Think About Your Thinking: Justice Nancy Flatters - Brown Bag Lunch 'n Learn

  • Canadian Red Cross 1305 11 Avenue SW Calgary Canada

Nancy Flatters, LL.M., is a non-sitting Judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta, Calgary Family and Youth Court. Prior to her appointment to the Bench in July 1996, she practiced law in Calgary, Alberta, including as a Q.C. during the last six months of her practice. Now as a volunteer, she teaches dispute resolution, mediation, arbitration, settlement skills, domestic violence, child advocacy, and mentoring, amongst other areas, to the judiciary and other professionals. She has a long history of service to many volunteer organisations. She has a commitment to building bridges in her work and teaching.

Judge Flatters, with an extensive mediation background as a mediator and mediation teacher and trainer, also has an extensive background in judicial settlement conferencing work as a JSC/JDR Judge and in JSC/JDR skills-based teaching and training for Judges. In 1998, and drawing on her 10 years of extensive mediation work prior to her 1996 appointment to the Bench of the Provincial Court of Alberta, Calgary Family and Youth Court, she designed the JDR/JSC Pilot Project for her Court. It is one example of incorporating problem-solving and mediation skills into an early court response for family disputes and in for the video, demonstrating that early introduction into high conflict family situation with a child welfare overlay which is becoming more common. Also appearing as volunteers in the video are four practicing family and child welfare lawyers in Calgary (one of whom is now the Chief Crown Prosecutor in Fort McMurray and who practiced for many years in Calgary in family, child welfare, child advocacy and youth civil and youth criminal justice matters) and three experts conducting Court-ordered assessments: Dr. Larry Fong (high conflict parenting assessor), Dr. Peter Choate (addictions assessor), and Evelyn Wotherspoon (Voice of the Child Report).

As a part of its educational focus and knowledge transfer for parents, lawyers, mediators, arbitrators, conflict managers and resolvers, parenting coordinators, psychologists, social workers, child welfare workers and others engaged in family work, is the adverse effects, within high conflict parenting cases, on a child and a child’s early brain and biological development, together with consequent effects into the future. Three clips from the Norlien Foundation/Alberta Family Wellness Initiative on Early Brain and Biological Development in Children 0-5 years and Recovery from Addictions are incorporated into the video: two clips on Building Brains and Brain Architecture with Toxic Stress effects, together with a clip from a leading addiction researcher regarding substance addictions and the brain. Judge Flatters will introduce the Norlien Foundation’s Core Story of Child Development as an introduction to the video.

To coin a phrase of Dr. John Haynes (of memory), the video is an opportunity to “think about your thinking”.

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