Earning Capacity in Family Law: Understanding the Law, Litigating the Issue, and Using an Expert – C05

Family Law Track
Family Law Section

Session C: 2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

 You Will Learn

        • How to address the issue of earning capacity when it arises
        • Review and analysis of the law concerning earning capacity in family cases
        • When to use a vocational expert and what a vocational expert can do 


Jocelyn B. Hurwitz, Cohen and Wolf PC, Bridgeport 

Jocelyn B. Hurwitz is a principal and chair of Cohen and Wolf’s Family Law Group. Dividing her time between the firm’s Bridgeport, Orange and Westport offices, Ms. Hurwitz practices in the areas of family law litigation and divorce mediation.

She is admitted to practice in Connecticut, and the U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut. Ms. Hurwitz is a member of the American, Connecticut and Greater Bridgeport Bar Associations. She is a member of the Family Law Sections of the Connecticut and Greater Bridgeport Bar Associations.

Ms. Hurwitz serves as a special master, appointed by the Superior Court,
to mediate divorce and custody disputes in the judicial districts of Milford,
New Haven, Stamford and Bridgeport, and in the Regional Family Trial
Docket in Middletown. She serves on the Board of the Connecticut
Council for Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Law. She has been a
contributor at seminars hosted by the Bridgeport Bar Association and
other organizations.

Melissa J. Needle, Needle | Cuda, Westport 

Attorney Melissa Needle is a lifetime resident of Connecticut. She was born in New Haven and raised in Fairfield. Her family has deep roots in Connecticut and she is a third-generation attorney. (Her father is the well-known transactional lawyer Charles Needle of Zeldes, Needle & Cooper of Bridgeport.) Since her admission to the bar in 1990, Ms. Needle has practiced matrimonial law exclusively. She has been an active family law litigator and many of the cases in which she has appeared involve issues including the division of high net worth estates, complex family businesses, highly contested custody, and requests for child relocation. Before launching her own practice and subsequently jointly forming Needle & Cuda, Melissa accumulated substantial experience at several leading Fairfield County family law firms. She is well-known in Connecticut courts as a fair fighter with high principles and integrity who does not shy away from litigation if that path is the best opportunity for her client to reach an equitable solution. Melissa understands that divorce is not just about the dissolution of marriage or stop-gap solutions but helping clients to plan for the rest of their lives. She resides in Wesport, CT with her husband and has three children.

Rona E. Wexler, Wexler Consulting LLC, New York, NY 

Over 30 years of real world, practical experience has given Rona Wexler a unique, 360° perspective that makes her the first choice of top law firms whenever they are in need of an expert witness in labor and employment and family law matters. After receiving first-class training as a counseling psychologist, Ms. Wexler began work in academia as a career services director, then moved into the corporate world as a Fortune 200 executive, followed by her career as an executive recruiter and a vocational evaluator – wide-ranging experience that gives a solid foundation to her expertise. She practices throughout the U.S. focusing on the New England, the Tri-state area (NY, CT, NJ), Mid-Atlantic and southern Florida. Ms. Wexler has been qualified and frequently testifies in New York Supreme Court, Federal court, the NLRB, and in the Florida courts.

Ms. Wexler, a native of Rhode Island, graduated from Emerson College with a BA in English and attained an MA in Counseling Psychology from New York University. She spent several years as a career and employment counselor at the college level as a Director of Career Development and Placement. She then joined the corporate ranks at Xerox, where she built a distinguished career in sales management, consultative sales hiring and training. This experience prepared her for her next challenge: moving into executive search as a retained executive recruiter, working with, searching for, and placing mid-level and the most senior executives while working for three prestigious firms.


CLE Credit: 1.0 Hours (CT: 1.0 General; NY: 1.0 AOP)