2019 INTERNATIONAL ODR FORUM

We are pleased to announce the list of speakers and presenters for the 2019 International Online Dispute Resolution conference. This year’s conference will be held in Williamsburg, VA from October 28-30. It is being hosted by the National Center for State Courts and co-sponsored by the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution. In addition to many sessions on the use of ODR in the private sector, a major focus of the conference this year will be on ODR in the courts. We hope that you will be able to join us.

Full-Time ODR Position at the University of Antwerp

“The Research Group Law Enforcement of the Faculty of Law is seeking to fill a full-time (100%) vacancy for a

Doctoral Grant by the University Research Fund (BOF) in the area of Alternative Dispute Settlement – Procedural justice in online dispute resolution: an empirical enquiry

Relying on the existing practices, the project aims to explore the ways to ensure procedural justice in three most common ODR processes presently, namely online negotiation, mediation and arbitration. The project will follow a multi-method methodology and will combine doctrinal analysis with empirical research.”

To learn more, visit the job listing on AcademicPositions.com

(h/t Frank)

New book by Alberto Elisavetsky, now available in e-book

Mediation in light of the New Technologies. A multi-geographic journey through the origins and present of conflict resolution and technological impact

The new book by Alberto Elisavetsky – Coordinator: Daniela Almirón

  • Language: Spanish
  • Publication date: July 2019
  • Author Alberto I. Elisavetsky,
  • Coordinator: Daniela Patricia Almirón
  • Type: pdf
  • Pages: 240
  • ISBN 978-987-793-025-2

¡Get your e-book sample with special launch discount!

Voucher 15% off: ILJSXZLJ

  • Access to the Editing House online library: https://ebooks.errepar.com/library
  • Sign-in with your e-mail, Google or Facebook
  • Select the book La mediación a la luz de las nuevas tecnologías (Spanish only)
  • Use the promotional code ILJSXZLJ in the ‘código del cupón‘ box.

Japanese Government Introducing ODR in Civil Courts

Nikkei Newspaper July 7, 2019

https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXMZO47060740W9A700C1MM8000/

Article summary:

“The government will set up a system to resolve civil disputes such as divorces and traffic accidents on the Internet. Consider introducing next-generation legal services that utilize artificial intelligence (AI). In Europe and the United States, it is widely used as a means to solve it quickly and at low cost, but Japan’s legal infrastructure is based on paper procedures and IT (information technology) has been delayed. A public-private expert conference will be organized this summer as well, and the basic policy will be compiled in 2019.”

Excerpt from the Google Translate of the body of the article: “The Japanese version of ODR (Online Dispute Resolution), which the government will consider introducing, will carry out various tasks such as accepting problems, exchanging claims, exchanging evidence, etc. on the Internet. Once ODR is realized, you will be able to go online after returning home or at lunchtime. There is no need to go to a court {…} and the time and cost until resolution can be reduced.”

(h/t Mayu)

New Mexico Judicial ODR Featured on Local Television

The new ODR program in the New Mexico courts was featured on a local television program yesterday. Judge Jane Levy did a great job laying out online dispute resolution and explaining its benefits to citizens. From the write up on the Living Local New Mexico web site:

“The New Mexico Judiciary is committed to advancing Judicial excellence by protecting the rights of all New Mexicans, resolving legal Disputes, and ensuring justice for all.

One of its initiatives is online dispute resolution. Through online dispute resolution, New Mexicans can save time and money by negotiating to settle debt or money due in lawsuits at their convenience through confidential exchanges at home, a business or any location with internet access, using a smartphone, computer or mobile device.”

Watch the segment by clicking here.

Mediation in light of the New Technologies – New book by Alberto Elisavetsky

#odrOdr LatinoamericaODR Argentina, ODR Mexico, ODR España

Mediation in light of the New Technologies. A multigeographic journey through the origins and present of conflict resolution and technological impact
I want to to share with you the cover of my upcoming book (to be launched soon, in July) about Conflict Resolution and New Technologies.

A special thanks to all of you who made this possible, with your contribution, mentoring and/or friendship.

New article on Court ODR

Amy J. Schmitz, Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law, has a new article in the Buffalo Law Review entitled “Expanding Access to Remedies through E-Court Initiatives” with a lot of great detail on court ODR initiatives. Here’s the abstract:

Virtual courthouses, artificial intelligence (AI) for determining cases, and algorithmic analysis for all types of legal issues have captured the interest of judges, lawyers, educators, commentators, business leaders, and policymakers. Technology has become the “fourth party” in dispute resolution through the growing field of online dispute resolution (ODR), which includes the use of a broad spectrum of technologies in negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and other dispute resolution processes. Indeed, ODR shows great promise for expanding access to remedies, or justice. In the United States and abroad, however, ODR has mainly thrived within e-commerce companies like eBay and Alibaba, while most public courts have continued to insist on traditional face-to-face procedures. Nonetheless, e-courts and public ODR pilots are developing throughout the world in particular contexts such as small claims and property tax disputes, and are demonstrating how technology can be used to further efficiency and expand access to the courts. Accordingly, this Article explores these e-court initiatives with a critical eye for ensuring fairness, due process, and transparency, as well as efficiency, in public dispute resolution.

Read the full piece at: https://digitalcommons.law.buffalo.edu/buffalolawreview/vol67/iss1/3

Recommended Citation:
Amy J. Schmitz, Expanding Access to Remedies through E-Court Initiatives, 67 Buff. L. Rev. 89 (2019).

2019 SRLN Brief: Online Dispute Resolution

From the SRLN (Self-Represented Legal Network) Brief, available as an open Google Doc:

“Long-embraced in the business community, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is now gaining momentum in justice systems around the world.  According to a list provided by the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR), there are more than 80 ODR providers operating around the world.  Here in the United States, implementation of court-based ODR is occurring in both statewide and local jurisdictions.

With this brief, the Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) offers a curated list of resources that we hope will both establish the reader’s foundational understanding of ODR, as well as spark ideas about the potential impact of court-based ODR for the self-represented. This document is not intended to raise or explore the many issues that might arise when a court adopts ODR, such as managing the often inherent power imbalance between the parties, obtaining a knowing and voluntary waiver of legal rights, ensuring the parties fully understand collateral consequences, or how to fold ODR into other self-help services in the courts. This is solely a list of foundational resources. Because court-based ODR is a rapidly-evolving field, we will update this brief as additional resources become available. Please recommend additional resources by e-mailing info@srln.org.”

Check out the brief (and contribute resources) here.

Online Dispute Resolution Spreading in Courts

“Those involved with the development and use of online dispute resolution platforms see opportunities for the systems that extend well past divorces and small claims court.”

Zack Quaintance, GovTech.com, March 20, 2019 — an excerpt:

“Across the country, a system called online dispute resolution (ODR) is taking hold within municipal and county court systems.

ODR is helping individuals resolve legal troubles without having to set foot in the courtroom. So far, it’s being used in small claims court — settling arguments between neighbors over fences, or helping with debt collection issues, among other things — as well in some divorce cases.

The concept behind it is simple: A back and forth online negotiation replaces the need to appear in court, easing the load for overburdened court systems while helping residents get equitable access to justice. This removes the need to take time off work, hire a lawyer or physically spend time in a government building.”

Also:

“Slagle, Gillespie and the panelists at SXSW all agreed that the future for ODR in America’s court system is a bright one, envisioning a time when it will be standard throughout the country.”

Read more here.

Access to Justice and ODR by Daniel Rainey

From the Bold Measures in ODR Blog

Access to justice has traditionally been defined as access to the courts. The World Justice Project just published the 2019 review of 126 countries, ranking them on an access to justice scale determined by an array of factors related to the independence and fairness of their court systems. The US, by the way, ranked as #20 in 2019 (down from #19 in 2018) – just behind the Czech Republic and just ahead of Spain. Venezuela, it will not surprise you, ranks last as #126.

This definition of A2J as A2the courts has some ramifications for the development of ODR. The basic approach being taken by justice-related ODR developers is to improve the performance of various aspects of the legal system. This is a noble (no sarcasm intended) and largely successful approach.

The promises of ODR for the legal system have focused on easing entry, saving time, saving money, and reducing caseloads. Early in the development of legal ODR, document assembly programs, case management programs, time management programs, and other very useful apps turned inward to the management of courts and law firms. The new wave of ODR is focusing outward, toward the parties who approach the courts for justice, often working in conjunction with ADR programs already in use by the courts.. These new ODR platforms are delivering very well on the basic promises.

Entry has certainly been eased. Using mobile technology and greatly simplifying some of the complex systems that have traditionally been barriers to entering the justice system, ODR has allowed for filing cases and participating in dispute resolution from anywhere, at any time. In the UK, where an ODR project has been underway for a couple of years, and in several states in the U.S., only a very small percentage of potential cases have been kicked out of ODR systems for lack of technology access.

Time has certainly been saved. For example, a family court using ODR in the U.S. has reduced the time it takes to complete a case from 8 weeks (in traditional court) to 6 days.

The vast majority of parties who use ODR platforms find that it is fair, and a vast majority of those parties would recommend the ODR approach to others.

As artificial intelligence is used more and more in the development of ODR systems, what commercial online service desks refer to as “containment” – the ability to keep the party interacting with the AI rather than being sent to a human helper – will improve. At the moment, it seems common for commercial online service desks to shoot for 80% containment – achieving that level of service for legal ODR would have a huge impact on caseloads, court costs, etc. That day is coming. Soon.

So what’s wrong with our conception of A2J as A2thecourts? Nothing, really. But there is what one could call a blind spot in our push to integrate ODR into the courts. Great technology, highly accessible, with great containment rates, will without doubt make “justice” in the form of access to the courts available to those who are currently disposed to approach the courts in the first place. A problem, not with ODR but with the courts, is that a majority of justiciable issues that crop up in society never get as far as consultation with a lawyer, or as far as filing as a self-represented litigant. Because of cost, or lack of knowledge about rights, or, as I have often said, for poor people courts are generally where things happen to you, not for you, estimates of unpursued potential issues from the ABA are as high as 70%.

If we really want to increase access to justice, we need to target not just easy access to the courts for traditional parties, but apps and education for those who have traditionally been voluntarily disenfranchised by their own fear or reluctance to approach a court, online or offline.