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<xTITLE>ODR Gaining Traction</xTITLE>

ODR Gaining Traction

by Colin Rule
May 2012

Novo Justice Blog by Colin Rule

Colin Rule

Christy Burke, Legal IT Professionals:

“Courtroom showdowns make for great movie scenes, but To Kill a Mockingbird’s Atticus Finch would be shocked to hear that the courts are only resolving a fraction of today’s legal disputes. A growing number of cases are being resolved by online tools, and sometimes lawyers and judges are not even involved. Impartial web-based systems apply computation, algorithms and cryptographic technology to bring about resolution quickly and inexpensively.

A growing stable of private sector companies are beginning to compete with the judicial system for “customers” and are also changing the face of traditional Alternate Dispute Resolution or ADR, which has typically included mediation, arbitration and other alternatives to the courts.

Not only are approaches to justice and negotiation changing, but some of these new systems like those provided by Fair Outcomes, are actually prompting lawyers and their customers to be more honest about the value of a case and their realistic objectives from the outset, providing disincentives to lie, bully and posture. Utopian though it may sound, this is actually becoming a reality. Atticus would be happy to hear that, at least!

A potential paradigm shift is in the making here, but what is motivating parties to look outside traditional courts, mediation and arbitration and flock to the web for resolving their disputes? In short, overburdened courts, lean economic times, cost, and convenience all figure into the mix…”

Great article, check it out!



Biography


Colin Rule is CEO of Mediate.com.  From 2017 to 2020 Colin was Vice President for Online Dispute Resolution at Tyler Technologies. Tyler acquired Modria.com, an ODR provider Colin co-founded, in 2017. From 2003 to 2011 Colin was Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal.  Colin co-founded Online Resolution, one of the first online dispute resolution (ODR) providers, in 1999 and served as its CEO and President.  Colin worked for several years with the National Institute for Dispute Resolution (now ACR) in Washington, D.C. and the Consensus Building Institute in Cambridge, MA.

Colin is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002, and co-author of The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection, published by the ABA in 2017. He received the first Frank Sander Award for Innovation in ADR from the American Bar Association in 2020, and the Mary Parker Follett Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution in 2013. He holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a graduate certificate in dispute resolution from UMass-Boston, a B.A. from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.  You can read many of his articles and see some of his talks at colinrule.com/writing.



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