Ethan Katsh Wins the 2017 D’Alemberte-Raven Award from the ABA

From the announcement:

“The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution has selected Ethan Katsh, Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as the recipient of the 2017 D’Alemberte-Raven Award. Professor Katsh is widely recognized as the founder of the field of online dispute resolution (ODR). Along with Janet Rifkin, he conducted the eBay Pilot Project in 1999 that led to eBay’s current system that handles over sixty million disputes each year.”

Read the full text of the announcement here.

Congrats, Ethan!

UN General Assembly Resolution on ODR

On December 16th, the UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution regarding the Technical Notes generated by UNCITRAL’s ODR Working Group.

The Resolution reads, in part:

“The General Assembly:
1. Expresses its appreciation to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law for preparing and adopting the Technical Notes on Online
Dispute Resolution as annexed to the report of the Commission on the work of its forty-ninth session;
2. Requests the Secretary-General to publish the text of the Technical Notes through all appropriate means, including electronically, in the six official languages of the United Nations, and to disseminate that text broadly to Governments and other interested bodies;
3. Recommends that all States and other stakeholders use the Technical Notes in designing and implementing online dispute resolution systems for crossborder commercial transactions;
4. Requests all States to support the promotion and use of the Technical Notes.”

You can read the full text of the Resolution here.

New report on ODR from the Judicial Joint Technology Committee

The Judicial Joint Technology Committee released a new Resource Bulletin on November 30th exploring ODR and its utility within courts, entitled “Online Dispute Resolution and the Courts.”  Here is the abstract:

“What began as a niche tool for non-binding, out-of-court dispute resolution between private parties, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) has grown to become a distinct and particularly effective dispute resolution mechanism encompassing a broad array of artificial intelligence technologies used to resolve a growing variety of business, consumer, and even international disputes. Some courts have successfully piloted ODR for landlord-tenant, small claims, and domestic disputes, and for minor criminal cases such as traffic and code enforcement violations. ODR presents opportunities for courts to expand services while simultaneously improving customer experience and satisfaction. This Quick Response Guide provides a basic primer in Online Dispute Resolution and lays out implementation models as well as court-specific opportunities and considerations.”

Read the full report here.

The Geneva Internet Dispute Resolution Policies 1.0

The Geneva Internet Dispute Resolution Policies 1.0 (GIDRP 1.0) have just launched at www.geneva-internet-disputes.ch

The GIDRP 1.0 project has emerged as a result of an international conference that took place at the University of Geneva on 17 – 18 June 2015, at which experts presented and discussed selected facets of the numerous legal challenges surrounding Internet-related disputes (www.internet-disputes.ch).

In the months following the conference, a team of researchers from the University of Geneva took up the mission to draft policy proposals on the following four issues:
– Which national courts shall have jurisdiction in Internet-related disputes ?
– How to structure an alternative dispute resolution system for Internet-related disputes ?
– How shall disputes about the licensing of Standard Essential Patents (SEP) under Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms be solved?
– How shall immunities apply on the Internet?

The GIDRP 1.0 is a digital policy project: it is not carved in stone and is not even materialized in any paper publication. The reason for this is that the GIDRP 1.0 is conceived as a work in progress (more precisely: a policy work in progress), that must be discussed, criticized and improved by a process of broad consultation and inclusive participation.

Learn more at www.geneva-internet-disputes.ch, and contact the program administrator at gidrp@unige.ch if you have an interest in participating in the next steps of the project which may materialize in GIDRP 2.0.

Big Data and Dispute Resolution: Insights from Conflict Related Search Data

Over the past several years, Justin Corbett has captured, cataloged, and analyzed metadata from over 50,000 conflict-related search terms that are collectively entered into search engines nearly a quarter billion times annually. These terms have been tracked at the County-level (in each of the US’ more than 3,100 Counties) and parsed into 225 distinct conflict contexts that represent the ADR field’s many current and probable future specialty practice areas. It’s a project that combines dispute resolution, technology, and data.

Justin is now distributing the ongoing discoveries from his project, and Advancing Dispute Resolution has now published an online version of his initial research findings, full of insights, data visualizations, and provocative questions for what this data may portend for our field.

New Japanese Report on ODR

The Japan Consumer Network (Jaconet) has launched an ODR research project.  Information in English on Jaconet is available here:

http://www.japanconsumernetwork.org/english.html

Information on the  ODR Research Project, available only in Japanese, is available here:

http://www.japanconsumernetwork.org/odr307403135020250.html

Also available (only in Japanese) is the  “Report of the Research Project regarding Resolution of Transboundary E-Commerce Troubles (ODR Research Project)”, issued on July 20, 2016.

http://www.japanconsumernetwork.org/odr307403135020250225772157826360.html

The full report is available in .DOC format here: http://myspace.private.coocan.jp/odr/2015/2015_main.docx

For non-Japanese speakers, after summarizing the current framework for resolving transboundary E-commerce troubles, Jaconet  proposes that “Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency or METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) should establish a study forum for constructing ODR system. The study should aim at creating a prototype of ODR based on discussion of related parties, and conducting demonstration experiments by applying it in practice.”

(h/t Hiroki for the links and translation)

Online Dispute Resolution: Stinky, Repugnant, or Drab

New ODR article from Robert Condlin at the University of Maryland entitled: “Online Dispute Resolution: Stinky, Repugnant, or Drab”

From the abstract:

“Scholars, judges, and the organized Bar have begun to see Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) as a partial answer to the “access to justice” problem faced by people of limited means, and even the “wave of the future” for most if not all forms of civil dispute resolution. Attracted by the possibility of faster, cheaper, and more convenient dispute resolution, companies, states of the union, and countries around the world now have begun to create ODR programs on a scale that makes the process, along with outsourcing, AI-based practice management software, and non-traditional legal service providers, one of the principal forces redefining the traditional practice of law.

Often overlooked in this cost and convenience über alles perspective is whether the cheap and efficient processing of disputes is a capitulation to the conditions of modern society more than a superior system for administering justice. Most ODR programs require parties to describe their claims in fixed, predefined categories that may or may not capture all of the claims’ dimensions; limit the opportunity to argue the substantive merits underlying the claims worth; and resolve differences on the basis of private software algorithms that raise fairness issues not present in dispute resolution systems run principally by humans. It’s a little too soon to know if this “wave” of the future breaks on the beach or the rocks.”

Read more: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2873918

The Online Justice Experience in British Columbia

Online justice has arrived in Canada. Darin Thompson gives an update on British Columbia’s Civil Resolution Tribunal

“The proposal to create online courts for England and Wales has been well documented in the Civil Justice Council Advisory Group Report on online dispute resolution (ODR), Lord Justice Briggs’ Reports on the Civil Courts Structure Review and more recently by a joint paper published by the Ministry of Justice, the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals.

As the online courts initiative moves into development, some stakeholders will continue to monitor the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT), an online civil tribunal that began operations in British Columbia (BC), Canada on 13 July 2016. The CRT’s design has some strong similarities with the proposed online courts, and could provide insights into the transition toward technology-facilitated justice in England…”

Read more: http://www.scl.org/site.aspx?i=ed49918

Cyberweek 2016 e-Mediation Competition Results

The results are in for Cyberweek’s 2016 e-Mediation competition. This year included 42 participants from 11 different universities in 3 different countries. After completing the scoring and ranking of the top 5 mediators, and the top 10 disputants (top 5 for each role) for the eMediation competition. The results are:

 

Mediators:

  • 1st Place: Veronika Waldhof, Cardozo School of Law
  • 2nd Place: Michelle Alexander, Marquette Law
  • 3rd Place: Erica Stoltz, Marquette Law
  • 4th Place: Alberto Ghiani, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
  • 5th Place: Zheng Wang, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

Disputant, Party A:

  • 1st Place: Adrianna Hromadka, Marquette Law
  • 2nd Place: (Tie) Patrick McDonald, Marquette Law and Molly Bussie, Marquette Law
  • 3rd Place: John Rome, Marquette Law
  • 4th Place: Ilena Telford, Marquette Law
  • 5th Place: Melanie Younger, Carleton University

 

Disputant, Party B:

  • 1st Place: Nicole Gougeon, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
  • 2nd Place: Harrison Kuntz, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
  • 3rd Place: Sharion Scott, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
  • 4th Place: (Tie) Ashley Moore, Washington University and Ding Liu, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
  • 5th Place: Hillary Lynde, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

Congratulations to these participants for succeeding as mediators and disputants in the online environment. To all those that participated. I trust that the experience was rewarding.

Many thanks to Katrina Nobles from Cornell University for organizing the event and to those that supported the event as judges. It is always a meaningful component of the Cyberweek programming and your effort is appreciated.

Until next year,

The Cyberweek Planning Committee