Courts cannot handle online disputes. The judicial system is slow, expensive, and geographically bound. Rapidly expanding e-commerce, the growth in cross-boundary transactions, and the inability of traditional legal processes to deal with disputes arising over the web has created a need for online redress options. The international consensus is that online alternative dispute resolution is the best solution to these problems. Online ADR (or “ODR”) can resolve online disputes quickly, confidentially, and effectively. It helps parties to be at their best, it connects capable neutrals with parties in effective ways, and it brings efficiencies to inefficient online marketplaces.
ODR is the hottest area of the ADR field right now. But it is still in its infancy. Do the rules of offline ADR apply to ODR? How does technology change the equation? Can ODR be effective when parties are not looking into the other side’s eyes? How can offline neutrals best translate their skills online? How can technology merge with face-to-face ADR to make it more effective?
In this Seminar we’ll examine the development of ODR, think through some of the new challenges it poses to neutrals and systems designers, and look at all the major providers, administrative agencies, and international organizations currently involved. We’ll also get to try out state-of-the-art ODR technologies through a series of simulations, and to begin to wrestle with the challenges of providing effective dispute resolution online.
Class will meet on the following dates/times: Friday, February 5 from 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Saturday, February 6 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 7 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. All students will be expected to watch and interact with 315 minutes of recorded materials. Enrollment is limited to 30 students. There are no prerequisites but knowledge of mediation would be helpful but is not required. The grade in the course will be based on class participation and a short paper.