Total Credits: 5 including 5.0 CLE, 1.0 Ethics, 4.0 Family Law Specialization
Attending the 2023 Family Law Institute is the best way to ensure you are completely up to date on the latest cases, legislation and other new developments in Arizona family law.
The program provides practical instruction on many important topics along with engaging Hot Tips and Judges’ Panels. The Institute has become the annual gathering place for the Arizona family law community; this is your opportunity to share collective wisdom and to discuss cutting-edge legal strategies.
Barry L. Brody, Law Offices of Barry L. Brody
Dana M. Levy, Dickinson Wright PLLC
Robert L. Schwartz, Dickinson Wright PLLC
Honorable Suzanne Nicholls was appointed to the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County in April 2020. She has served on the Family Court Bench since that time. Before her appointment to the bench, Hon. Nicholls served as a Deputy Public Advocate representing parents and families in dependency actions for many years. She was awarded the Arizona Public Defender Association's Outstanding Performance Award in July 2017 for her work in developing and drafting the law regarding Court Authorized Removals in dependency actions. Prior to that, Hon. Nicholls worked at the Arizona Attorney General's Office in the Child and Family Protection Division representing the Department of Child Safety, after having served many years in the Criminal Appeals Division. Her diversity of legal practice also included several years at two different private civil litigation firms spanning many areas including insurance defense, civil litigation, estate planning, and intergovernmental law. Hon. Nicholls has participated in various young attorney developmental programs through Arizona State University's Moot Court and Mock Trial programs and is a member of the Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court, Arizona Women's Lawyers Association and other associations.
JENNIFER G. GADOW graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in English in 1991 and the University of Denver Law School in 1994. She is a partner at the Phoenix law firm of FROMM SMITH AND GADOW, P.C., a firm which practices exclusively family law. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a Certified Specialist in Family Law, having practiced in that field for nineteen years. Jenny is a Court Appointed Advisor and has been Program Co-Chair for many Maricopa County Bar Association Seminars. She has been a Judge Pro Tem in the Maricopa County Superior Court of Arizona since 2002 and is an adjunct professor at the Arizona Summit Law School.
Stephen R. Smith is a partner in the Phoenix law firm of Fromm Smith & Gadow, P.C. where his practice is limited to complex family law litigation, mediation, and appellate matters. He has been a Certified Specialist in Family Law since 2000 and a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers since 2011. He is also listed in The Best lawyers in America (2015-16) in the field of family law. Admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 1994, Mr. Smith received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Arizona State University in 1991 and his law degree from Whittier College in 1994 where he was a member of the Whittier Law Review. He has been a member of the Family Law Advisory Commission to the Arizona State Bar Board of Legal Specialization since 2008 and currently chairs the Commission. He has been a Judge Pro Tem of the Maricopa County Superior Court since 2003. Mr. Smith has presented at numerous seminars on all aspects of family law and has served as an adjunct professor for Arizona Summit Law School. (12/2015)
was appointed as a Superior Court Judge to the Maricopa County Superior Court in May, 2005. Since joining the bench, he served on a family court assignment for six years (four of which was as Associate Presiding Family Court Judge), followed by a four-year assignment to the Criminal Department of the Court (two years of which he was the Managing Judge of the Post-Conviction Relief Unit), three years assigned to the Juvenile Court and one year on a Civil Court calendar. Since June, 2019, he has been the Presiding Judge of the Family Department of the Maricopa County Superior Court. In the mid to late 1970s and before entering the legal profession, Judge Cohen worked in the concert industry. He produced shows with many top acts, including Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Bob Seger, Journey, Yes, Janis Ian, Melissa Manchester, Billy Joel, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yvonne Elliman, Black Sabbath (with Ozzy), The Beach Boys, Kenny Loggins, Dicky Betts of the Allman Brothers, Harry Chapin, Elvis Costello, George Carlin, Cheech and Chong, Bob Hope, and the Rolling Stones (featuring Linda Ronstadt). He helped produce a benefit concert held at the U of A Football Stadium in 1977 headlined by Fleetwood Mac and the Marshall Tucker Band, which was attended by 67,000 people and which raised over $400,000 for the American Heart Association. He was given an outstanding service award in 1977 by the Heart Association for those efforts. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Psychology in 1978, Judge Cohen attended law school and earned his J.D at Arizona State University, now known as the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. In 2001 and again in 2021, he served as an adjunct family law professor and has been a guest speaker on many other occasions. He and his wife sponsored an annual scholarship project for a number of years through 2012 for first year law students on the issue of professionalism. Further, Judge Cohen was a participating member of the National Forum on the Future of Legal Education held in April, 2010. In the summer of 2010, he helped develop a mentor program for first year law students to be paired with judicial officers. Prior to his appointment to the Bench, Judge Cohen was in private practice for 24 years. He was a certified specialist in Family Law and served on the Family Law Board of Legal Specialization for the State Bar of Arizona, as well as the Family Law Executive Council for the State Bar of Arizona. He was a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and was named annually to the Martindale Hubbell Preeminent Lawyers in America. Judge Cohen co-authored legislation on parent information programs and adoption of special needs children. Judge Cohen served on the Arizona Supreme Court appointed Child Support Guidelines Committee for four quadrennial reviews, commencing in 1996, and served as Chairperson for that committee for the 2008-2010 Review. He was again a member for the 2020-21 review. Judge Cohen also served on the Arizona Supreme Court appointed Family Law Rules Review Committee and on the Arizona Supreme Court Admission on Motion Task Force. He is a past president of the Arizona Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (1992) and served a three-year term as a member of the AzAFCC Board through January, 2011, where he chaired 2010-11 AzAFCC Summit Project, which focused on developing communication skills for parents. He is a past member of the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board for the City of Scottsdale, where he served as Chairperson until January, 2018. Judge Cohen is a founding member of the Maricopa County Superior Court Peer Support program. He currently is a member of the Arizona Supreme Court's Committee on the Impact of Domestic Violence and the Courts, the Family Court Improvement Committee, and the Commission on Access to Justice. Judge Cohen also serves on the Judicial Executive Council for the Maricopa County Superior Court. He is now serving as the national co-chair for the Family Law Workgroup of the National Judicial Task Force on Mental Health and the Courts and is presently the Chairperson of the Arizona State Bar Professionalism Advisory Council. In 1990, he was named Volunteer Lawyer of the Year by the Maricopa County Bar Association. Other awards include the Arizona Family Support Council's 2010 Judicial Officer of the Year, the 2011 AzAFCC Outstanding Service Award, the 2011 "Improving Public Trust and Confidence in the Arizona Court System" award from the Arizona Supreme Court, the 2013 Maricopa County Superior Court Pendleton Gaines Collegiality Award, and he was a nominee for the US Justice Department 2014 National Crime Victims' Service Award. While serving as the managing judge for the Criminal Department Post-Conviction Relief Unit, the National Association of Counties awarded the Unit its 2015 National Achievement Award for innovation. He is a 2016 recipient of a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the State Bar of Arizona- Family Law Section and, in December of 2019, the Phoenix Chapter of the American Board of Trial Attorneys named Judge Cohen "Judge of the Year." He was a co-recipient of the 2021 Excellence in Judicial Education Award from the Arizona Judicial College. Judge Cohen worked in collaboration with others in 2013 to return to Arizona the program known as "Anytown." The organization brings together high-school aged young men and women for a weeklong camp focused on stamping out bias, prejudice and bigotry and celebrating diversity. He served as a co-director for the 2014 and 2016 camps. In 2013, Judge Cohen and his family appeared and were champions on the Steve Harvey hosted game show, Family Feud, which allowed Judge Cohen to destroy in 17 minutes a favorable reputation that had taken decades to develop.
Barry L. Brody is a sole practitioner in Phoenix. Mr. Brody is a Certified Family Law Specialist, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, including immediate past-President of the Arizona Chapter. His practice is limited to the areas of complex family law litigation, and alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Brody received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting, with high distinction, from Arizona State University in 1975, his Juris Doctor Degree from Pepperdine University-School of Law in 1977, and was admitted to the Arizona State Bar in 1978. Mr. Brody is a Judge Pro Tempore in the Maricopa County Superior Court Family Court Division, and is a Member of the Judges and Commissioners Family Law Study Committee. He is a Past-Chair of the Executive Council of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Arizona, is a Past President of the Maricopa County Bar Association Family Law Section, and is a Member of the Family Law Certification Advisory Commission. Mr. Brody is also a contributing author to Arizona Guide for Family Practice and Editor of The Divorce and Children Handbook. Mr. Brody is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of Family Law, including Lawyer of the Year for 2011 and 2015, and Family Law Mediation, Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Super Lawyers of the Southwest in both Family Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution, AVVO as a “Superb” member, Ten Leaders, Marquis Who's Who in American Law, and he has spoken at numerous seminars. Mr. Brody’s website is located at: www.divorceaz.com (12/2015)