Beneficial and Ethical ODR for Family Issues
59 Family Court Review 250 (April 2021)
23 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2020 Last revised: 29 Apr 2021
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.
This is the submitted version of the article. The published version may be found at 59 Family Court Review 250 (April 2021) Wiley Online Library
Keywords: ODR, Online Dispute Resolution, family law, family, ethics, fairness, due process, law and technology
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