CGG Hosts FBA Paralegal Section’s Valentine’s Day Project Assembly

Cooper Ginsberg Gray hosted the Paralegal Section of the Fairfax Bar Association for the assembly of the Valentine’s Day gift bags for the young people residing in the Fairfax County youth detention facilities. This project includes the residents of Foundations, The Boys Probation Home, Beta Program, and Transitional Living Program. The colorful bags, donated by Trader Joe’s in Fairfax, contain toiletry items, a journal and three or four new books that reflect the individual’s interests. Donations to this project are made by the section members, Fairfax Bar members, and many community members. Sensei Enterprises donates the water bottles that the young people like so much. The section meeting was well attended, and lunch from Zoe’s Kitchen was provided by Cooper Ginsberg Gray. Tina Fewell and Joanne Randa will deliver the Valentine’s Day gifts to the homes on Friday, February 10, 2017. We wish everyone a Valentine’s Day full of surprises and maybe even a good book!

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Heather Cooper Leads SCMS Students on Court Tour

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, Heather Cooper joined colleague, Cheri Belkowitz, in leading an impressive group of 8th grade students from South County Middle School on a tour of the Fairfax County Courthouse.  Each year, the Fairfax Bar Association, with financial assistance from the Fairfax Law Foundation, sponsors court tours for middle and high school students in Fairfax County.  In three hours, the students tour the courthouse, participate in an question/answer session with Judges, court personnel and Sheriff’s deputies, participate in a mock trial, and view actual court proceedings. This is a great program that teaches students about the County’s court system.

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Dan Gray Attends House Courts of Justice Committee Meeting

As a member of the Virginia Family Law Coalition, Dan Gray was in Richmond on Friday, January 27 to observe the House Courts of Justice Committee Meeting. He was shadowing fellow Coalition member Kimberlee Ramsey of FlorenceGordonBrown, PC, who has spoken before Courts of Justice numerous times on pending family law legislation. The Coalition was present to support HB 2289, which provides authority for courts to order life insurance coverage to secure alimony awards post-divorce.  This bill arose out of a Boyd-Graves Commission study.  The bill made its way out of Committee and to the House floor. On Friday, the Coalition opposed HB 1586, which requires the clerk of court to transmit custody orders to the schools of minor children within 3 days of entry.  The Coalition earlier spoke before the Courts of Justice Subcommittee and expressed concerns about the bill’s operation, which led to some improving amendments.  Ultimately, HB 1586 made its way out of Committee and on to the House floor. The Coalition also HB 2128, which expanded types of abuse the courts could consider in determining “best interests.”  On Friday, HB 2128 was passed by. As a member of the Virginia Family Law Coalition, Dan Gray was in Richmond on Friday, January 27 to observe the House Courts of Justice Committee Meeting. He was shadowing fellow Coalition member Kimberlee Ramsey of FlorenceGordonBrown, PC, who has spoken before Courts of Justice numerous times on pending family law legislation. The Coalition was present to support HB 2289, which provides authority for courts to order life insurance coverage to secure alimony awards post-divorce.  This bill arose out of a Boyd-Graves Commission study.  The bill made its way out of Committee and to the House floor. On Friday, the Coalition opposed HB 1586, which requires the clerk of court to transmit custody orders to the schools of minor children within 3 days of entry.  The Coalition earlier spoke before the Courts of Justice Subcommittee and expressed concerns about the bill’s operation, which led to some improving amendments.  Ultimately, HB 1586 made its way out of Committee and on to the House floor. The Coalition also HB 2128, which expanded types of abuse the courts could consider in determining “best interests.”  On Friday, HB 2128 was passed by. Daniel L. Gray, Esquire

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Joanne Randa Attends Sensei Enterprises’ Pub Night Presentation

On January 25, 2017, Joanne Randa attended Sensei Enterprises’ Pub Night which featured a program about Robot Lawyers.  Sharon Nelson and John Simek’s presentation on artificial intelligence was fascinating and timely, especially since  “AI” is at work in many large law firms in the form of ROSS.  The program was well attended by paralegals and lawyers who hope to stay relevant in the age of artificial intelligence in the forms of ROSS, Amazon, and Alexa, who do more and more for us.  It was also good to connect with Jen Kubal, Sharon Nelson and John Simek of Sensei Enterprises.

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NATHAN OLSON AND STEPHANIE SMITH BEGIN TEACHING FAMILY LAW AT THE GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY ANTONIN SCALIA LAW SCHOOL

Last week Nathan Olson and Stephanie Smith began team teaching the spring semester family law course at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School. The family law course was taught in previous years by the Hon. Dennis J. Smith (Ret.) and offers students an overview all aspects of Virginia family law. Nathan and Stephanie are excited to introduce aspiring family attorneys to substantive domestic relations law and to help students prepare for taking the Virginia Bar Exam.

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Dan Gray, Heather Cooper, Nathan Olson and Rob Worster attend AAML CLE at University of Richmond

Dan Gray, Heather Cooper, Nathan Olson and Rob Worster attended the AAML's "Divorcing the Wealthy" seminar at the University of Richmond on January 19, 2017.  Organized by our friend and colleague, Al Bonin, the seminar featured topics including the new military retirement plan coming in 2018, unique issues in business valuations, international and state remedies for the return of a child, and ethical issues involved in cases with  significant assets.  The seminar was fantastic - hats off to Al Bonin and the AAML!

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Paralegal Section of FBA Seeks Donations for Fairfax County Youths

Each year, the Paralegal Section of the Fairfax Bar Association collects funds and new books to benefit the young people residing in the Fairfax County residential correctional programs.  This project is done in conjunction with the Fairfax Law Foundation, and contributions are tax deductible.  The Section purchases new books and toiletries for the young people and creates gift bags for Valentine’s Day.  Cooper Ginsberg Gray will be hosting the luncheon to assemble the bags on February 9, 2017 at Noon.  Please think about contributing to this worthy cause and let the youth of Fairfax County know that you are thinking of them.  Donations can be sent to Jana Sehrer at the Fairfax Bar Office.  If you have questions, please contact Tina Fewell at Curran Moher Weiss or Joanne Randa at Cooper Ginsberg Gray.

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Rob Worster Speaks at Professionalism Course

On Tuesday, January 10, 2017, Rob Worster and Heather Cooper participated as faculty members at the Virginia State Bar's Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course held at the Hilton Mark Center Hotel.  Rob spoke to the group of approximately 300 attorneys about Virginia's disciplinary process.  Heather and Rob later assisted other faculty members with multiple break-out sessions featuring a variety of topics related to professionalism.  The course,  which is adeptly run by colleagues, Leslie Weber Hoffman of the Family Law and Mediation Center in Fairfax and Maureen Stengel of the Virginia State Bar, is mandatory for all recently admitted lawyers in Virginia and is held several times per year in different locations throughout the state.

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David Ginsberg Appointed to Board of Directors for Shelter House, Inc.

CGG is proud to announce that David Ginsberg has been appointed to the Board of Directors for Shelter House, Inc., a community-based, non-profit organization serving homeless families in Northern Virginia.   Since 2010, Shelter House has operated Artemis House, Fairfax County’s only 24-hour Domestic Violence Shelter.  David has been instrumental in organizing an annual charity golf tournament that has raised $350,000 for Artemis House since the tournament started 16 years ago.  Congratulations David!

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CGG bids farewell to 2016

CGG bids farewell to 2016, a year in which the firm grew professionally as we welcomed Domestic Relations Consultant, Leah Nathan, Ph.D, who is available to provide the firm’s clients with emotional guidance as they transition through what can sometimes be a difficult period in their lives.  The firm’s charity golf tournament, the 16th Chipping in to End Domestic Violence Charity Golf Tournament, was a success, bringing the total raised for the abused women and children at Artemis House (Fairfax County’s only 24-hour domestic violence shelter) to over $350,000 since the inception of the tournament.  The firm celebrated significant milestones in our 12th year, as three employees (Dawn Matthews, Nathan Olson, and Robert Kotwicki) celebrated their 10th anniversaries with CGG.  On a personal level, the firm celebrated family milestones as well, as Anne Robinson welcomed her first child in June, Lauren Nowers got married and became Lauren Oufiero in July, and Joanne Randa welcomed her first grandchild (also in July).  The firm enjoyed another year of fun firm and family outings, including the George Mason men’s basketball game versus rival VCU, the Fairfax Law Foundation’s Heroes v. Villains 5K Race, Administrative Professionals Day at IHOP, the FBA Paralegal Section Bowling event, the Demolition Derby at the Prince William County Fairgrounds, wine tasting at Bull Run Winery, and a fun holiday party to end the year.  CGG wishes everyone a very healthy and happy 2017!

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