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CyberSettle & The NYC Government

by Jeff Thompson
December 2009

From Jeff Thompson's Enjoy Mediation Blog

Jeff Thompson

CITY USES CYBERSETTLE TO ADVANCE PRE-LITIGATION SETTLEMENTS TO SAVE CITY TIME AND MONEY
- More than 3,000 claims settled via Cybersettle saving City millions -

I am not sure how many people know about CyberSettle, but it is an online based company whose software program allows two parties enter the amount they are interested in either trying to get the other party to pay or the amount they are willing to pay. The program lets them know when there is match and bam- a deal is made.

According to the NYC Comptroller's officer, in about a four year period (February '04 through June '08) over 3,000 claimscases were settled using the CyberSettle site.

This service helps New York City expedite claims against the city. That's the good new, however another way I see it is the process narrows the entire dispute to simply money. No interests, no feelings or emotions, no apologies, and empathy. Some would say who cares because it makes the process quicker and cheaper.


That all said, I think the service is a viable form of ADR and it does give people another option compared to the traditional ADR approach or litigation. There are some impressive statistics in the article.

For example, a case using CyberSettle takes between 6-12 months while those which do not take an average of 4 years. Yes, 6-12 months compared to 4 years!

CyberSettle's joint venture with the NYC Comptroller's offfice received an award in 2007 for Most innovative use of technology in New York City and Business Week selected it in 2005 as a "Top 50 Web Applications of the Year."

Read the press release [here].

Biography


Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.

Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.

He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.

(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)



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