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Old 05-12-2013, 04:45 PM
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Default Legal “Truisims” Exposed?: Custody and Access Reports

Legal “Truisims” Exposed?: Custody and Access Reports

Custody and access assessments under Section 30 of the Children’s Law Reform Act of Ontario (“CLRA”) are often a tool called upon by the courts when a true clinical need is required to assist a Justice in making a determination in a custody and access dispute. The requirements set for the “experts” which are retained under Section 30 are, in my personal opinion, vague on many issues. Most notably the conduct of the clinicians whom engage as “experts” from the clinical community. There are currently no tangible guidelines for how their reports are produced, what evidence they can rely upon and what clinical practices and procedures they should follow.

One of the primary factors that any “expert” representing themselves as a clinician (psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker) and providing expert “evidence” and “testimony”, in accordance with assisting the court in determining a child’s “best interests” (Rule 24 of the CLRA), should be a requirement to base their “clinical” opinions on the principals of “evidence based medicine”.

Evidence based medicine in custody and access assessments is something rarely discussed but, a recently discovered paper by Michael A. Saini, PhD, MSW, RSW does delve into this very complex matter.
Evidence Base of Custody and Access Evaluations
By Michael A. Saini, PhD, MSW, RSW
http://www.afccontario.ca/SAINI%20-%...ssessments.pdf
In his paper, Dr. Saini identifies “evidence based” practices as:

Quote:
Evidence-based practice was originally defined as ‘‘the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients’’ (Sackett, Straus, Richardson, Rosenberg, & Haynes, 1997, p. 71). More specifically, it involves ‘‘integrating individual practice expertise with the best available external evidence from systematic research as well as considering the values and expectations of clients’’ (Gambrill, 1999, p. 346).
I encourage anyone facing a “report” be it from the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (“OCL”) and/or a Section 30 custody and access evaluator to review Dr. Saini’s paper when reviewing the recommendations made by any “expert” or “professional”.

The key element that these professionals often fail to do is to back-up their recommendations on any cogent, recent and relevant “evidence based medicine”. For example, this may be recommending and/or suggesting that “parental alienation” may be presenting in the matter before the court but without even possibly providing any insight into what "parental alienation" is or for what "theory" they are basising their subjective observation on.

Most clinicians work under a model known as “SOAP” – subjective, objective, assessment and plan when making any determination of a client’s outcome. Custody and access evaluators should be held to the same standards as they are impacting the wellbeing (health) of children. Often, custody and access evaluation “reports” are a mash-up of “subjective” statements which are not grounded in “objective” facts. They are mostly crafted out of hearsay which is subjective information gathered from their clients and collateral witnesses.

More on SOAP Notes: SOAP note - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Most professionals in the medical industry when putting forward an objective finding will cite the reason and back grounding evidence for which their diagnosis and plan of care are based on. The plan is based on the objective facts regarding their client’s health care needs. For some reason, custody and access evaluators whom are often clinicians often do not support their recommendations with any “evidence based medicine”. They often rely upon their “experience” and the “trust” that they have gained with the courts to make broad sweeping statements and recommendations. Some will even cite that the court always goes with what they recommend, that they have done hundreds of these and that is why their opinion is the right one.

In another matter, for which the concept of “truisms” came from, we have seen how these “truisms” can impact these “expert” clinicians and the recommendations they make to the court. If I could warn Justices reading this forum, it would be to be very cautious when reports from clinicians are not properly cited to the clinical best practises (“evidence based medicine”) that they relied upon when providing a recommendation to the court.

Thinking of it from another perspective, the base of “evidence based medicine” is the “jurisprudence” for which clinicians determine better outcomes for their patients. The system of “evidence based medicine” runs parallel to the system of “case law” for which justices rely upon to make orders. Clinicians who do not leverage the “evidence based medicine” (“medical jurisprudence”) should be called to task on how they perform their jobs and arrived at their conclusions.

When a Justice fails to properly apply jurisprudence from case law (and law itself) there is an appeals process. What process is there for a parent whom has gotten a negative report from a “custody and access evaluator” whom has not properly demonstrated their position to the court or that it is not even based on any “medical jurisprudence”?

Case on Point?

Fielding v. Fielding, 2013 ONSC 1458 (CanLII)
Date: 2013-03-08
Docket: FS-12-00375231
URL: CanLII - 2013 ONSC 1458 (CanLII)
Citation: Fielding v. Fielding, 2013 ONSC 1458 (CanLII)

In this evolving matter before the Superior Court the expert testimony is being challenged. A situation of possibly dueling “experts” is evolving. The Applicant is bringing forward an expert to dispute the report and challenge the custody and access evaluator’s reference to “parental alienation” in the assessment report. Opposing party does not want the additional expert to testify but, the justice presiding over the matter observes in paragraph 17 the following (my emphasis added):

Quote:
[17] The issue to which the seventeen alienating factors and the eight alienated child behaviours relate is one of strong significance in this case. The facts underlying it are very much in dispute. Dr. Sutton refers to parental alienation in his assessment. He concluded that it was not the main source of the children’s rejection of one or other parent. In his report, he does not discuss the theory of or research on parental alienation. Given the complexity of these issues as manifested here, including varying alignments of one or more children to different parents, I am satisfied that this part of the proposed evidence meets the threshold for necessity.
Here we see a Justice applying good measures in insuring that the court explores the principals underlying in the custody and access evaluator’s report in which “he does not discuss the theory of or research on parental alienation”.

More custody and access evaluators need to be challenged on the principals and “evidence based medicine” that they relied upon (or possibly did not) in this manner by litigants and especially the courts. When making a recommendation to the courts on custody and access of children, “evaluators” are not just impacting the lives of the children involved but, the parents as well. They have a clinical duty to their governing bodies to act in accordance with medical best practices and this should include evidentiary based medical practices when producing custody and access reports.

Relying upon “truisms” is not sufficient. It should not be allowed by justices and especially not by the clinical governing bodies. It is not what constitutes "good medicine".

Good Luck!
Tayken

Last edited by Tayken; 05-12-2013 at 04:52 PM. Reason: adjusted emphasis in quote
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:57 PM
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An additional thread and jurisprudence that may be of interest to those reading this thread:

"Custody and Access - Expert Witness - Lawsuit"

http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f...lawsuit-11478/

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:51 AM
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Hi All,

This is probably, second to the case law that I reguarly cite with regards to the cross examination of a custody and access assessor (OCL/Section 30) and is the opening citing to the main thread.

It is interesting to note that both professionals identified in this case law in this thread thus far which I note explicitly is publicly posted on CanLII for public review purposes appears to belong to the same organization: Family Solutions Toronto.

This case law presents a very detailed breakdown of the analysis applied to a custody and access assessment rarely seen in case law in my opinion. It also echos very similar to some concerns brought by other members of this very forum which may be of tremendous value to them.

It also brings in a very common theme that I research heavily which is the matters of mobility issues be it inter regional (city-to-city), inter jurisdictional (province-to-province) and international (Canada-to-other nation).

The justice presiding over this matter, the very Honourable Justice J. McDermot demonstrates an understanding that I personally have only seen on one ocassion (Honourable Mr. Justice Pazaratz) in case law in Ontario on the proper evaluation of "evidence" presented by a custody and access assessor.

Case on point?:

Cozzi v. Smith, 2013 ONSC 3190 (CanLII)
Date: 2013-06-04
Docket: FC-04-20255-02
URL: CanLII - 2013 ONSC 3190 (CanLII)
Citation: Cozzi v. Smith, 2013 ONSC 3190 (CanLII)

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:53 AM
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In addition and because of posting limitations on this forum... Here are the interesting elements of the case law from my perspective but, as always, I recommend readers read the full posting to CanLII as it may contain other relevant information for them to consider.

Cozzi v. Smith, 2013 ONSC 3190 (CanLII)
Date: 2013-06-04
Docket: FC-04-20255-02
URL: CanLII - 2013 ONSC 3190 (CanLII)
Citation: Cozzi v. Smith, 2013 ONSC 3190 (CanLII)

My ephasis is added:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cozzi v. Smith, 2013 ONSC 3190 (CanLII)


[112] Because of these pictures, Ms. Chodos saw fit to contact the local Children’s Aid Society to report her protection concerns. There are probably a multitude of views as to whether a set of pictures discloses protection concerns, and it is unnecessary for the purposes of deciding this matter to comment as to whether I thought these pictures sufficient to warrant a report to the C.A.S. Suffice to say that it is my view that the report to the Society may very well have tainted the entire assessment process as it is clear that Mr. Cozzi remains upset today about the report being made to the Society, and was probably infuriated by it at the time. He was entitled to be upset; his daughter was interviewed in her school by a C.A.S. worker about an incident which took place five years before, and Mr. Cozzi was also interviewed by the Society representatives. He would have found it embarrassing and it would have confirmed his viewpoint that Ms. Smith was not to be trusted. It would have probably also caused him to have suspicions as to the veracity of the assessment process and the judgment of the assessor as it was his view, at least, that Ms. Chodos had acted out of an excess of caution and without good reason.

...

[117] I was impressed with Ms. Chodos’s presentation of her evidence and I found her to be a credible witness. There were, however, a number of areas where I found her evidence to be problematic. She was, for example, dismissive of studies or journal articles which stated that the net effect of a move to a distant location was stressful to the children.[26] She stated that the distance of the move was not important, but was not aware of where Kitimat was on the map, that it was an extremely lengthy drive from Vancouver, or that unaccompanied air travel by a minor was impossible. In her analysis of Micalister’s relationships with his step siblings, and Ms. Smith’s concerns as to their and Mr. Cozzi’s lack of sensitivity to Micalister’s concerns, she dismissed the statement made in Dr. Johnson’s assessment from 2007 that Micalister had a good relationship with his step-siblings as being dated; yet she did not hesitate about calling the Children’s Aid Society about a picture taken during a family holiday from 2006 (in fact she did not seem to be aware of when exactly the picture was taken or determine when it was taken prior to contacting the Society). She did not, in my view, examine to any great degree the relationship between Ms. Smith and Mr. Al-Hamawandy, especially where there was a statement in the Olga Henderson assessment confirming that Ms. Smith tended to enter into potentially abusive relationships. There was no examination of Mr. Al-Hamawandy’s background, which involved numerous international moves, and there was no examination of Ms. Smith’s financial stability in Ontario.

...

[124] However, I note that this is an assessment that has a “history” because of the time it took from start to finish. Many of the complaints made by Ms. Smith during the assessment process were dated. They may have been relevant in 2010 when the process started, but even from Ms. Chodos’s perspective, had become dated by the time the mobility issue was being considered. Ms. Smith complained about events that had occurred in Mr. Cozzi’s home when his children from his first marriage were adolescents, and may not have been adequately controlled by him; this was no longer the case at the time of trial even though Ms. Smith still relied upon those incidents in her testimony. Ms. Smith had as well submitted a photograph from 2006 as evidence of Mr. Cozzi’s lack of fitness as a parent in 2010 or 2011. Educational concerns were raised by Ms. Smith but many of these had been resolved by the summer of 2012 when Micalister’s performance at school had substantially improved as confirmed by the testimony of Micalister’s teachers and principal. Although one cannot set up firewalls between the evidence collected before and after the mandate of the assessor changed in late 2011, the dated evidence and the amount of time taken in the assessment is concerning. It is difficult to determine how much of the dated and now irrelevant factors were taken into account in the final determination of the assessor that Micalister move with his mother to British Columbia and this affects the weight to be given in this trial to the assessment.

...

[127] I do find it problematic that the assessor really had no idea of the logistics of travelling with Micalister to and from Kitimat. I also find it concerning that no inquiry was made of Mr. Al-Hamawandy or the nature of his relationship with Ms. Smith as suggested by Mr. Benmore in his closing submissions.

...

[138] As noted above, I do, however, see inconsistencies in Ms. Chodos’s evidence. As stated, she referred to the statements made by Dr. Johnson of Micalister’s relationships with his step-siblings as “dated”; I do not see that report as being any more dated than the concerns expressed by Ms. Smith in this matter about Mr. Cozzi’s older children, a subject also on her mind during trial. I also have spoken of my concerns about the report to the Children’s Aid Society; I do not see this as evidence used in the assessment, but I do see it as an event which may have negatively affected the process. Mr. Cozzi remained angry about that incident at the time of trial, several years after the fact. With that in mind, his comportment during the assessment process may have been problematic and may have affected his ability to “perform” at his best during the process. It is my belief that, although not dealt with as evidence, the report to the Society regarding the pictures of Kiki and Micalister may have affected the result adversely in respect of Mr. Cozzi. As noted above, I also am concerned about the dated information having affected Ms. Chodos’ present judgment about Mr. Cozzi or Micalister’s best interests.
Continued...

Last edited by Tayken; 07-07-2013 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cozzi v. Smith, 2013 ONSC 3190 (CanLII)

...

[145] Balanced off against these conclusions is the fact that the assessment process was, in my view, tainted to some extent by the report to the Children’s Aid Society in April 2011. Moreover, Ms. Chodos failed to adequately consider the distance of the move, the costs and logistics necessary to maximize access, or the nature of Mr. Al-Hamawandy’s relationship with Ms. Smith. Furthermore, the fact that Ms. Smith had moved to British Columbia in June 2012, and Micalister has been living and attending school in Ontario since then, is a factor for consideration; the risk to Micalister of remaining in Ontario out of the Respondent’s care has already occurred and Micalister seems to be doing well. Ms. Chodos explains this by stating that things may change if Micalister finds that a final decision has been made contrary to his views and preferences, but that is pure speculation.

[146] In the end, the ultimate consideration is the utility of an assessment in mobility cases. As noted by Nicholas Bala and Andrea Wheeler,[27] an assessment in a mobility case is of limited application because the assessment is not comparing two present situations and determining where the [u]best interests of the child lie[u]; it is comparing two situations which presently do not exist, but which may come to be, and are impossible to presently quantify. As such, an assessment in a mobility case is necessarily speculative and uncertain. And in light of this concern, the flaws in the process loom large as opposed to the anticipated situations which the parties themselves testify to, which is the next issue to be considered.

[147] Ms. Chodos acted in an entirely appropriate matter and, as with many assessors, spent time in attempting to settle the case. The change in her mandate is not her responsibility. However, she failed to adequately research, in my view, the logistics involved in time sharing or in maximizing contact between the parties in the event of the move. She failed, in my mind, to adequately review the relationship between Ms. Smith and Mr. Al-Hamawandy. She may have been affected by past allegations and there were troubling aspects resulting from the complaint to the C.A.S. This, combined with the speculative nature of the assessment process in a mobility case, leads me to give limited weight to the assessment in my determination in this case.

...

[199] Unfortunately, Ms. Chodos did not have the insight of what has since occurred. Although she states in her report that Micalister could not imagine living elsewhere than in his mother’s home, that in fact has occurred. He is now living in his father’s home without apparent ill effect. As I noted above, Ms. Chodos testified that this may be because Micalister is hopeful of moving with his mother and is effectively biding his time while a final decision is made; I have stated that this is, however, pure speculation.

[200] And that is the difficulty with the assessment process. It is but one piece of evidence in a proceeding and it is subject to the findings of fact at trial and the evidence as let at trial: see Behrens v. Stoodley, [1999] O.J. No. 4838 (C.A.). Moreover, as noted above, Nicholas Bala and Andrea Wheeler noted their doubts as to the utility of the assessment process in determining mobility issues:
Beyond the important practical questions of expense and delay, evidence from mental health professionals may have less value in relocation cases than in other child related cases. As discussed above, there is only limited psychological research about the effects of relocation on individual children, and there are questions about how much an assessment will add to this type of case. The evidence of a mental health professional is likely to be relatively predictable and quite speculative: if the child relocates, the relationship with the parent who remains behind will suffer, especially if the child is younger. The issue that the judge must resolve is whether this cost to the non-moving parent and child is worth the benefit of the relocation to the custodial parent and child. This balancing is a legal and value-based decision issue on which a mental health professional can usually only shed limited light.[43]
[201] And the reason for this is obvious. Although the assessor may very well be able to determine which home is best, the one issue that cannot be easily determined by a mental health expert is the impact of the move itself. Ms. Chodos concludes that “the stress that he [Micalister] would experience making a move to Kitimat will be cushioned by his security needs that are met by his mother.”[44] She attempts to balance off the stress of losing regular contact with his father and moving to a new community as against the stress of a change in custody; she is trained to assess the latter as she can differentiate between the two households as is done in a normal assessment, but she cannot adequately assess the impact of the former as this is necessarily speculative and fact driven. She admitted in testimony that, as noted by Bala and Wheeler, there are very few studies which assess the stress of a move and she stated that those studies are either limited in nature or flawed in some way. This being the case, the question then has to be whether an assessor is in any better position than a judge hearing a trial of the same issues.

[202] If there was a serious omission in the Chodos assessment, it was her failure to adequately address the impact and distance of the move to Kitimat on Micalister. Ms. Chodos admitted that she was not aware of the distance of Kitimat from Vancouver or, for that matter, from Ontario, or the logistics involved in transporting Micalister for visits. She was not aware of the living situation in Kitimat other than what Ms. Smith told her about and was not aware of the schooling available in Kitimat, again other than what Ms. Smith told her. She was easily able to compare households in Ontario; she was less able to compare the two households taking into consideration the impact of the move as she could not possibly foresee that impact; nor did she adequately research the logistics of Micalister’s move to this somewhat remote community.

...

[207] In short, I am extremely concerned as to whether the difficulties of the disruption to Micalister arising from the move have been adequately addressed either by Ms. Chodos or, for that matter, in Ms. Smith’s testimony. It is an issue that is extremely difficult to assess and the only means by which we can foretell what may happen is by reference to past experience when Micalister has had difficulty with change. This is especially so where the time sharing between the parties was extensive in the past and Mr. Cozzi had regular and extensive time with the child. Moreover, Micalister appears to be managing well in the care of Mr. Cozzi at present. I am not as convinced as Ms. Chodos that the move to British Columbia will be less disruptive than the change in custody, especially considering the extensive time sharing that Mr. Cozzi has always had with Micalister.
The order then concludes with:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cozzi v. Smith, 2013 ONSC 3190 (CanLII)
[257] There will therefore be an order to go varying the final order dated December 15, 2004 as follows:
(a) The parties shall continue to have joint custody of Micalister.

(b) Micalister shall remain in the primary care of the Applicant, Peter Cozzi, and shall reside with Mr. Cozzi in Newmarket, Ontario.
....
Good Luck!
Tayken

Last edited by Tayken; 07-07-2013 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:15 AM
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Hi All,

Interesting to note in Cozzi v. Smith, 2013 ONSC 3190 (CanLII) the Justice relied upon not only the assessment report but, had full access to the assessment notes and the psychological evaluations and notes from those professionals in this matter and relied on them quite often.

This is why I encourage everyone to obtain the disclosure of ALL THE NOTES from any OCL/Section 30 assessment. They often demonstrate MORE than the "report" itself. As assessments are open so are the notes and other materials for which the assessor relied upon to make their "recommendations".

My advice as always, is to not rest on the "report" alone in any matter. The notes are equally and often in contested situations, more valuable than the summarized "report" or "recommendations" from the assessor.

Justices need the entire record before them to make a determination in accordance with Rule 24 of the Children's Law Reform Act of Ontario. Don't rest your entire case on a condensed "report". Rely upon the full record that was used to create the final (summarized) report.

Often, there is conflicting situations in the notes and other supplemental materials not filed with the "report" that can be leveraged in cross examination of assessors.

Good Luck!
Tayken

Last edited by Tayken; 07-07-2013 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:34 AM
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My goodness! You've been busy this morning, Tayken.

Thank you for this. OCL involvement is a very scary concept and process.

It is quite disturbing to me that someone's "professional opinion" can change the lives of an entire family... Or not change it when it should be. I would want to make sure that the professional's opinion is a very educated and experienced one.

What if they've gotten it wrong? What if they misinterpreted the information? What if they missed a key point or event? Didnt ask the right question? What if they just go with a "gut" instinct or don't really understand the research on the particular situation?

Of course, if the recommendations go the way you prefer, the assessment is accurate. If it doesn't go the way you'd hoped, it's likely inaccurate, right?

I believe a regular poster on this forum has appealed the report of an assessment, if I recall. Did that person (was it WorkingDad?) hire a private assessor to give another opinion, much like expert witnesses in criminal trials?
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qrious View Post
Thank you for this. OCL involvement is a very scary concept and process.

It is quite disturbing to me that someone's "professional opinion" can change the lives of an entire family... Or not change it when it should be. I would want to make sure that the professional's opinion is a very educated and experienced one.

What if they've gotten it wrong? What if they misinterpreted the information? What if they missed a key point or event? Didnt ask the right question? What if they just go with a "gut" instinct or don't really understand the research on the particular situation?

Of course, if the recommendations go the way you prefer, the assessment is accurate. If it doesn't go the way you'd hoped, it's likely inaccurate, right?

I believe a regular poster on this forum has appealed the report of an assessment, if I recall. Did that person (was it WorkingDad?) hire a private assessor to give another opinion, much like expert witnesses in criminal trials?
I find it scary too. CAS' involvement would be nerve wracking too. So easy to change the lives of everyone involved.

I was surprised about the ruling. The child lives with the Dad in ON but will spend every long weekend, March break and Christmas with the Mom in BC. It would be hard never to have a Christmas with your child. You would have to rearrange it to another date I guess....
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SadAndTired View Post
I find it scary too. CAS' involvement would be nerve wracking too. So easy to change the lives of everyone involved.

I was surprised about the ruling. The child lives with the Dad in ON but will spend every long weekend, March break and Christmas with the Mom in BC. It would be hard never to have a Christmas with your child. You would have to rearrange it to another date I guess....
Yes - I would have particular issue with Christmas, being Catholic myself (X is not). Christmas is not just a break from school....
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:27 AM
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Hi All,

Something interesting to ponder as this thread is about the conduct of custody and access assessors and possibly their failure to consider the basic principals of "evidence based medicine" as clinicians...

The justice in the matter of Cozzi v. Smith, 2013 ONSC 3190 (CanLII) in para 200 referenced evidence based medicine by the author "Nicholas Bala". Interestingly, Dr. Jo Fidler, who is referenced in the matters of Fielding v. Fielding co-authored a paper with Nicholas Bala.
Barbara Jo Fidler and Nicholas Bala, “Children Resisting Post-separation Contact with a Parent: Concepts, Controversies, and Conundrums”, (2010) 48 Family Court Review 10
It appears that Dr. Sutton, Ms. Chodos and Dr. Jo Fidler all practice in loco for the same organization - Toronto Family Solutions.

One does have to ponder why these professionals are not citing their own materials or their practice partners materials as sources of evidence based medicine?

In the matter of Cozzi v. Smith, 2013 ONSC 3190 (CanLII) the very Honourable Justice J. McDermot cited reference to Nicolas Bala's paper in establishing his position which was in opposition to the recommendations of Ms. Chodos. Nicolas Bala co-authored a paper with Dr. Jo Fidler and both Ms. Chodos and Dr. Jo Fidler practice in loco (it appears) on the Family Solutions Toronto website.

It isn't a far reaching thing to ponder the idea that Ms. Chodos would be aware of her partner Dr. Jo Fidler's work with Nicolas Bala and have reviewed the material that the very Honourable Justice J. McDermot cited in Cozzi v. Smith, 2013 ONSC 3190 (CanLII) (para 200) at some point in her professional career.

Furthermore, it is odd that clinicians would refer within their practice (or business) as was done in the Fielding v. Fielding matter regarding Dr. Sutton and Dr. Jo Fidler. In that matter the arbitrator (Dr. Jo Fidler) and custody and access assessor (Dr. Sutton) practice in loco with Family Solutions Toronto.

Although they represent themselves to be neutral parties, they are both members of a for-profit organization (Family Solutions Toronto) and it would be in my opinion questionable if their relationship was purely neutral. They are both working out of the same organization and this organization represents both individuals services.

One would have to consider their conduct in that matter in light of the fact that they are both employees (or owners?) of the same for-profit organization. Can clinicians working in loco truly be neutral to their partner's position in a matter?

Even more interesting, is that an additional expert was approved in the matter of Fielding v. Fielding to provide a view to the court on Parental Alienation because as cited above, Dr. Sutton did not reference materials for which he relied upon in identifying "Parental Alienation". As the concept of "Parental Alienation" is not clinically recognized by any major organization (e.g. DSM, et all...) and has no formal diagnosis criteria other than a set list of assumptions it is interesting that Dr. Sutton didn't reference his partner's own materials. Especially when both Dr. Sutton and Dr. Jo Fidler appear to practice in loco with Family Solutions Toronto.

As Dr. Jo Fidler (and Nicolas Bala) are often cited in jurisprudence (e.g. Mustapic v. Capin, 2012 ONSC 3208 (CanLII)) it is puzzling as to why Dr. Sutton wouldn't reference his own partner's materials as justices often do themselves in the report he produced in Fielding v. Fielding. They appear to practice in loco and one would assume that Dr. Sutton has access to this material if the Honourable Madame Justice Mossip cites it in case law and it was written by another member of Family Solutions Toronto?

Interestingly:

- The APA has published a paper to provide guidance to their clinicians (psychologists) which states:

Quote:
Psychologists strive to avoid conflicts of interest and multiple relationships in conducting evaluations.
http://www.apa.org/practice/guidelin...ld-custody.pdf
- Nicholas Bala and Barbara Jo Fidler are identified as authors of a 2009 paper "DISCUSSION PAPER FOR LEGAL REFORM: Protecting Custody Assessors from Vexatious Complaints to Regulatory Colleges By Disgruntled Litigants "
http://www.ccla-abcc.ca/uploadedFile...gal_Reform.pdf
(I will review this paper later for this thread against the public's possible perception and various college's objectives of health care services in Canada.)

Good Luck!
Tayken
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