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The content of this site does not constitute legal advice.

ABBY'S WHY

Abby on conflict:
I believe that a satisfying and lasting resolution is found by exploring what is best, rather than by determining who is right or wrong. I know that we each respond to conflict in our own way and at our own pace. With determined focus, boundless energy and humor, I am keen to see the whole picture, with all its complexities, and to work creatively with clients to find a way through the uncertainty. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, I believe that we cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

 


Abby on her commitment:
I believe that while we each have a personal identity, the essence of who we are should be appreciated through our instinct for interpersonal connection – relationships. I have sought to understand the implications of our social nature from a variety of perspectives. I began my undergraduate studies as a folklore major -- exploring how oral traditions shape communities and then moved to a focus on political economy -- the relationship between public policy, economic markets, and society. As an attorney, I am most interested in how to understand and support people’s expectations of rights and responsibilities, as well as how to mesh them with personal, financial, medical, and business realities. My training and experience in mental health help me understand that relationship skills are taught. Along with temperament, i.e., the luck of the draw, we employ those skills to understand our own intentions and the meaning of others.


My commitment stems from my belief that people would like, if they could, to bring their best version of themselves as they work with others to solve a problem. Since supportive relationships are integral to our well-being, resolving problems in a manner that strives to support connection, even through disagreement, gives me hope.

Abby regularly and enthusiastically pursues advance coursework in a range of fields including conflict resolution, law, psychology, organizational behavior, medical ethics, and family systems.

 

CURRICULUM VITAE

 

Education

UC Hastings College of the Law, JD | Editor in Chief, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly
Medical Bioethics and Humanities Certificate + Bioethics Consulting |  Montefiore-Einstein Center for Bioethics
Fordham University, MS Ed | Phi Kappa Phi
University of California, Santa Cruz, BA  | Highest Honors, Top 3% of class
Middlebury College

Mediation + ADR Affiliations

Partner |  Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein, LLP

Mediation Counsel | McCarthy Fingar, LLP (past) 
Executive Director |  NY Association of Collaborative Professionals (past)
Member |  Commercial, Civil + Matrimonial Mediation Rosters, Westchester County

Mediator | Westchester Surrogate's Court Mediation Program
Certified Mediator |  Westchester Mediation Center, Cluster, Inc.
Certified Divorce Mediator | New York Peace Institute
Member | Part 137 Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators, Joint Committee on Fee Disputes and Conciliation
Member | NYC Family Court Mediation Panel (past)
Recipient | 2015 Pro Bono Recognition for Mediation, Legal Services of the Hudson Valley

Mental Health

NYS Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Parenting Coordinator

Onsite provider of mental health services for employees of a privately held company

Collaborative divorce team member | Family Specialist 
Mental Health Counselor |  Family Services of Westchester
Mental Health Counselor, permitee |  Concordia College
Certified Facilitator and Administrator | Strength Deployment Inventory, Portrait of Personal Strength and Overdone Strengths    Assessments
Presenter |  NYS Parent Education and Awareness Program, Parent Education and Custody Effectiveness (PEACE)
Facilitator | Youth and Police Initiative, North American Family Institute

Trained Coach | Money Harmony

Legal

Assistant General Counsel |  Peugeot Motors of America
NYS Certified Guardian, Court Evaluator and Attorney for Alleged Incapacitated Persons
Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May |  Rosenman & Colin

Member State Bars |  NY and California

Group Facilitation + Training 

Pivotal Moments

Negotiation and Situational Influence | Women’s Leadership Institute, Manhattanville College School of Business (Adjunct  Faculty Member) 
Divorce Support Group |  92nd Street Y
Spousal Loss Support Group  |  Bereavement Center of Westchester

Skills to Attune Interpersonal Dynamics (SAID): Application of Conflict Resolution and Communication Techniques to Enhance    End-of-Life Treatment and Management Discussions with Patient and Family  

 

Volunteer Affiliations
FamilyKind | Advisory Council
Gilda’s Club Westchester | Program Task Force
Westchester Women’s Bar Association | Co-chair, Mediation Committee
New York Center for Law and Justice | Board Member 

Interdisciplinary Forum on Mental Health and Family Law
Northern Westchester Hospital | community member, Ethics Committee, Patient & Family Partnership Council  (works with          the Hospital's leadership and professional staff to optimize patient-centered care), Credentials Committee (granting of  hospital privileges), Performance Improvement Coordinating Group (examines quality and patient safety processes - past      participation) 

NY Association of Collaborative Professionals

Association of Conflict Resolution | Elder Decision-making and Conflict Resolution Section

Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York

New York State Council Divorce Mediation

National Counseling Association 

WEDC Senior Providers Network

Orion Resource Group (Elder Care), Westchester Chapter Leader (past)

New York Society of Association Executives | Executive Women in Nonprofits SIG (past)

Committee on Special Education |  Parent member (past)

Speaking Engagements + Articles

Different ≠ Wrong: Understanding Personal Histories in the Context of Conflict (NYSCDM)
How Mediation and Collaborative Divorce Address Money Issues (NY Financial Psychology Group)
The  Do’s and Don’ts of Client Intake for Matrimonial & Civil Mediators and Collaborative Attorneys (Westchester Woman’s Bar    Association WWBA)
Getting on the Same Page for Improved Discharge Outcomes: Uniting Families to Make Focused Care Decisions for Aging  Parents (Northern Westchester Hospital NWH)
Ask the Ethicist: An Ethical Dilemma? Best Practices? Or Much Ado About Nothing? (NYSCDM Report)
Essential Family Law/Matrimonial Law: Fundamentals –  Family Law Mediation (Pace Law School)
Money Matters: How the Psychology of Money Impacts the Practice of Law (WWBA)
Narrative Understanding (North Jersey Collaborative Law Group)
Narrative Understanding: Perspectives and Approaches to Improving Collaborative Skills (2014 IACP International Forum)
Narrative Understanding: Perspectives and Approaches to Improving Conflict Resolution Skills (2014 Annual Conference Academy of Professional Family Mediators)
You Can’t Fire Me – I Quit!: The Ethical Considerations of Dealing with Difficult Clients (Panelist: Calvary Hospital’s Eleventh  Annual Trusts & Estates CLE  Ethics for Breakfast)
Narrative Understanding to Enhance Collaboration (State Society on Aging of New York 42nd Annual Conference)
A Facilitated Dialogue: Our Difficult Cases (American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, 16th Annual Meeting,  Conflict  Resolution Affinity Group)
Listening Skills and Mediator Approaches, Pace Law School
Expanding our Understanding of Challenging Clients – What’s Going on in their Brains (Family and Divorce Mediation Council –  FDMC)
Understanding and Listening in the Context of Bias  (University of University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Nursing)
Understanding Your Relationship and Conflict Style for Improved Communica
tion (Geriatric and Palliative Fellows,  University of  University of Texas Health Science Center, Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Medicine)
Connecting with Clients: Opening the Door to ADR for Family Matters (35th Annual Convention of the Woman’s Bar  Association of the State of New York )
Money Talks: The Psychology of Money and Divorce Finances (Catalyst Conference)
Refocusing for a Deeper Understanding (Westchester County Elder Abuse Coalition)
Starting the Conversation:  Adult Child and Parent Dialogues (Chappaqua & Larchmont Public Libraries)
MED-ARB: Getting Past the Impasse (Moderator, joint program: WWBA, WCBA, WBBA & WPBA)
11 Things Divorce Experts Wish You Knew Before You Got Married;  (one of the experts interviewed for the article)
Substance Abuse: Thinking it Through for Divorce Financial and Family Planning (ADFP GNYM Chapter  Meeting)
“Child Support” Support! (FDMC)
Sleep Basics (on behalf of Optum @ PepsiCo)
Change Workshop: Don’t Tell Me What To Do! What happens to us when we seek change or it is imposed upon us (private      client)

How Can NYS Better Support Families in Dissolution and Transition: Perspectives from the Judiciary, Academia, a Practitioner,    and the Legislature (FamilyKind’s 3rd annual Carol Bellamy Lecture Series: Giving Voice to the Child) 
How to Start the Conversation on Aging Issues: Family Dialogues (17th and 18th Annual Senior Law Day)
Money Styles: How the Psychology of Money Influences Divorce Finances   (2016 NYSCDM downstate conference: Power Money   and Rage: Negotiating Tough Issues in Mediation )
Collaborating in the Face of Financial Betrayal (2017 IACP International Forum)
Early Intervention: Support Services for Parents in Conflict (WWBA + FamilyKind)
Bioethics and Family Conversations: Primer on normative and legal ethics as applied to medical decision-making (WWBA and     WCBA)

Conversations That Have Not Gone as Planned (Business Council Of Westchester - Woman in Business Counsel)

Healthy Relationships Project: conflict resolution, empathy and communication skills (NWH President's Junior Leadership    Council)

NYS Certified Parent Education and Awareness Workshop for Divorcing or Separating Parents 

Open Discussion: Issues Related to Representation in Family and Divorce Mediation 

Resolving Family Disputes Through The Collaborative Process: A Primer  

I Don’t Want to Talk About It: The Most Frequently Overlooked Aspects of Estate Planning (19th Annual Westchester County    Senior Law Day) 

Partnership in Action: Patients and Providers, panel member, NYS Health Foundation Annual Conference

 Patient and Family Partnership: Patient Engagement Past, Present and Future  

Who, What, Where, When, Why and How: Everything Attorneys Should Know About Using Parent Coordinators, panel member

 Divorce and Addiction  

Meet the Heat (An experiential training for Collaborative professionals to understand how to effectively address emotions) 

Family Transitions: The Mental Health Professional’s Role in Collaborative Divorce (35th International

 Annual Conference Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration) 

Collaborative Law (NYC Bar Association)  

The 9th Judicial District Presumptive Mediation Programs: What You Need to Know (WWBA + WCBA)

Advanced Coursework (partial)
New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, Interdisciplinary Practice
New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, numerous advanced Collaborative Practice trainings
Ackerman Institute for the Family, Externship, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy
Ackerman Institute for the Family, Family Therapy Clinical Practicum
Ackerman Institute for the Family, Couples, Family & Money Workshop
Harvard Negotiation Institute, Intensive Mediation
Elder Decisions, Elder/Adult Family Mediation
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Professional Mediation
Center for Mediation in Law, Mediation Intensive
Center for Mediation in Law, Advanced Mediation
The Center for Mediation & Training, Divorce Mediation
Ackerman Institute for the Family, Advanced Family & Divorce Mediation

The Art and Science of Resilience: Facilitating the Prepared Mind of the Collaborative Client
The Value of the Collaborative Process for LGBTQ Families and Relationships

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements in the Collaborative Process

The Cooperative Parenting Institute, Parent Coordination Training

Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome
Community Mediation Services, NYS Court approved Parent/Child and Custody/Visitation Mediation
Montefiore-Einstein Center for Bioethics, Bioethics and Medical Humanities and Bioethics Consultation
Columbia University Medical Center, Program in Narrative Medicine, Intensive Workshop
Advance Team Functioning: Understanding Motives Behind Behaviors for Effective Group Relationships
Dignity: The Essential Role it Plays in Resolving Conflict
New York University, Civil Collaborative Law
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome
International Association of Collaborative Professionals, numerous annual educational forums
Part 137, Jt Committee on Fee Disputes and Conciliation, Arbitration
Westchester Mediation Center, Restorative Justice, Victim/Offender Mediation
NYSDRA, Special Education Mediation
Cornell University, ILR School, Employment Law Mediation
Cornell University, ILR School, Commercial Arbitration
US EEOC, NY District Office, invitation only Mediation Summit
Attachment Styles and Relationship Breakdown
Fostering Cooperation in Real-Life Prisoner’s Dilemma Games
Collaborative Approaches to Same Gender Couples – Unique Parenting, Premarital, and Divorce Considerations
Gottman Method Couples Therapy, A Research – Based Approach: Bridging the Couple Chasm
Mindfulness in Group Therapy: Tailoring the Practice to the Problem

GoodTalk4Parents
Olivia Mellon, Money Harmony training and direct supervision

Child Inclusive Mediation & Counseling: Introduction to the Child Inclusive Approach, Child Consultation Skills 

Nasty Women: Towards a New Narrative on Female Aggression

NYSCDM Symposium, Lessons from the Streets: Diffusing High-Conflict Disputes with Advanced Techniques Useful in All  Mediations

AFCC NY, Why Can’t Parents Play Well in the Sandbox?

The Science and Practice of Facilitating Deep Transformational Change Across Therapeutic Techniques 

The Science of a Happy Relationship: How positive psychology, mindfulness and gratitude can help build a love that lasts.

When Civility Breaks Down: Designing Algorithms for Interest-Based Approaches to Chronic Conflict

Practical Strategies and Techniques for Divorce Mediators to Recognize and Understand the Impact of Domestic Violence

NYS Unified Court System Child Welfare Court Improvement Project, Child Permanency Mediation Training  

McKinsey Academy: McKinsey Management Program  (current enrollment)