Online Arbitration for Crowdfunding Disputes

Interesting piece forthcoming in the Floria State Law Review by C. Steven Bradford of the University of Nebraska College of Law, focused on the use of online arbitration to handle disputes arising from fraud in crowd funding websites like Kickstarter and Gofundme.  From the abstract:

“Arbitration is cheaper, but even ordinary arbitration will often be too expensive for the small amounts invested in crowdfunding. In this article, I attempt to design a simplified, cost-effective arbitration remedy to deal with crowdfunding fraud. The arbitration remedy should be unilateral; crowdfunding issuers should be obligated to arbitrate, but not investors. Crowdfunding arbitration should be online, with the parties limited to written submissions. But it should be public, and arbitrators should be required to publish their findings. The arbitrators should be experts on both crowdfunding and securities law, and they should take an active, inquisitorial role in developing the evidence. Finally, all of the investors in an offering should be able to consolidate their claims into an arbitration class action.”

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Indian Law Ministry Urges Use of e-Arbitration to Speed Up Dispute Resolution

The Indian Law Ministry has issued a statement urging government agencies to use fast track dispute resolution to work through the backlog of court cases awaiting resolution.  From The Times of India:

“NEW DELHI: The law ministry has asked government departments to go for online arbitration to fast track dispute resolution… ‘Presently there are more than three crore cases pending in various courts of the country and 46% of these involve government departments or government bodies. Hence, the department of justice is keen to explore options for government departments for settlement of their disputes through alternate methods,’ the ministry has said.

To cut litigation, ministries have been advised not to go to court for their disputes and instead opt for arbitration. ‘This may help courts to concentrate on access to justice to people in better manner,’ the ministry noted. Many of these agencies provide services of retired judges, senior advocates, chartered accountants, retired civil servants for mediation. Providing a list of such agencies on its website, the law ministry has said the departments may select from them according to their choice and can use their services which will ‘help to a great extent in reducing government litigations’.”

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Hangzhou Internet Court

The website of the new Internet Court in Hangzhou, China is now live.

The court is aimed at focusing on:

  1. Online shopping contract disputes
  2. Online shopping product liability disputes
  3. Online service contract disputes
  4. Loan contract disputes and small loan contract disputes
  5. Online copyright disputes

It offers a simple three-step approach:

  • Step one: Filing
    Registration and name certification, as well as complaint completion. After the user is authorized, the system supports the investigation of e-commerce, transactions, logistics, micro-credit, intellectual property and other information.
  • Step two: Mediation
    After the case is filed, the first pre-litigation mediation. Within fifteen days, the mediator contacts the parties, through online, telephone or video mediation.
  • Step three: Court
    If the mediation is unsuccessful, the case is formally submitted to the court, where it proceeds to final decision — including the online payment of litigation costs.

Visit the Hangzhou Internet Court website to learn more.


Law + Design Summit at Stanford

Stanford is hosting a one day summit on Law and Design.  From the summit web page:

“At our Law + Design day, we will hear from people at the cutting-edge of design and law, and then use the design process ourselves to define a forward agenda.

Our keynote speech will make clear what a ‘design approach’ means, and how other domains have used it to radically transform systems.

We will hear from people who have been experimenting with user-centered legal services, communications, and products. And then we will work together, using the design process, to define new prototypes and initiatives.

This summit will be both practical and provocative. We will discuss how to bring innovation into your legal organization, while also experimenting with what transformative new designs might be possible.”

An invitation is required to attend, but you can request one via a form on the web site — and there is no cost.  Learn more.