Wednesday, December 3, 2014


This week featured Cyber Monday and, in case you missed it, last month we had Cyberweek 2014 for "ODR" or online dispute resolution professionals. This interesting virtual conference on the future of alternative dispute resolution was filled with a wealth of webinars, discussion forums and activities. A content rich website, hosted by the ADRhub-Werner Institute at the Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, contains a variety of webinars discussing the integration of technology and dispute resolution. The link below provides access to the activities that took place this year. The organizers encourage visitors to review the entire program to ensure not missing a topic that will meet interests of practitioners considering using technology in dispute resolution processes. Some highlights from the program include presentations entitled: A Panel Discussion on ODR and Ethics, Trends In Conflict Throughout the United States, Technology and ADR, and A Practical Approach to Online Mediation. It seems international mediators are more interested in this form of mediation at this juncture. Travel costs can be incentive enough to mediate online, but the efficiency of the software in being able to access negotiations at the user’s convenience seems to be the main feature touted in this modern method of settling lawsuits. Amounts in controversy will likely drive the ODR process to lower value cases. According to one ODR vendor in the UK, the average duration is one hour in a case that would typically be found in a US county court. Efforts in this area have been around for more than a decade, but I'm still not sure ODR is ready for prime time in larger cases where a human element in decision-making is often intangible without parties participating in person. Archived Cyberweek webinars remain available here--