ODR Resource, Application, and Material Sharing

Moderated by Ethan Katsh


This forum is intended to encourage the sharing of articles, papers and other materials about ODR. Please post a link to any file you would like included or send the file to katsh at legal.umass.edu and I will post it for you. In the spirit of this forum, you can access our recent book, Online Dispute Resolution: Theory and Practice  at at http://www.ombuds.org/odrbook/Table_of_Contents.htm 


Moderator Bio:

Ethan Katsh (www.odr.info/katsh) is Director and Founder of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution. He is the author of several books on law and technology and wrote, with Janet Rifkin, the first book on ODR, Online Dispute Resolution: Resolving Conflicts in Cyberspace. Most recently, he was co-editor, with Mohamed Wahab and Daniel Rainey, of Online Dispute Resolution: Theory and Practice. at http://www.ombuds.org/odrbook/Table_of_Contents.htm 




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Hi all -

Happy to kick this off. Here are 4 papers / chapters I've authored recently, with abstracts as well as links to  full-text versions:


ODR: The Next Green Giant (with Colleen Getz)


The worlds of government and business, as well as individual preferences, are moving towards incorporating environmentally-friendly practices. Dispute resolution, just as every other human endeavor, has environmental impact. Some modes of practice leave a large environmental footprint while others incur less environmental cost.
Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) enjoys clear environmental advantages over any other form of dispute resolution – yet this has not been discussed in the literature, or spotlighted in the commercial practices of the field. This paper describes the various environmental advantages ODR offers, and suggests a framework for taking these into account in dispute resolution ventures and projects.



Online mediation is spreading rapidly as a mode of practice. In this chapter, Ebner surveys the development of e-mediation within the wider context of ODR growth. Next, the chapter presents a snapshot of the field’s status quo with respect to stakeholders, modes of communication and the technology utilized, Finally, the chapter addresses substantive and process issues in e-mediation: mediation process models, stages and issues; practitioner skills; professional issues; ethics and practitioner standards.
The author identifies current trends in the fields and makes several predictions regarding the field's future development, including the adoption of online mediation by solo practitioners (as opposed to "service provider" firms), the rise of video-conferencing (primarily through low-cost, familiar platforms) and the somewhat counter-intuitive implementation of online mediation in disputes involving strong relational elements, such as divorce, community and workplace issues.


Interpersonal Trust in ODR


Interpersonal trust is a necessary element for successful negotiation and mediation process. Conducting those processes online, however, necessitates navigating an environment in which trust is significantly diminished. This chapter explores the challenges to trust in the online world, and provides guidance to negotiators and mediators for developing and maintaining interpersonal trust whilst communicating through online media.


Negotiation via Email


Increasingly, negotiation interactions are taking place through channels other than face-to-face meetings. Negotiators find themselves engaging through e-communication channels – primarily e-mail. The communication channel through which the negotiation is conducted affects the dynamics of the interaction, the degree of inter-party trust and cooperation, the information shared and the outcome.
While theoretical models of negotiation certainly take interparty communication into account, they do not usually examine the characteristics and effects of particular communication media. Similarly, the average professional negotiator is not trained to recognize and cope with the effects of the communication channel on the negotiation interaction. This chapter aims to fill this gap in theory and practice by examining the effects of email communication on relational and transactional elements of negotiation. Practices for avoiding common pitfalls and improving better outcomes in email negotiation are recommended.

Looking forward seeing to what others have to share! Noam



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