Goodbye to The Haggler

David Segal, aka The Haggler, is a New York Times reporter who for the last eight years has written a consumer help column. If his columns were compiled, they would provide an interesting overview, written in an entertaining style, of the plight of the modern consumer. Mr. Segal announced this week that he has been reassigned to the London bureau of the Times and will no longer be The Haggler. His farewell column is worth a read. Thanks for an informative and entertaining run.

Online court won’t repeat failure of Dutch model, MoR claims

 has a new piece on the Law Society Gazette website detailing a lecture delivered this month by Sir Terence Etherton about the new UK Online Court.  From the article:

“The failure of a pioneering online court in The Netherlands should not deter efforts to build more ambitious version in England and Wales, the Master of the Rolls has said. In a lecture this month, Sir Terence Etherton laid out for the first time the scale of the ambition behind the proposed ‘Online Solutions Court’, which will be designed to operate largely without lawyers and to dispense with ‘preventive justice’… the online court would ensure the core functions of the civil courts are ‘not simply maintained but augmented’. While the process will be designed so that individuals can access the system without the need for legal advice, he conceded that lawyers ‘will no doubt continue to play an important role in many cases’ especially those that proceed to disposal by a judge.”

Read more at https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/online-court-wont-repeat-failure-of-dutch-model-mor-claims/5061641.article

“Rechtwijzer: why online supported dispute resolution is hard to implement”

Great, frank assessment on the law-tech-a2j.org blog of the challenges behind the Rechtwijzer project, with some valuable takeaways and lessons learned:

“The main providers of justice – such as courts, legal aid boards, ministries and law firms – cannot implement online supported dispute resolution under the current regulatory regimes. Offering ODR to citizens as an independent service is an option, but it is uncertain whether it will succeed without some form of government support. Although many forms of alternative dispute resolution failed to make a breakthrough in the past, a smart ODR offering may yet be able to do this… The broader lesson is about innovation in legal dispute resolution systems. That is hard to achieve. ODR is no different from mediation, problem-solving courts, fast tracks, ombudsmen and countless other attempts to replace traditional court procedures by more innovative mechanisms. The demand for better procedures from citizens is huge. But the government institutions to which we entrust adjudication and legal aid do not have processes for implementing and scaling up innovation. Truly opening up to innovation. That should happen first.”

Read the full article here.