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Seven Tips for Defeating a Narcissist in Family Court 

When: October 25, 2023
12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. PT (3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. ET)

Where: IlumniU (via Zoom)

Cost: $55 (complimentary to guests of CDREs)

While Narcissistic Personality Disorder is relatively rare, affecting only 0.5% to 5% of the U.S. population according to some studies, narcissistic traits are prevalent in high-conflict family law cases — and they often aren’t detected. Attorneys need to first recognize the dynamics of narcissism and then learn effective methods for handling a party with narcissistic tendencies to build a strong case and hold the narcissist accountable.

In this session, Marlene A Pontrelli, CFLS and Robert L. Schwartz, CFLS will share insights into the traits of narcissism, the effects on children and co-parenting, and how to prepare and strategize for a case involving a party with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or narcissistic traits.  They’ll outline how to:

  • Recognize narcissistic personality traits and the three types of behavior that make it difficult to spot

  • Settle cases or mediate when one of the parties is a narcissist

  • Handle a narcissist on cross-examination and prevent them from using the courtroom as their stage


Meet the Presenters:


Marlene A. Pontrelli 

Certified Family Law Specialist

Marlene A. Pontrelli is a member of Dickinson Wright, and co-chair of the domestic relations and family law practice group. She is a certified specialist in family law. Her practice focuses on all aspects of family law, including dissolution and legal separation of marriage, business valuations, division of property, spousal support, post-dissolution modifications, premarital and post-marital agreements, paternity, child custody, parenting time, and child support matters. She is admitted to practice in Arizona and California.


Ms. Pontrelli has written several books, including Divorce in Arizona (co-author with Robert L. Schwartz), Daily Meditations for Healing from Divorce, and the textbook Focus on Family Law. She is a frequent lecturer in the area of family law and has conducted workshops throughout the country on parenting skills, time management, and balancing work and personal life. She has written extensively about addressing narcissistic personality disorders in divorce cases. She and her law partner, Robert L. Schwartz, have a podcast on “Divorcing a Narcissist” where they discuss practice tips and information needed when divorcing a narcissistic spouse.

Ms. Pontrelli is an adjunct professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at Arizona State University where she teaches the family law class. She has been named as a Southwest Super Lawyer, and in Best Lawyers in America multiple times, and has been named by Arizona Business Magazine as Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona.


Robert L. Schwartz

Certified Family Law Specialist

Robert L. Schwartz is a member of Dickinson Wright and has been practicing law for over 40 years. He is a certified specialist in family law. He is a member of the American, Arizona and Maricopa County Bar Associations. He is admitted to practice in the federal courts of New York, Arizona, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Schwartz is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and past president of the Arizona chapter. He is a frequent lecturer on family law and related matters and former member of the State Bar Family Law Advisory Commission. Mr. Schwartz has tried numerous complex business valuation cases as well as complex custody cases. He has testified as an expert in family law matters.

Along with his law partner, Marlene Pontrelli, he has co-authored the book Divorce in Arizona, and has a podcast on “Divorcing a Narcissist.”


Mr. Schwartz was named Lawyer of the Year and in Best Lawyers for 2023 in both Family Law and Family Law mediation.

Meet the Presenters

Register for the Event: 

When: October 25, 2023
12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. PT (3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. ET)

Where: IlumniU (via Zoom)

Cost: $55 (complimentary to guests of CDREs)

Sponsored by:

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