Participation in Legal Conferences Means Better Client Service

May has been an especially busy month at International Fertility Law Group, with lots of travel and my participation in a series of excellent professional conferences and symposiums—all offering opportunities to meet with and learn from experienced colleagues from all over the world.

I’m just back from the American Bar Association’s annual Family & A.R.T. Law CLE (Continuing Legal Education) Conference May 6 through May 9 in Carlsbad, California. I was privileged to lead a team of CLE planners who helped to bring together experts from all over the U.S. and the world to discuss the topics that are generating the most interest and sparking the most debate in our industry.

One of the ART panels, whose members are pictured here, “The World Wide Web of ART, covered international case law, legislative update, and the ongoing work on the ABA committee to advise the Hague Conference on Private International Law on international surrogacy. Panelists were Margaret Casey of New Zealand, Dilia Leticia Jorge Mera of Dominican Republic, Ranjit Malhotra of India, Victoria Gelfand of Israel, and Sara Cohen of Canada (shown here), and Anne-Marie Hutchinson and Colin Rogerson of U.K. (not pictured).

I also helped put together the ART Plenary panel, “From the Cradle to the Grave…the ART of your Family Law Practice,” which looked at ART legal issues of which general family law practitioners must be aware in their own practices. Panelists were attorneys Steven Snyder of Minnesota, Noel Tucker of Oklahoma, Meryl Rosenberg of Maryland, and Robert Terenzio of Florida, and Judge Lisa Morgan of Kentucky.

With the hodgepodge of laws governing assisted reproductive technology and parentage, it’s particularly important for family law attorneys and those of us focusing on fertility law to stay current on the changing legal terrain and to develop relationships with professionals in other parts of the U.S. The ABA CLE also included sessions on legislative advocacy; the legal status of stored embryos, sperm and eggs in the event the intended parents’ relationship changes; and legal and ethical issues concerning the importation and exportation of eggs and sperm.

Now I’m off again, this time to London, for two important family law conferences: the LGBT Family Law Institute Regional Meeting, May 16-17, where I will moderate the discussion on ART law. The London meeting will be the LGBT Family Law Institute’s first to be held outside the United States, with a focus on LGBT family law practitioners in the U.K. and Ireland. As is the case with all institute meetings, the meeting will be off-the-record and closed-door in order to encourage the free exchange of ideas and opinions.

Next up is the followed by the I.A.M.L. International Surrogacy Symposium, May 17-19, where I have been asked to present the American Bar Association ART Committee’s position on the Hague’s study of whether to regulate international surrogacy and other general legal and ethical issues surrounding A.R.T.

While I know I’ll be glad to get home again, I’m taking full advantage of these opportunities to develop new professional contacts, reconnect with old friends and colleagues, and learn as much as I can from all of them. Staying abreast of the latest advances in fertility law, both in the U.S. and internationally, and continually expanding our knowledge ultimately advances our most important goal—our ability to assist our IFLG clients with leading edge legal advice and professional services.

P.S. While I’m away, I’m taking lots of photos of my colleagues and our travels. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to see more!

Rich Vaughn
Richard Vaughn
rich@iflg.net

Attorney Rich Vaughn is founder and principal of International Fertility Law Group, one of the world’s largest and best-known law firms focused exclusively on assisted reproductive technology, or ART, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, sperm donation or egg donation. Rich is co-author of the book “Developing A Successful Assisted Reproduction Technology Law Practice,” American Bar Association Publishing, 2017.

Peiya Wang
PEIYA WANG(王培娅)
Paralegal (律师助理)

Peiya Wang joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2015, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases and provides translation services for many of IFLG’s international clients. Peiya received her bachelor’s degree from Beijing Technologies and Business University, where she majored in Marketing. She moved to the United States in 2012 to attend Northeast University in Boston, Massachusetts, receiving a Master of Science degree in Global Studies and International Affairs in 2014. Peiya moved to Los Angeles in 2015 and received her paralegal certification from UCLA Extension. When away from the office, Peiya is a dragon boat paddler and a ballroom dancer, where she favors Rumbas and Cha-chas. She is fluent in Mandarin and English.

Luis Sosa
LUIS SOSA
Paralegal

Luis R. Sosa joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2016, where he enjoys pursuing his passion for family and reproductive law. While working toward his bachelor’s degree at Florida International University, Luis worked as a paralegal and legal assistant for family law litigation firms in Miami and Washington, D.C. As a paralegal and case manager for IFLG, Luis, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, manages surrogacy, egg donation and other reproductive law cases. In addition to spending time with husband Randy and dog Marty, Luis enjoys being outdoors and appreciating the arts.

Toni Hughes
TONI HUGES
Paralegal

After receiving her B.S. in Business Management, Toni joined IFLG to pursue her dream of working in the legal field. As a Paralegal with over 10 years of experience in the assisted reproduction technology field, Toni is our Managing Paralegal, responsible for training and managing our paralegal staff. From drafting legal documents to assisting our clients with post-birth matters, Toni embraces the challenge of learning something new in this field each day. Besides spending time with her son, Jordan, Toni enjoys exploring new things, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and serving as a Youth Advisor for “Next Generation.”

Miesha Cowart
MIESHA COWART
Financial Coordinator

Miesha Cowart joined IFLG as a financial specialist in 2014 following a successful career in development and business finance. Miesha previously worked for 10 years in the construction industry as a controller and for 13 years as Development Coordinator for the non-profit U.S. Fund for UNICEF. In her free time, Miesha works with “Next Generation” at her church. “They are my heartbeats!” she says of the youth in her community.

Kim
KIM DEVEREAUX
Paralegal

Kim has over 25 years of experience in the legal field and has worked exclusively in surrogacy and assisted reproduction law since 1999. Kim is a senior case manager of surrogacy and egg donation cases, and is also responsible for managing parental establishment cases and interacting with IFLG’s Of Counsel attorneys across the country. With three children of her own, Kim understands the importance of family and finds working in this area of law a rewarding experience.

Rich Vaughn
RICHARD B. VAUGHN
Founder

Attorney Rich Vaughn combined his personal passion as a father of twin boys born via assisted reproductive technology (ART) with more than 20 years of experience in business and technology law to build International Fertility Law Group. Today IFLG is one of the most successful and best-known law firms in the world focused exclusively on fertility law, helping thousands of intended parents through empathetic listening, compassionate guidance, and unmatched legal expertise. As an advocate for reproductive freedom, Rich also contributes his knowledge and time to improving the understanding and practice of ART law, most recently as a founder of and speaker at the first Cambridge University International Surrogacy Symposium held in June 2019, as immediate past chair of the American Bar Association ART Committee, and as a popular presenter to law schools, faculty and advocacy organizations all over the world.

Elizabeth Tamayo
ELIZABETH TAMAYO
Paralegal

Elizabeth received her Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University of Los Angeles. Shortly after graduating, she continued her education at the University of California, Los Angeles where she obtained her Paralegal certificate. Elizabeth is fluent in Spanish and has been in the legal field since 2009. She is excited to be a part of the IFLG Team helping families realize their dreams.

Sunny Chien
SUNNY CHIEN
Paralegal

Sunny joined IFLG as a paralegal in 2017, where she manages surrogacy, egg donation and parental establishment cases for many of IFLG’s international clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from California State University of Los Angeles, where she graduated cum laude. Sunny is bilingual in English and Mandarin and has extensive experience as a legal assistant and paralegal at Los Angeles-area law firms. She is excited to be part of the IFLG team. In her spare time, Sunny enjoys spending time with her family and their dog, going to the beach, cooking, and being outdoors.

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Molly O'Brien
MOLLY O'BRIEN
Partner

Fertility law attorney Molly O’Brien began working in the field of assisted reproduction technology (ART) in 2005, at an egg donation agency and a surrogacy agency where she became familiar with all aspects of in-vitro fertilization, egg donation and the financial aspects of surrogacy. Since becoming an attorney in 2011, Molly has drafted and negotiated surrogacy, egg donation, sperm donation embryo donation agreements for hundreds of her clients all over the world.