About the FLIC™ Instructors
MERLYN N. HERNANDEZ
MERLYN N. HERNANDEZ, CFLS
Merlyn N. Hernandez, CFLS, is the founder of the Law Offices of Merlyn N. Hernandez. For over thirteen years, Ms. Hernandez has practiced immigration and family law. Her immigration practice focuses on family-based immigration, asylum, removal defense, administrative appeals, and appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals. Ms. Hernandez has represented clients before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Fifth Circuits. Her family law practice focuses on cases involving dissolution, parentage, child support, spousal support, property division, and premarital and postmarital agreements. She is also a mediator who helps parties resolve their cases with alternatives to traditional litigation. Ms. Hernandez is a certified family law specialist and a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Family Law Section Executive Committee, and a board member of the California Chapter of the Association of Family & Conciliation Courts and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). She is involved in AILA as an advocacy/congressional liaison for the Southern California Chapter. She is also a member of AILA’s national committees and EOIR Liaison Committee as well as AILA’s Consumer Protection and Unlawful Practice of Law Action Committee. Ms. Hernandez has been named a Rising Star by SuperLawyers 2012–2016. She is fluent in Spanish.
LAWRENCE E. LEONE
LAWRENCE E. LEONE, CFLS
Lawrence Leone is trained in litigation, mediation and collaborative law. As a former trustee and chair of the Family Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association he helped establish and is the monitor of the LACBA Listserv. Lawrence was a member of the Elkins Task Force and a recipient of the Spirit of the CEB Award. He is an editor for California Family Law Monthly, and speaks on complex family law and basic practice issues, in addition to writing for legal publications including works on complex family law litigation, evidence, and numerous titles by CEB. For CEB Lawrence has most recently contributed chapters to California Client Communications Manual, California Basic Practice Handbook, California Child Custody Litigation and Practice, and Crossover Issues in Estate Planning and Family Law. In addition to practicing family law, Lawrence works with educational nonprofit corporations devoted to science education, is a personnel commissioner for Santa Monica College, and has authored a book of poetry with Barry Spacks. Lawrence is a graduate of UCLA and Loyola School of Law and has been practicing for more than 38 years.
FERNANDO M. LUNA
FERNANDO M. LUNA, CFLS
Fernando M. Luna is the principal of the Law Office of Fernando M. Luna, representing clients exclusively in family law matters. Mr. Luna has been certified as a family law specialist by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California. He has volunteered for the Los Angeles County Bar Pro Bono Domestic Violence Project and the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law, and served on the executive committee for the Southern California Family Law Inn of Court and the Pasadena Bar Association Family Law Program Planning Committee. Mr. Luna has been selected for inclusion in Pasadena Magazine Top Attorneys each year since 2011. Mr. Luna has been selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star 2012–2017. He received his JD from the University of West Los Angeles.
CHRISTOPHER MELCHER, CFLS
Christopher Melcher is a partner with Walzer Melcher LLP in Woodland Hills, where he specializes in complex family law litigation and the preparation of premarital agreements and handles family law appeals. Before turning exclusively to family law, he practiced civil litigation and criminal defense, and has over 20 years of experience as a trial lawyer. Mr. Melcher has substantial experience in the financial aspects of divorce, including tax consequences of property division and alimony, corporate laws dealing with the division of a family business, and the definition of income for purposes of setting spousal and child support. He is a former chair of the State Bar of California Family Law Section. Mr. Melcher is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He is a frequent and nationally recognized lecturer on family law issues. Mr. Melcher both writes and speaks on behalf of CEB and is the author of chapters in our publications California Child and Spousal Support, Practice Under the Family Code, and Family Law Financial Discovery.
MATTHEW K. PURCELL
MATTHEW K. PURCELL, CFLS
Matthew Purcell is cofounder and shareholder of Forester Purcell Stowell PC, Sacramento. Matt was the youngest Certified Family Law Specialist in California at the time he received his certification from the State Bar. He has more than a decade of experience and has handled everything from intricate property and support issues to complex custody issues involving allegations of sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence, parental alienation, and relocations. Matt handles all aspects of dissolutions, but is particularly passionate about protecting the well-being of the children who are involved in these contentious adult situations. He has significant experience in the more specialized fields of guardianships, grandparent rights, and juvenile dependency cases, and is adept at counseling clients in situations where Child Protective Services removes children from parents based upon allegations of abuse and/or neglect. He was selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers "Rising Stars" list (2016-2017). Matt received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his JD from the Syracuse University College of Law in New York.
SHANNON K. QUINLEY
SHANNON K. QUINLEY, CFLS
Shannon K. Quinley is a Certified Family Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. She maintains a solo law practice in Pasadena, with an emphasis on family law. Ms. Quinley is a frequent lecturer and author on family law issues, and she served as a chapter author for five CEB publications, including California Child and Spousal Support: Establishing, Modifying, and Enforcing and Family Law Financial Discovery. She has been recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star 2012–2016. Ms. Quinley received her BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her JD from Southwestern University School of Law. At Southwestern Ms. Quinley was a member of the Southwestern Moot Court Honors Program, where she received accolades for both her writing and oral argument skills. She was also a staff member of the Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas.
SANDRA I. SALINAS
SANDRA I. SALINAS, CFLS
Sandra I. Salinas was admitted to practice before all the courts in the State of California and the United States Federal Court in 1992. She is a recipient of the Wiley W. Manuel Award for pro bono legal services from the State Bar of California. Ms. Salinas has practiced family law exclusively at Feinberg & Waller since 2006. She represents clients in all aspects of family law litigation, including domestic violence matters, custody and support issues, and property division. She has broad experience in Hague Convention cases and interstate and intrastate jurisdictional disputes. Ms. Salinas is a member of the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills Bar Associations and the family law section of the California State Bar. She frequently speaks on family law matters and has presented at CEB’s Basics Conference, Family Law Conference, and Family Law Intensive Course. Ms. Salinas also co-authored an article with Marshall Waller, “No Small Matter: Domestic Violence, Child Custody and Family Code Section 3044,” for the Valley Lawyer magazine published in September 2014.
JOEL S. SEIDEL
JOEL S. SEIDEL, CFLS
Joel Seidel has been a Certified Family Law Specialist since 2004. His law firm, Joel S. Seidel & Associates, represents family law clients exclusively. Mr. Seidel handles cases of all levels of complexity from inception through appeal. In his more than 20 years of family law experience, Mr. Seidel has successfully represented clients not only in state court, but in federal court on related matters and cases brought in the appellate courts, and defended against appeals on multiple issues. He is a graduate of California State University, Northridge, and Southwestern University School of Law.
ARIEL SOSNA, CFLS
Ariel Sosna has been exclusively practicing family law in California (San Francisco Bay Area) since 2007. Ms. Sosna received her JD, with a concentration in Family Law, from UC Hastings College of the Law and her BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley. Ms. Sosna was was co-chairperson of the Family Law Section of the San Francisco Bar Association's Barristers Club in 2009 and 2010, and she has been named to Super Lawyers magazine's Rising Star list for the last eight consecutive years (2009–2016). Ms. Sosna previously worked at the San Francisco Superior Court Family Law Facilitator's Office, the Law Center for Families (assisting with the Deaf Women's Legal Project), and the Center for Families, Children and the Courts, a division of the Administrative Office of the Courts. She was also a research assistant for Professor Weisberg, and contributed to "Modern Family Law: Cases and Materials and California Family Code and Related Provisions with Commentary." Ms. Sosna is a member of the family law section of the State Bar of California, a member of Queen's Bench, and an active member the San Francisco Bar Association, Family Law Section.
MARSHALL WALLER, CFLS
Marshall Waller is is a director and shareholder of Feinberg & Waller in Calabasas and Beverly Hills. He is a Certified Family Law Specialist and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Federal Court, U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Court of Claims, and all California courts. Mr. Waller taught family law as a professor of law for over 16 years and has often been a featured commentator on local and national television shows. He writes and lectures widely. He also serves as a volunteer mediator and a judge pro tempore for the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Family Law division. He is an appointed member of the LACBA Family Law Section Executive Committee and serves on the Los Angeles Regional Standing Committee of the Family Law Section of the California State Bar. Mr. Waller received his BS, with highest honors, from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, his JD from Loyola Law School, and his and diploma in taxation from the University of San Diego.
PETER M. WALZER
PETER WALZER, CFLS
Peter M. Walzer is the founding partner of Walzer Melcher LLP. He practices in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Mr. Walzer is the former chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law section and the first vice-president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Mr. Walzer is AV rated by Martindale Hubbard. He is certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization, State Bar of California, as a Specialist in Family Law and he has been a Certified Family Law Specialist for over 25 years. He was previously president of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, and of the Southern California chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Mr. Walzer is a frequent speaker on family law matters and has contributed to many legal publications for CEB and other organizations, including California Marital Settlement and Other Family Law Agreements. His website is www.walzermelcher.com.