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Article

Comments and Content from Virtual International Online Dispute Resolution Forum

1-2 March 2021, Hosted by the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR)

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2021
Authors David Allen Larson, Noam Ebner, Jan Martinez e.a.
Abstract

    For the past 20 years, NCTDR has hosted a series of ODR Forums in locations around the world. For 2021, the Forum was held virtually, with live presentation over a web video platform, and recorded presentations available to participants. A full recording of the sessions can be found through http://odr.info/2021-virtual-odr-forum-now-live/. The following items are narrative notes from some of the presentations:

    • David Allen Larson – ODR Accessibility

    • Noam Ebner – Human Touch

    • Jan Martinez & Amy Schmitz – ODR and Innovation

    • Frank Fowlie – Online Sport Dispute Resolution

    • Larry Bridgesmith – AI Introductory Notes

    • Julie Sobowale – AI and Systemic Bias

    • Clare Fowler – DEODRISE

    • Michael Wolf – ODR 2.0 System Design

    • Chris Draper – Algorithmic ODR

    • Zbynek Loebl – Open ODR


David Allen Larson

Noam Ebner

Jan Martinez

Amy Schmitz

Frank Fowlie

Larry Bridgesmith

Julie Sobowale

Clare Fowler

Michael Wolf

Chris Draper

Zbynek Loebl
Article

Access_open Bits and Bytes and Apps – Oh My!

Scary Things in the ODR Forest

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2021
Keywords access to justice, digital divide, Artificial Intelligence, algorithms, Online Dispute Resolution
Authors Daniel Rainey and Larry Bridgesmith
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article addresses three issues related to online dispute resolution (ODR) that offer promise, and may carry risks for those who develop, provide, and use technology to address disputes and confects. The authors offer some principles to guide the use of technology, and some predictions about the future of ODR.


Daniel Rainey
A version of this article will be published in Portuguese as a chapter in Processo Civil e Tecnologia: os impactos da virada tecnologia no mundo, Dierle Nunes, Paulo Lucon and Isadora Werneck, eds., Editora Juspodivm, Salvador/BA–Brazil, forthcoming 2021. Daniel Rainey is, among other things, a principal in Holistic Solutions, Inc., a Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR), a founding Board Member of the International Council for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR), Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution (IJODR) and a Member of the Self-Represented Litigants Committee of the Access to Justice Commission of the Virginia Supreme Court.

Larry Bridgesmith
Larry Bridgesmith is, among other things, a practicing lawyer, professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School and co-founder of its Program on Law & Innovation, a Fellow of the International Association of Mediators, co-founder of LegalAlignment LLC, AccelerateInsite LLC and Lifefilz Inc., co-founder of the International Institute of Legal Project Management and Chair of the Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission.
Article

Towards Online Dispute Resolution-Led Justice in China

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Online Dispute Resolution, smart court, internet court, access to justice, China
Authors Carrie Shu Shang and Wenli Guo
AbstractAuthor's information

    The use of online dispute resolution (ODR) in courts is a growing topic of interest. By focusing on the recent development of ODR-connected smart courts in China, this article explores ODR’s potential impact on Chinese legal systems from three aspects: role of courts and the legal profession, due process rights, and information safety. By focusing on changing dispute resolution theories – from emphasizing on conflict resolution to dispute prevention – the article argues that ODR-led court reforms rose to the centre because the reform caters to specific purposes of the recent series of reforms conducted under the auspices of the Rule of Law campaign, by prioritizing efficiency goals and attempting to enhance individualist justice experiences. In this article, we define the meaning of ODR in China and describe and categorize ODR technologies that are currently in use in China. Based on these general findings and promising technological options of ODR, we also recommend ways to better implement ODR in Chinese courts to take full advantage of technological advancements.


Carrie Shu Shang
Carrie Shu Shang, Assistant Professor, Coordinator, Business Law program, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona,

Wenli Guo
Wenli Guo, Ph.D., Assistant President, Beiming Software Co. Ltd., President, Internet Nomocracy Institute of Beiming Software Co. Ltd.,
Article

The Value of Online Dispute Resolution in Family Law

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2020
Keywords online dispute resolution, family law, access to justice, domestic relations cases, online mediation
Authors Margaret M. Huck
AbstractAuthor's information

    Online dispute resolution is an incredibly powerful tool for litigants, particularly in the area of family law. In the United States, courts with flooded dockets in both metropolitan and rural areas have employed various online systems and software programs to help parties better work through issues. While ODR can provide such benefits as a quicker and less expensive resolution, it also presents some concerns which need addressed by the legal community. For example, many who would otherwise benefit from ODR may struggle with access to the necessary technology, or could greatly benefit from advice on how to phrase opinions in a neutral manner, so as not to derail an emotionally charged discussion. Further, while a history of domestic violence among parties necessitates screening, it is possible that they may be able to utilize ODR if counsel is present. Finally, to promote candor and problem-solving among the parties, all ODR platforms should be as secure as possible.


Margaret M. Huck
Born and raised in southeastern Ohio, Margaret ventured to Columbus to study Psychology at The Ohio State University. She later graduated from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in May 2020 with a Certificate in Dispute Resolution. She is passionate about showcasing the benefits alternative dispute resolution can bring to litigants, particularly in the realm of family law.

    Infractions are the most voluminous case type in most court locations. Through two initiatives funded by the National Highway Safety Administration, namely eCitation and On-line Disposition, the Connecticut Judicial Branch has been able to establish a comprehensive electronic citation and adjudication platform during a time of significant budgetary challenges.


Stacey B. Manware
Deputy Director of Centralized Services for the Connecticut Judicial Branch.
Article

Online Collaboration Algorithms for Small Claims

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2019
Keywords online collaboration algorithms, small claims
Authors Ernest Thiessen and Peter Holt
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article was adapted from a presentation at the ODR Forum 2019 in Williamsburg.


Ernest Thiessen
President of iCan Systems Inc. (creators of Smartsettle).

Peter Holt
Chief Product Development Officer at iCan Systems Inc. (creators of Smartsettle).
Article

Digital Identity for Refugees and Disenfranchised Populations

The ‘Invisibles’ and Standards for Sovereign Identity

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords digital identity, sovereign identity, standards, online dispute resolution, refugees, access to justice
Authors Daniel Rainey, Scott Cooper, Donald Rawlins e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    This white paper reviews the history of identity problems for refugees and disenfranchised persons, assesses the current state of digital identity programmes based in nation-states, offers examples of non-state digital ID programmes that can be models to create strong standards for digital ID programmes, and presents a call to action for organizations like International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


Daniel Rainey
Daniel Rainey is a Board Member, InternetBar.Org (IBO), and Board Member, International Council for Online Dispute Resolution (ICODR)

Scott Cooper
Scott Cooper is a Vice President, American National Standards Institute (retired).

Donald Rawlins
Donald Rawlins is a Candidate (May 2019), Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution, Southern Methodist University.

Kristina Yasuda
Kristina Yasuda is a Director of Digital Identities for the InternetBar.org and a consultant with Accenture Strategy advising large Japanese corporations on their digital identity and blockchain strategy.

Tey Al-Rjula
Tey Al-Rjula is CEO and Founder of Tykn.tech.

Manreet Nijjar
Manreet Nijjar is CEO and Co-founder of truu.id, Member of the Royal College Of Physicians (UK), IEEE Blockchain Healthcare Subcommittee on Digital Identity, UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain and Sovrin Guardianship task force committee.
Article

The Pull of Unbiased AI Mediators

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords automation, artificial intelligence, algorithm development, mediation, pull style communication
Authors Chris Draper
AbstractAuthor's information

    There is significant concern in the access to justice community that expanding current count-based online dispute resolution (ODR) efforts will further exacerbate the systemic inequities present in the American justice system. This well-founded fear stems from the fact that current ODR tools typically calibrate artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms with past outcomes so that any future cases are consistently analysed and filtered in a manner that produces similar results. As courts consider ODR tools for more complicated cases that often require mediation, there is significant disagreement on whether it is possible to create an AI mediator and how that could be achieved. This article argues that an effective AI mediator could be created if its design focuses not on the outcomes achieved by the mediation but on the manner of the communication prompts used by the AI mediator.


Chris Draper
Chris Draper, PhD, PE, is the Managing Director of Trokt, responsible for guiding the development, adoption and growth of the Trokt Online Dispute Resolution platform. Dr. Draper is a trained engineer with a focus on human-technology interface risks, a certified mediator with a focus on special needs education conflicts, and an expert on the evaluation of highly complex systems that assist in the human management of legally sensitive data. Dr. Draper received his Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley and his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Glasgow.
Article

Mobile Online Dispute Resolution Tools’ Potential Applications for Government Offices

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords mobile online dispute resolution, MODR, ODR, computer mediated communication, dispute prevention, workplace conflict
Authors Stephanie Gustin and Norman Dolan
AbstractAuthor's information

    Online communication practices have become intrinsic to government work environments. Understanding the impact of these practices, whether they be general computer mediated communication (CMC) or specifically online dispute resolution (ODR) processes, is an essential step in supporting respectful and healthy work environments. ODR literature focuses almost exclusively on e-commerce, leaving large gaps in the body of knowledge as ODR applications diversify. Available ODR tools, which simply transpose traditional alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes online through the use of office videoconferencing systems, are not mobile and do not utilize the full capabilities of the existing technology. This article explores the potential impacts mobile ODR (MODR) tools could have on the dispute interventions and prevention initiatives in government office settings. The study used an exploratory model to establish an understanding of the experiences and needs of Canadian and Australian government employees. Findings demonstrate an interest in the introduction of education-oriented MODR tools as supplementary support with the purposes of knowledge retention and further skill development following dispute prevention training. Findings suggest that workplace attitudes towards online communication and ODR have a significant impact on the extent to which individuals successfully develop and maintain relationships either fully or partially through the use of CMC.


Stephanie Gustin
Stephanie Gustin holds an MA in Dispute Resolution from the University of Victoria, Canada.

Norman Dolan
Norman Dolan holds a PhD in Public Administration and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, Canada.
Article

Access_open World Justice Forum VI

Insights and Takeaways

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2019
Keywords World Justice Forum, World Justice Project, World Justice Report, online dispute resolution, technology, access to justice, Justice Layer of the Internet
Authors Jeffrey Aresty and Larry Bridgesmith
AbstractAuthor's information

    In May 2019, the World Justice Project (WJP) convened its sixth annual conference to explore the state of access to justice (A2J) in the global context. World Justice Forum VI met in The Hague and published the most recent A2J report compiled after a year of analysis and based on more than a decade of public, government and citizen data. Measuring the Justice Gap revealed less than optimistic data reflecting the lack of significant progress toward fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16: achieving just, peaceful and inclusive societies by 2030. The 2019 conference showcased many global initiatives seeking to narrow the justice gap. For the most part these initiatives rely on institutional action by governments, financial institutions and NGO’s. As important as these projects are, transforming the access to justice status of the world can also be achieved through actions focused on Justice at the Layer of the Internet. A consensus based governance model can build a legal framework which is not reliant on the enactment of laws, the promulgation of regulations or overcoming the inertia of institutional inaction. This article reviews the learning gleaned from the WJP and the 2019 Forum. It also seeks to augment the great work of the WJP by exploring the potential for justice as delivered by individuals joined in consensus and relying on emerging technologies.


Jeffrey Aresty
Jeff Aresty is an international business and e-commerce lawyer with 35 years of experience in international cyberlaw technology transfer. He is the Founder and President of the InternetBar.Org.

Larry Bridgesmith
Larry Bridgesmith J.D., is CEO of LegalAlignment LLC, a practicing lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee, and Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University and coordinator of its programme on law and innovation.
Part II Private Justice

Using Technology and ADR Methods to Enhance Access to Justice

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1-2 2018
Keywords ODR, ADR, mediation, online court, e-court, consumer ADR, CADR, CDR, ombudsman
Authors Pablo Cortes
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses how technology and extrajudicial processes can provide a solution to the access-to-justice problem for self-represented litigants. The article first observes the need for efficient dispute resolution processes based on a wider concept of access to justice and argues for greater integration amongst courts and extrajudicial bodies, especially in the consumer sphere where dispute resolution bodies are currently undergoing an institutionalization process as a result of recent EU legislation. Accordingly, it is argued that access to justice for consumers will only be achieved if they have access to either an accountable and effective extrajudicial scheme that offers adjudication or a truly user-friendly and accessible online court that incorporates alternative dispute resolution techniques as the United Kingdom has endeavoured to deliver. To that end, this article examines the policy options for the English Online Court with a particular focus on the challenges faced by litigants in person. Finally, this article submits that dispute system design changes need to be informed by empirical research and a holistic policy strategy on dispute resolution.


Pablo Cortes
Pablo Cortes is Professor of Civil Justice, Leicester Law School, University of Leicester.
Article

Equal Access to Information & Justice: A Report on the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Forum 2017

The Huge Potential of ODR, Greatly Underexplored (Paris, France, 12 and 13 June 2017)

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2017
Keywords ODR, equal access, justice online, information online, ICC
Authors Mirèze Philippe
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article is a brief report on the two-day conference on ‘Equal Access to Information & Justice, Online Dispute Resolution’, organized by the ICC in Paris on 12-13 June. Over 160 lawyers, magistrates, academics, researchers, dispute resolution organizations and online dispute resolution providers, from over 30 countries and representing each continent debated about the use of technology for the resolution of all types of disputes. The 60 speakers explored the future of dispute resolution and the role of technology in all legal fields, from mediation in conflict zones, to commercial and civil disputes. The huge potentials greatly underexplored were discussed. It was noted that much remains to be done to educate users and convince state courts, dispute resolution organizations, merchants and other services’ providers to offer access to justice online. Efforts must be undertaken to allow users seek remedy in an affordable way. The solution for an equal access to justice is to make such access available online. The issues of ethics and standards were also discussed, as well as the increase concern of data protection and cybersecurity. The recording of the discussions on the panels are available on the ICC Digital Library (ICCDRL).


Mirèze Philippe
Mirèze Philippe is a special counsel at the Secretariat of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. She is the founding co-president of ArbitralWomen and member of the Board, member of the Steering Committee of the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, member of the Board of Advisors of Arbitrator Intelligence, member of the Advisory Board of Association Arbitri, and fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution.
Article

The New World Order in Dispute Resolution

Brexit and the Trump Presidency

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2017
Keywords dispute resolution, Brexit, Donald Trump, technology, trade
Authors Ijeoma Ononogbu
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Brexit vote and Donald J Trump as the leader of the Free world in 2016 brought in a new world order. Two hugely important and unexpected events of 2016. Both have called into question the stability of established international commercial dispute resolution schemes in the United Kingdom and the United States in our tech savvy world. As the impact of both events unfolds, adaptations made to the existing dispute resolution schemes will be negotiated and the role that technology can play in the new approaches to international commercial dispute resolution will be determined. Consequently, there has been the changing face of Western politics after the Cold War, based on traditional group identity giving way to an uncertain landscape in which the political class struggle to define. The impact and disruption of technology in politics has given everyone a voice regardless of social class. Consequently, the EU under Mr Juncker and the UK Prime Minister seem to have mutual respect in their negotiations, given that the UK has made a number of notable concessions in order to move the trade discussions forward.
    Under Donald Trump presidency, the state of North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) seems binary with the probing question will NAFTA survive or not. NAFTA is currently undergoing transformation, a process that incorporates Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).


Ijeoma Ononogbu
Ijeoma Ononogbu is a London-based Solicitor, International Dispute Resolution, Director, Dispute Resolver Ltd and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Peter Holt
Peter Holt is Chief Product Development Officer at iCan Systems Inc.

Graham Ross
Graham Ross runs a distance training course on ODR for mediators and arbitrators at www.odrtraining.com and he is a member of the Civil Justice Council ODR Advisory Group.

Ernest Thiessen
Ernest Thiessen is President of iCan Systems Inc of British Columbia, developers of the Smartsettle eNegotiation and visual blind bidding system.

Diana Wallis
Diana Wallis is Former Vice-President of the European Parliament, past President of the European Law Institute and former Director of the International Mediation Institute.

Stewart McCulloch
Stewart McCulloch is Managing director of NuvaLaw UK Limited.
Conference Paper

Artificial Intelligence and Online Dispute Resolution Systems Design

Lack of/Access to Justice Magnified

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2017
Keywords ODR, ethics, alternative dispute resolution, technology, dispute system design, artificial intelligence
Authors Leah Wing
AbstractAuthor's information

    Recent scholarship and innovative applications of technology to dispute resolution highlight the promise of increasing access to justice via online dispute resolution (ODR) practices. Yet, technology can also magnify the risk of procedural and substantive injustice when artificial intelligence amplifies power imbalances, compounds inaccuracies and biases and reduces transparency in decision making. These risks raise important ethical questions for ODR systems design. Under what conditions should algorithms decide outcomes? Are software developers serving as gatekeepers to access to justice? Given competing interests among stakeholders, whose priorities should impact the incorporation of technology into courts and other methods of dispute resolution? Multidisciplinary collaboration and stakeholder engagement can contribute to the creation of ethical principles for ODR systems design and transparent monitoring and accountability mechanisms. Attention to their development is needed as technology becomes more heavily integrated into our legal system and forms of alternative dispute resolution.


Leah Wing
Leah Wing is Co-Director, National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, and Senior Lecturer II, Legal Studies Program, Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (USA).
Article

The Law of Consumer Redress in an Evolving Digital Market

Upgrading from Alternative to Online Dispute Resolution

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2017
Keywords e-Commerce, Online Dispute Resolution, Alternative Dispute Resolution, consumer redress
Authors Pablo Cortés
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article contains the Introduction of a book with the same title recently published by Cambridge University Press, which is reproduced here with its permission. The book offers an updated analysis of the various consumer dispute resolution processes, its laws and best practices, which are collectively referred as the Law of Consumer Redress. The book argues that many consumer redress systems, and in particular publicly certified Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) entities, are more than a mere dispute resolution mechanism as they provide a public service for consumers that complements, and often replaces, the role of the courts. In examining the current redress models (i.e., public enforcement, private enforcement and other market options), the book calls for greater integration amongst these various redress options. It also advocates, inter alia, for processes that encourage parties to participate in ADR processes, settle meritorious claims and ensure extrajudicial enforcement of final outcomes. Lastly, the book calls for a more efficient rationalization of certified ADR entities, which should be better coordinated and accessible through technological means.


Pablo Cortés
Pablo Cortés is Professor of Civil Justice, University of Leicester, UK.
Conference Paper

Conference Opening Remarks

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2017
Keywords Online Dispute Resolution, online court, access to justice, technology and the law
Authors Lord Justice Briggs
AbstractAuthor's information

    Lord Justice Briggs has been intimately involved in the development of technology for improving access to justice in the UK. He was the author of a report that energized the move toward online dispute resolution in the courts. These remarks are a retrospective look at his work, now that he is a member of the UK Supreme Court, and no longer involved day-to-day in ODR development.


Lord Justice Briggs
Justice of the UK Supreme Court.
Article

The New Handshake: Where We Are Now

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 2 2016
Keywords consumers, consumer protection, online dispute resolution (ODR), remedies, e-commerce
Authors Amy J. Schmitz and Colin Rule
AbstractAuthor's information

    The internet has empowered consumers in new and exciting ways. It has opened more efficient avenues for consumers to buy just about anything. Want proof? Just pull out your smartphone, swipe your finger across the screen a few times, and presto – your collector’s edition Notorious RBG bobblehead is on its way from China. Unfortunately, however, the internet has not yet delivered on its promise to improve consumer protection.


Amy J. Schmitz
Amy J. Schmitz is the Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law and Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, and the founder of MyConsumertips.info.

Colin Rule
Colin Rule is co-founder and Chairman of Modria.com and the former Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal.

    This article captures current trends in online dispute resolution (ODR) and its potential use in Ireland by analysing Irish practitioners’ current attitudes to and awareness of ODR. Ultimately, this work provides the groundwork for future research into Ireland’s use of ODR. This exploratory research will hopefully guide researchers in understanding ODR’s users and consumption.
    Data collection came from an online questionnaire sent to conflict intervention practitioners in Ireland who reported their experiences and perspectives of ODR. One hundred and twenty-four surveys were used in this analysis. These questionnaires produced both quantitative and qualitative data. Approximately 900 people were asked to complete the survey.
    The author found that surveyed participants were sceptical regarding ODR, with very few actually using online technologies to aid in resolving disputes. A popular sentiment among participating practitioners was that ODR was not better than face-to-face meetings, but that it was worth exploring further. Finally, the author found that those who had heard of ODR are more likely to believe they could assist parties in reaching a final settlement by using video technology.


Simon J. Boehme
Conflict Resolution Specialist for Martin F. Scheinman, Esq., Mitchell Scholar at Maynooth University in Ireland, Truman Scholar and Merrill Presidential Scholar at Cornell University’s ILR School in Ithaca, NY. <www.simonboehme.com>.
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