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On Demand

The Intersection of Family Law and School Law

Total Credits: 3.5 CLE, 0.5 Ethics

Average Rating:
Administrative Law |  Family Law
Lynne C Adams |  Hon. Bruce R Cohen |  Hope N Kirsch |  Corey Montano |  Heather Rae Pierson
Original Program Date:
Oct 07, 2022


Join a panel of education attorneys, a school district special education director, and a family court judge in discussing the often-competing interests of the family court matters, parents, students, and schools.  
Gain insight into the challenges that schools face when parents are not aligned regarding their child’s education, as well as when educators are pulled into family law matters.  Hear from the trenches how schools address these increasing challenges, and how you can navigate these issues in your own practice or in your courtroom.  
This CLE is for school/education law attorneys, family law practitioners, Administrative Law Judges and Family Court Judges. 
Hon. Bruce Cohen, Family Court Associate Presiding Judge, Maricopa County Superior Court
Heather Pierson, School Attorney, Udall Shumway, PLC
Dr. Corey Montaño, Special Education Director, Dysart Unified School District
Hope Kirsch, Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC
Lynne Adams, Osborn Maledon PA

*Also serving as panelists



Lynne C Adams Related Seminars and Products

Osborn Maledon PA

Lynne Adams is a partner at Osborn Maledon. She focuses her practice on education law, and she primarily represents community colleges, charter schools, school districts, public and private universities and colleges and other public entities. She provides her education clients with on-going legal advice, including compliance with all aspects of school law, Arizona's Open Meeting Law, public records, FERPA issues, and policy guidance. She also represents them in investigations, litigation, administrative matters, and regulatory appeals.

Ms. Adams is a 1987 graduate of Columbia University Law School, and after clerking for Justice Christine Durham on the Utah Supreme Court, she moved to Phoenix, where she worked for the law firm of Brown & Bain (now Perkins Coie). She worked for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office from 1999-2003, serving as Chief Counsel for the Education and Health Section under Attorney General Janet Napolitano. After leaving the Attorney General’s Office, she joined Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie. She joined Osborn Maledon in 2012.

Judge Bruce R. Cohen (one of today’s panelists) and Ms. Adams share at least one thing in common—their love of game shows. Ms. Adams was a contestant on The Price Is Right in November 2012, winning the Showcase Showdown. Her daughter created a gif that shows her jumping around and screaming, which is still embarrassing after all these years.

Hon. Bruce R Cohen Related Seminars and Products


Maricopa County Superior Court

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.

Hope N Kirsch Related Seminars and Products

Attorney / Partner

Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC

Hope Kirsch is a partner with the education law firm of Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC, in Scottsdale, founded in 2006. She is a licensed special education teacher and 30 year attorney. Hope practices with her sister representing K-12 students throughout Arizona in school-related matters including advocacy, Due Process Complaints, appeals, 504s, OCR, Title IX, discipline and bullying. She also represents and advises higher education students in academic integrity matters, disability accommodations and discrimination, grade appeals and residency. Hope was a special education teacher and coordinator in the New York City public schools for 18 years where she worked with the most challenging populations and supervised and trained teachers in teaching strategies, curriculum development, drafting IEPs and behavior management techniques. She has a Bachelor’s degree in special education from Boston University (cum laude), a Master’s degree in special education from NYU, 30+ post-graduate credits in educational supervision and administration, and her law degree from Brooklyn Law School (Dean’s Merit Scholar). She began her law career as a judicial clerk in the Superior Court of New Jersey and then as an associate at a NY/NJ litigation and appellate firm. She moved to Arizona in 1999 and was an associate and then partner at Broening Oberg until 2006. Hope is admitted to the state and federal district courts in New York, New Jersey, Arizona and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. She is AV® Preeminent rated and serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the Superior Court of Arizona.

Corey Montano Related Seminars and Products

Dr. Corey Montaño is the Director of Exceptional Student Services at the Dysart Unified School District and serves as the President Elect for the Council for Exceptional Children Arizona Division of Emotional and Behavioral Health. She has over 20 years of education experience, 19 of which are in the field of special education. Dr. Montaño earned her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Special Education at the University of Arizona, where her academic and research interests were focused on Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and Functional-Based Assessments and Interventions. She was an instructor for the University of Arizona for courses addressing cultural and linguistic diversity and teaching bilingual exceptional learners.

Corey is passionate about decreasing the gap between research and practice, particularly with regard to inclusive practices and use of behavioral interventions. Corey enjoys providing professional development to increase stakeholder, administrator, and practitioners’ knowledge on how to serve diverse learners to increase academic outcomes and decrease exclusionary disciplinary practices.

Heather Rae Pierson Related Seminars and Products

Udall Shumway PLC

Heather Pierson is a partner at the law firm Udall Shumway PLC in Mesa, AZ. She is a member of the firm’s School Law section, representing the firm’s education law clients throughout the State. Ms. Pierson comes to Udall Shumway PLC uniquely qualified in the area of education law. Prior to joining Udall Shumway, Ms. Pierson taught behavior disordered students. During her teaching career, Ms. Pierson was involved in the development and implementation of Individualized Education Plans (“IEP”) and behavior plans and attended several trainings on special education and regular education interventions and strategies. While in law school, Ms. Pierson provided in-home ABA services for autistic children under the age of three and participated in the Whittier Law School Special Education Clinic, which provided special education advocacy services for children with developmental disabilities. Additionally, Ms. Pierson earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education in 2004. Ms. Pierson primarily focuses her practice on special education and disability related matters. She routinely defends school districts and other public educational institutions in matters related to disability law matters, such as special education due process hearings, Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) complaints, Section 504 due process hearings, mediation, and special education state complaints. She provides daily advice and assistance in matters related to special education, Section 504, the Americans with Disabilities Act, student discipline, personnel issues and student records. Ms. Pierson taught Contemporary Developments in Special Education Law through Northern Arizona University during the Spring of 2014. She has also given in-service workshops to district personnel on a wide range of special education and disability related topics and speaks at state-wide conferences.



Overall:      4.8

Total Reviews: 8


Nicole S

"Very informative."

Caitlin A

"such an informative CLE "

Renee O

"I thought it was interesting "

Erin G

"the handout followed the presentation"