MCLE courses

California Family Law Report


MCLE Courses — Speaker Bios


Judge Thomas Trent Lewis is the Supervising Judge in the Los Angeles Superior Court Family Law Department. Judge Lewis became a Certified Family Law Specialist in 1985 and was inducted into the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) in 1987. He was inducted as a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Law in 2016. He served on the Family Law and Juvenile Advisory Commission until 2014 and he is a past faculty member for the judicial training committee for Family Law. He is a past president of the California Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. He is also a contributing author of The Rutter Group's California Practice Guide: Family Law and serves as Program Director for CFLR. In 2010, he was awarded the Outstanding Jurist Award by AAML's Southern California Chapter, and in 2014, he became the first emeritus member of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists. Among his many awards are the 2015 Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section Spencer Brandeis Award, the 2016 Southern California Inn of Courts Outstanding Jurist Award, and the 2017 San Fernando Valley Bar Association Stanley Mosk Legacy of Justice Award.




Mary J. Martinelli is a Certified Family Law Specialist who leads one of the largest family law practices in California. She represents clients in sophisticated custody matters and complex, substantial property matters. Her practice focuses primarily on parties who own businesses. A member of the Executive Committee and Growth Partner at Sacramento's largest law firm, Downey Brand LLP, Mary is one of the few family law attorneys in the state working daily with corporate, estate planning, tax and ERISA attorneys who provide in depth support to her family law clients. Mary taught Family Law/Community Property for 10 years at UC Davis (King Hall) School of Law, and is a frequent speaker and writer on family law topics.






Stephen James Wagner is a Certified Family Law Specialist and partner in the Sacramento law firm of Dick & Wagner, specializing in complex family law matters. He also acts as a consultant to other family law specialists, often participating in multi-day trials. Stephen has been a speaker for more than 200 CLE programs over the last 30 years. He co-presented The Rutter Group/CFLR 2009 FLRC and AFLC programs. Stephen is a coauthor of the 10-book series, Gray & Wagner, Complex Issues in California Family Law. He is also a consultant and contributing author to: Kirkland, Lurvey, Richmond & Wagner, California Family Law Practice and Procedure, 2nd ed., Denner, Kolodny & Wagner, California Family Law Litigation Guide - Strategy, Planning and Preparation for Depositions, Hearings and Trial, and California Family Law Monthly.




Justice Mark B. Simons received an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from the University of Chicago, where he served on the Law Review. After a clerkship with U.S. District Judge Alvin B. Rubin in New Orleans, he began practice as an associate with Cooley in San Francisco. After serving as a deputy public defender in Contra Costa County, Justice Simons was appointed to the trial court in 1980. In 2001, he was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco. Justice Simons was an adjunct professor of law and taught evidence at Hastings College of the Law from 2002 through 2004. He has lectured on evidence topics to numerous lawyer and judicial groups, including the B. E. Witkin Judicial College, and served as Dean of the Judicial College in 1995 and 1996. Justice Simons is the author of California Evidence Manual, published by Thomson West. He has twice received the Bernard Jefferson Award for Distinguished Service in Judicial Education. In 2014, Justice Simons and Justice Corrigan were jointly awarded the First Annual Distinguished Service Award in judicial Education by the Judicial Council.







David B. Kuypers is the California Family Law Report (CFLR) Project Manager for DissoMaster. David oversees day-to-day operations and coordinates with the developer, programmer, and the California Family Law courts.  He is also involved in the other Thomson Reuters family law software products -- SupporTax and FinPlan.  Previously, he was a Westlaw Reference Attorney in the specialty software product group, where he was the family law product lead.  He is a graduate of Marquette University Law School and received a Sports Law Certificate from the National Sports Law Institute.  Prior to law school, he worked in commercial lending and sales and marketing.




Forrest S. Mosten, CFLS, is a Certified Family Law Specialist and has been mediating in private practice since 1979. He limits his practice to mediation, collaborative law, unbundled representation, and premarital agreements in high conflict and complex legal matters. He was named again as a 2015 Super Lawyer in Family Law and in Mediation. He has written four books and numerous articles, and teaches Mediation, Lawyer as Peacemaker, and Family Law Practice: A Non-Litigation Approach as a member of the faculty of the UCLA School of Law. He also teaches in the Dispute Resolution Program at California Western School of Law, trains family lawyers and mediators, and keynotes professional conferences worldwide. He can be reached at www.mostenmediation.com.






Elizabeth Potter Scully, CFLS, attended Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in Classics (Latin) in 1993, and 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 and is a Certified Family Law Specialist. 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, serving on the Family Law Executive Committee of the Beverly Hills Bar Association and on the Board of Directors of Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center. Elizabeth has extensive training in Mediation and Collaborative Law and is currently an adjunct clinical faculty member at UCLA School of Law, where she co-teaches the clinical course on Mediation with Forrest S. Mosten and leads a section of Negotiation Theory and Practice.





Dr. Steven Sparta is in independent practice and is frequently court appointed to serve in family law cases. He is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD School of Medicine, an Adjunct Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at SDSU. He was Chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Psychological Association and formerly was Chief Psychologist at Children's Hospital San Diego. Dr. Sparta and co-editor Gerald Koocher, Ph.D. wrote, Forensic Mental Health Assessment of Children & Adolescents, published by Oxford University Press.







Anne C. Kiley, CFLS, has been practicing family law since 1990 and has been a Certified Family Law Specialist since 2000. She is a founding partner of Kiley Dunlap LLP and was a partner at Trope and Trope LLP for 16 years. Her Martindale-Hubbell rating is “AV,” and she has been recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer by the Los Angeles Times Magazine since 2005, as one of the top 50 women attorneys in Southern California by the Los Angeles Times Magazine since 2011; she has also been included in Best Lawyers in America since 2007. Ms. Kiley is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and an adjunct professor of law at the University of Southern California Gould Law School, where she has taught Family Law since 2007. In addition, she is a frequent speaker at CFLR’s Expert Series and Family Law Refresher Course.






Christopher C. Melcher, CFLS, specializes in complex family law litigation and the preparation of premarital agreements. He also handles appeals of family law judgments and writ proceedings involving family law orders. Mr. Melcher has substantial experience in the financial aspects of divorce, including tax consequences of property division and spousal support, the valuation and division of a family business, and the definition of income for purposes of setting spousal and child support. He served as Chair of the State Bar of California Family Law Section for the 2011-2012 term, is a Certified Family Law Specialist, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He has presented over 125 continuing legal education programs to other attorneys across California and in other states on the issues of complex family law issues. He has authored treatises and articles on premarital agreements and financial issues in family law proceedings. He is a partner in the family law firm of Walzer Melcher LLP in Woodland Hills. Before entering family law, he practiced criminal defense and civil litigation. He earned his law degree at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, and was admitted to the California bar in 1994. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University, Northridge.




Michael Asimow is a visiting professor at Stanford Law School and Professor of Law Emeritus at UCLA Law School. He teaches income tax, contracts and administrative law. Asimow is the author of the tax materials in The Rutter Group's California Practice Guide: Family Law. He is also the lead author of The Rutter Group’s California Practice Guide: Administrative Law.









Staci M. Lambright, CFLS, is a Senior Associate at DeLacey, Riebel & Shindell LLP in San Francisco where she specializes in high conflict custody and domestic violence matters. She has been honored by the California Legislature, Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, San Francisco Bar Association, and San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium for her work on cases involving domestic violence, custody jurisdiction and high-conflict custody. She has also provided technical assistance and training to assist a wide range of professionals – including attorneys, advocates, police, sheriffs, health care professionals – who work with and/or whose work affects domestic violence survivors. Ms. Lambright earned her law degree at the University of Texas and was admitted to the California bar in 2003. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from UCLA.




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