2024 Leadership Circle

Join us in expressing our heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated individuals who have generously donated the equivalent of one or two billable hours to become esteemed members of the Collaborative Law of Minnesota’s Leadership Circle in 2024.

Additional Details about Carl Arnold

Carl Arnold is proud to provide exceptional Family Mediation, Custody Evaluations, SENE/FENE services, and Collaborative Separation/Divorce legal representation through Arnold Law and Mediation LLC all across Minnesota on Zoom.  ​Carl teaches courses certified by the State of Minnesota for Family Mediation.  He co-teaches, with Katie Arnold, an annual college course on negotiation and mediation at Metropolitan State University.  Carl has previously represented many clients in Divorce and Custody cases and many parents and grandparents in child protection cases in Minnesota.
Carl Arnold – Professional experience (Downloadable PDF)

Schedule an appointment or free consultation.
Email: carl@arnoldlawmediation.com
​Phone: 507-786-9999

Deb Clemmensen
Additional Details about Deb Clemmensen

Helping to create healthy outcomes for individuals and families through a range of mental health services including

  • Neutral Child Specialist services in Collaborative Practice and family law
  • Creating and updating parenting plans during and after a separation, divorce or break up
  • Child-inclusive mediation
  • Psychotherapy for children, adolescents, adults and families
  • Consultation and training
Additional Details about Brett Jensen

Goal: To successfully guide clients through financial planning for divorce or post-divorce needs

Focus: First contact for client files and consulting research on collaborative divorce and divorce planning; internally he supports AJW’s operations and technology needs

Interests: Motorcycling, setting up systems and troubleshooting questions, and family time. 

His Colleagues Say: “His work ethic is so strong, he just doesn’t stop going.  He can fix or build anything, he’s a real Renaissance man.  We usually have to trick him into a happy hour by telling him we are having a mandatory company meeting!”

Brett knows that financial freedom happens by taking action to make the dream possible. In fact, he’s a tireless worker on anything he pursues, whether it’s troubleshooting a computer glitch, repairing a car or building a balance sheet. Brett earned his Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® designation in 2012, to continue serving clients in divorce financial planning.

With his background as a construction business owner and ministry facilitator for divorce and other family needs, Brett has experience with the practical side of finance (payroll, operations and human resources) as well as its emotional side. “We see people at all stages in life going through divorce and the result of their money habits. I enjoy watching a case go through and helping with the resolution, knowing I played a role in getting things organized for them and seeing their positive progress.”

Brett started with AJW Financial to help with internal accounting and technology support…and never left. His role has expanded to divorce planning services as well as providing internal support for the firm’s human resources, operations, technology upgrades and maintenance. This has led Brett to also support clients with questions about technology purchases and troubleshooting, car purchases or home maintenance advice. He’s happy to answer random questions, go along to test drive a vehicle or research a non-financial request when it helps staff and clients become more efficient and knowledgeable. 

Education and Designations:

  • Series 7 registration
  • The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, 2012, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (Administrative Assistant)
  • Family Mediation Training
Judith Johnson
Additional Details about Judith Johnson

About

President of Collaborative Law Institute of MN, 2007
Board member of CLI-MN 2003-2007
Board member of Minn. Mediators Assoc.
Attorney author and lobbyist for Minn. Parenting Plan legislation
General practice attorney, 1981 – 1990

Specialties: Collaborative Team Divorce, Collaborative Civil Practice, Elder Law

Profession(s)

Lawyer

Area(s) of Practice: Collaborative Law, Family Law, Mediation, Probate Law, Real Estate Law
License(s): Minnesota Supreme Court Rule 114 Roster – Family Mediator ~ ~Rule 114 Third Party Neutral Opinion Roster

Undergraduate Education

Bethel College (now Bethel University), B.A. Summa cum laude, 1971

Postgraduate Education

University of Minnesota Law School, cum laude, 1981

Comments

President-Elect 2007 Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota (co-president) Board of Directors, Minnesota Association of Mediators (former member) Board of Directors, Collaborative Law Institute Attorney author, Minnesota Summons Legislation (ADR notice provisions) Attorney author, Minnesota Parenting Plans Legislation (initial draft of legislation) Lobbyist, Minnesot Summons Legislation and Parenting Plans Legislation Chairperson, Task Force to Supreme court Advisory Committee on Rules for Collaborative Practice

Louise Livesay
Additional Details about Louise Livesay

My Personal Story

My professional life was transformed when I learned about Collaborative Family Law. I realized that rather than being part of a legal system which often further damages family relationships, I could be part of a restorative system. No longer was family law about “fighting for” or “protecting” assets; it was about transforming a relationship from one form into another. “Custody” and “visitation,” terms used in the prison system, became “parenting time.” Not only did these subtle differences feel gentler, they also felt more respectful, caring, and accurate. These changes make a positive difference in how a client and his or her family move through the legal process.

More than a profession for me, Collaborative Practice is a vocation. It offers me a way to align my personal values with my professional skills. I can offer hope in a time of stress and be an instrument of change and healing in people’s lives. My clients and their families create agreements that work for everyone, helping the family move forward in a productive and secure way. I’m able to live and work with integrity, to call forth my higher self and to help others do the same. I believe applying the principles taught by Collaborative Practice allows me to be of service to my clients, my community, and ultimately to inspire global change in how people in conflict interact.

My Professional Background

I’ve been helping families in the Twin Cities resolve conflicts and disputes since 1999. I’ve dedicated my practice to helping families reach out-of-court settlements through mediation, Collaborative Practice, and negotiated settlement. The Collaborative model can also be applied to other areas of family law outside of divorce, such as pre- and post-nuptial agreements, third-party custody, paternity, post-decree matters, and LGBTQ family matters that have not been recognized in the traditional court system until more recently. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, followed by a Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law.

I’m an active member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota (CLI), International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), and several Minnesota and Ramsey County Bar organizations. I have served on the CLI Board of Trustees twice and have led the organization as Co-President each term. In 2013, I was awarded the Stu Webb Award, which was created to recognize and is named for the creator of Collaborative Law more than 25 years ago. I also train attorneys and mediators around the country about Discernment Counseling and how to recognize and address divorce ambivalence in our work.

I regularly volunteer for the Collaborative Law Institute’s Low Bono Project, as well as Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, an organization committed to providing a full range of high quality legal services to low income people and eligible client groups in civil matters.

Outside of the office, I enjoy sailboat racing on Lake Minnetonka; fly fishing on the Brule; skiing; cooking; being active in my church community. I also enjoy connecting, exploring, and creating with my husband and three children in our blended family. I have a strong co-parenting relationship with my former husband.

Additional Details about Chad Olson

Special Strength:  Intuitive nature, connecting and building trust. 

Goal: Fulfilling the interests of each client and guiding them through a well-advised financial plan..

Focus: Comprehensive financial planning and divorce financial guidance

Interests: Spending time with his wife, Courtney, daughters Anya and Maely and Great Dane Stanley; staying active, traveling, learning, and always thinking of new ways to innovate and solve problems.

His Colleagues Say: “Chad is a fascinating example of the hunter/gatherer ‘Paleo Lifestyle’ (whatever that means), and never misses his morning workout.”

Chad Olson went to college on a football scholarship and studied marketing and business administration. His sports background and education combined with growing up around his family’s automotive business in Lindstrom, Minn., have resulted in strong interpersonal and communications skills. 

Starting his career in 2005 as a financial advisor for Ameriprise Financial, joined the AJW Financial team in 2008 and has since earned the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional.

Chad’s passion is to empower individuals and couples to chart their course towards success. He guides them in uncovering their goals, crafting personalized plans, and comprehending the long-term implications of their choices. Along the way, he supports them in making the necessary adjustments to ensure they reach their desired destination.

“It’s gratifying to help my clients create a realistic plan so they can move forward with clarity and confidence,” he says.

Education and Designations:

  • College for Financial Planning, 2014, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional 
  • The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, 2008, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®
  • Series 7 and Series 66 registrations
  • Minnesota State University, Moorhead, 2004, Marketing and Business Administration
Ron Ousky

Ousky | Yates Law Office
952-806-9787  | ron@ousky.com
ousky.com

Additional Details about Ron Ousky

Who I am

I grew up in Milroy, Minnesota, a tiny town of 268 people that, in the 1960’s was like living in a Norman Rockwell painting.  While more than four decades of urban living has toughened me up a bit, I have retained romanticized notions about life’s possibilities.

I am not sure how this all led me to a career in family law but that is where I landed, and where I have remained since 1982.  I think I was drawn to this work because of my passion for kids and relationships.

I realize it may seem odd that someone who believes in relationships would go into a business in which relationships are in disrepair and kids are faced with conflict.   That’s not how I see it.   Helping people who are facing challenges in their relationships is more rewarding; provided we can find the best way to help them.

I suppose the other reason I got into the family law business is because I like kids.  I started out as a kid, (many years ago), and went on to have three of my own, (with some help from my wife of more than 40 years).  Now my kids are even having kids; we have five grandchildren who light up our lives every day.

What I have done

I graduated with honors from the University of St. Thomas and with honors from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1982.

For the first 15 years of my practice, I helped families in the traditional way; using the court, or at least the threat of court, to protect my clients and their children.  And I was good at it.  I received significant recognition as a good trial lawyer and I impressed most of my clients.  The person I failed to impress was myself.  I could not avoid the fact these traditional methods often led to long term damage to relationships, and even to children that seemed intolerable,  even when my clients ‘won”.

That was when I started looking for better ways.  During the past 20 years, most of my practice has been spent helping my clients get better outcomes,  through “out-of-court” strategies.   In many ways this has been more difficult; steering people who are angry and scared away from their impulses can feel like swimming upstream on some days.   But I’ve come to really believe in it; and I have found (and even helped develop) some truly innovative ways to help my clients get better outcomes through things like Collaborative Law and mediation.   I have even become internationally recognized for my work in these new areas, (see below).   As much as I take pride in what we have accomplished at Ousky Law office, it is very humbling work. I learn new things every day.

In 2006, I co-authored The Collaborative Way to Divorce: The Revolutionary Method that Results in less Stress, Lower Costs and Happier Kids, Without Going to Court, with Stu Webb, the founder of Collaborative Law.  In 2015, I was awarded the Lawyer as Problem Solver Award by the American Bar Association.   I have had the opportunity to speak at many events and forums on the topic of Collaborative Law and I have conducted training seminars throughout North America, South America and Europe.

I have handled thousands of family law cases, including hundreds of cases in each of the following areas: traditional negotiation; mediation; Collaborative Law and litigation.  I am also the cofounder of the Collaborative Alliance Executive Suites, believed to be the largest interdisciplinary family law center in the world.

I have always said that if I ever reach a point where helping families in transition becomes uninteresting to me, I will happily retire.  But I feel I am a long way from that point.  Every client who walks through the door presents a new story, a new opportunity to grow; a chance to help someone who is going through one of the most difficult times in their life find a better way.

Brittany Stephens Pearson
Additional Details about Brittany Stephens Pearson

FOCUSED ON FAMILY LAW

Since 2005, Brittany’s legal practice focuses exclusively on family law matters. For nearly 18 years, she practiced at two of Minnesota’s largest law firms, working on complex marriage dissolutions and other family law matters involving private businesses, public companies, executive compensation, tax considerations, real estate holdings across the United States and other countries, trusts, premarital and family wealth transfers, among other high-stakes issues.

CUSTOMIZED APPROACH

Brittany provides the skills and resources needed to resolve even the most difficult and complex cases. A careful listener and highly adept problem-solver, Brittany does not believe in one-size-fits-all legal solutions, but rather customizes her approach to each client’s distinct goals and circumstances.

HOW BRITTANY HAS ASSISTED CLIENTS

  • Representing clients in scores of family law cases involving ownership interests in private businesses in a wide variety of industries and geographies, including issues related to business valuation, transactions, compensation and other business income
  • Representing clients in many family law cases involving executives in public and private companies, including issues related to executive compensation, stock options, restricted stock awards, qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, and other unique employment benefits
  • Successfully negotiating and litigating cases involving property division, including multimillion-dollar nonmarital claims; spousal maintenance; custody; parenting time; child support; and attorneys’ fees
  • Successfully negotiating antenuptial (prenuptial) and postnuptial agreements for estates with values of $1 million to more than $100 million, particularly involving closely held business interests and executive compensation and benefits
  • Working extensively with clients involving assets held in trust
  • Working extensively with clients who have children with disabilities, including the potential uses for special and supplemental needs trusts in family law cases
  • Advising clients on tax issues related to spousal maintenance and property division, including tax strategies in settlement negotiations or trial positions
  • Representing clients in family law appellate issues
ShaSha Porter
Additional Details about ShaSha Porter

Family Specialist: Guiding families through the transition of marital dissolution, to relationship reformulation.

Intent: To help the couple/family gain the skills to make effective decisions [present, ongoing] that work for the collective good in productive ways. It is through gratitude for the Collaborative Process, which included valued guidance, that I bring my Collaborative skills to this important and respectful work with the Collaborative Divorce Law Institute of MN.

Rebecca Randen
Additional Details about Rebecca Randen

This section is currently being updated

Gary Rosenthal
Additional Details about Gary Rosenthal

This section is currently being updated

Barb Seibel
Additional Details about Barb Seibel

This section is currently being updated

Stuart Webb
Additional Details about Stuart Webb

This section is currently being updated

Amy Wolff
Additional Details about Amy Wolff

This section is currently being updated

Megan Yates
Additional Details about Megan Yates

This section is currently being updated

George Zaske
Additional Details about George Zaske

This section is currently being updated

Why donate to the Leadership Circle?

As we have learned, annual dues alone do not cover the operating expenses of our organization. By donating the equivalent of one or two of your billable hours to the Leadership Circle you are helping support the initiatives of CLI, including trainings, continuing education offerings, video recording & webcasting of trainings, Public Education Committee materials creation and outreach and participation in booths and sponsorships in the greater family law community, CLI website updates to ensure a user-friendly experience, plus ongoing and increasing overhead costs of running an efficient and responsible organization on behalf of CLI members.

How to donate:

The CLI Board of Directors and all members acknowledge that your participation in the Leadership Circle goes above and beyond, is genuinely appreciated, and will also be acknowledged in several ways throughout the year.
The suggestion donation amount is of one or two of your billable hours.
To contribute:
Click here to access the pay by credit card online form. Please login to your CLI profile to ensure this donation is recorded into your CLI account.

Or
Mail your donation in check made out to CLI Minnesota with Leadership Circle in the memo line to the CLI mailing address:
The Collaborative Law Institute Minnesota
4707 Highway 61 N, #217
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

If you have questions, please contact:
CLI Administrative Support: cli@collaborativelaw.org | 952.405.2010