2023.10 NYACP Newsletter Fall 2023

NYACP NEWS ~ Fall 2023

Volume 5, Issue 4

In this Issue

President's Message
NYACP Board of Directors
Pods and SGCP Groups
Member Spotlight
Collaborative Chats
Upcoming Events
NYACP Annual Training and Meeting


By Melissa Goodstein, Esq.

Fall is synonymous with back-to-school and learning, and as the President of NYACP, it remains my mission to empower members to achieve excellence in collaborative skills and practice. I encourage you to take the time to enjoy the crisp fall air and the beauty of this season, while also focusing on your personal and professional development. In line with Reese Witherspoon's inspiring mindset of being a "learn it all" rather than a "know it all," I believe that the growth of Collaborative Practice lies in the power of our ongoing learning and professional development. By staying open-minded and embracing new knowledge, we can better serve our clients and help them navigate conflict with dignity. One of NYACP’s core values is to be creative, open minded, honest, and transparent and NYACP’s member benefits support this value.

Your collaborative practice's growth is directly proportional to your engagement in NYACP, and the organization is committed to nurture that growth. NYACP offers monthly POD meetings in Westchester, NYC, and Long Island, where you can connect with colleagues and discuss a variety of collaborative practice topics. Our Membership Committee’s Collaborative Connection lunches, social events and other initiatives foster deeper and more meaningful connections within our community. Our Training and Education committee presents skill and process-based educational programs to enhance and expand your practices. Additionally, NYACP’s SGCP groups offer peer supervision and a safe space for collaborative practice discussions. Our mentorship program continues to grow matching more experienced practitioners with new members for member-to-member learning pathways and our racial equity committee has launched a media club for thought-provoking discussions about race and to help us foster a more inclusive and equitable environment within our association. Much gratitude to our POD, SGCP leaders, and Training and Education and Membership committee members for their dedication to NYACP’s mission.

Our annual meeting and training on November 30th, featuring Dr. Deborah Gilman and her insightful talk on avoiding the collaborative avalanche, promises to be an enriching experience. This training followed by a holiday party with live music, fun activities, drinks, and good eats will provide us with an opportunity to connect with fellow professionals, share knowledge, and strengthen our collaborative community. Please register if you have not yet. Remember, collaboration and supporting relationships is at the heart of what we do.

I also encourage you to take the time to enjoy the crisp fall air and the beauty of this season, while also focusing on professional development. Fall is not only a season of change in nature but also a chance for us to focus on our well-being. For personal growth, taking a stroll amidst the vibrant colors of autumn can be a rejuvenating experience, allowing us to clear our minds and find inspiration in the beauty around us. Similarly, practicing yoga, restorative breathing and meditation can help us cultivate inner peace, reduce stress, and enhance our overall well-being. I recently had the pleasure of spending a long fall weekend in the Berkshires with my sisters. It was a rejuvenating experience filled with yoga, meditation, hiking, laughter, great meals, and joy. I encourage you all to take time for yourselves, nurture your minds and souls, and connect with gratitude. Make sure to prioritize time with your family and friends this fall. Together, let's make this fall season a time of growth, connection, and inspiration. For inspiration, I will leave with you a fall recipe to create and make it your own to enjoy with family and friends.

FALL SALAD GRAIN BOWL with Kripalu inspired dressing

Kripalu Inspired Dressing:
• One Cup Olive Oil
• 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
• ¼ cup Tamari
• 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 1/3 cup Tahini
• 1 clove crushed garlic
• 1 tablespoon minced shallots
• ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
• ½ teaspoon each salt, pepper, chili powder and sumac.
Blend all in blender to make approx. 2 cups. Use it on salads, topping veggies, grain bowl and anything else you desire.
Grain Bowl:
• 2 cups of grain of choice such as farro, quinoa, barley, kasha, couscous, pasta, rice.
• 3 cups of assorted diced roasted vegetables such as squash, carrots, potatoes, fennel, carrots, peppers, parsnips, zucchini, cauliflower, and broccoli.
• 7 oz baby Arugula or spinach or greens of choice
• 1/3 cup crumbled cheese of choice such as goat or blue cheese or feta reserving tablespoon some for topping.
• 1/3 cup toasted nuts or roasted seed of choice such as pepitas or pistachio reserving tablespoon for topping
• ¼ cup cranberries or other dried fruit of choice reserving tablespoon for topping
Mix roasted veggies, grain, cheese, nuts, and greens with dressing as desired. Top with reserved nuts, cheese, and dried fruit. Add any protein as desired. ENJOY!

With Gratitude, Melissa


Your NYACP Board meets every 2 months on the Second Thursday and works diligently to identify what is happening in the organization and what we can continually work on to build a better and more fulfilling organization for our members. Each Board member chairs a committee, a group and/or a Pod.

The Board has recently approved expenditures for the Education and Training Committee along with the Membership -Events sub-committee and the sub-committee to “Grow the Collaborative Circle” (GCC), chaired by Marcos Fernandez. GCC endeavors to reach out to diverse groups of professionals in law, mental health, and finance, and organize networking events for our members to learn more about Collaborative practice, as we mix, mingle, learn about each other and develop relationships beyond our Practice organization. More information to follow about upcoming events.

NYACP Meet and Greet

NYACP kicked off Fall with our “Speed Meet and Greet” which was held on October 5th in Midtown, at Randy Heller’s Clubroom. We had a great turnout, delicious food and drink, and great networking. We built new relationships, while deepening older ones. Here is some feedback we received from our members and guests:

“What a wonderful event! Bravo for all your hard work in organizing. This needs to be an annual NYACP event. I so enjoyed! I absolutely loved the one on two speed meet and greet, the food, and venue terrific.” – Melissa Goodstein, Esq., President, NYACP

“What a wonderful event! Bravo for all your hard work in organizing. This needs to be an annual NYACP event. I so enjoyed and sadly had to leave earlier to meet up with my kids in the city. I absolutely loved the one on two speed meet and greet, the food, and venue terrific.”- Steve Linker, CPA, CVA, CFF, FACFEI

“Thanks so much for having me as your guest last night. It's a great group, and it definitely has me thinking about potentially moving up my timeline in terms of getting collaborative training.” – Robyn Landow, PhD (Guest and potential new member)

“Thanks for a great party and all the effort that went into it! It was great to see you all!”- Jeffrey Steiger, Family Specialist, MHP

“I can't thank you enough for putting together such a delightful meet-and-greet event!! I had such a good time!”- Corey Shapiro, Esq.

 Membership Committee Sub Committee: Events (Chair) Michelle Lewis [email protected]


From the results of the Board phone survey conducted with our members in April, we discovered that some members expressed confusion about the difference between Pods and SGCPs (Support Groups for Collaborative Professionals) so we thought it was time to clarify this issue.

Pod meetings take place on a monthly basis and are regionally based (NYC, LI, Northern Westchester) but are open to all members, regardless of where you practice.  These meetings involve presentations and discussions of topics related to Collaborative Practice conducted by outside speakers or members. Many meetings are still held virtually, while others may be in person. We encourage your participation. If you have a presentation topic or would like to be a presenter on a particular topic, feel free to contact the pod leaders that are listed. Although many meetings were halted during the Summer, they are back up and running, so see the calendar on our website to ensure you don’t miss out! Check your email for specific information about what each Pod is doing and RSVP to attend as many of these meetings as you would like. 

The NYC Pod is now hosting a meeting the second Tuesday of every month, from 8:30-9:30a.m. - Contact Judith Stein, j[email protected].
The LI Pod meets the first Tuesday of the month from 8:15-9:30 a.m. - Contact Neil Cahn, [email protected]
The Northern Westchester Pod meets every third Wednesday, 9:00am-10:00 a.m - Contact Melissa Goodstein, [email protected].



On September 12, 2023, the NYC pod, led by Judy Stein, facilitated a great conversation about managing burnout. Fall and early January are traditionally times when our practices begin to pop with new clients emerging and long-lost clients anxious to finish (yesterday, of course). After the relative quietude of the summer or the holidays, the contrast (though welcome) can be a bit overwhelming. And if not well managed, it can lead to burnout.

We shared cautionary tales about how burnout has shown -up for us, sometimes “creeping up on us” when we did not even recognize it until it is overwhelming, what causes these feelings, and what unique and creative self-care steps we take to manage. It was great to share our challenges and triumphs during this meeting and help each other to approach these circumstances perhaps better and differently. Some tips that were shared were things such as doing things to recalibrate, whether it was taking a walk out in nature or others and at times more rigorous forms of exercise, sharing, networking and brainstorming with collogues, having fun (outside of business) with colleagues, friends, and family, and most importantly, finding strength and solace in community, whatever that looks like for you.

Northern Westchester Pod

On Wednesday, September 20, 2023 9:00am-10:00a.m. the Northern Westchester Pod presented a conversation with John Doherty and Alan Dubow, Facilitated by Melissa Goodstein and Margaret Nicolson. 

John Doherty who leads the Real Estate Department and Alan Dubow presented an hour-long discussion regarding the basics of holding title and the real estate transfer tax implications in divorce-related transfers of real property. Alan and John delved into the New York State and New York City transfer tax provisions, examined the relevant forms that are required to be recorded with a deed transferring title, and discussed the issue of proper consideration, and the responsibility of the transferor spouse to pay the tax. They also discussed the City Tax transfer requirements and costs for Westchester localities such as Yonkers and Mt. Vernon which levy an additional transfer tax to the New York State transfer tax. Additionally, they provided information on the practical drafting effects of the provisions we place in Settlement Agreements to best protect our clients. There was a lively Q&A and we resolved that the issues were so important to us as Matrimonial Attorneys that a longer program would be in order in the near future.

Support Groups for Collaborative Professionals (SGCP)

Support Groups for Collaborative Practice (“Groups”) are a unique and important benefit that the NYACP offers its members. Our voluntary facilitators are the cornerstone of the Groups and NYACP is grateful for the role they play in helping our members refine their skills and grow their collaborative practices.

As facilitators change, as spaces within Groups open, and as new Groups are formed, it is important for the facilitators to understand what constitutes best practices in running their group. This not only allows the facilitators take a lot of guesswork out of their role, but also provides NYACP members with a similar experience regardless of the Group to which they are assigned.

During 2021, the existing SGCP facilitators were asked to discuss and provide feedback about how they run their current Groups, what was working well, and what could use improvement. A workgroup made up of Peg Clark, Ellen Jancko-Baken, Barbara Rothberg, Bob Raymond, and Andrea Vacca met to distill what we heard and turn the feedback into best practices.

These Guidelines are the result of that work:

Founding Principles
NYACP established these Groups for the purpose of refining members’ collaborative practice skills through group discussion, self-reflection, feedback, acquired insight, and new information obtained from group participation.

Group Scheduling and Attendance

• Monthly meetings occur on a consistent and regularly scheduled day and time. Usually for 1.5 hours at a time.
• Groups meet for two 5-month semesters, September- January and February – June.
• Group size ranges from 8-12 members, including two facilitators.
• When NYACP members are assigned to a Group they commit to attend all meetings for their entire duration, with an allowance of 1 absence in each 5-month cycle. If members need to arrive late or leave early, they need to let the facilitators know in advance.
• This attendance requirement is meant to encourage consistency and the building of trust among colleagues. Once the membership of a Group is established, it is closed. This reinforces trust and sharing of sensitive matters.

• If there will be vacancies in the Group, the facilitator should let the Executive Director know so that they can offer the seat to other NYACP members who are waiting to join a Group.

• On occasion, new Groups will need to be formed and new facilitators chosen. Existing facilitators will be asked if anyone in their groups might be a good fit to serve in such a role.

Confidentiality is imperative. What’s said in the Group stays in the Group.

If, and when, Group members discuss working relationships with colleagues, neither names nor easily identifying characteristics are mentioned.

Structure of Meetings
Each Group has its own developmental cycle. Many have started off concretely where actual or hypothetical cases are the topics of discussion and, over time, they become more focused on the feelings and emotions of the professionals as they engage in the collaborative process.

Facilitators are encouraged to structure their meetings in a way that best meets the needs of their members. Some Groups are run with more structure, some with less. This may mean in some Groups members are encouraged to spontaneously bring up issues and challenges. In others, facilitators ask members to let them know in advance if they 

wish to initiate discussion on a certain topic. Some Groups use role play or discussion of hypothetical fact patterns. Other Groups focus on emotional reactions that occur when working with challenging clients or situations and encourage journaling.
The facilitators of each Group can choose whether to participate as any other member would participate, or to maintain a strict facilitator role.

Focus of Discussions
In all Groups, facilitators need to stay attuned to what is happening to keep discussions on track and encourage participation of all members.
While the aim of each Group is to focus on Collaborative cases, some Groups may at times discuss overlapping issues that occur in mediation or parent coordination cases. While litigation cases may come up, facilitators are encouraged to move the conversation back to issues that arise in collaborative cases.

Support Groups  for Collaborative Professionals (SGCP) are generally closed groups that are also regionally based.  The same group of members meet once a month to discuss cases or address topics.  This is an opportunity to connect with other practitioners in a deeper way and learn from each other.  These are also geographically based and occur virtually although members may have occasional times when they meet in person. If you are interested in joining an SGCP group the best time to do so is in the fall so contact the group leader in the summer.

Support Groups are as follows:

Lower Westchester - Steve Kaplan [email protected] and Ellen Jancko-Baken [email protected] are leaders.  Meetings are on the second Tuesday of the month from 5:30-6:30 
Northern Westchester - Meg Sussman [email protected] and Melissa Goodstein, Esq.

Mental Health Support / Process Group

The Mental Health Process Group is open to any NYACP Mental Health Professional member.  Our next group meeting is July 18, 2023.  If you are interested in joining, please contact Bob Raymond, [email protected] or Jeffrey Steiger, [email protected].

During the last meeting in October, your Mental Health Professionals (MHPs) discussed how thrilled that they are having on going contact with the other MHP’S in our membership. We have not only realized our desire for connection, but our discipline continues to share really valuable insights and ideas about how we do our work. This has been so important since we have faced some significant challenges a long the way.

Bob opened the meeting by sharing some ideas that came from a  training he attended at IACP called “Bargaining in the Shadow of the Heart”. It was led by Stephen Salmeyer, an attorney and psychologist from California. He shared that Dr. Salmeyer spoke about the importance of allowing room for our clients to articulate their feelings as they go through the divorce process. He feels that there is great value in including their emotional experience at the full team meetings and that this can very much inform the negotiation process. While we all recognize the value of this, we spoke about our challenges doing this at times when these meetings can be so expensive and for some it can lead to a great deal of reactivity. We continue to talk about our role on the team and how we navigate the dynamics .

We hope to see all of you at our next meeting (November 28th @7:45 am) and if you find that you are unable to attend, we would appreciate a heads up!


Training and Education Committee

The Training and Education Committee develops and implements interdisciplinary programs for all professionals supporting our work in the collaborative process. This includes periodic advanced collaborative practice trainings averaging once a month from Sept to June every year for all professionals by non -members and members, basic collaborative divorce training for prospective new members by members annually or every other year and annual day of collaborative process training and annual meeting in December.  The committee is given a budget approved by board on an annual basis and programs are designed to enable members to achieve excellence in collaborative practice. The committee strives to provide trainings in response to membership interests and topical issues relative to our collaborative practices. Trainings take place at locations in NYC, Westchester and on Long Island, with location and platform for a particular training taking into consideration preferences of trainers, sponsors, likely attendees, cost and other factors.  The Committee meets monthly September-June on the first Thursday of the month from 12 to 1pm via Zoom.

Contact: Melissa Goodstein (Co-Chair) [email protected] or Anthony C. Markus (Co-Chair) [email protected]
Committee Members: Ivan Alter, Kathleen Donelli, Michael McLaughlin, Katherine Miller, Ken Novenstern, Meg Sussman

Fearless Feedback

The Committee organized its most recent presentation on Friday September 29, from 12-1 p.m., entitled "Fearless Feedback: How to Structure Debriefs to Deepen Collaborative Skills"

Debriefs in the Collaborative Law process are essential for learning about best practices and moving toward successful outcomes. Sharing feedback with our colleagues can be one of the richest opportunities for professional development, team building and fine-tuning of the collaborative process. A panel of professionals from the IACP Leadership Institute presented this excellent interactive workshop, using demonstrations and group discussions to explore why and how we might design and implement regular professional debriefs into our collaborative work.

Meet the panel:

Ivan Alter (IACP Board Member) received his degree in 1993. Ivan discovered mediation and collaborative law after his three daughters were born and realized he did not want to return to litigation practice. He earned a master’s degree in landscape which helped him clear his mind and reassess how he could contribute to peoples’ lives and resolved to reinvent his legal career to align with his values and goals. Ivan continues to further his lifelong education and shares his knowledge through teaching at the forefront of alternative dispute resolution, conflict management, mediation, and Collaborative Law.
Anthony J. Diaz received his J.D. in May 1998 from Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Florida. Anthony is a divorce attorney, Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator and is known as The Peacemaker in guiding others from pain to peace and conflict resolution. He specializes in private and Pro-Se Divorce Mediation.
Katherine J. Morneau is the owner and founding attorney at Morneau Law in Nashua, NH.  She has been practicing family law since 2006 and recently celebrated her firm’s 10th anniversary.  As a current Co-chair of Collaborative Divorce New Hampshire, Kate is passionate about the collaborative divorce process.
Karen Van Kooy is the owner of Van Kooy Law and Mediation, with offices in Newton and Southborough, Massachusetts. Using mediation, collaborative law, or attorney-to attorney negotiation, Karen provides out-of-court, client centered approaches to these sensitive family matters. Karen is past president and current board member of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council, and is a trainer for the MCLC Introductory Interdisciplinary Training on Collaborative Law.


Racial Equity Committee

An important message from the Committee Chair, Jessica Rothberg

I was asked to provide some context as to why the Racial Equity Committee has a mission to support NYACP members to understand the impact of systemic racism on each of us both personally and professionally versus (perhaps) a more generalized mission to increase "diversity" and awareness about a larger swath of marginalized populations. In short, I was asked to explain why the Committee is focusing on race (as opposed to also focusing on LGBTQ, differently abled, etc. populations).

Soon after George Floyd's murder in May 2020, and with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the wave of discussion about systemic racism in this country, I was contacted by then-President, Andrea Vacca, asking me to chair the new committee NYACP was forming to address potential inequities and to essentially be accountable, as many organizations (and individuals) were doing in light of this tragic murder.

While the original name of the committee was the "Diversity" Committee, it became clear after some discussion amongst the original members of the committee that this title was not an accurate reflection of our mission and goals and so the name was changed to "Racial Equity" Committee.

The reality of the systems of racism that imbue every strata of US society and have impacted black people in ways that no other marginalized group have been impacted, are at the root of why our focus is what it is.

Given that we are an overwhelmingly white organization based in NYC, one of the most diverse cities in the world, there appears to be a strong interest in changing our demographics. However, in order to do so we must first "set the table" by increasing our members awareness of our lack of understanding and then to offer opportunities to educate to increase that understanding. The Racial Equity Committee believes that with an increased understanding, our organization will be more successful in attracting new members that have had different life experiences than many of our own, which we feel will exponentially increase our ability to be collaborative professionals with an increased depth of empathy that is critical to our work.

I hope you will all engage with the Resource List we have put together which is available on the NYACP website, will attend our upcoming events and join our new Racial Equity Media club, to continue the conversations.


Contact: Jessica Rothberg (Chair) [email protected]
Committee Members: Elana Katz, Kate Bar-Tur, Melissa Goodstein, Catherine Canadé, Ken Novenstern, Adam Halper, Carmen Rodriguez

NYACP Racial Equity Media Club Meeting

Mission: To Support NYACP members to understand how systemic racism impacts us personally and professionally.

Goals: Provide programs focused on self-reflection and education to more effectively work with clients and colleagues who have been historically excluded from the collaborative process due to race. Through this work, the goal is to create a safer community and to foster membership that more accurately reflects the diversity of the greater New York area.

The Racial Equity Media Club launched on September 21, 2023 with Ava Duvernay's powerful film"13th". The meeting was limited to 10 members who shared their experiences watching the film and shared their own personal stories about race. If you missed this powerful discussion you can watch the documentary on Netflix or for free using this YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krfcq5pF8u8.

Our next meeting of the Media Club v will be on Nov 16th at 5:30 pm ia Zoom to discuss the book White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. Please look out for an email to register and please join us!

Mark your calendars for the future Media Club meetings in 2024. We are continuing to alternate film and book selections to support conversations about racial equity:

Jan 18, 2024 05:30 PM
Mar 21, 2024 05:30 PM
May 16, 2024 05:30 PM
• June 13th - we will culminate with an in-person event -details to follow.

Please also keep an eye out on your inbox for the Racial Equity Committee's Newsletter and Resource list : "Read This/Watch This and Experience This " by email and on the NYACP website.

We hope you will consider supporting the Racial Equity Committee's mission and in furtherance of its goals: 


Read This:

  • The Chain Gang All Stars (Fiction) Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah- This science fiction novel is about a dystopian future in which there is a revival of gladiator bouts for public entertainment. The wrinkle, among many, is that the gladiators are all prisoners who have chosen near-certain death instead of life internment. It is about racism, the penal system and how they are linked and profited from.
  • White Fragility by Robin D’Angelo (for a quick summary see The New Yorker review July 23, 2018 by Katy Waldman)
  • The Sum of Us – by Heather McGhee (2021) - NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. One of today’s most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color.

Watch This:

  • Recently featured in the New York Times: The Busing Battleground, The Harvest: Two documentaries on school integration offer new views of an old problem.
  • Freedom Riders (American Experience Documentary) Freedom Riders Freedom Riders is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever.

Experience This:

American Folk Art Museum - opens to the public Nov. 15th: Unnamed Figures: Black Presence and Absence in the Early American North, has been noted as a "landmark effort" by Roberta Smith in the New York Times fall preview. As a corrective to histories that define slavery and anti-Black racism as a largely Southern issue, this highly-anticipated exhibition offers a new window onto Black representation in a region that is often overlooked in narratives of early African American history.

Diane Goodman: Webinar- Understanding White Privilege: A Key to Dismantling Systemic Racism. Diane Goodman. Using a participatory approach, she helps people increase their awareness, knowledge, and skills to foster equity and inclusion. Programs address how cultural differences and issues of power and privilege affect individuals, interpersonal relationships, and organizational culture and practices.

Contact: Jessica Rothberg (Co-Chair) [email protected] or Melissa Goodstein (Co-Chair) [email protected]

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee has been hard at work.  In addition to our ongoing successful Mentor Program, we have instituted monthly lunches in New York City, Long Island and Westchester.  Look for the emails and on the website and make sure to attend one to get to know your colleagues in an informal, fun way.  In addition, we have a vibrant social events committee that has event planning in the works for the Fall.  This Spring we met at the Pier in Manhattan for a fun night of bowling and schmoozing.  The Mental Health Professionals started a support group similar to the regional support groups to provide them with an opportunity to share MHP-specific issues and challenges.  We are excited to report that we have created working groups to focus on how we can enhance the success of the collaborative process both internally and with public awareness. 

Contact: Ellen Jancko-Baken (Chair) [email protected]
Committee Members: Jacqueline Caputo, Ariella Deutsch, Marcos Fernandez, Adam Halper, Andrea Hirshman, Michelle Lewis, Steve Linker, Robert Raymond

Mentorship Program

The Fall - Winter Mentorship Program is Underway!

Each Mentorship session will run for four months. This session runs from 9/15/23 to 1/15/24 and consists of two one-hour meetings in each of the four months, September - December.

In the first meeting, participants are encouraged you to share a little about their background and how they became involved in collaborative practice, as well their expectations for the program. Based on prior experience, we suggest that the Mentor and Mentee schedule all of their mentorship meetings in that initial meeting, which can then be confirmed or changed as needed. We will send a reminder each month regarding scheduling.

At the end of the session, we plan to have a full group gathering (virtually) on January 17, 2024 from 5 to 6 pm for feedback, discussion and networking. This session is part of the mentorship program.

This program is intended to provide an informal opportunity for newer collaborative professionals to have access to the experience of a more seasoned professional for informal case consultation and advice on business practices. This not a formal training program or apprenticeship. It is up to each Mentor whether they wish to have the Mentee observe, take notes, or otherwise take part in Collaborative meetings.

Thank you to the Mentors for your generosity, and to the Mentees for your interest in further developing your Collaborative practices. Please reach out with any questions, comments or concerns.

Contact: Catherine Canadé (co-chair) [email protected] or Shara Goldfarb (co-chair) [email protected]

Collaborative Connections

If you are a collaborative professional looking to expand your connections with your collaborative colleagues, join us for our bi-monthly meet ups for lunch, coffee, or drinks after work. The NYACP Membership Committee is launching gatherings in Westchester, Long Island and Manhattan to offer an easy way to get to know your collaborative counterparts better with a simple RSVP. These small group (eight person) meet ups will offer a wonderful opportunity to connect with collaborative colleagues you might not already know, share experiences and insights, and learn more about one another both personally and professionally.

Invitations will be sent out by the office for each scheduled meet up, and the first eight NYACP members to register will reserve a spot for the next meet up at a designated time and location. These meet ups offer a great chance to build up you professional and personal network and to find support and encouragement in helping families who have chosen the collaborative process. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with your peers and get more involved in the NYACP. 

Long Island in August - We had a delightful lunch on August 10 at Season's 52. Attended by Jackie Caputo, Stephen Linker, Teresa Ombres, and guest, Jackie Caputo's new associate, and recent law grad with an interest in collaborative divorce, Louisa Portnoy.  Great conversation and great food!

Westchester in September - On September 22, a group met at Haiku Bistro (Japanese) in White Plains. Present were Barbara Bel PKF O’Connor Davies LLP, Arnold Cribari Arnold D. Cribari, Attorney at Law, Shara Goldfarb Miller Law Group, Adam Halper Law and ADR Office of Adam J. Halper, PLLC, Steve Kaplan Steven M. Kaplan, CPA, Abby Morss, and Deborah Wayne It was a really nice lunch and the participants thanked us for organizing. The program seems to be a big hit!

NYACP Eastern Long Island - On September 21, 2023 the East End wing of the NYACP held a convivial collaborative lunch at Waypoint Restaurant in Southold, on the North Fork of Long Island. The attendees were (left to right in the photo): Nancy Kaye, Abby Rosmarin,  Bob Raymond, Catherine Canade, Barbara Rothberg, and Chuck McEvily.  



NYC October lunch will be rescheduled for early November - Date/time TBD

NOVEMBER - Western Long lsland
November 14, 2023
Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas
At The Gallery at Westbury Plaza
1002 Old Country Road
Garden City, NY

2024 Collaborative Lunch Schedule

JANUARY - New York City
FEBRUARY - Westchester
MARCH -  Eastern Long Island
APRIL -  New York City

MAY -  Westchester
JUNE -  Western Long Island
JULY -  New York City
AUGUST -  Westchester

SEPTEMBER -  Eastern Long Island
OCTOBER -  New York City
NOVEMBER -  Westchester



Meet Nora Marcus!

Nora Marcus, LMSW is a New York-based social worker, co-parenting specialist, and divorce coach.
No matter the project at hand, the many tenets of her training converge—resulting in compassionate solutions to complex human problems. Through active listening and actionable recommendations, she supports families and individuals as they find choice, voice and purpose throughout their divorce. Nora also works with parents to create sustainable, child-first co-parenting structures and solutions that are unique to their families.

Throughout her career, Nora has dedicated herself to amplifying and helping underrepresented communities. During her tenure with Autism Speaks, she developed programming that set up families for long-term success after an autism diagnosis. Prior to Autism Speaks, she created programming for the Jewish National Fund to engage young adults and foster community and advocacy.

Nora is a co-parent who went through a Collaborative Divorce—an experience she is passionate about replicating for other parents. She believes that divorce doesn’t always have to be contentious—from the very start, it can be focused on the well-being of your children and your new relationship as co-parents.

Nora resides in Long Island with her two children. She is committed to staying grounded and active through daily yoga, meditation, and breath work.

Meet Corey Shapiro!

Until Corey Shapiro was 8 years old, he thought he had been born into a family secured by his parents’ happy marriage. They were living in Hawaii—and growing up in Hawaii, as Larry David would say, is “pretty . . . pretty . . . pretty ...good.”

However, his world was flipped upside down when he came home one day from third grade, and his older sister, Brynne, opened the front door and told him that mom wasn’t home. How could that be? Mom was always home. This was as reliable as the sun rising in the morning.

After that, Corey experienced the turmoil of divorce from the inside, as a helpless observer. He couldn’t save his mom from the anguish, bitter fighting, financial hardship, and sleepless nights that came once she walked out. He couldn’t keep her from losing her peace of mind in her divorce—but Corey can help you.

Corey has spent the better part of two decades helping people through their divorces and avoiding the kind of suffering his family went through.

COLLABORATIVE CHATS with Melissa Goodstein

Melissa has been busy chatting it up with two of our most esteemed members, Andy Samalin and Bob Raymond!  Watch their conversation and learn a little bit more about your colleagues!  If you would like to chat with Melissa, please let us know!

Meet Any Samalan!

Meet Bob Raymond!


The Survey results suggest that many of our members are not currently involved with the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). They state that they “don’t see the benefits.” I invite you to reconsider. Participation in IACP's Annual Networking & Educational Forum will expand your Collaborative network, your skills, knowledge, and expertise as a Collaborative professional!

IACP is pleased to invite you to join us in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to celebrate the 24th Annual Networking and Educational Forum at the Westin Harbour Castle from October 19 to 22, 2023! More details will be released closer to 2023's Forum dates, so make sure you stay connected to IACP by checking your emails and following our social media pages! The theme this year is, Change the Future: Collaborate. NYACP has approximately 15 members attending this year’s Forum. Our own, Dr. Randy Heller along with Florida Attorney, Steven Blumental will be presenting a 3-hour workshop on Managing Team Conflict. Our President, Melissa Goodstein has arranged several activities in order for our members to connect and have some fun in Toronto! Additionally, our organization will be sponsoring the Friday Forum lunch!

Check out the 2023 IACP Forum at a Glance HERE!
Follow this link to hear from our Past President, Ken Novenstern, speaking about his experience attending the IACP Forum:  https://youtu.be/HewGPeeG4xY?si=8ooYHg3oxX1eLszn

 NYACP Annual Meeting and Training ~ Register Today!

Keeping You on Top: Avoiding the Collaborative Avalanche

In nature and in Collaborative Law, there are few things scarier than an avalanche! With the growing Collaborative Law movement, more and more couples head out of the traditional boundaries of court in search of a process that supports their unique needs. In the Collaborative “backcountry”, terrain is neither patrolled by the Court nor controlled by the confines of the law, creating its allure. Beyond the boundaries of the court-system, the ever-looming threat of [emotional] avalanches ending the process is very real. Around our table, the conditions are vastly different from those found within the more regimented confines of a court process and all-knowing Judge. A humbling reminder of human nature, conflict at the Collaborative table, like an avalanche, can easily obliterate anything unfortunate enough to be in its path and risk the successful outcome of the Collaborative Process, and wound professional egos along the way. While the techniques for predicting and avoiding Collaborative avalanches are generally reliable, anyone who ventures into the “backcountry” will never be completely safe from the threat of an avalanche. The goal of this course is to help professionals make an informed assessment of avalanche danger and make smart decisions to minimize the chances of having to deal with an avalanche and know what to do in the event one occurs to dig out from the collapse. Out here, avalanches accommodate no one -- by the time an avalanche is triggered, you’ve already made all the mistakes.

Immediately following our day of learning, join your NYACP colleagues for a fun-filled holiday celebration, networking, and spreading cheer! There will be great food, drink, and music to enjoy! The membership committee is planning some additional activities. Other details to follow.


The NYACP Newsletter is intended to inform you not only about what is going on in your organization. It is an invitation and opportunity for our members to get involved as you strengthen your Collaborative relationships and your practice. Please send information about you, your practice, your activities, and your success to Randy Heller, [email protected]