James Loewen, Director of the Smartsettle Centre for Family Resolutions was recently interviewed by Justice Harvey Brownstone as part of the 24 episode TV series, Family Matters. The episode highlighted three alternatives to court, Mediation, Collaborative Law and the use of eNegotiation in out- of- court settlement negotiations. The TV series is seen on major stations in British Columbia and Ontario, Canada.
Justice Brownstone expressed amazement during the interview and said up to this time he had not encountered anything like the Smartsettle eNegotiation system in his practice. During the interview it was apparent that he clearly understood the power of the computer software. Judge Brownstone did seem a little relieved to hear a facilitator was also involved in helping clients negotiate their separation agreement and Lawyers/ Mediator participation was central to negotiating a “fair” agreement. He immediately identified how being able to negotiate all or some of the issues separately would assist clients to negotiate the issues, plainly laid out in front of them on a computer screen. Justice Brownstone also talked about how clients would be able to stay in control of their emotions as they prepared their proposals separate from their spouse. He saw the idea of people being able to maintain cooler heads as very important when negotiating the future experience of the children involved. The idea of negotiating all of the issues in a package rather than going through the exhausting process of tackling one issue at a time drew affirmations from Justice Brownstone as well. Justice Brownstone again expressed positive surprise when told the Smartsettle software could not be overwhelmed no matter the number of issues that the family/parents needed to negotiate.
Justice Brownstone indicated that he looked forward to watching the Smartsettle eNegotiation software develop into a regularly used tool in the Family law field.
The Family Matters episodes will be broadcast starting late April 2013. To see earlier episodes i.e. Season One go to http://www.familymatterstv.com/