Schmitz & Martinez on ODR in the United States

Amy J. Schmitz (Ohio State University Moritz College of Law) and Janet Martinez (Stanford Law School) have posted “ODR and Innovation in the United States” (in ONLINE DISPUTE RESOLUTION: THEORY AND PRACTICE: A TREATISE ON TECHNOLOGY AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION (Wahab, Katsh and Eds., 2021)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Technology is revolutionizing the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) field, especially in the wake of Covid-19. Despite the long-held assumptions that increasing understanding, building empathy, and crafting resolution are only possible in-person, effective ways have emerged for assisting the resolution of the exploding number of disputes that have burgeoned online. Technology has become the “fourth party” through the growing field of online dispute resolution (ODR), which includes use of technology and computer-mediated-communication (CMC) in negotiation, mediation, arbitration and other dispute resolution processes. ODR is infiltrating every area of dispute resolution, from courts (small claims, tax, landlord/tenant, family and more) to the block chain. Furthermore, innovation in the field continues to grow, as institutionalization expands in the U.S. legal tech market. Nonetheless, it is questionable whether this expansion has sufficiently considered sound and ethical dispute system design. This chapter in a new Treatise on ODR explores ODR’s recent development in the U.S., analyzes the providers that self-identified as providing “ODR” to the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR) in the U.S., and proposes closer attention to dispute system design. Moreover, the chapter invites further innovation and research in the ODR to advance access to justice.