National LGBT Bar Association.

Away from the office, Vaughn and his husband are proud advocates for LGBT equality and parenting as members of Family Equality.


one position, one-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 prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, spousal support and child custody, and complex asset distributions, among others. Platt is also a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer. Prior to and during law school, Platt 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. Platt is an active member of the ABA Family Law (FLS) Section, serving on Council, Finance Committee, Sponsorship Committee and as co-chair of the Continuing Legal Education Committee. She is a past member of the Strategic Planning and Bylaws Committees. Karen received her JD, magna cum laude, from New York Law School, where she was Chief Notes and Comments editor of the Journal of Human Rights. She was named a leading attorney in family law by Best Lawyers in America (2012–23) and Super Lawyers (2014–22). She serves as commissioner, Zoning Board of Adjustment for the City of Hoboken and is a former member, Board of Trustees of the Hoboken Charter School.

Platt is a member of the FLS Finance and Sponsorship Committees, co-chair of Continuing Legal Education Committee, and member of Council. She is also member of the New York State Bar Association Family Law Section.

House of Delegates

one position, three-year term

Mary T. Vidas,
Philadelphia, PA

Mary T. Vidas is a partner at Blank Rome LLP in Philadelphia. Mary Vidas has devoted over 39 years to representing clients in domestic relations and family law. She offers in-depth experience to clients in divorce negotiation and litigation, custody and child support negotiation and litigation, alimony, prenuptial agreements, equitable distribution, adoption matters, and contract and shareholder disputes. Vidas has been certified as an arbitrator by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She is a frequent lecturer for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the Academy of Matrimonial Law, the ABA Family Law Section, and the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs (PICPA). Her lecture topics have included the Secure Act 2.0 and its relevance to family law practitioners, “Validity of Pre-nuptial Agreements,” “Alimony and Elder Law Issues,” “Executive Compensation Issues & Dilemmas,” “Custody Problems,” “Co-Parenting Agreements,” “The Impact of Social Media on Divorce Cases,” “Settlement Solutions: Thinking Outside the Box,” and “Legal Issues Involved in the Tracing and Commingling of Marital and Non-Marital Assets,” the impact of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on divorcing couples, and the “Ramifications of the Secure Act of 2.0 for Family Law Practitioners and Their Clients.”

She is admitted to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey bars.


two positions, three-year terms

Rebecca A. Simpson,
Bowling Green, KY

Rebecca A. Simpson is a partner with English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP in her hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky, where she serves as both the Family Law Practice Group Chair and the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion chair for her firm. Simpson is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and is extensively trained in both mediation and collaborative process. Simpson focuses her practice on family law and alternative dispute resolution, namely adoption, divorce, and mediation. Outside of her work as a partner, Simpson is an active member of many local, state, national, and international professional associations and serves as a leader within many of these organizations. Within the ABA Family Law Section, she currently serves on Council and on the CLE Committee and as co-chair of the Paraprofessionals Committee and previously served three terms as chair of the ADR Committee. By appointment of the Kentucky Supreme Court, Simpson is serving her second term on the IOLTA Board of Trustees, where she was elected to serve two terms as chair. Simpson also is serving her second term as a Kentucky Bar Association (KBA) Trial Commissioner in KBA disciplinary matters. Simpson’s work has been recognized through several awards, and she has held numerous leadership roles in her community. Simpson is a frequent panelist for legal presentations and teaches pre-law courses at Western Kentucky University. Previously a legal services attorney, Simpson remains dedicated to public service, serving as a guardian ad litem for children in her community and volunteering with a mediation program for low-income families that she helped to develop and implement. Simpson is an honors graduate of both Western Kentucky University and the University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law and has been practicing law in Kentucky for more than 24 years.

Andy Wilson,
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Andy Wilson is a partner at Young, Berman, Karpf & Karpf working in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, and Naples. Wilson is Board Certified in Marital and Family Law by the Florida Bar. Wilson is certified as a Family Trial Advocate by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and has devoted nearly 100% of his practice to marital and family law litigation, including divorce, child custody, pre-and post-nuptial agreements, and paternity issues from case intake through trial and appellate proceedings. Wilson has been appointed as an attorney ad litem in family law proceedings and is trained in Collaborative Family Law. Wilson is actively involved in the ABA Family Law Section, including holding a position on their Council as well as chairing committees and subcommittees. Wilson has spoken around the country on family law matters and has authored several articles involving marital issues.

While in law school, Wilson was a finalist in the 1L Moot Court Competition and was elected as a vice president of the University of Miami School of Law Moot Court Board. Wilson graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 2009 and received the Dean’s Certificate of Achievement in Family Law, a recognition given to the student with the top grade in the class. Outside of the office, Wilson enjoys playing with his dog Charley and enjoying the culture of South Beach.

Council, Region II

one position, three-year term

Gene Brentley Tanner (Brent),
Raleigh, NC

Brent Tanner is a partner with Parker, Bryan, Britt, Tanner, & Jenkins PLLC d/b/a Parker Bryan Family Law, with offices located in Carthage, Fayetteville, Morehead City, and Raleigh, North Carolina. Tanner has focused his practice on family law matters including separation, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, military pension division orders, court orders acceptable for processing, issues related to survivor benefit plans, property distribution, high-asset divorces, divorces involving complex business valuations, professional practice divorces, domestic violence, premarital agreements, separation and property settlement agreements, and qualified domestic relations orders. Tanner is a North Carolina board-certified specialist in family law and is routinely hired to litigate, mediate, and serve as a parenting coordinator in cases that involve service members and military retirees. Tanner is named in North Carolina Super Lawyers and as a Legal Elite in the area of family law by Business North Carolina. He is the past chair of the Military Law Committee of the ABA Family Law Section (FLS) and past chair of the Military & Veterans Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. He currently serves on the North Carolina Bar Association’s Family Law Section’s Council and on the editorial board of FLS’s Family Advocate.

Council, Region IV

one position, three-year term

Rachael K. Pirner,
Wichita, KS

After graduating from law school at the University of Nebraska in 1989, Rachael K. Pirner began her practice with the law firm Triplett Woolf Garretson, LLC, in Wichita, Kansas, where she remains today. Approximately 40% of Pirner’s practice involves the representation of parties in assisted reproductive technology (ART) and adoption. She has worked on many egg donor agreements, sperm donor agreements, embryo donation agreements, gestational carrier agreements, parentage actions, and adoptions. Due to her ART expertise, she has assisted the Kansas Family Law Judicial Council Advisory Committee in revisions to the Uniform Parentage Act. She also specializes in probate-related litigation including guardianships, conservatorships, trusts, and decedents’ estates. She has represented clients in numerous evidentiary hearings and bench trials and has tried cases, at the district court level, and also argued cases before the Kansas Court of Appeals and Kansas Supreme Court.

Pirner has served in all offices of the Kansas Bar Association, after serving as governor to the Kansas Bar Association Board of Governors. She has been active in the Wichita Women Attorneys Association and held all offices of Wichita Women Attorneys Association as well as serving on that board. Pirner has served all offices in the Kansas Women Attorneys Association and also served on that board. She continued to serve on the Kansas Bar Association Board of Governors while serving two terms as Kansas Bar Association Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates and currently serves on the Kansas Bar Association Board of Governors in her new capacity as the Kansas State delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates. Pirner is the Kansas State chair for the American Bar Foundation.

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