ATTORNEY & PARALEGAL PROFILES

 
Mr. Wasser is the founding member and CEO of Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles. He has been practicing family law since 1968 and has represented wealthy, high-profile business owners (several individuals on “Forbes 400”), corporate executives, professional athletes, lawyers, doctors, accountants, actors, motion picture and TV executives and the spouses of such individuals. He has achieved success in and out of the courtroom and is recognized as one of the leading Family Law attorneys in the United States.
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University:

University of California at Los Angeles, B.A., with honors, 1964

Law School:

University of Southern California, J.D., 1967, with Highest Honors, Order of the Coif, Note and Comment Editor, S.C. Law Review
Laura Wasser is an American attorney specializing in California Family Law.  She was born in Los Angeles.  She attended the University of California, Berkeley and earned a law degree from Loyola Law School.  She has two young sons and resides in Malibu, California.

Laura has been named one of the California Daily Journal’s Top 100 Lawyers and Southern California’s Top 50 Women Attorneys every year for the last five years (2012-2016).  In June 2008, Laura received the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law Zephyr M. Ramsey Award.  In 2011, she was the recipient of the Century City Chamber of Commerce Women of Achievement Award. In 2013 St. Martins Press published and released Laura’s book “It Doesn't Have to Be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.” She was listed as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in 2012 and 2013 by the Los Angeles Magazine Super Lawyers.  Laura received the Brady Center Advocate Award and is being honored this November by A Place Called Home at their 2016 Gala For The Children.

Laura participates in many continuing education programs as a lecturer and panelist.  She has been a guest lecturer at Loyola Law School, Southwestern Law School, UCLA, and UC Berkeley Hall School of Law. 

Laura serves on the Board of Directors-Loyola Law School, Board of Directors-Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Board of Trustees-Oakwood School, Advisory Council-Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, and is a Member of the Executive Committee-Beverly Hills Bar Family Law Section and Los Angeles Bar-Family Law Section.

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University:

University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1991

Law School:

Loyola Law School, J.D., 1994

Practice Areas:

Family Law
Mr. Cooperman has been practicing law since 1977 and is a Certified Family Law Specialist and member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He has extensive experience in the litigation of complex high asset and high income cases, including cases involving property characterization and apportionment, premarital, and marital agreements, and cases involving high earner and high standard of living child and spousal support. His clients include Forbes 500 entrepreneurs, business executives, legal, accounting, and medical professionals, entertainers, and professional athletes. Mr. Cooperman is a contributing editor to The Rutter Group Family Law Practice Guide, one of the foremost research resources used by California family law attorneys. He has lectured extensively on a variety of topics, including prenuptial and marital agreements, sophisticated property, support, custody and discovery issues, as well as advanced trial tactics and techniques. He has served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Family Law Section, and as President of the Southern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Mr. Cooperman is equally adept in the mediation and collaborative law contexts as he is in the courtroom. He is widely recognized as a leading member of the California family law bar.
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University:

University of California at Irvine, B.A., summa cum laude, 1974, Phi Beta Kappa

Law School:

University of California at Los Angeles, J.D., 1977, Order of the Coif

Practice Areas:

Family Law (100%)
Certified Specialist, Family Law, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
Ms. Mandles has exclusively practiced family law with the firm since passing the bar in 1997.  She became a partner with the firm in 2007, and a named partner in 2016.  During her years of practice, Ms. Mandles has represented high net worth individuals in many different fields, including the entertainment and sports industry, business executives, doctors and attorneys, as well as beneficiaries of substantial family wealth and their spouses.  Ms. Mandles is most noted for her settlement oriented approach, but has also achieved great success in the courtroom for her clients.  Ms. Mandles serves on the executive board of the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice, and has worked as a volunteer attorney for the Alliance for Children’s Rights.  Among other accolades, Ms. Mandles has been named in “Best Lawyers in America” and “Top Women Lawyers in Southern California” since 2013.
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University:

University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 1994

Law School:

Southwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1997

Practice Areas:

Family Law
Since graduating from UCLA Law School in 1982, Ms. Landesman has practiced exclusively family law.  She has been a Certified Family Law Specialist for over 20 years, and is a “Super Lawyer.”  Ms. Landesman enjoys drafting prenuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements and postnuptial agreements in addition to the general practice of family law.
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University:

University of California at Irvine, B.A., 1979

Law School:

University of California at Los Angeles, J.D., 1982

Practice Areas:

Family Law (100%)
Certified Specialist, Family Law, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
Mr. Foley is a partner of Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles.  He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1982 and has been practicing family law exclusively since 1985.  Mr. Foley has been a Certified Specialist, Family Law, certified by the Board of Legal Specialization, since 1994.  He has limited his practice to complex, high asset and high income family law cases since 1986.  Mr. Foley served on the Executive Committee for the LACBA Family Law Section from 2003-2011 and has been a speaker or panel member at many continuing education programs in family law since 1991.
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University:

Pasadena City College
California State University at Northridge, B.A., 1975

Law School:

Southwestern University, J.D., 1979

Practice Areas:

Family Law
Certified Specialist, Family Law, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
Ms. Rice is a partner of Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles. Before joining the firm in 2006, Ms. Rice was a partner in a Century City boutique business litigation firm, where she tried cases in state and federal courts, representing corporations, partnerships, and individuals in a broad range of complex business and commercial cases. Ms. Rice’s former practice particularly emphasized the areas of entertainment litigation, palimony litigation, legal malpractice defense litigation, and real estate and employment litigation. Since joining Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles, her practice has been focused on representing high net worth individuals in resolving, by way of settlement or trial, complex marital property issues.
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University:

University of California at Los Angeles, B.A., cum laude, 1979

Law School:

University of Southern California, J.D., 1983; Member, Moot Court Honors Program

Practice Areas:

Family Law
Business Litigation
Nan Zirafi is a seasoned and highly-esteemed servant of the law who began practicing Family Law in 1997. As a member of the State Bar of California, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and the prestigious Beverly Hills Bar Association, Nan Zirafi is highly regarded as top of her field. From 2004-2007, she was selected as one of Southern California’s “Rising Stars” and from 2008-2014, Zirafi was honored as Southern California’s “Super Lawyer” in Family Law.
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University:

Kent State University, B.S., 1983
Ohio University, M.S., 1984

Law School:

Southwestern Law School, J.D., 1997

Practice Areas:

Family Law
Ms. Klein has exclusively practiced family law with Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles since passing the bar in 2002, becoming a partner in 2013. Samantha has extensive experience representing high net worth individuals in many different fields including the entertainment and sports industry, executives, doctors and attorneys, as well as their spouses. She is skilled in litigation while at all times settlement oriented. For many years Samantha has served on the executive board of the Beverly Hills Bar Association - Family Law Section, and has been a volunteer mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court. Samantha also participates in continuing education programs as a lecturer and panelist, and volunteers her time with Second Saturday, an organization committed to educating individuals who may be seeking to file a family law matter.
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University:

University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1998

Law School:

Tulane University, J.D., 2002

Practice Areas:

Family Law
Mr. Polstein is a partner at Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles. He has been practicing family law exclusively since 2005.  Prior to focusing on family law, he was an entertainment lawyer in the music, film and television businesses.  He is also motion picture producer, with motion picture producing credits including the films “Frida” and “Underdog,” among many others.  Mr. Polstein uses his extensive knowledge of the entertainment business in his representation of musicians, actors, writers, directors and entertainment executives and agents, and their spouses, in family law matters.
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University:

Georgetown University, B.A., 1981

Law School:

University of California School of Law, Los Angeles, J.D., 1984

Practice Areas:

Family Law
Ms. Pandkhou is a partner of Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles. She has been practicing family law since 2004 undertaking a broad range of challenging family law matters, such as cases involving international jurisdictional issues and corporate conglomerates. Ms. Pandkhou has represented high net worth individuals in various fields. She has also successfully handled a number of family law appeals. Prior to practicing family law, Ms. Pandkhou gained considerable business litigation experience, which she uses to obtain optimal results for her clients in family law matters particularly those involving business and/or corporate assets. Ms. Pandkhou is a certified mediator and volunteered for years as a mediator for the Stanley Mosk courthouse in Los Angeles. Ms. Pandkhou is proficient in French and fluent in Farsi.
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University:

University of Southern California, B.S., 1994

Law School:

Southwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1997
Cornell University Law School/Universite Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne, Paris, France, Comparative Law, 2002

Practice Areas:

Family Law
Family Law Appeals
Mr. Cogan is a partner of Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles.  Admitted to practice law by the State Bar of California in 1987, Mr. Cogan spent the first eighteen years of his legal career as a business litigator handling complex business disputes.  Thereafter, Mr. Cogan has been practicing exclusively family law integrating his experience as a business litigator and trial strategies into the complex intricacies involved in resolving all aspects of family law disputes, including those which escalate to trial.  Mr. Cogan is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Central, Northern and Southern Districts of California as well as the United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit).  Mr. Cogan was named on the list of Southern California Super Lawyers in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.  He has contributed to commentaries published in California Family Law Monthly and has volunteered for the Domestic Violence Project in the downtown Los Angeles Superior Court and has been on the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law pro bono panel.  In 2015, Mr. Cogan received the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services. 
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University:

University of California at Berkeley, B.A., History, magna cum laude, 1984, Phi Beta Kappa

Law School:

University of California at Los Angeles, J.D., 1987

Practice Areas:

Family Law
Ms. Lubans has practiced Family Law exclusively since 2008.  Originally from the East Coast, she is also licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and New York. She attended law school in Boston, during which time she participated in a judicial clerkship at the Middlesex County Probate and Family Court. She practiced Family Law at a leading Boston firm for two years prior to relocating to California in 2010, at which time she joined Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles. She is a member of the Beverly Hills Bar Association and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
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University:

Deerfield Academy, Deerfield. Massachusetts, 1998
Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, B.A., 2002

Law School:

Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts, J.D., 2008

Practice Areas:

Family Law
Ms. Sutton joined Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles in 2013 after serving as a Judicial Law Clerk for Judges Thomas T. Lewis, Mark A. Juhas, David S. Cunningham III, Stephen M. Moloney, Frederick C. Shaller, and Commissioner James D. Endman. She earned her law degree from Boston University and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in creative writing from University of California, Irvine. She has practiced family law exclusively since 2010.
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University:

University of California, Irvine, B.A., 2001
University of California, Irvine, M.F.A., 2005

Law School:

Boston University School of Law, J.D., 2010

Practice Areas:

Family Law
Ms. Drucker joined Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles as an associate in 2015.  While attending UCLA School of Law, Nina externed for the Honorable David J. Cowan, interned for Children’s Law Center of California, and volunteered at the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law.  Nina also worked as a research clerk at the Los Angeles Superior Court.  Prior to attending law school, Nina taught high school in Los Angeles as a Teach for America corps member. 
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University:

Claremont McKenna College, B.A., 2009

Law School:

University of California Los Angeles School of Law, J.D., 2014

Practice Areas:

Family Law
Ms. Yates joined Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles in January 2004, having been a family law paralegal since 1985. After moving to California in 1980, Mary began her legal career in Oakland, California. In 1985 she moved to Virginia and began working as a family law paralegal for a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated firm, under an attorney who is a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. After 20 years in Virginia, Mary moved to Los Angeles and joined our firm. Mary’s skill, expertise and work ethic, especially related to trial work, is well known in the Los Angeles legal community.

University:

Saint Mary’s College, 1972

Paralegal Studies:

Kaplan University, 2004