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

Consumer ADR and ODR: The New European Landscape and the Reform of the Spanish Law. Granada (Spain), 28th and 29th November 2016)

The I CONFERENCE ON CONSUMER ADR AND ODR: THE NEW EUROPEAN LANDSCAPE AND THE REFORM OF THE SPANISH LAW will be held at the University of Granada(Granada, SPAIN), on 28-29th of November. While adaptation to the new European legal landscape for alternative and online consumer dispute resolution has taken place in most European Union Member States, in Spain it is still pending of approval. The six panels of the Conference aim to make a diagnosis on the Spanish system, to identify models of successful regulation in comparative law, discover the role of ODR and make proposals for reform to help optimize consumer access to agile and flexible pathways of claims settlement. The conference will include the participation of relevant foreign academia experts such as professors Ethan Katsh, Orna Rabinovich-Einy, Mario Frota, Catia Cebola, Naomi Creutzfeld Banda, Jane Williams, Brian Hutchinson and Fernando Esteban de la Rosa and practitioners from the field.

Information about the program and registration is available at the following web site: www.adr.legal. For further information please contact adrconf.organisation@ugr.es.

Information about the program and registration is available at the following web site: www.adr.legal. For further information please contact adrconf.organisation@ugr.es.

Director: Fernando Esteban de la Rosa.

Scientific Committee: Ángeles Lara Aguado, Nuria Marchal Escalona, Miguel Ángel Moreno Navarrete, Ricardo Rueda Valdivia, Carmen Ruiz Sutil, Mercedes Soto Moya

Coordinator: Ozana Olariu

Time for field-wide governance for ODR? It’s certainly time to talk about it

A new article entitled ‘No Sheriff in Town: Governance for the ODR Field’ has appeared in Negotiation Journal’s latest volume. In it, Noam Ebner and John Zeleznikow review current trends in the field of ODR, including its embrace by organizations in the ADR and legal world, and  the territory it is rapidly gaining with international institutions and systems around the world. Against this background, they survey the relatively low level of internal governance in ODR – organizations, standards of practice, ethical guidelines and accreditation programs are, at best, few and far between. The authors survey a variety of approach to organizing governance in professional fields, and suggest that the ODR field engage in conversation around considering a suitable governance map for itself. Without advocating for any particular model of governance, they raise a simple consideration in favor of urgency: If the ODR field does not set up its own model and structures of governance, external players and bodies will do so in its place.

One such conversation will take place during Cyberweek 2016. In the opening webinar, on Oct. 31st at 4pm Eastern US time, Noam Ebner and John Zeleznikow will review the already existing elements of governance in the ODR field, point out what is missing, and invite participants to raise their own ideas and suggestions for suitable approaches to governance and to discussing governance issues.

Join in!

ODR Forum 2016 Beijing: Consensus Reached on Value of ODR

ODR2016 was held in Beijing September 18-20 and the following document was adopted:

ODR 2016 Beijing

Beijing Consensus

The world faces a tremendous challenge with the exponential growth of cross-border transactions and disputes. The Internet has significantly lowered the barriers to cross-border transactions and communication, resulting in large numbers of disputes. Two recent projections underscore the urgent need for novel avenues for addressing cross-jurisdictional and other online disputes. For one, in the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, it was projected that cross-border e-commerce will involve 2 billion customers by the year 2020. In correlation with the growing number of cross-border commercial transactions, another recent projection is that the number of disputes will continue to rise sharply, reaching a pinnacle of one billion e-commerce disputes annually by 2017, and a million disputes a day by 2020. Addressing these disputes will be a major challenge to the construction of sustainable and healthy trade and social relations in an Internet society.

Against the challenges of the 21st century, ODR has much to offer as it has proven to be an invaluable channel, enhancing access to justice in a global digital world. ODR has been successfully used across the globe in the domain of e-commerce, social media, family disputes and a variety of other sectors. ODR nowadays has applications for both ADR and court processes and there are a growing number of ODR tools and systems some of which rely on human intervention, others employing a fully automated process, and those that are hybrid processes.

At this point we further believe that the time is ripe for the articulation of, and the commitment to, a set of ethical principles specifically designed for developing and conducting ODR. The adoption of principles would further increase trust in ODR and the e-commerce setting and ensure the delivery of high quality ODR processes. There are Ethical Principles for ODR developed collaboratively by the ODR community that can provide an anchor for such an endeavor (http://odr.info/ethics-and-odr/).

Hence, the 2016 ODR Beijing forum calls for further collaboration among states, enterprises, universities, institutes, researchers and practitioners engaged in relevant areas of research and practice to further advance these overarching ethical principles of ODR and work together to further the use and quality of ODR, a vital component of a digital age justice ecosystem.

Guided Resolution Platform Now Available for Educational Use

New Australian ODR provider Guided Resolution has now made their platform available for academics who would like to give their students an ODR platform to use for simulations and exercises.  They’re just put out a new brochure detailing the functionality of the system and how it can be used in education.  From the brochure:

  • Guided Resolution designs and custom builds web-based software applications that experientially educate tertiary students in Alternative Dispute
    Resolution (‘ADR’) practices.
  • The online process introduces an innovative platform to teaching win/win negotiation techniques; one that is principled, objective, and recordable.
  • Students require no pre-requisite knowledge or skills as the application (‘App’) provides a guided online preparation and interaction tool to augment their in-class sessions.
  • The system’s primary ADR reference model is interest based negotiation (‘IBN’), the same as what mediators use to establish a non-adversarial framework.
  • Students are prompted to think about and categorise essential information early and thoroughly in order to promote productive engagement in face-to-face (‘FTF’) role-play exercises.

To learn more, view the brochure here, or contact Guided Resolution’s CEO, Ross Paull, at  rp@guidedresolution.com.au.