Carly Anderson Is Elected To The Board of Directors for the Fairfax Bar Association Young Lawyers Section

Congratulations to Carly Anderson, who was elected on Thursday, June 7th, to the Board of Directors for the Fairfax Bar Association Young Lawyers Section.  Carly will serve a two-year term, and we could not be prouder!

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The Fairfax Law Foundation Hosts the Annual Northern Virginia Pro Bono Reception.

On June 7, 2018, the Fairfax Law Foundation hosted the Annual Northern Virginia Pro Bono Reception. This reception encouraged pro bono service by recognizing the efforts of those who volunteer. This included several members of Cooper Ginsberg Gray, PLLC, including: Carly Anderson, Heather Cooper, Joanne Randa, Kristen Kugel, Nathan Olson, Robert Kotwicki, Rob Worster and Stephanie Smith. Among those honored were Joseph Dailey, Esq., Nathan Colman, Esq., Cherith Kennedy, Thomas Spahn, Esq. and Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year The Susan Hicks Law Group Additionally, our own Rob Worster who was previously announced as a Northern Virginia Pro Bono Law Center Pro Bono Award Winner, was inducted into the Rule 6.1 Society as a 2018 Bronze Member. This is a program of Legal Services of Northern Virginia designed to recognize and thank attorneys who perform at least 40 hours of pro bono work annually; or those who give a personal financial contribution equivalent to 40 hours of work.

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David Ginsberg, Heather Cooper, Nathan Olson, Melissa Anderson, and Andie White attended Shelter House’s Changing Lives Annual Benefit Breakfast

On Thursday, April 12th, David Ginsberg, Heather Cooper, Nathan Olson, Melissa Anderson, and Andie White attended Shelter House's Changing Lives Annual Benefit Breakfast at the Westwood Country Club in Vienna, Va. This event brings members of the community together to raise awareness on family homelessness and domestic violence.  CGG was a proud Premier Sponsor of the breakfast  David Ginsberg serves on the Board of Directors for Shelter House, and organizes the annual Chipping in to End Domestic Violence Charity Golf Tournament.  Since its inception 17 years ago, the tournament has raised over $390,000 for Artemis House, Fairfax County's only 24 hour Domestic Violence shelter operated by Shelter House.  For more information about the incredible work done by Shelter House for our community, please visit their website at www.shelterhouse.org.

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Carly Anderson, Andie White, and Kristen Kugel attend the Fairfax Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Section Breakfast

On Thursday, March 22nd, Carly Anderson, Andie White, and Kristen Kugel attended the Fairfax Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Section Breakfast with the Circuit Court Judges. The Young Lawyer’s Section puts on this breakfast annually as a way for new attorneys and the Judges to get to know each other outside of the Courtroom. All of the attorneys appreciate hearing practice tips from the Judges in an informal setting.

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David Ginsberg, Sarah Hensley, R. A. Hurley, and Sonya Duchak present a mock trial

On March 8, 2018, David Ginsberg, Sarah Hensley, R. A. Hurley, and Sonya Duchak presented a mock trial for several 6th grade classes at Willow Springs Elementary School. The students saw a criminal trial in action, and 12 students served as the jury.

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Robert Worster attended a continuing legal education seminar on “Evidence Based Sentencing Practices.”

On March 1, 2018, Rob attended a continuing legal education seminar on “Evidence Based Sentencing Practices.” The CLE was put on by multiple probation officers and leadership from the Virginia Department of Corrections, Judge Bernhard, Public Defender Andrew Elders and Blake Woloson, Esq. The seminar addressed methods to reduce recidivism through better probation techniques. As Virginia has the lowest inmate recidivism rate in the United States, this topic was of incredible importance.

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First Annual CGG/Shoun Bach Bowling Competition

The First Annual CGG/Shoun Bach Bowling Competition took place on Monday, March 5th at Bowl America in Fairfax City. Both firms enjoyed good food, fun camaraderie, and a little friendly competition amongst friends. In the end, CGG squeaked by and took home the trophy. We are already looking forward to next year’s match! Thank you, Shoun Bach (a/k/a Split Happens) for a great time!

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Combating Distress in Light of the Recent Horrific School Shooting By: Leah Nathan Ph.D.

So, the extended weekend is now over and your children transitioned back to school after the tragic shooting that occurred last week. Chances are this horrific incident is still on their mind. The catastrophic shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School has evoked nationwide concerns about our children’s safety. Deeply saddened by the senseless loss of lives, many wonder how to respond to their children’s questions, how to support school administrators, and how to develop effective coping strategies. Here are some tips:

1.First — know that this is a traumatic experience for both adults and children. Your children need validation for how they feel. It is a time when they are going to experience a wide array of emotions to include fear, anger, sadness, apprehension, doubt, etc. Further compounding this traumatic incident is that your children may also be inundated with the stress from the family discord as you navigate through the divorce process. Therefore, it is important to closely monitor your child’s emotional health. If you notice any concerning changes in their demeanor, consider contacting a mental health professional. If you are not sure of the legal parameters affecting this decision within your particular custody arrangement, please be sure to first consult with your attorney. Also, remember that is important to reassure your children that you love them and provide unconditional positive regard.

2. During this time, it is not uncommon for your child to question their own safety both at home and at school. School is, after all, supposed to be a safe place yet this tragedy occurred. Likewise, your child may have thought that their family would be together forever, yet there is a divorce. Children need to know that there are safety parameters in place. Therefore, it is important to review all safety procedures. Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency can deescalate the anxiety.

3. Talk to your children about their day and inquire if there are any social media concerns. Enabling parental controls on your child’s electronic device will allow you to monitor your children’s internet activities. Often times, children use social media as a platform to express their distress. Therefore, encouraging your child to report any unusual, suspicious, or concerning behaviors of their peers can empower them to take action.

4. Some characteristic symptoms of trauma and situational stress include change in sleep patterns and increased hypervigilance. Children may need to sleep with a night light or playing relaxing sounds as a part of their bedtime routine. There is a plethora of research on the mental health benefits of practicing mindfulness. There are free breathing/meditation apps that you can download from the convenience of your phone. Take some time to explore these options. Adding a yoga class is a good stress relief outlet and can strengthen your bond to your child.

5. Taking action to collaborate with your child’s school administrators is a good way for you to become even more invested in your child’s life and reassure them that their safety is paramount. The Army and Department of Homeland Security are collaboratively developing a virtual reality training program that is scheduled to be launched in Spring 2018. Join in the efforts to make school safety a priority. Also, the National Association of School Psychologists is a very resourceful website. Below is a link with further useful tips. You can also share this with the administrators at your children’s school as well: https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/talking-to-children-about-violence-tips-for-parents-and-teachers

This traumatizing event may have triggered a sense of loss within your own family. Take some time to read about Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s work on the grief cycle. It will help to frame what you are experiencing. Know that it is OK to grieve and it is OK to feel a sense of loss. Joining a grief and loss support group may be helpful. The Wendt Center for Loss and Healing is a very good option for adults, children, and families.

Take care of yourself and your family during this time.

Leah L. Nathan, Ph.D. Psychologist/Divorce Coach

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Heather Cooper and Leah Nathan Co-Author an Article on Divorce for DullesMoms.com

Click here to read more on the contributions of Heather Cooper, one of our founding partners, and Leah Nathan, the firm's Psychologist/Divorce Coach: http://dullesmoms.com/divorce-coach/

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Rob Worster Co-Presents a CLE with the Maryland State Bar Association Family Law Section

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, Rob Worster co-presented a CLE with the Maryland State Bar Association Family Law Section. The topic was 2018 Hot Tips in Family Law: What NOT to Do! Rob presented on the subject of Buyer's Remorse with Marital Settlement Agreements with Justin Sasser, Esq. & Ronald Bergman, Esq. Thank you to Walter Herbert, Esq. for the invitation to present.

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