Arbitration in the Age of COVID: Examining Arbitration's Move Online

49 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2020 Last revised: 16 Mar 2021

See all articles by Amy J. Schmitz

Amy J. Schmitz

Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; Cyberjustice Lab; University of Missouri School of Law

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

Arbitration has been moving online over time with the growth of the Internet and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), which includes use of technology to assist online negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and variations thereof. Online Arbitration (OArb) is nonetheless a unique subset of ODR because it usually culminates in a final and binding award by a neutral third party that is enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Indeed, I have written about OArb on prior occasions, due to its unique status under the FAA and other arbitration laws. However, OArb was relatively limited until the COVID-19 pandemic sparked the acceleration of arbitration’s move online. At the same time, jurisprudence around the FAA has sent various signals that both help and hinder the growth of OArb. Furthermore, the 1925 FAA was not built to address innovations like virtual hearings, creating need for policies that adapt for technological progress. Accordingly, this Article discusses how recent jurisprudence and institutional promulgations may impact OArb, and offers considerations for courts, policymakers and practitioners shepherding OArb development.

Keywords: arbitration, online arbitration, ODR, online dispute resolution, supreme court, online hearings, federal arbitration act, FAA, COVID-19, pandemic

Suggested Citation

Schmitz, Amy J., Arbitration in the Age of COVID: Examining Arbitration's Move Online (2020). 22 CARDOZO J. CONFLICT RESOL. 245 (2021), University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-27, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3699778

Amy J. Schmitz (Contact Author)

Ohio State University Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Cyberjustice Lab ( email )

Montreal
Canada

University of Missouri School of Law ( email )

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

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