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2020 Family Law From the Experts:
Trial Advocacy in Child Custody Cases — Faculty Bios

 

 

Judge Thomas Trent Lewis (Ret.) (Program Director) is a neutral with Signature Resolution Services providing mediation, arbitrator, and privately compensated judge pro tem services in family law. From 2016 until 2019, he was the Supervising Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court Family Law Division. Judge Lewis became a CFLS in 1985 and was inducted into 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 2018, he was named Family Law Judge of the Year by the Family Law Section of the California Lawyers Association and ACFLS awarded him their Hall of Fame Award, the highest award bestowed by them. 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. In 2018, he received the California Lawyer’s Association Family Law Judge of the Year Award. In 2018, he was awarded the Association of Family Law Specialist (ACFLS) Hall of Fame Award, the highest honor bestowed by ACFLS.

Leslie Drozd, M.D., is a psychologist who has conducted child custody/parenting plan evaluations, served as a forensic consultant, and worked as a testifying and didactic expert for over 30 years. She has co-authored professional guidelines for conducting parenting plan evaluations and specifically for those involving allegations of domestic violence. She has co-edited books, book chapters, and articles on domestic violence, treatment of trauma, alienation, gatekeeping, step-up parenting plans, relocation, psychological testing, child sexual abuse, parenting coordination, and family therapy with families with parent-child contact problems. Dr. Drozd has received the Association of Family and Conciliation Court's highest honor for distinguished service and for the most outstanding peer-reviewed article. She serves on the American Psychological Association’s Ethics Committee.


Suzanne Dupée, M.D., (Ret.) is a triple board-certified psychiatrist specializing in child & adolescent psychiatry and forensic psychiatry practicing in Manhattan Beach. She has been on the Los Angeles Superior Court Child Custody Evaluators panel for 15 years and has conducted hundreds of child custody evaluations, brief focused evaluations, and parenting plan assessments of family law litigants in high conflict divorce. As the only psychiatrist on the panel, she is often court-appointed to conduct psychiatric evaluations of family law litigants who might have mental health diagnoses and/or addictions. She treats children, adolescents, and adults in her psychiatric private practice. She recently authored two chapters on child abuse and children as witnesses in the seminal forensic psychiatric textbook. She has presented family law colloquiums and conferences.

Judge Scott M. Gordon (Ret.) is a Neutral with Signature Resolution in Los Angeles. He served on the Los Angeles County Superior Court for seventeen years. He presided over a long cause court in the Family Law Division and has served as the Supervising Judge of the Criminal Division and the Assistant Supervising Judge of the Criminal Division. He has also served in the Family Law Division as the Assistant Supervising Judge and Supervising Judge. In 2016, Judge Gordon was selected by the Chief Justice of California to serve as a member of the Judicial Council of California. He is served as a voting member of the Judicial Council for three years. In 2017, the Chief Justice of California appointed him as a member of the Chief Justice’s special working group on Bail and Pretrial Detention Reform. In January 2019, the State Department of the United States invited him to serve as a member of the International Network of Hague Convention Judges.


Anne C. Kiley, CFLS, has been practicing family law since 1990 and has been a Certified Family Law Specialist since 2000. She is a partner at Elkins Kalt in Century City, where she heads their family law department. 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. Ms. Kiley is a frequent lecturer for CFLR/The Rutter Group and has made several presentations on family law issues for county bar organizations and other groups.

Mary Elizabeth Lund, Ph.D. is a custody evaluator and mediator in Santa Monica. She has been a long time member of the Family Law Executive Committee of the L.A. County Bar, a Past President of the California Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and a frequent trainer for incoming Family Law judicial officers through California Center for Judicial Education (CJER). She has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA, and received a U.S. National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral research grant to study effects of divorce on children at the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge, England. She has co-taught mediation courses with noted authors Ken Cloke, J.D. and Forrest Mosten, J.D. Her articles include original research and clinical articles on effects of divorce on children, parental alienation, divorced fathers, custody evaluations, and mediation.



Staci M. Lambright, CFLS, is a Senior Associate at DeLacey, Riebel & Shindell LLP in San Francisco where she handles complex dissolution issues including challenging/upholding prenuptial agreements, high asset property division, imputation for support, breach of fiduciary duty, domestic and international child custody jurisdiction, and child abduction. She has provided technical assistance and training to a wide range of professionals – including law enforcement, health care professionals, attorneys, and advocates – whose work directly impacts domestic violence survivors. She has been named a Super Lawyer in Northern California (2020) in Northern California Super Lawyers magazine and as an outstanding young lawyer on the Northern California Rising Stars list (2013). She has also 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.

Judge Amy M. Pellman has dedicated her career to improving the lives of children and families. Judge Pellman joined the bench in 2005 as a Commissioner and was appointed Judge in 2008. She has chosen to work primarily in Family law with a five-year hiatus in Children’s Court. She handles all the surrogacy cases for Los Angeles and spearheaded the passing of the first local surrogacy rule in California. She has been recognized for her work in surrogacy by being the only U.S. Judge invited to speak at the first International Surrogacy Forum in 2019. Judge Pellman has recently received a number of awards for her work on behalf of children and families including Judge of the Year from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Judge of the Year from Southwestern Law School, and the Outstanding Community Service Award from Levitt and Quinn Family Law Center. Judge Pellman is a featured speaker at numerous conferences and has numerous publications. She has taught at Southwestern Law School and USC Gould School of Law for the past 15 years. Prior to joining the bench, Judge Pellman served as the Legal Director for the Alliance for Children’s Rights. Judge holds a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and J.D. from City University of New York Law School. She was admitted to the California and New York State Bars.



Robert Simon, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized leader in forensic psychology consulting in the area of child custody disputes and family law. Based in San Diego, CA, and Maui, HI, he is the author of Forensic Psychology Consulting in Child Custody Litigation: A Handbook for Work Product Review, Case Preparation, and Expert Testimony published by the American Bar Association. He has also published articles for academic journals such as the Family Court Review and the Family Law Quarterly. Dr. Simon is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the Chair of the Board of Fellows of the National Center for Juvenile Justice, and an immediate past member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the chair of the International Advisory Committee of the World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights and a member of the Executive Committee of the California Bar Court. He serves on the editorial board of the Family Court Review.

 

 
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