Cyber-Mediation: Computer-Mediated Communications Medium Massaging the Message

48 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2002  

Llewellyn Joseph Gibbons

University of Toledo - College of Law; Fellow, Intellectual Property Rights Center

Robin Molyneaux Kennedy

University of Toledo - College of Law

Jon Michael Gibbs

Saliwanchik Lloyd & Saliwanchik

Abstract

The course of ecommerce is not always smooth. Disputes are inevitable. These disputes will have to be resolved if ecommerce is to develop to its full potential. This Article examines the feasibility of online mediation. It evaluates some modalities, presents cross-cultural mediation as a theoretical construct to describe online mediation, and recommends guidelines for the practice of online mediation. Mediation exists on a continuum from face-to-face to pure online mediation. Most of the legal literature evaluating the potential of online mediation can be best characterized as the battle of the anecdotes. No legal scholars have looked at the rich social science literature on the effects of computer-mediated communications.

Part I of this Article analyzes the need for online mediation, the capability of online mediation to meet these needs, some common misconceptions accepted in the legal-mediation community, the technological infrastructure on which online mediation takes place, and identifies some of the associated real world legal issues raised by technology. Part II discusses differences between physical presence face-to-face mediation and online virtual mediation, examines a sample of the many scientific studies of computer-mediated communication, and postulates how these studies should inform views on whether and when online mediation is feasible. Part III describes some existing online mediation programs as models of what might be and describes various software programs to facilitate the mediation process. Since no article on mediation would be complete without a simulation, part IV applies this Article's lessons to a paradigmatic hypothetical.

Keywords: Ecommerce, ADR, Alternative dispute resolution, ODR, online dispute resolution, trustmarks, cmc, computer mediated communication, cyber-mediation, virtual presence, Tele-immersion, online mediation

JEL Classification: K4

Suggested Citation

Gibbons, Llewellyn Joseph and Molyneaux Kennedy, Robin and Gibbs, Jon Michael, Cyber-Mediation: Computer-Mediated Communications Medium Massaging the Message. New Mexico Law Review, Vol. 32, Winter 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=315964 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.315964

Llewellyn Joseph Gibbons (Contact Author)

University of Toledo - College of Law ( email )

2801 W. Bancroft Street
Toledo, OH 43606
United States
419-530-4175 (Phone)
419-530-7878 (Fax)

Fellow, Intellectual Property Rights Center ( email )

No.143, Wuluo Road
Wuhan, Hubei 430073
China

Robin Molyneaux Kennedy

University of Toledo - College of Law ( email )

2801 W. Bancroft Street
Toledo, OH 43606
United States
419-530-2944 (Phone)
419-530-4447 (Fax)

Jon Michael Gibbs

Saliwanchik Lloyd & Saliwanchik ( email )

Orlando, FL
United States

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