SIËSDE’s solutions reduce complexity for legal professionals
By AdvocateDaily.com Staff
SIËSDE Dispute Resolution Technologies wants to help family law professionals simplify and streamline some of the most complex aspects of their work, says Darren Gingras, the company’s executive director.
Gingras tells AdvocateDaily.com that the family law system in Canada is on the cusp of an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) breakthrough, and he sees his firm as an integral part of that future.
“ODR only recently came into the legal field but its growth in the last couple of years has been extremely impressive. It’s an exciting time,” he says. “Our specialty is on the individual pain points and specific challenges of family law, and creating technology that removes barriers and simplifies the process for family law professionals.”
Gingras says the firm grew naturally out of their Ontario family mediation and financial services company, The Common Sense Divorce (CSD).
CSD leveraged their financial industry expertise to deliver economic analysis and solutions for families facing divorce, and he says SIËSDE emerged from a desire to help lawyers and professionals create efficiencies in the family law system through the use of emerging technologies.
“We are interested in using technology to facilitate dispute resolution, create neutrality, deal with power imbalances, and simplify communications,” Gingras says. “This is a natural fit for us as technology entrepreneurs.”
The company has spent the last two years conducting research after its acceptance into the IBM Innovation Incubator program and has also received support from the National Research Council of Canada and the Ontario Centres of Excellence.
“We’ve been researching other sectors and industries to determine how they are using technology and to identify what we can borrow and develop to address some of the challenges of family law,” Gingras says.
After gleaning innovative tech practices from the worlds of finance and health care among others, he says SIËSDE has moved out of its research phase and began launching the prototype products developed over the last couple of years.
In 2018, SIËSDE, in partnership with the Ontario Association for Family Mediation (OAFM), launched a Financial Disclosure platform, the first of its kind created specifically to simplify, standardize and streamline the financial disclosure process for family mediators, lawyers, divorce financial specialists, mortgage brokerages and their clients, Gingras says.
“We are really interested in not only speeding up the process but also making it easier for those professionals preparing the documents," he explains. “Traditionally, it can take months to gather all the documents, but our solutions make the process much more efficient.
"Financial Disclosure allows professionals to standardize and simplify the client’s financial disclosure process, improving the speed and accuracy of the procedure while minimizing liability risk to the professional," Gingras says. "The technology was created by family law professionals for family law professionals, as part of the OAFMs initiative to drive innovation in family law and improve client service."
“At SIËSDE, our job is to help legal professionals by providing technology that reduces the complexities they deal with every day and allowing them to generate better solutions,” Gingras says.
The firm’s first target will be on the financial disclosure process. SIËSDE’s other products marry artificial intelligence and data analytics to generate solutions for parenting plans, client triage, and professional collaboration, he adds.