Beneficial and Ethical ODR for Family Issues

24 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2020

See all articles by Amy J. Schmitz

Amy J. Schmitz

University of Missouri School of Law

Leah Wing

Legal Studies Program, Department of Political Science, U. of Massachusetts Amherst; National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution

Date Written: March 26, 2020

Abstract

Technology is revolutionizing the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) field. 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 family law and even courts are starting to employ ODR in family cases. Expedited divorces and tracking parenting plans with little court involvement garner appeal amidst growing expectation that everything should be available with a few “clicks” or “swipes” on our technological devices. These expectations and opportunities place new responsibilities on the field and its practitioners. How can we best integrate technology into ADR—both online and off? How can we prevent the rush to digitization from ignoring due process and transparency in the name of efficiency? Accordingly, this Article will discuss the value of ODR for family disputes and highlight key concepts and ODR standards to consider for ethical design and employment of technology in family dispute resolution.

Keywords: ODR, Online Dispute Resolution, family law, family, ethics, fairness, due process, law and technology

Suggested Citation

Schmitz, Amy J. and Wing, Leah, Beneficial and Ethical ODR for Family Issues (March 26, 2020). Family Court Review, Forthcoming, University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-11, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3561872

Amy J. Schmitz (Contact Author)

University of Missouri School of Law ( email )

Missouri Avenue & Conley Avenue
Columbia, MO MO 65211
United States
573-882-5969 (Phone)

Leah Wing

Legal Studies Program, Department of Political Science, U. of Massachusetts Amherst ( email )

Amherst, MA 01003
United States

National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution ( email )

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

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