Michele Brown

Happy Summer AFCC-CA Members! I hope you have all been able to take a break from work to enjoy time with your family and friends this summer.  I am over the moon excited to introduce you to the first issue of our new web-based AFCC-CA Newsletter, Insights.  Just as our new AFCC-CA website was completely revamped this year to provide our members with an updated, easy to use website, the AFCC-CA newsletter committee has spent tireless hours overhauling the newsletter, transitioning it into our new website, making it more interactive, diverse, content-based and easy for our members to navigate. And it is fantastic!! I’m so excited I have to give you an overview of what you can expect to see in your Insights newsletter.

Insights will be published on a regular basis.  An e-mail will be sent to all AFCC-CA members, with links to the AFCC-CA website and Insights newsletter.  Once published, Insights will be accessible from the website at any time, with the mere click of a button.  Insights will provide content that is open to anyone who is interested in learning about AFCC-CA, as well as more substantive content that is gated and accessible only to members of AFCC-CA.

Since this Summer Insights edition is our inaugural edition of Insights, the entire newsletter will be open to everyone through September 30, 2019.  This will enable members and non-members to see that access to this valuable content is worth its weight in gold.  However, after September 30th, and for all future editions, the portions of Insights intended to be members only content will be gated.  Remember that to access the AFCC-CA member only content you will need to login to your account on the AFCC-CA website.

Insights will have a column in each issue called “Ask Three Mentors,” whereby a member from our panel of judicial officers, lawyers and mental health professionals are asked to answer a custody-related question.  In this issue we are honored to have the following people opine on custody evaluations:  Immediate Past President of AFCC-International, the Hon. Diana Gould-Saltman; custody evaluator and forensic psychologist, Dr. Philip Stahl, Ph.D.; and attorney Leslie Ellen Shear, a Certified Family Law and Appellate Law Specialist.

Certified Family Law Specialist Dawn Gray has graciously agreed to provide Insights with summaries of recent cases affecting child custody in each of our issues. Ms. Gray has provided a phenomenal overview of the 2018 and 2019 cases in this issue.  AFCC-CA board member, Kendall Evans, is providing an overview of legislation that may have an impact on custody cases, including a synopsis of each bill and links to bills themselves, which will enable you to review the legislative history and underlying rationale for the bill.

To enable members of AFCC-CA to get to know each other better, we have a “Member Spotlight” column that will feature one of our members in each issue.  We are honored to feature Lyn R. Greenberg, Ph.D., ABPP as our first ‘member to spotlight.’ I hope you enjoy getting to know Dr. Greenberg.

We will continue to provide you with educational articles on custody related issues and there is a link on the Insights menu of our website for persons interested in submitting an article for consideration to upload comments, questions or an article.

We are always very excited to have new members to AFCC-CA.  To welcome you to your AFCC-CA family, we will be announcing each of our new members in our Insights issues.

To make sure you know ‘What’s Happening’ with conferences, custody trainings, seminars or events regarding AFCC-CA, AFCC- International or some of our sister organizations, we have a calendar of events page, with links to events to make it easy to register and add to your calendar.

As President of AFCC-CA, my main goals were to launch a new, updated website and newsletter and I am very thankful to the Insights committee for all their hard work to make it launch.   Insights would not be possible without the commitment of this incredible newsletter committee.  I cannot thank the following people enough for their dedication to AFCC-CA and Insights:  Editor Michelene Insalaco, Administrative Editor and AFCC-CA Administrator, Merry Gladchun, Newsletter Committee Members Kendall Evans and Debra Frank.  I also want to thank the authors who have graciously volunteered their time to provide us with the valuable content and insight to make this newsletter second to none.  Enjoy reading!

Michele Brown is certified by the State Bar of California as a Certified Family Law Specialist.  She is a Partner at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savtich, LLP in the Family Law Group and has been practicing family law for well over 20 years.  In addition to being President of the CA Chapter of AFCC International, Ms. Brown is  the Vice-President of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists (ACFLS); she is the Family Law Representative for the Board of Representatives for the California Lawyers Association; she is an Advisor for the Family Law Section of the California Lawyers Association; she is the Co-Chair for the  Governmental Affairs Committee for the CA Lawyers Association and the Co-Chair of the Appointments Committee for the CA Lawyers Association.  Ms. Brown holds the Martindale Hubbell’s highest AV ranking for legal ability and ethics and has consistently been named as a Super Lawyer.  Ms. Brown received the Outstanding Service to Family Law Award from the Family Law Section of the CA Lawyers Association and was named a “Legend in Legislation” from Flexcom.  Ms. Brown frequently testifies before the Senate and Assembly on bills involving family law and has assisted in drafting several family law bills.