Arbitration and Mediations have become very commonplace and important to Dispute Resolutions in the United States and even around the world over the past half-century. Many of those ADR services mirror the hearing and negotiation processes we typically have seen associated with formal court adjudications and settlement processes.
One of the driving forces behind the growth and importance of ADR is the promise that ADR services will help parties to these processes save considerable amounts of time, resources, and costs associated with decision making. ADR has become an essential tool for helping both businesses and individual consumers and disputants solve their differences in a civil and controlled manner.
As a part of the evolution of Dispute Resolution services, expanded use of technology and the availability of the internet has begun to change dispute resolution services even more and faster. One of the trends which have emerged in the past two decades is the development and evolution of Online ADR services. The use of technology and the internet has come to be known, in some quarters, as Online ADR (ODR) services.
ODR has the potential for great savings of time of parties and participants and witnesses and their representatives which are associated with scheduling hearings and meetings, and the also for savings of significant costs of ADR associated with travel by participants in ADR to get to a common location for the hearing where the parties interact on a face to face basis in one location. Many times the travel costs and meeting room costs are very large - especially in ADR hearings and conferences where the parties may be located in different cities, states, countries, or even continents.
This trend towards "remote" or long-distance ODR proceedings mirrors, to some degree, the trends which we have already begun to see in the regular judiciary where some proceedings are also handled online.
ODR is especially effective as businesses move to require mandatory disputes of many retail, business, or service complaints or disputes. Often these disputes involve disputes with "small dollar amounts" being disputed, adjudicated, or negotiated. Sometimes these ODR services are administered and supported by large traditional ADR agencies such as the American Arbitration Association. Sometimes these ODR services are maintained by businesses that frequently have payment or service disputes with very large numbers of customer service or business collection issues. But ODR is certainly not limited to small businesses or personal private parties.
ODR has developed, with technology development, to the point where online conferences and hearings using video teleconferencing can be as complex as dispute resolutions in traditional courtroom adjudications or ADR adjudications or mediations.
There are now numerous internet software programs that provide opportunities for sophisticated online interactions. Examples of such software include "Zoom," "Go To Meeting" and even "Skype" telephone/video conferencing. I myself use Zoom for some of my online hearings and training
Information and resources provided by the American Arbitration Association for the general public explaining how online virtual meetings can be conducted in an efficient, cost-effective, and secure manner. can be accessed at the following URL:
If you or others in your company have questions about virtual or online meetings for arbitration purposes, feel free to look at the AAA material.
The Internet and related technology are really changing many aspects of the Alternate Dispute Resolution world in terms of communications between people and their work involving collaboration across great distances.
A large portion of costs and expenses related to arbitration hearings, for example, is realized as the result of travel expense arbitrators, attorneys, Witnesses, and parties.
Just as the regular Judiciary and courts are moving towards greater and greater online technology used for adjudication and hearings, it is an exciting time for arbitration in that it provides opportunities for arbitrators to conduct more hearings, schedule quicker hearings, and for arbitrators to make the same sort of net income from their practices while the parties can save tons of money related to travel and scheduling, recording of meetings, and meeting room expenses.
MinorityADR LLC is in the process of developing ODR capabilities to handle Online Dispute Resolutions. "Stay tuned" to learn of ODR programs developed which will be described here on MinorityADR.com as they are developed and rolled out. Parties and prospective users of ADR services should also inquire of ADR agencies they contact about these expedited or ODR types of dispute resolution services which they may support or offer.
In addition to savings associated with travel and meeting facility costs, the actual ADR professional fees may be significantly less for disputes handled online.
You can find out more about this Mediation Service by following the Link here to the Michigan Supreme Court Website. Many Cases can be resolved without the parties even having to file complaints in court and paying filing fees and costs. MI-Resolve can be used in cases before filing in Court or even after filing in Court. Many of these disputes can be decided without the parties hiring lawyers to help them with their disputes!