Building the Virtual Courthouse: Ethical Considerations for Design, Implementation, and Regulation in the World of ODR

52 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2014 Last revised: 26 Aug 2014

See all articles by Scott Shackelford

Scott Shackelford

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law; Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs; Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research; Stanford Center for Internet and Society; Stanford Law School

Anjanette Raymond

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law; Queen Mary University of London, School of Law; Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Date Written: January 29, 2014

Abstract

For some time now, there has been a well-documented movement toward alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and away from traditional litigation through courts in the United States and around the world. The benefits of the ADR movement are manifold, ranging from greater control over the process of dispute resolution to alleviating overburdened courts. But the costs of ADR are also becoming increasingly apparent, including a relative lack of due process protections. A more recent phenomenon is the marriage of technology to ADR, creating the field of online dispute resolution (ODR). Increasingly, both public- and private-sector actors are moving towards ODR to resolve low-value disputes. Some companies, such as Modria, are seeking to increase efficiency still further through automating the dispute resolution process through the use of algorithms, effectively removing humans from the justice delivery system. The limited literature analyzing the ODR movement has so far neglected the ethics of these emerging systems. Where should policymakers, business leaders, and societies draw the line between disputes that may be resolved online, potentially using an automated system, and those requiring in-person hearings? This Article seeks to begin the conversation about these questions by reviewing the current technological state of ODR and its use by companies including eBay, Modria, and Cybersettle, among others, before moving on to consider ethical ODR issues including balancing such values as transparency, efficiency, and conflict dynamics. Finally, suggestions for regulating this burgeoning industry are made drawing from the interdisciplinary literature on polycentric governance.

Keywords: online dispute resolution, alternative dispute resolution, polycentric governance

Suggested Citation

Shackelford, Scott J. and Raymond, Anjanette, Building the Virtual Courthouse: Ethical Considerations for Design, Implementation, and Regulation in the World of ODR (January 29, 2014). Wisconsin Law Review, 2014; Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 2014-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2387912 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2387912

Scott J. Shackelford (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs ( email )

79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research ( email )

Wylie Hall 105
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Stanford Center for Internet and Society ( email )

Palo Alto, CA
United States

Stanford Law School ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Anjanette Raymond

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law ( email )

67-69 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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