How Much Justice Can You Afford
Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation, 2020
12 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2020 Last revised: 29 Oct 2020
Date Written: June 9, 2020
It is one of the oldest lawyer jokes in the book, and its punchline is about to change. Remember the New Yorker cartoon, in which a lawyer and the client sit at a table, and the lawyer assesses the client's legal problem? "You have a pretty good case," the lawyer informs him. "How much justice can you afford?" the client's response is unvoiced in the cartoon, but moving beyond the punchline, one can imagine the client's heart sinking, realizing that he may not be able to afford all the justice he needs, or any justice at all. This reflects the day-to-day reality of most people in the United States and around the world: the justice they can afford is not the justice they need. That, too, is about to change as Online Dispute Resolution offers an affordable justice option for litigants who have been denied access to justice because they could not afford the cost of lawyers. In this article, we discuss ODR, its goals and implementation in the court system, and the ways in which it shakes up some of the conventional economics and practices of the legal services market.
Keywords: Access to Justice, Economics of Law, Online Dispute Resolution, ODR, Courts, Litigants, Lawyers, the Legal Profession
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