Family Law Conference Speaker Bios

Art Grater, PE

Art Grater helped California Family Law Report and Stephen Adams, Esq., CFLS create numerous family law calculation tools including DissoMaster, Deductor, Propertizer, DiviCalculator, Executioner and Pensioner.Grater studied engineering and math at the University of Minnesota (bachelor’s degree in engineering); University of Hawaii, Hilo; MIT; and California State University, Long Beach (master’s degree in engineering). He is a licensed California Professional Engineer (PE). Grater consults for DissoMaster publis Thomson Reuters as well as on case-related matters and training for family law attorneys, mediators and CPAs. He has served as an expert witness in addition to extensively speaking on DissoMaster and related software for local bar and accounting associations, the California State Bar, AAML and CFLR.


Hon. Bruce G. Iwasaki, Judge

Judge Bruce Iwasaki sits in the Family Law Department at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, and has done so since his appointment to the Los Angele Superior Court in 2012. For more than 20 years, Judge Iwasaki represented low-income people as a legal aid lawyer, including serving for nine years as executive director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. From 1988-97 he was a litigator with O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, handling business litigation. Immediately before becoming a judge, he was partner at Lim, Ruger & Kim, handling commercial litigation. Among the awards he has received are the Loren Miller Legal Services Award from the State Bar of California, the Judge John Minor Wisdom Award from the ABA Litigation Section, and the Pro Bono Civil Rights Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. He has been a panelist at seminars on family law practice and evidence.


Kimberly Alvarado, CPA, ABV, CFF

Kimberly Alvarado is a CPA with CBIZ and Mayer Hoffman McCann, PC, specializing in the area of forensic accounting throughout Southern California for over 15 years. Alvarado specializes in resolving complex financial issues in marital dissolutions and shareholder disputes. She has performed forensic accounting services including detailed account tracing, business valuation, quantifying factors relevant to child and spousal support, and the characterization and distribution of community and separate property. Alvarado is a shareholder Mayer Hoffman McCann and has testified as an expert witness in Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Kern counties, serving as individuals’ and courts’ experts in family law matters. She is Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) by the AICPA.


Thomas Collins, CPA, ABV, CFA

Thomas Collins, CPA has over 20 years of public accounting experience. He primarily works as an expert for family law attorneys in the greater Sacramento area performing business valuations, calculating available income for support purposes, and tracing assets. He also performs business valuations and accounting projects for estate tax and for civil controversies. Collins has earned an Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) designation from the AICPA. He is also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.


Jennifer Crum, Esq., CFLS, AAML

For 20 years, Jennifer Crum’s practice has focused exclusively on high asset dissolutions involving complex financial issues such as venture capital, hedge fund, private equity, privately held companies, professional practices, and real estate interests. She regularly represents high earners or their spouses on issues related to child and spousal support, and understands the intricacies of compensation in Silicon Valley, including stock options, restricted stock units (RSUs), restricted stock, management fees, and carried interests. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of her practice, she regularly works with forensic accountants, investment advisors, family wealth offices, tax and corporate counsel, and estate planners to achieve the best outcome for her clients. Crum is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). She also serves as a mentor for young attorneys in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties as a leader of the AAML mentoring group. She is a Certified Family Law Specialist and has been named a Northern California Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine each year since 2009. Crum is a member of the San Mateo County Bar Association, and served on the boards of the Association of Certified Specialists (2006-09), AAML (2013), and Girls United (2004-07). She is co-author of the article entitled “How Can My Divorcing Clients Plan Their Estates with the ATROs in the Way,” ACFLS Newsletter and the California Trust & Estate Quarterly. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988, and her juris doctor degree from the University of San Francisco in 1996.


Garrett C. Dailey, Esq., CFLS, AAML

Garret C. Dailey is a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) emphasizing appeals and consultations. His office is in Oakland. He has been a member of the faculties of the University of California, Davis School of Law, Golden Gate University and the University of Edinburgh. He is a Fellow in both the American and International Academies of Matrimonial Lawyers. Dailey is co-author of Attorney’s Briefcase treatises on California Family Lazw, Evidence, and Children and the Law. He is also co-author of Lawgic Marital Settlement and Pre/Post Marital Agreements and the author of SupporTax. Some of his recent appellate cases include Marriage of Valli, Elkins v. Superior Court, and Marriage of LaMusga in addition to many appellate court opinions. He was named the CalCPA Education Foundation Outstanding Conference Speaker in 2005. Dailey’s distinctions include the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award by the State Bar of California, Family Law Section; the Association of Certified Family Law Specialist’s Hall of Fame Award; and the Brandeis Award from the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He was named the 2006 Family Law Person of the Year by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Southern California Chapter; listed in The Best Lawyers of America; and selected numerous times as one of Northern California’s Top 100 Lawyers by Super Lawyers magazine.


Kelly J. Shindell DeLacey, Esq., CFLS, AAML

Kelly J. Shindell DeLacey is a graduate of Golden Gate University School of Law and a partner with DeLacey, Riebel & Shindell, LLP. She is a Certified Family Law Specialist and Fellow with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. DeLacey has extensive experience representing clients through all phases of litigation and creatively advising clients through mediation and settlement negotiations. She concentrates her practice on family law matters involving complex property and financial matters and contentious child custody disputes. Throughout her career, Kelly has also remained involved in nonprofits serving vulnerable communities and combating interpersonal violence, including Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal), Communities Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA), and most recently serves on the board of directors of the Family Violence Appellate Project (FVAP). DeLacey’s accomplishments have been recognized, including being named an outstanding young lawyer on the Northern California Rising Stars list (2009-13), a Super Lawyer in Northern California (2014-16) and one of the top 50 female Northern California attorneys by Super Lawyers in 2016.


Marie Ebersach

Marti Noell is Noell Agnew & Morse, LLP’s lead tax partner. Her experience includes working with companies of all sizes, from new business start-ups to large multi-state operating companies. In addition to providing accounting and tax compliance services, Noell specializes in providing pro-active tax planning assistance. She assists her clients in business structure planning, with a view towards maximizing tax savings opportunities as well as minimizing third-party legal risks. Noell has extensive experience in the tax planning and compliance aspects of estates and trusts and works with clients and their advisors in achieving each client’s wealth accumulation and distribution goals.


Tracy Farryl Katz, CPA, Esq.

Tracy Katz is a partner at Gursey | Schneider LLP where she specializes in forensic accounting. Katz’s expertise covers a multitude of litigation support services including business appraisals, determinations of gross cash flow available for support, net spendable evaluations, pension plan allocations, stock option apportionments, characterizations of assets, analyses of reimbursement claims, lifestyle analyses, and contract and royalty analyses in the film, television and music industries. She is also a frequent lecturer at various continuing education seminars. Katz is a member of the AICPA. She is also a member of the Family Law Section of the Beverly Hills and California State Bar Associations, as well as a liaison member of the executive committee of the Family Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar. Katz is a past chair of the Family Law Section of CalCPA. Most recently, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation’s Forensic & Business Valuation Division admitted Katz as one of only 28 charter members from across the nation. Katz has authored and co-authored articles and/or lectured on the use of forensic accountants in marital dissolution, celebrity goodwill and in analyzing pre-and postnuptial agreements, as well as complex asset tracings and child and spousal support for high income earners.


Kristen L. Gillespie, CPA, ABV, CFF

In 2005, Kristen Gillespie joined Gursey | Schneider LLP where she is a partner in the firm’s litigation services department, specializing in the area of forensic accounting in family law litigation matters. She has testified as an expert witness in both Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County Superior Courts. Gillespie is an active member of CalCPA and the AICPA. She serves as secretary of the CalCPA Family Law Section and has been nominated to co-chair the 2016 and 2017 Family Law Conference. She is Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) designation and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) by the AICPA. Gillespie has received extensive audit training as well as attended continuing education courses and seminars in the field of family law including the annual CalCPA Family Law Conference and AICPA business valuation courses. Gillespie graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in business economics, with an emphasis in accounting. She was licensed as a CPA in April 2004. While pursuing her undergraduate education, Gillespie was accepted into the Deloitte & Touche, LLP audit internship program for the summer of 2000 and after graduation began full-time employment in the Los Angeles audit practice. As a senior auditor, she planned, prepared and reviewed financial statement audits in conformity with SEC filing regulations, for C-corporations, S-corporations, and general partnerships.

Joshua S. Alipaz — Trust Administration and Probate Department

Josh is a shareholder and a member of the Trust Administration and Probate Department. In addition to helping clients navigate estate administration procedures, Josh’s practice includes estate planning, business transactions and entity formations, with particular focus on the formation of nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations. While working for a boutique law firm in Beverly Hills, Josh gained extensive experience assisting charitable organizations in establishing a legal existence. Super Lawyers® has selected Josh as a Northern California Rising Star, a distinction given to no more than 2.5 percent of young lawyers in California from 2013 through the present.


Joshua S. Alipaz — Trust Administration and Probate Department

Josh is a shareholder and a member of the Trust Administration and Probate Department. In addition to helping clients navigate estate administration procedures, Josh’s practice includes estate planning, business transactions and entity formations, with particular focus on the formation of nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations. While working for a boutique law firm in Beverly Hills, Josh gained extensive experience assisting charitable organizations in establishing a legal existence. Super Lawyers® has selected Josh as a Northern California Rising Star, a distinction given to no more than 2.5 percent of young lawyers in California from 2013 through the present.


Hon. Thomas Lewis, Judge

Judge Lewis is the Supervising Judge for the Los Angeles County Family Law Division overseeing the operations of the 60 family law departments in the county. From 2014-16 he served in a long cause family law trial department in Los Angeles; he was Assistant Supervising Judge of the Family Law Division from 2011-14. 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 (CJER). 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 for the update program, the advanced family law program, the basic training program, the evidence programs, and the expert series programs. 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. In 2015, he received the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section Spencer Brandeis Award, the highest honor bestowed by them. In 2016, he received the Southern California Inn of Courts Outstanding Jurist Award. In 2017, he received the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Stanley Mosk Legacy of Justice Award.


Sandra Joan Morris, Esq., CFLS, AAML

Sandra Joan Morris has been in the private practice of law in California since January 15, 1970. She was president of Sandra Joan Morris, APC, from 1970-2014 and has been Of Counsel at Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek since 2014. She has been a State Bar Certified Family Law Specialist since 1980 and served as chair of the San Diego CFLS Committee in 1996. She has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers since 1981, and served as president of the Southern California Chapter in 1987, national officer from 1989-05 and in 2008, and as national president in 2002. She was named Family Law Person of the Year in 2004. Morris has been a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers since 1989, a Diplomate of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers since 1994, and one of the “Founding Mothers” of the Lawyers Club of San Diego since 1972. She has served on the Advisory Commission on Family Law of the California State Senate Subcommittee on the Administration of Justice from 1978-79, the Elkins Family Law Task Force of the Judicial Council of California Administrative Office of the Court from 2008-10, the American Bar Association’s Family Law Section since 1973 and on the faculty of its Trial Advocacy Institute from 2001-07, and as president of the San Diego Community Child Abuse Coordinating Council in 1977. Among her many honors and awards, Judge Morris has been a frequent lecturer statewide, nationally, and internationally for over 40 years on topics related to family law, litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and gender bias. She has been AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell since 1984, and continues to be Preeminent Judicial /Attorney Peer Review rated. She was recipient of the 2016 and 2017 Judicial Award.


Megan Thompson, CPA, CVA, CFF

Megan Thompson is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She also attended Santa Clara University where she received a Certificate of Advanced Accounting Proficiency. She has been a CPA since 2008. Thompson began working for Michael S. Thompson, CPA/ABV, CVA, MAFF, CFF in 2004 and is currently a partner with Thompson Accounting. Thompson is a Certified Valuation Analyst and is certified in Financial Forensics by the AICPA. During her career as a CPA, Thompson has provided financial services to clients in many areas including the preparation of tax and accounting services. She has experience in litigation support, including the preparation of business valuations, lost profits and wages, analysis of income available for support, stock option and retirement plan allocations, tracing, Moore/Marsden calculations and Pereira/Van Camp determinations. She is a qualified expert witness, and is a member of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, CalCPA, the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts, and the AICPA. In 2012, she was named Young Emerging Professional of the Year by CalCPA; in 2014, she was named to the Forty Under Forty by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts; and in 2017, she was recipient of the AICPA Forensic and Valuation Services (FVS) Standing Ovation Award.


Peter M. Walzer, Esq., CFLS, AAML

As the founding partner of Walzer Melcher LLP, Peter M. Walzer is widely recognized as one of state’s preeminent family law attorneys. Walzer is well versed in all types of matrimonial and family law issues is at the forefront of the family law industry playing an integral role in shaping the nation’s and state’s leading professional organizations. He serves as a vice president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and as chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section. He is a past president of the Southern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a former chair of the executive committee of the State Bar Family Law Section. A Certified Family Law Specialist for 29 years, Walzer is past president of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists and a member of the section’s council. He is a past vice president of the U.S. chapter of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and former member of the Elkins Family Law Task Force. In 2009, Walzer was named Family Law Person of the Year by the Southern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. In 2010, he was named Family Law Fellow of the Year by the AAML. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubble. Walzer’s articles have been published in Los Angeles Lawyer, ABA Family Advocate, California Lawyer, LACBA News and Review, and State Bar Family Law Section Family Law News among others. He has written chapters in two different books for California Continuing Education of the Bar. He lectures regularly for the State Bar, UCLA, CEB, ACFLS, AAML, and various other organizations.


Shannon Ward, CPA

Shannon Ward joined Gursey | Schneider LLP’s tax and accounting department as a manager in 2012 and became a partner in 2017. She specializes in income, gift, and estate tax planning, as well as income tax compliance and audit defense for high-net-worth individuals and their business interests, trusts, and private foundations. She has significant experience with international tax planning and compliance, including working with high-net-worth individuals moving to the U.S., foreign nationals investing in the U.S., and U.S. beneficiaries of foreign trusts. Ward also frequently addresses tax issues related to divorce. She holds a master of business taxation degree from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Prior to joining Gursey | Schneider LLP, she held positions as a wealth planner for an international investment management firm and as a tax manager at a national accounting firm.