Balancing the Scales: The Ford-Firestone Case, the Internet, and the Future Dispute Resolution Landscape

Yale Journal of Law & Technology, 2004

53 Pages Posted: 31 May 2006


The paper discusses the Internet's potential equalizing effect on dispute resolution institutions. The emergence of online dispute resolution (ODR)mechanisms and virtual courts are the clearest manifestation of the Internet's influence on dispute resolution, but its influence extends beyond the immediate online environment, as is demonstrated throughout the article by analyses of various examples and the specific case study of the Ford-Firestone debacle. The Ford-Firestone story provides a rich case study for the positive potential as well as the pitfalls of resolving disputes in the nascent Internet society, and it is especially useful for dispelling the notion that the Internet will only affect technology-related disputes. The article analyzes dispute resolution institutions(courts and ADR mechanisms) as they currently exist and as they are likely to develop in the future and predicts that as a result of the introduction of new technologies, traditionally disempowered disputants could potentially experience greater equality in the dispute resolution institutions of the Internet society. The paper concludes with a demonstration of how disputes similar to the Ford-Firestone case study will be played out in the landscape of the future.

Keywords: Internet, Ford-Firestone, online environment, ADR, ODR, TRANSITION INTO AN INTERNET SOCIETY

JEL Classification: L63, L86, K10, K19 K20, K22, K23, K33, K39, K49

Suggested Citation

RABINOVICH-EINY, Orna, Balancing the Scales: The Ford-Firestone Case, the Internet, and the Future Dispute Resolution Landscape. Yale Journal of Law & Technology, 2004, Available at SSRN:

Orna RABINOVICH-EINY (Contact Author)

Haifa University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905

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