Click on a presenter’s name below to expand their biographies.
Mary Ann Aronsohn is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 1989, and won the Eureka Award in 2016. She has been a Divorce Coach within the Collaborative Model since 2001. In private practice in South Pasadena, she works with a wide range of family law matters with a special focus on Co-Parenting. She has taught a private co-parenting course since 2001, and does a lot of high-conflict divorce work. However, her heart is in CDR, and she is a leader in her local collaborative community. She has trained with Collaborative Divorce Institute through the local CDEI (Collaborative Divorce Education Institute) as a “Train the Trainer” and “Shadow Trainer” professional, and taught for 10 years in the LACFLA/Loyola Collaborative Trainings. She and her colleagues in this PCI have presented this workshop on using Motivational Interviewing in CDR cases four times previously, for shorter time periods, and they have been well-received. Mary Ann is a compassionate therapist and strong advocate for full-team collaborative work.
Marianne Ault-Riché, LCSW, has a private practice of Family/Couple/Individual and EMDR Therapy in Menlo Park, CA. Prior to moving to California in 1993 she was the Curriculum Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Training Program of the Menninger Clinic in Kansas, where she is licensed as a marriage and family therapist. She has produced two educational videotapes and her 1985 book, “Women and Family Therapy,” was the first family therapy text on the subject of women. Marianne is the co-founder with Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., of “Talking Straight and Fighting Fair” workshops, upon which the best-selling (1985) book, “The Dance of Anger” was based. Marianne is certified in EMDR Therapy and in training to become an Approved Consultant with Phil Manfield, Ph.D.
Lane Arye, Ph.D. facilitates individuals, couples, teams, organizations and communities locally and around the world. He co-led a six-year UN funded project in the Balkans working with Serbs, Croats and Muslims to build sustainable community after the war. He has also worked with conflicts between high-caste and low-caste Hindus in India, anti-Semitism in Germany and Poland, as well as racism, sexism, nationalism, homophobia, and class issues in the US and Europe. In Oakland, he resolved long-standing conflict between then mayor (now governor) Jerry Brown and an African American cultural arts center. He also coaches leaders, and helps businesses, teams, and social change organizations resolve their internal conflicts in order to be more effective in the world. Co-author of “Transforming Conflict into Community: Post-war Reconciliation in Croatia,” Lane works in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lives with his wife and two children.
Don is a financial mediator with extensive experience as a Collaborative financial neutral. Don is a member of the CP Cal Board of Directors and co-chairs with George Richardson the Divorce Options committee. He has a diverse financial background spanning over 30 years as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) partner in a public accounting firm with an emphasis for the last 10 years in divorce financial mediation and Collaborative practice.
Keith Britany has been a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 1996 and has over 25 years of experience in the field. He helps children, adolescents and their families to live healthier lives by using their strengths to build positive outcomes, resulting in their feeling more fulfilled, and turning their dreams into realities. In the Collaborative Practice Divorce arena he serves as either Communications Coach or Child Specialist. Keith is currently a member of the Collaborative Practice California (CPCal) Board of Directors, facilitating the emerging Trusts & Estates Committee. His private practice offices are in Los Gatos and Santa Cruz, CA.
Bart J. Carey, J.D., Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator, has a busy private practice in Orange County with offices in Anaheim Hills and Irvine. As a family dispute resolution professional with 22+ years of litigation, 20+ of mediation, 12+ of Collaborative family law, and a full spectrum of unbundled family law services, Bart’s practice for the past several years has been limited to non-court, non-adversarial, client centered process options including interdisciplinary team approaches. Bart is an adjunct professor at Western State University College of Law, teaching mediation concepts, skills and techniques. A past Eureka Award winner, Bart is a Collaborative Divorce Interdisciplinary Team Trainer and frequent speaker to professional organizations, Church groups, Divorce Recovery groups and the public on topics of resolving family disputes peacefully.Bart has served on the Bishop’s Committee to help bring the first Catholic Diocesan divorce recovery program, Journey to Hope, to Orange County and is also a frequent presenter/panellist at other church based Divorce Recovery programs around Orange County. Bart is also a co-founder of the Collaborative Divorce Education Institute, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to educate the public about Collaborative Divorce, as well as to provide quality training for collaborative divorce professionals in the Southern California area. Bart has also served as a CP Cal Delegate and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
Cathleen Collinsworth is a CDFA®, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and a MAFF®, Master Analyst in Financial Forensics who has been practicing as a sole practitioner in Irvine since 2000. She has been retained as a forensic accountant and expert witness to provide services in the area of family law for 20+ years. As a member of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County since 2007 she has provided services as a Neutral Financial Specialist and team facilitator. Cathleen has served on the Board of Directors of CDSOC and is currently serving as the President. She has extensive training in mediation and the interdisciplinary team model of collaborative practice and frequently mentors collaborative practitioners. She has authored articles, presented seminars, been a guest speaker and has prepared instructional videos in the field of finances and family law during the last 20 years. She currently serves on CDEI’s Leadership and Training team and is a frequent trainer at the annual conferences of CP Cal, IACP, AFCC and other professional conferences throughout California. In 2015 Collaborative Practice California (CP Cal) awarded Cathleen the Eureka Award, which recognizes those who have made significant contributions and demonstrated an abiding dedication to establishing and sustaining Collaborative Practice in California. Cathleen also serves as a CP Cal Delegate and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP).
Catherine Conner’s practice focuses on family law alternate dispute resolution, including mediation, collaborative practice and representation for settlement only. She is a collaborative practice and mediation trainer with the Center for Understanding in Conflict. She co-authored Collaborative Family Law Practice Materials with Steven Neustadter and Margaret Anderson. She was on the IACP Board of Directors from 2008 through 2014 and was the President in 2013.
Sally Cooperrider has been practicing law and mediation in San Jose for more than 25 years. Ms. Cooperrider helps clients resolve the issues in their divorce or other family law matter by mediation or collaborative processes. She also prepares wills and trusts, and handles probate, trust administration, and conservatorships. Ms. Cooperrider prepares Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) to divide pensions in marital dissolutions. She is a member of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, Collaborative Practice Silicon Valley, and the Association for Conflict Resolution. Ms. Cooperrider earned her J.D. degree from the University of Santa Clara Law School.
Jason Crowley, CFA®, CFP™, CDFA® is a founding partner at Divorce Capital Planning, LLC, which specializes in divorce financial planning and analysis for high-asset dissolutions. He is also co-founder of Divorce Mortgage Advisors and a member of Forbes Finance Council. Jason has the distinction of being one of the select few financial professionals who holds the Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Financial Planner, and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst credentials. Jason graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A in Business Economics and Accounting.
Richard M. Del Monte is a Certified Financial Planner™, Certified Wealth Consultant, and nationally recognized expert on Families and Wealth. Richard has been featured on FOX Business News, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Private Opportunities Club, Private Wealth Magazine, Trust & Estates, and Family Wealth Report. A sought after speaker, he recently gave a TEDxBellevue talk on “A Place of Possibility for Families and Wealth.” Clients seek guidance from Richard in mentoring the next generation around how to avoid destroying inherited wealth, or letting it destroy them, how to pass on values to heirs while still enjoying their wealth, and ensuring the family’s wealth lasts for multiple generations. By acting on Richard’s road-tested advice, self-made families are able to deal with the complexities of wealth with fun and ease. Best of all, he teaches the keys to family teamwork so they can have closer relationships, greater joy and satisfaction, and more effective communication. Richard has completed specialized training in family dynamics and preparing heirs. He holds an MBA in Financial Planning from Golden Gate University in San Francisco and a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University, Chico. He is a faculty member at the Institute for Preparing Heirs, a student of Bowen Family Systems, and a founding member of the Council for Shared Leadership, LLC, which established standards of excellence for values-based advisors and the families they serve.
Pam Flournoy, CFP™, CDFA® and LPL Financial Advisor is the principal of her business, Flournoy Wealth Management. She is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and has been a Certified Financial Planner™ professional for over ten years. Pam has clients throughout the Bay Area of Northern California. Trained in both mediation and collaborative divorce, Pam and is a Board Member of Collaborative Practice Silicon Valley. She is also a member of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners, Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Santa Clara County Estate Planners Council, and an affiliate member of the Santa Clara County Bar Association. Pam offers securities through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. Neither Pam Flournoy nor LPL Financial are affiliated with CP CAL nor any presenters at this conference.
Jami Fosgate knows that divorce is emotionally and financially difficult for parents and their children because she is divorced and had to endure the legal process herself before she became an attorney. Although Jami had a successful career in marketing, after her own divorce she enrolled in Loyola Law School with the goal of earning her law license to help families navigate the confusing and complicated world of divorce. As a Family Law Attorney, Jami focuses her practice on amicable resolution through mediation or collaborative representation. Jami declines to represent parties in litigation because she believes a family in the crisis of divorce will have a better resolution if they remain in control of the outcome of their case and do not leave decisions about their financial future and parenting time with their children to a judge. Jami Fosgate serves on the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association (LACFLA) Board of Directors, is a member of Family Divorce Solutions of San Fernando Valley and Pasadena Collaborative Divorce and volunteers her time as a Mediator/Settlement Officer and Temporary Judge for Los Angeles Superior Court.
Bruce Fredenburg, M.S., LMFT, with Board Certification in Clinical Hypnosis has been a licensed therapist for since 1982. He has extensive training in mediation and in the interdisciplinary team model of collaborative practice, and has also trained in the one coach model. He also is trained and experienced in the management of chronic pain, dealing with trauma, chemical dependency and addictions. As one of the founding members of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County (CDSOC) in 2003, he serves as a Divorce Coach, Child Specialist and Case Manager. Bruce has held the position of Chair of CDSOC’s Training and Education Committee, which provides monthly training for the practice group. Bruce is a frequent trainer at the annual conferences of CP Cal, IACP, AFCC and other professional conferences throughout California. He has appeared on the Time Warner Public television series “How to Get a Divorce”. He is the author of Two Audio Learning Programs: “Men and Women: How to Understand Each Other”, and “Take the Pain Out of Change”, and a compact disc recording Anti-anxiety Tool: “Profound Relaxation.” Bruce was recruited to create and teach parenting classes for Adoptive and Foster Parents for County of Orange Social Services Agency. He has published articles on Male-Female Communication for “Sharing Ideas” a national magazine dedicated to professional speakers, trainers and meeting planners. An award winning speaker, he has presented training programs for corporations, government agencies, schools, and professional associations since 1989.
Ross Garcia, CDLP is a Partner and Broker with PREI Capital Group, a mortgage brokerage originating select residential loans. He is also Founder of Divorce Mortgage Advisors, a divorce mortgage company dedicated to guiding clients through the loan approval process before, during, and after their divorce. Ross is a Certified Divorce Lending Professional as well as a member of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Business Economics.
MARK HILL, CFP®, CDFA® began his career in the financial services industry in 1983 as a financial consultant with EF Hutton. Prior to co-founding his investment management and financial planning company, Pacific Wealth Management in 1998, he held a variety of investment advisory positions with global financial services companies, including serving as a portfolio manager for Smith Barney. An active member of the investment community, Mark has served as a board member of the San Diego Financial Planning Association and as Treasurer of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. He has also served as President of the Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego on two occasions. Currently he is a member of the Board of CPCal, an organization that promotes Collaborative Practice in California. Mark has been advising clients in the financial aspects of divorce since the 1990s. He started specializing in the field as a result of his personal frustration of how poorly money issues were addressed in his own divorce. Experience with watching several of his financial planning clients endure the same process led him to become one of the earliest practitioners in the country form Pacific Divorce Management. Mark is a nationally-recognized speaker on the financial aspects of divorce. From 2001 to 2009 he was the primary financial trainer with Collaborative Divorce Team Trainings, an organization responsible for training hundreds of lawyers, mental health professionals and financial professionals throughout North America in alternative dispute resolution. In 2006 Mark was honored to receive CP Cal’s Eureka award for his contribution to the Collaborative movement. He holds an honors degree from the University of Keele, England, and is a graduate of the College for Financial Planning.
Dr. Chandler Hoffman is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in working with families and children. He earned his Psy.D. in 1998 at the California School of Professional Psychology and licensed in 2000. He worked for the Superior Court of California for 14 years practicing mediation and supervising mediators in both the Juvenile and Family Court. Dr. Hoffman built his private practice, which he calls Amity Consulting, around working with parents and children going through divorce and specializes in non-adversarial and collaborative processes that help the entire family reach resolution and accommodate to the challenges and new experiences of the post divorce life. With this experience in conflict resolution and family systems, Dr. Hoffman is passionate about offering facilitation to people in Trust and Estate disputes to encourage and allow them to self determine and customize their own solutions, consider the needs of the other family members, which ultimately result in more positive outcomes for families in grief.
Carol Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT, is a California licensed psychotherapist and board-certified hypnotherapist, who has been in private practice in Laguna Hills, CA, since 1983. As one of the founding members of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County (CDSOC), since 2003 she has provided services as a Divorce Coach, Child Specialist and Team/Case Manager. Since 2007 Carol has served on the Board of Directors of CDSOC and is currently serving as the Training and Education Chair. She has extensive training in mediation and in the interdisciplinary team model of collaborative practice. She frequently trains and mentors collaborative practitioners, has appeared on the Time Warner Public television series “How to Get a Divorce” and is a frequent trainer at the annual conferences of CP Cal, IACP, AFCC and other professional conferences throughout California. Carol is also a co-founder of the Collaborative Divorce Education Institute, a nonprofit organization, whose mission is to educate the public about Collaborative Divorce, as well as to provide quality training for collaborative divorce professionals in the Southern California area. In April 2011 Collaborative Practice California (CP Cal) awarded Carol the Eureka Award, which recognizes those who have made significant contributions and demonstrated an abiding dedication to establishing and sustaining Collaborative Practice in California. Carol has also served as a CP Cal Delegate and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
Jeffery is partner at the family law firm of Jacobson Scully Shebby LLP, with offices in West Los Angeles and Hermosa Beach. His practice is devoted exclusively to Family Law, with a special focus on Consensual Dispute Resolution (including Mediation and Collaborative Practice). He is certified as a Specialist in Family Law by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Los Angeles Magazine recognized him as a Super Lawyer for 2011 – 2018 and a Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2005– 2010. Jeffery is the past chair of the Family Law Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Board of Directors of Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center and the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association. He is a member of Los Angeles Westside Collaborative Divorce Professionals and A Better Divorce, interdisciplinary groups of professionals in Los Angeles and the South Bay committed to non-court solutions for family law matters.
Peter W. Johnson, Jr. provides innovative wealth management and legacy planning services to individuals and families, with a holistic focus that places a significant emphasis on the human side of the equation. Peter is founder and principal of PWJohnson Wealth Management, a fee-only Registered Investment Advisory firm based in Silicon Valley, California, and has provided investment and financial planning services to clients and families for 27 years. Peter’s passion for serving families — and younger generations in particular — is a natural outgrowth of his own experience with his family of origin, in which a lack of mentoring contributed to the splintering of relationships and the loss of a substantial family fortune. To that end, he has been involved with the development of Collaborative Practice Trusts & Estates from its beginning in 2012 and has participated in coursework with The Heritage Institute of Portland, Oregon. In addition, he is an active member of the Purposeful Planning Institute, an innovative association of diverse professional thought leaders dedicated to innovation and education in the field of estate planning. Peter has served as Co-Chair of the Trusts and Estates Committee of Collaborative Practice Silicon Valley, on the Ethics Board of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), and as past President of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the FPA.
Kamela Laird, JD, provides estate planning, probate, trust administration, and mediation services. She founded Integrate Legacy Law with the commitment to guide her clients to identify their life purpose and then integrate that legacy into their lives in a way that makes a lasting difference. As an experienced communication and relationship coach, mediator, and spiritual counselor, Kamela integrates these skills with her legal training to provide a holistic approach to estate planning. She has a special knack for supporting clients through conversations with family members regarding end of life, incapacity, and guardianship. As a pioneer of the collaborative estate planning field, she works on interdisciplinary teams with other Attorneys, licensed Mental Health, Eldercare Professionals, and Certified Financial Planners to deliver her clients a holistic and transformative experience.
Diana L. Martinez is a Family Law Lawyer practicing in the counties of San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside. Her practice is dedicated to out-of-court dispute resolution through consulting, collaborative, and mediation processes. Ms. Martinez is also a trainer and educator on the topics of family law mediation and collaborative law, confidentiality, cultural competency, and ethics and best practices. She has presented for the California State Bar, Continuing Education of the Bar, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Collaborative Practice California, Southern California Mediation Association, University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Western State Law School, and various local bar associations and practice groups. She is also a frequent guest lecturer for community Divorce Options and Divorce Recovery programs.
Ms. Martinez has facilitated education and enhancement of best practices in professional communities with markedly different demographics and practice philosophies. Ms. Martinez is a co-founder of CultureCounts.net, a program dedicated to bringing awareness of cultural complexities and competency in family law matters. She also volunteers as a California State Bar and San Bernardino County Bar Association Mandatory Fee Arbitrator. Her dedication in private practice, as a volunteer mediator for Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and Inyo/Mono county superior courts, and to continuing education and best practices has resulted in Super Lawyers’ recognition and a “Superb” 10/10 rating in peer and client reviews.
Diana received her BA from the University of California, at Riverside, and her JD from the University of Southern California School of Law. She has practiced as a lawyer in the areas of family law, criminal defense, and civil litigation. She is a member of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the International Association of Collaborative Professionals, and is a nationally certified snowboard instructor with Professional Ski Instructors of America/ American Association of Snowboard Instructors.
Beth McClelland, MBA, CDFA®, CFP™, is the founder of Lamorinda Financial Planning, LLC and East Bay Divorce Financial Planning. She provides financial life planning and divorce financial planning services to individuals and families with the intention of finding financial peace in life transitions. She brings her experience with estate planning, collaboration, and mediation to trust and estates practice with the intention of preventing multi-generational family conflict. Beth is a board member of Collaborative Practice of California and former board member of the East Bay Financial Planning Association.
As a family law and probate attorney, Linda has handled all aspects of legal matters effecting the family including dissolutions of marriage, child custody and support, property issues as well as the preparation of Premarital Agreements. Linda also handles Probate, Conservatorship, Guardianship and Estate Planning matters. Linda acts as a private family law mediator and has received an advanced certificate from the Los Angeles County Bar Association in Family and Divorce Mediation. Linda serves as the daily settlement officer for the Los Angeles Court in Pasadena on a rotating basis. She serves as court appointed Minor’s Counsel and Probate Volunteer Attorney. She was Chair of the Pasadena Family Law Bar from 2011 through 2014; the 2018 President Elect of the Pasadena Bar Association; and recipient of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016 Pasadena Magazine’s Top Attorney Award.
Jennifer K. Moshier founded Moshier Family Law in 2009. Jennifer is licensed to practice law in Arizona and California. Jennifer has trained extensively as a mediator and collaborative lawyer. Jennifer accepts complex and varied collaborative law cases involving international and interstate issues, cultural, ethnic and religious differences and high conflict situations. Jennifer is one of several lawyers and professionals whose shared marketing efforts are creating a ripple effect in the Arizona collaborative divorce market. Currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Collaborative Professionals of Phoenix, Jennifer is involved in a number of charitable and civic causes and is a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Jennifer graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law in 2000 and from Arizona State University in 1997 and lived and practiced law in San Francisco from 2001 until 2008.
Linda Nastari, LCSW. Linda has been practicing for over 30 years and currently has a private practice in San Jose. Her practice specialties include: psychotherapy with individuals, adolescents, couples, and families. She is a trained mediator and works as a Communication Specialist with Collaborative Practice Silicon Valley. She is an Eldercare Consultant, speaking on topics of caregiving and dementia, it’s impact on the family. She is also a small Family Business Consultant, helping families with succession planning and matters related to combining the roles of family and business.
Alan L. Nobler, J.D. practiced law from 1969 through 2016, spending most of his time in general litigation. He became a Certified Family Law Specialist in 1980. He became involved in the Collaborative Practice movement in the early 1990’s. Then, in 1999, he limited his practice to Mediation and Collaboration. Since then he has worked primarily resolving disputes between family members. His work over the last 5 years has emphasized settling estate disputes headed for trial. Alan has trained professionals in Mediation and Collaborative Practice, has presented for the Santa Clara County Bar Association, the Silicon Valley Bar Association, the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Idaho as well as the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Collaborative Practice California, and Collaborative organizations throughout California.
Michelle N. Ogborne founded Ogborne Law in 2012. Michelle is licensed to practice law in Arizona and has received extensive training as a mediator and collaborative lawyer. She believes collaborative law is a powerful and transformative tool that helps families experience better outcomes. Michelle is particularly passionate about protecting children and helping families develop a better co-parenting relationship. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Collaborative Professionals of Phoenix and the Maricopa County Association of Family Mediators, where she focuses on marketing, public relations, and public outreach to raise awareness of collaborative law and other out of court solutions. She is one of several lawyers and professionals working collaboratively to share marketing efforts to raise awareness of divorce alternatives in Arizona. Michelle graduated from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in 2008 and from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 2003.
Jaye-Jo Portanova, M.D. is an experienced adult and child psychiatrist specializing in mediation, co-parenting counseling, collaborative law, attorney/client consultation, and family therapy. She received both her undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of California, Los Angeles. She carried out her medical education at UCLA, interning in pediatrics, and completing her residency and fellowship in adult psychiatry and child psychiatry, respectively. She is board certified in both adult and child psychiatry. Dr. Portanova was the medical director at Del Amo Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Torrance. She was also selected by Los Angeles Superior Court Judges to serve on the Downtown Los Angeles Psychiatric Custody Evaluation Panel and has performed numerous child custody evaluations. She is an experienced mediator with expertise at managing complex high-conflict family law cases. Dr. Portanova practices collaborative law as a divorce and child specialist coach with A Better Divorce, the Center for Conflict Resolution and Peace Talks. Dr. Portanova mediates divorce cases privately and is a parent plan coordinator for high-conflict custody issues. In addition to her clinical practice, she participates as a mediation trainer and speaks at continuing education seminar. Dr. Jaye-Jo Portanova has been practicing in the Los Angeles area for the past 33 years. Her extensive training and experience with parents and children provides her with unique skills to facilitate families through this difficult and stressful time.
Beth Proudfoot, LMFT, is a divorce communications coach, child specialist, and Eureka Award winner (2017). She is the owner and founder of the Child & Family Counseling Group, Inc, in San Jose, CA, a private practice mental health clinic for children and their families. Beth is the author of the Trailblazing Parenting Series, and a co-author of The Magic of Positive Parenting on Blackstone Audio. She has been an active member of CPSV, and has been instrumental in bringing our attendance at our Divorce Options class from zero to over 25.
Lissa is one of two partners in the family law department at Leland, Parachini, Steinberg, Matzger & Melnick, LLP, in San Francisco. She practices exclusively family law including mediation, collaborative law, negotiation of premarital and post marital agreements, negotiation of custody and parenting plans, and complex financial and support negotiations and litigation. She was graduated from University of California, Davis (B.A., Psychology and Sociology 1989), and earned her law degree at Golden Gate University School of Law (J.D., 1992). Lissa has served as a private mediator and serve regularly as a settlement conference master for the Superior Court of San Francisco.
George is a pioneer in Collaborative Practice and has handled scores of collaborative matters. Since 1999, he, together with others, has trained Collaborative practitioners in the United States, Canada, and Australia through fundamental and advanced courses in Collaborative Practice, currently focusing on training with respect to contemporary protocols for Collaborative Practice – streamlining the process. As a charter member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and as a former co-chair of the IACP Standards Committee, he was a principle drafter of IACP’s standards with respect to Collaborative ethics, practitioners, trainers, and trainings. He is also founder and former co-chair of the IACP’s Advisory Council on Collaborative Training. George is a founder and former President of Collaborative Practice Silicon Valley, one of the oldest collaborative law organizations in North America. He is among the first recipients of the Eureka Award, given by CP Cal to recognize those who “have made significant contributions and demonstrated an abiding dedication to establishing and sustaining Collaborative Practice in California”. He is a founding member of CP Cal’s Board of Directors and its third President. George received his BA from Princeton University in 1969 and his JD from Stanford Law School in 1972. He is a Specialist in Family Law, limiting his practice to non-adversarial family law dispute resolution.
As a co-founder of the collaborative interdisciplinary team approach, Nancy J. Ross LCSW, BCD has worked for over 30 years with families and couples as they go through the difficulties and challenges of divorce. She provides the support, guidance, and coaching couples need to help them minimize conflict and achieve the goals they have created for themselves and their children as they complete their divorce process. Whether serving as a divorce coach, communications specialist for Collaborative Trusts and Estates, or mediator, she helps each individual be the best s/he can be during a difficult and trying time. Ms. Ross is author of Divorce: A Problem to be Solved; Not a Battle to be Fought and numerous articles on collaborative practice. She is a recipient of the California Collaborative Practice Eureka Award, cofounder of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, a Collaborative Practice trainer, and a frequent presenter on the subjects of Collaborative Divorce and Collaborative Trusts and Estates. “My passion has always been focused on families: what makes them work? What keeps them from connecting? Finding the answers to these questions has been at the core my professional life. It never gets boring or stops being challenging. This work spurred my interest in helping create the Collaborative Interdisciplinary team concept, where helping families keep those connections at a time when they may least want to do so, became a way to use my training and skills in making a difference in their lives. And now, even at 80 years of age, I can’t seem to stop doing it!”
Bart Rubin, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and family therapist who works with families, couples, children and adults. His areas of specialty include family/couples therapy, ADHD, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, trauma, child abuse, supervision and training. He has recently been an Adjunct Professor at Alliant International University-CSPP where he has been teaching family therapy for the past 25 years. He is currently in private practice in Kentfield (Marin County), Pinole (Contra Costa County) and Berkeley.
Ms. Russell has limited her practice to Mediation and Collaborative Practice since 1999 and is one of the founders of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). Ms. Russell has taught Collaborative Practice at Santa Clara University school of Law as an adjunct professor and is a principal of the Collaborative Team Skills Trainers. She has written and developed training curriculum for lawyers and has taught and trained professionals extensively in collaborative practice and interest-based negotiation. Ms. Russell also specializes in development and implementation of major legal projects in the court and in the community and currently administers the Assisted Meet and Confer Program and the Young Children’s Settlement Team Project for the Superior Court in Santa Clara County.
Elizabeth was born in Cheiengmai, Thailand and raised in Berkeley, California. She attended Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in Classics (Latin) in 1993. During college she worked as a preschool teacher and developed a passionate interest in the welfare and development of children. She graduated from U.C. Hastings College of the Law in 1996, having focused her studies on Family Law and Consensual Dispute Resolution. Elizabeth has practiced Family Law since joining the California Bar in 1996. She is routinely appointed Minor’s Counsel by the Los Angeles Superior Court in both Family Law and Probate Guardianship matters. She is actively involved in the Family Law bar and serves on the Board of Directors of Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center, a nonprofit law firm serving the working poor. In addition to her litigation and courtroom experience, Elizabeth has extensive training in Mediation and Collaborative Law. She is currently an adjunct clinical faculty member at UCLA School of Law, where she teaches clinical courses in Mediation and Negotiation. In 2016 she received the Meyer Elkin Award from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, honoring the authors of the best article in each annual volume of Family Court Review.
Ria Severance, LMFT, is co-author of the Amazon Best-Seller “The Collaborative Divorce Advantage: Divorce Consciously to Protect Your Children & Avoid Financial & Emotional Bankruptcy.” She offers both clinical and divorce-related services that include: Decision Counseling for those on the fence about divorce (a kind of agreement readiness), Mediation of Parenting Plans, Co-mediation, Collaborative Divorce coaching, serves as a Collaborative Divorce Child Specialist, provides Co-parenting Services and Parent Reunification. In addition, Ria provides In-Home Parent Coaching for parents needing to learn the specific skills required to handle children’s severe behavioral challenges, or to strengthen attachments with children. A bilingual/bicultural Latina, Ms. Severance has 30 years of clinical experience developing empowering relationships with people of diverse cultures, classes, interests and needs. She has an exceptional ability to perceive, articulate and reflect multiple levels of a person’s experience and to communicate that in ways that enhance self-understanding, compassion, self-acceptance, inclusion and the motivation to build needed parenting & relationship skills. Warm and non-judgmental, Ria’s style is genuine and direct. Ms. Severance is an out-of-the-box, creative thinker – quick to envision balanced, win-win collaborations and solutions to relational challenges. For the past three years, Ria has also offered professional trainings at annual conferences for the state’s Collaborative Practice California (CPCal), and the International Association of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). Ms. Severance is active as: Marketing Chair for Pasadena Collaborative Divorce, a Board Member for Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association (LACFLA), a Founding Member and Marketing and Training Committee Member for Civil Collaborative Professionals (CCP provides a collaborative practice approach to resolving Probate, Trusts and Estates disputes), and volunteers as a Co-Mediator and Divorce Coach at Loyola Law School.
Dawn Strachan is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®), Financial Advisor and Financial Life Planner. Dawn has been working with divorcing couples and individuals since 2001. Dawn received her B.S. in Accounting and Finance from CSULB in 1989 and her CDFA® in November 2001. She is a member of the Institute for Certified Divorce Financial Analysts, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), Association of Divorce Financial Planners, Collaborative Practice – California (CP-Cal) – Board member, the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association (LACFLA), A Better Divorce practice group, the Collaborative Center of Southern California and is an Associate member of the South Bay Bar Association. Dawn is an advocate of consensual dispute resolution for divorce, and has completed the 40-hour Woody Mosten mediation training, a Level 1 and Advanced Collaborative Divorceä Team Model training as well as numerous Interdisciplinary Team trainings. To review her extensive level of training, go to her profile at www.collaborativepractice.com. Dawn has also been part of training teams that have trained on: Interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce, Collaborative Pre-Nups, and various topics on the financial aspects of divorce.
Shawn Weber, JD, CFLS, has a long history with Consensual Dispute Resolution and is known throughout the State of California as an expert in Mediation and Collaborative Practice. Known as a “dolphin” and not a “shark”, Shawn brings a peacemaking philosophy to his nearly 19-year career in family law and divorce work. Shawn understands that divorce is more than just a legal process; it’s a human experience. He has a profound ability to get into the world his clients are experiencing and feeling to uncover the necessary clarity in each divorce relationship dynamic. From there, he uses his gifts to bring a rare sense of calm, resolve and hope. Shawn has a private practice with Weber Dispute Resolution and is a co-founder of Family Resolution Institute here he provides regular CDR training. Serving as President of Collaborative Practice California from 2015 – 2016, Shawn spearheaded efforts for the CP Cal marketing plan and brand creative. A father of five, Shawn understands the human side of family law and brings his real-life experience to the table for his clients.
David is one of the founders of the Collaborative Practice (then Collaborative Law) movement in the state of California and was a 2007 Eureka Award honoree. He is an initiating member and past president of Collaborative Practice Silicon Valley (CPSV), and is also a participating member of Collaborative Practice San Mateo County (CPSMC) and the San Francisco Bay Area Collaborative Group; a charter member of IACP, and a past member of the IACP StandardsCommittee. David has been a trainer and lecturer on Collaborative Practice and Mediation since1999, and is a founding member of the Collaborative Team Skills Trainers (CTST) group. David brings to Collaborative Practice a background of 30 years of family law litigation experience, 25 years of family mediation experience, and 20 years of sitting as a Judge Pro Tempore in the family courts of two Peninsula Bay Area counties. He has been certified as aFamily Law Specialist by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization, since 1980.
Tonita Wroolie, PhD, ABPP is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Palo Alto, California specializing in issues related to adult development and aging as well as assessment of cognitive impairment. She is a fellow in the American Psychological Association, Adult Development and Aging Division and has lifetime board certification as a Geropsychologist through the American Board of Professional Psychology. She also has extensive experience in neuropsychological assessment, including evaluations of diminished capacity. She is trained in collaborative law including a focus on Trusts and Estates and has volunteered to help resolve family disputes in settlement conferences in order to avoid lengthy and expensive Trusts and Estate court hearings. In addition to her private practice, she is a Clinical Associate Professor at Stanford University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences where she conducts psychotherapy and adult neuropsychological assessments. She also runs the neurocognitive lab at the Center for Neuroscience in Women’s Health at Stanford University, where she is a member of a team conducting research in Alzheimer’s disease and early risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Cat Zavis, JD, MA is the Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP), a collaborative divorce attorney, mediator, coach, and trainer in conflict resolution and empathic communication. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies and Rabbinic ordination through Aleph – the Jewish Renewal Ordination Program. Since the November election, she has been leading trainings for hundreds of people on Spiritual Activism: Strategies for Our Times in an effort to help people understand the underlying psycho-spiritual crisis in our society that has given rise to our current situation and ways to transform our society to one of love and justice. Cat has a unique ability, using her empathic training and expertise, to draw connections between people’s personal life struggles and the larger social context and systems in which they live, empowering people to change not only their personal lives but also society as a whole.