Board Members

Daniel O’Leary, Ph.D


Daniel O’Leary is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Stony Brook University. He is a clinical psychologist who received his B. A. from Penn State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana, Illinois. At Stony Brook, he served as department chair from 1978-1981 and Director of Clinical Training from 2002-2010.

He is a divorce mediator with attorney, Dawn Murphy, in Smithtown, NY, and he has conducted custody evaluations in Supreme and Family Courts of Suffolk County, NY for twenty four years.

He was president of the American Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, an organization headquartered in NYC with over 5,000 members.

He has published over 300 manuscripts, and he was among the top 100 cited psychologists in the English-speaking world (American Psychologist, December, 1978).

He received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the clinical division of the American Psychological Association. He was installed to the National Academies of Practice.

He received the Family Psychologist of the Year Award in August 2105 at the American Psychological Association, and in November, 2015, he received the Beckman Trust Award for Mentoring graduate students that included a $25,000 cash prize.

He has served on the following scientific boards: H. F. Guggenheim, Distilled Spirits Council of the US, Center for Disease Control, and National Institute of Mental Health.

His research focuses on the etiology and treatment of spouse abuse, the relationship between marital and child problems, and the alcohol abuse/partner abuse link.

DSCF1110Lawrence Jay Braunstein

Co-President Elect

Lawrence Jay Braunstein is a partner in the law firm of Braunstein & Zuckerman, Esqs, located in White Plains, New York where he practices in the areas of Matrimonial, Family and Collaborative Law and related civil and criminal litigation, with an expertise in child custody litigation and litigation involving allegations of child sexual and physical abuse.

He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; Past Chair of the New York State Bar Association Child Custody Committee; Past Chair of the Westchester County Bar Association Family Law Section; and Past President of the Association of Collaborative Lawyers of Rockland/Westchester.

He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert who regularly lectures in the areas of child sexual abuse, physical abuse and abusive head trauma (shaken baby), child custody litigation, expert witness testimony, courtroom psychology and trial procedures.

He is presently an Adjunct Professor of Law at Hofstra University School of Law, Hempstead, New York where he teaches Child Abuse and Neglect and Collaborative Family Law. Since 2007 he has been named as one of the “Top Attorneys in the New York Metro Area” as published in the New York Times Magazine’s Super Lawyer Section, and one of the top Twenty-Five “Super Lawyers” in the Westchester County, New York area.

Robin D. Carton

Co-President Elect

Robin D. Carton is a principal in the law firm of Carton & Rosoff PC, and her private practice has primarily focused on child custody, matrimonial law, collaborative divorce, divorce and custody mediation, adoption, and guardianship. She earned her J.D. degree from Hofstra University School of Law in 1981.

For more than 25 years, Ms. Carton has been appointed by the Family and Supreme Courts in Westchester and Putnam Counties to serve as attorney for the child. She is president of the Law Guardian Association of Westchester County, an organization comprised of attorneys dedicated to effective child advocacy. Ms. Carton has also been appointed by the Westchester County and Putnam County Supreme and Surrogate’s Courts as referee, guardian, guardian ad litem, and court evaluator.

Ms. Carton is a member of various professional organizations and their family law and matrimonial sections. She is the Co-President Elect of the NY Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the President of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the Westchester County Bar Association, Secretary of the Association of the Collaborative Lawyers of Rockland-Westchester, a member of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and a panel attorney on the Moderate Means Matrimonial Panel of Pace Women’s Justice Center. Ms. Carton is a member of the Committee on Disproportionate Racial Impact, the Committee on Best Practices for Court Mental Health Evaluations, the Law Guardian Liaison Committee, the National Adoption Day Committee, and numerous other committees and projects dedicated to educating attorneys and litigants about family dispute resolution and best practices in family and matrimonial law litigation.

IMG_0787Rodrigo Pizarro, M.D.; M.B.A:

Vice President

Rodrigo Pizarro attended Medical School at the University of Buenos Aires (1983-1988) and completed his first residency in Psychiatry at the Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires (1993). During that time, he also pursued additional training in Psychoanalysis, Psychodrama and Family Therapy.

He moved to New York in 1993 and completed residency training in Psychiatry (Mount Sinai Hospital, 1993-96), Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, 1996-98) and Forensic Psychiatry (New York University Medical Center, 1998-99). In 1998 he graduated from Baruch College of City University of New York with an MBA with focus on Health Care Administration. After his formal psychiatric training, Dr. Pizarro pursued additional training in other child-related forensic areas, such as the forensic interview of children, parent coordination, family mediation, and the evaluation of complex issues in divorce-related matters.

Dr. Pizarro is Board Certified in Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry. He is a past Director of the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center and is a former Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is currently in private practice in Manhattan. In addition to his clinical practice, he conducts Child Custody Evaluations, works as a Parent Coordinator and provides Trial Consultation. He has been a member of AFCC for several years and has been a member of the Board of Directors of AFCC-NY since 2013.

Jill StoneJill C. Stone, ESQ.


Jill C. Stone graduated in 1986 from the Inaugural class of the City University of New York Law School at Queens College.  She has devoted her practice to Criminal, Matrimonial and Family law having practiced in the Law Firm of Addabbo and Greenberg, LLP, a family based law firm where she has practiced with her father and continues to practice with her brother.   She has recently opened an office in Nassau County, Garden City where she is expanding her practice to include modifications for clients who are in need of modifying their existing mortgage loans in an effort to save their homes as well as preparing wills to protect their assets.

She is a member of the Attorney for Children Panel in the Nassau County Family Court and Supreme Court since 1996, where she has handled hundreds of cases with regard to Matrimonial and Family Court actions representing children of all ages in custody, visitation, abuse, PINS, juvenile delinquency, and neglect cases.   She is a member of the Nassau County Bar Association, the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association, the Queens County Women’s Bar Association, and an Advisory Board Member of We Care Committee which serves as the charitable arm of the Nassau County Bar Association. In addition, Ms. Stone is a member of the New York Family Law American Inn of Court and a member of the Nassau County Matrimonial Committee.

Since 1996, Ms. Stone has been a member of the Committee on Character and Fitness of the Appellate Division, Second Department for the Second, Tenth and Eleventh Judicial Districts  and has recently been appointed as a member of the Advisory Committee for Judicial Hearing Officers.  Ms. Stone has lectured both at the Hofstra University School of Law as well as St. John’s University School of Law, lecturing on both family and matrimonial matters.  She continues to be a Mentor, as part of the Family Law Externship Program for the Family Law class at Hofstra School of Law, as well as part of the Senior Experience for a High School mentoring students interested in the practice of law.  She continues to lecture to the summer interns who participate in the Nassau County Summer Internship Program and spends time as a participant lecturing for CLE credit for the New York State Bar Association on Custody and Financial seminars.

In addition, Ms. Stone has appeared on national television as the legal expert on children’s rights for the Sally Jessie Rafael Show.  She has received the Juridis Peridis Award from the Court Officers Benevolent Association, which is presented to outstanding Attorneys who practice in the Nassau County Courts and the Virginia Dunkin award from the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association recognizing her outstanding educational mentoring of young people who are interested in the legal profession. She is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and was a panel member for the organization on the topic of The Voices of Children in Divorce.

Further, she has been quoted on numerous occasions in the New York Law Journal as well as various local newspapers and was named Superlawyer 2014-2015. Ms. Stone has been selected by Peer Recognition and Professional Achievement as a Top Woman Attorney in the New York Metro Area.

0362-Teresa-Ombres.ret.fnl. (2)Teresa Ombres, Esq.


Teresa Ombres is a graduate of Fordham University and New York Law School. She has been a lawyer since 1981, a mediator since 1996 and has practiced Collaborative Divorce since 2001. Her practice is a blend of contested cases, mediation’s and collaborative family and divorce cases. Regardless of the nature of the case, she is committed to acting like a human being and helping her clients and adversaries to do the same. As a board member of FDMCGNY for 8 years Teresa spent 4 years as co-chair of Continuing Education Committee and 4 years as chair of Legislative Committee. She was among the first group of lawyers and mediators to be trained in Collaborative Divorce in 2001, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of New York Association of Collaborative Professionals. She is also a member of the Family & Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York, the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation and Treasurer and founding member of AFCC-NY. She belongs to the New York State, Queens Women, Queens County and Nassau County Bar Associations. Teresa is a member of the divorce mediation panels for New York, Queens and Nassau Counties. She also serves as a volunteer Arbitrator hearing fee disputes. Since the Fall of 2009 she has taught the Judicial Matrimonial ADR Externship at St. John’s University School of Law.

Karen SimmonsKaren P. Simmons


Karen P. Simmons is the Executive Director of The Children’s Law Center (CLC). CLC represents children in the New York City Family Courts and the Integrated Domestic Violence Parts in the Supreme Court. Karen leads and develops her staff to ensure that they are zealous advocates, social justice focused and community minded. Karen brings that same energy to advancing diversity in the legal profession and regularly dedicates time to coach, mentor and develop others as well as being devoted to her family. As an IOLA fellow with Legal Services NYC, Karen co-founded Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT). LIFT is a not for profit that provides legal information to people who are unrepresented in family court. Along with her law degree, Karen has a master’s in public administration with a specialization in program designed, development, and implementation and she is currently an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School. Prior to law school, Karen worked for the New York City Human Resources Administration and the Child Welfare Administration now called the Administration for Children’s Services. She has been a Staff Attorney and Borough Attorney in Charge with the Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice as well as a Director with the New York State Office of Court Administration’s Bronx Felony Drug Treatment Court.

Immediate Past Presidents


Hon. Jane Pearl

Judge Jane Pearl was appointed to the New York City Family Court bench in 2000 by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and was reappointed in 2009 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Judge Pearl presently sits in New York County. From 2000-2003, and from 2009-2012, she sat as a judge in Bronx County. Judge Pearl has served as Supervising Judge of Kings and Richmond Counties and of New York County Family Courts. Prior legal experience includes service as a Court Attorney­Referee, Support Magistrate, and Court Attorney, in New York County Family Court, and work in the Family Law Department of Tenzer, Greenblatt (now Blank Rome).


Karen Rosenthal, Esq.

I was admitted to practice law in the State of New York in 1989 and have concentrated my practice in the area of matrimonial law since that time. I My Honors and recognition include AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell, 2015 New York Metro Super Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America as well as New York Magazine’s New York Area Top Lawyers. I am a Partner in the Law Firm of Bender & Rosenthal LLP since May 2001 to present. The Firm has been ranked Tier 1 in New York City for Family Law by U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firm”. Immediate past Co-President of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC-NY) New York State Chapter and a member of the Interdisciplinary Forum on Mental Health and Family Law and have been selected to sit on the Matrimonial Committee of the New York City Bar 2015 – 2018. I am certified as an Attorney for the Child for the First Judicial Department and have been appointed by the New York County Judges as well as chosen by my peers to represent children on numerous matters over the years. I am a member of the New York State Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association and The Women’s Bar Association. I have lectured extensively on the issue of the GET law and related matrimonial laws. I received a certificate from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Basic Divorce Mediation Skills Training Program and as part of my practice handle mediation cases.


Hon. Andrea Phoenix

Andrea Phoenix is a Nassau County District Court Judge in Hempstead, New York. She is also an Acting Nassau County Court Judge. Judge Phoenix presides over the Mental Health Court. In this capacity, she adjudicates both misdemeanor and felony cases involving mentally challenged defendants. Additionally, she presides over a civil part involving trials, conferences and motions. Judge Phoenix received her undergraduate degree from Hampton University and her graduate degree from Ohio State University. She earned her law degree from Hofstra University School of Law, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Environmental Law Digest.