Today’s post continues a series co-authored by myself and international business attorney Vonda K. Vandaveer on the use of online dispute resolution to solve problems associated with traditional ADR. [Earlier posts: Part One.]
This post addresses the question:
How Does ODR Work?
ODR takes advantage of technology that most everyone in business already uses, such as computers, internet, email, instant chat, video conferencing, telephone conferencing, and increasingly VoIP (e.g. Skype).
ODR is not radically different than ADR. In fact, ODR-ADR hybrids already are in common use. Traditional ADR is typically supplemented with online interactions such as email.
Just as with traditional ADR, there are several ways of conducting online ADR, depending on the technology available to the parties and the nature of the dispute.
The various processes include:
1) Documents and party communications being sent by email;
2) Conferencing and meetings being held by video, by voice, or in chat rooms, with communications being shared or private, as the situation warrants.
3) Using a white board (a shared computer desktop) for sending and viewing documents and “signing” any agreements.
These various processes are designed to provide the same confidentiality and privacy that one finds with traditional, face-to-face dispute resolution.