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<xTITLE>Arbitration in the Age of Covid: Examining Arbitration's Move Online</xTITLE>

Arbitration in the Age of Covid: Examining Arbitration's Move Online

by Amy Schmitz
January 2021 Amy Schmitz

Arbitration has been moving online over time with the growth of the Internet and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), which includes use of technology to assist online negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and variations thereof. Online Arbitration (OArb) is nonetheless a unique subset of ODR because it usually culminates in a final and binding award by a neutral third party that is enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Indeed, I have written about OArb on prior occasions, due to its unique status under the FAA and other arbitration laws. However, OArb was relatively limited until the Covid-19 pandemic sparked the acceleration of arbitration’s move online.

At the same time, jurisprudence around the FAA in the United States has sent various signals that both help and hinder the growth of OArb. Furthermore, the 1925 FAA was not built to address innovations like virtual hearings. This has created need for policies that adapt for technological progress.

Accordingly, this Article discusses how recent jurisprudence and institutional promulgations may impact OArb, and offers considerations for courts, policymakers and practitioners shepherding OArb development. The article is forthcoming in the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution in early 2021. Nonetheless, an unedited draft is currently available as the University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-27, at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3699778.

 

 

 

Biography


Professor Amy Schmitz joined the University of Missouri School of Law and the Center for Dispute Resolution as the Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor of Law in 2016. Previously she was a Professor at the University of Colorado School of Law for over 16 years. Prior to teaching, Professor Schmitz practiced law with large law firms in Seattle and Minneapolis, and served as a law clerk for the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.  Professor Schmitz teaches courses in Contracts, Lawyering, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), AI, Data Analytics and the Law, Arbitration, International Arbitration, and Consumer Law. She has been heavily involved in ODR teaching and research for a long time and is a Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, as well as the Co-Chair of the ABA Technology Committee of the Dispute Resolution Section and the ODR Task Force.  She serves on the Association of American Law Schools Executive Committee on Commercial and Consumer Law, was an External Scientific Fellow of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg, and is a researcher with the ACT Project exploring AI and ODR. Professor Schmitz has published over 50 articles in law journals and books, and a book, The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection, with Colin Rule.



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