Member of the Month
Family Law Lawyer Gene C. Colman is our September Member of the Month. With nearly forty-years of experience, Gene is devoted to helping families, “it’s my job to get clients through this horrible experience with the least possible cost, the least possible damage and, hopefully do some good along the way”. A passionate social advocate and self-proclaimed stickler for procedural fairness, Gene frequently writes and educates about a number of issues impacting family disputes namely: procedural fairness, rebuttable presumption for equal shared parenting, gender bias and parental alienation. “It is our job to help people gain insight into what their children are going through and to help individuals facilitate a more positive working relationship with the other parent”. With a FDRIO webinar on the subject next month, Gene explains that a rebuttable presumption for equal shared parenting “is generally speaking a better outcome for most children”.
An early proponent of mediation, Gene recognized early on in his career that “people just need to be listened to. If the person feels listened to, and if their hopes, fears and feelings are validated, then that can be more effective than court”. Having received mediation training during the early 90’s from Barbara Landau and Howard Irving, Gene is thankful for their courses and wishes that more lawyers would integrate mediative techniques into all aspects of their practice.”These skills have helped me a lot along the way”.
Drawn to FDRIO’s interdisciplinary roots, Gene feels that we “have to learn from one another, have open minds and jump ten feet high to better serve our clients”. A frequent event sponsor, Gene feels FDRIO is an organization promoting FDR professionals to do more, “I very much like the idea of an organization totally dedicated to supporting alternative, more healthy avenues to resolving family law disputes”.
Gene offers two tips for FDR professionals getting started:
As a father of seven and grandfather to twelve, Gene understands the importance of relationships. These relationships both familial and professional drive his commitment to helping others but also influence how he spends his downtime. In his spare time Gene most enjoys spending time with his family, especially his grandkids, but he also enjoys examining, researching and writing about social problems and the policies that influence them.
Gene has two favourite movies: Lies My Father Told Me directed by Ján Kadár and Field of Dreams directed by Phil Alden Robinson, both movies that explore the centrality of family relationships. Gene is clear: family relationships are everything and affect everything we do.
Thank you Gene!, Wonderful to meet you!