Keynote Panel: ODR Forum - Visualizing the Future
Presented by Colin Rule, Ethan Katsh, & Jeff Aresty
These are exciting times for Online Dispute Resolution. New technology, new laws, new providers, and an unprecedented amount of attention from the private and public sectors are propelling ODR to the front of the conversation. Combined with the disruption technology is bringing to the law, the next few years promise to be an exciting time for the ODR field, filled with both promise and challenge. Come join this discussion to visualize the future for ODR, both near term and longer term. We want to collaboratively identify the top priorities for the field, and brainstorm a game plan to respond. This forum will also serve as a source of material and design for the next ODR Forum, which will be held in Silicon Valley June 25-27, 2014 (odr2014.org).
Colin Rule is COO of Modria.com, an ODR provider based in Silicon Valley. From 2003 to 2011 he was Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal. He has worked in the dispute resolution field for more than a decade as a mediator, trainer, and consultant. He is currently Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution at UMass-Amherst and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School.
Colin co-founded Online Resolution, one of the first online dispute resolution (ODR) providers, in 1999 and served as its CEO (2000) and President. In 2002 Colin co-founded the Online Public Disputes Project (now eDeliberation.com) which applies ODR to multiparty, public disputes. Previously, Colin was General Manager of Mediate.com, the largest online resource for the dispute resolution field. Colin also worked for several years with the National Institute for Dispute Resolution (now ACR) in Washington, D.C. and the Consensus Building Institute in Cambridge, MA.
Colin has presented and trained throughout Europe and North America for organizations including the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the Department of State, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution. He has also lectured and taught at UMass-Amherst, Stanford, MIT, Creighton University, Southern Methodist University, the University of Ottawa, and Brandeis University.
Colin is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002. He has contributed more than 50 articles to prestigious ADR publications such as Consensus, The Fourth R, ACResolution Magazine, and Peace Review. He currently blogs at Novojustice.com, and serves on the boards of RESOLVE and the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center. He holds a Master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a graduate certificate in dispute resolution from UMass-Boston, a B.A. from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.
Professor Katsh is widely recognized as the founder of the field of online dispute resolution (ODR). Along with Janet Rifkin, he conducted the eBay Pilot Project in 1999 that led to eBay’s current system that handles over sixty million disputes each year. With Professor Rifkin, he wrote Online Dispute Resolution: Resolving Conflicts in Cyberspace (2001), the first book about ODR. Since then, he has published numerous articles about ODR and co-edited Online Dispute Resolution: Theory and Practice, which received the International Institute for Conflict Resolution book award for 2012.
Professor Katsh is a graduate of the Yale Law School and was one of the first legal scholars to recognize the impact new information technologies would have on law. In The Electronic Media and the Transformation of Law (Oxford University Press, 1989) and Law in a Digital World (Oxford University Press, 1995, he predicted many of the changes that were to come to law and the legal profession. His articles have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the University of Chicago Legal Forum, and other law reviews and legal periodicals. His scholarly contribution in the field of law and technology has been the subject of a Review Essay in Law and Social Inquiry.
Professor Katsh has served as principal dispute resolution consultant for the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), a federal agency mandated to provide mediation in Freedom of Information Act disputes. He is currently assisting the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) in a study of disputes involving electronic medical records. During 2010-2011, he was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Haifa (Israel). He has been Visiting Professor of Law and Cyberspace at Brandeis University, is on the Board of Advisors of the Democracy Design Workshop, the legal advisory board of the InSites E-governance and Civic Engagement Project, the Board of Editors of Conflict Resolution Quarterly, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He was principal dispute resolutin advisor to SquareTrade.com and is Chairman of the Board of Modria.com. His principal current research concern involves issues related to health care and, more particularly, to disputes over electronic health records.
Since 1996, Professor Katsh has been involved in a series of activities related to online dispute resolution. He participated in the Virtual Magistrate project and was founder and co-director of the Online Ombuds Office. In 1997, with support from the Hewlett Foundation, he and Professor Rifkin founded the National Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts. During the Summer of 1999, he co-founded Disputes.org, which later worked with eResolution to become one of the first four providers accredited by ICANN to resolve domain name disputes. From 2004 - 2010, Professor Katsh was co-Principal Investigator, with Professors Lee Osterweil and Lori Clarke and Dr. Norman Sondheimer of the UMass Department of Computer Science, of two National Science Foundation funded projects to model processes of online dispute resolution. This work was also coordinated with the United States National Mediation Board. Professor Katsh is currently co-principal investigator in an NSF-funded project "The Fourth Party: Improving Computer-Mediated Deliberation through Cognitive, Social and Emotional Support." The frequently mentioned metaphor of technology as a “Fourth Party” was first proposed in Katsh and Rifkin’s Online Dispute Resolution (2001).
Professor Katsh has chaired the International Forums on Online Dispute Resolution, held in Geneva in 2002 and 2003, Melbourne in 2004, Cairo in 2006, Liverpool in 2007, Hong Kong in 2007, Victoria (Canada) in 2008, Haifa (Israel) in 2009, Buenos Aires in 2010, Chennai (India) in 2011 and Prague in 2012. The 2013 ODR Forum will be held in Montreal, June 16-18, 2013. Professor Katsh received the Chancellor's Medal and gave the University of Massachusetts Distinguished Faculty Lecture in October 2006. Recent articles include "Technology and the Future of Dispute Systems Design" in the Harvard Negotiation Law Review (2012) (with Orna Rabinovich-Einy) and"Is There An App For That? Electronic Health Records (EHRs) And A N... 74 Law and Contemporary Problems 31 (2011).
Jeffrey M. Aresty, Esq. is a lawyer in Boston, Massachusetts and has been involved in international business law and the role of technology in the transformation of the practice of law for almost three decades. He is a past chair of the American Bar Association Section of International Law’s Information Services, Technology, and Data Protection Committee and currently the deputy program chair; and has volunteered in other capacities for the ABA and the Massachusetts Bar Association.
Mr. Aresty is the founder and current President of Internetbar.org, Inc. which leads the technology and rule of law project, PeaceTones, for the World Justice Forum. The initial focus of The PeaceTones Project was designed to create sustainable income opportunities for individuals from developing areas and conflict zones; The Project selects artists from target areas around the world, and digitalizes their work (creating audio files, and cover art). The resulting files are then organized into albums and sold online. Then 90% of the revenues are returned to the artists with a portion of the money going towards a community project (updating utilities, providing internet facilities, creating artist's co-ops).
Additionally, Mr. Aresty is a Fellow at the Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts. His involvement in the Center centers on promoting the use of online dispute resolution technology as an alternate to traditional methods. His ongoing law-technology activities concern (1) e-lawyering training, including ODR and (2) initiating global law reform in online communities.
Among Mr. Aresty’s accomplishments are initiating and directing the “ Computer College” program (1983-1987) that assisted lawyers in bringing computers into law practice and co-founding the ABA’s TECHShow in 1987. He co-edited three books on cross cultural influence in international business and e-commerce for the ABA, titled “The ABA Guide to International Business Negotiations”. In his position as the Reporter of the ABA’s e-lawyering Task Force (www.elawyering.org), Mr. Aresty wrote several articles on the technical, legal and practical implications of the practice of law in Cyberspace.
The Keynote panel for 2013 is now available. You may view the archive by simply hitting play on the video player embedded above. It is a great conversation discussing the upcoming ODR forum in silicon valley next June. Have a view and continue the conversation in this forum by posting any comments or questions. Enjoy! Bryan