Published November 2020 in the Michigan bar Journal. On January 1, 2020, “zoom” was a verb, a noise a car makes. Three months later, Zoom be came a noun. It happened in the blink of an eye, like when Amazon no longer referred to a river in the rainforest, and Apple was no longer a fruit. Just as suddenly, Corona isn’t a beer served with lime. No one can honestly say the legal profession was prepared for a pandemic. While some companies had a long history of team meetings via WebEx and GoToMeeting, lawyers and the judiciary were far away from regularly using these tools.Read More →

Prior to the pandemic, virtual hearings for labor-management arbitration and mediation were rarely used. Since the start of the pandemic and with its acceleration, virtual platforms are now the dominant forums for arbitrations and mediations. Will the adoption of virtual interactions continue after the pandemic or will in-person approaches return? The answer is we just don’t know. However, there are signs that virtual hearings will be used in some circumstances, such as in simple, low value/impact cases. In addition, certain aspects of the process are likely to continue, such as advance planning sessions and the acceptance of a virtual option where participants are otherwise unavailable.Read More →

1. Take the time to learn the technology. A Great resource: “Engaging Virtual Meetings” by John Chen: We can no longer get away with being virtual beginners. Play around with your platform settings of all kinds and get comfortable enough to be able to calmly explain to colleagues, clients, students, trainees, etc., how to do things such as: Turn video on and off, enhance appearance, use a virtual background. Turn sound on and off or adjust mic volume. Change mic and/or speaker source. Use the chat feature, including attaching files. Use interactive features such as clapping, raising a hand, etc. Set up & use breakoutRead More →

Envision you are about to travel on a journey from a place of conflict to a place called resolution. As with any journey, there should be steps taken to ensure you will be as prepared as possible. First, you must check out the vehicle you are going to use on your journey, to ensure it is in optimal operating condition. On the road to resolution, that vehicle is you! Therefore, it is necessary to do some introspection to see if there are any obstacles or personal matters that might impair your perceptions or judgment regarding a conflict(s). These are things that could impede your abilityRead More →

I am a strong proponent of principled negotiation—i.e., negotiation in which both sides attempt to understand the interests and needs of the other and then collaborate to develop options that meet the needs of both sides. So why talk about negotiation tactics, manipulative moves designed to slant an outcome in one side’s favor more than the other, based on “tricks” or gamesmanship versus merit? The answer is because inevitably one day, some attorney is going to use one or more of these tactics against you (or try to), and it pays to be prepared. So, what are some of these negotiation tactics and how doRead More →

INTRODUCTION We have expressed in previous works an issue that has concerned us for several years; this is, how it has cost us and it is difficult for human beings to understand what are the steps we have to take in order to achieve the future. Because doing this reflection exposes us to think about the simple, ordinary and everyday things that normally fill our days with occupations, and imagine them in a change, for example, the products we buy, the places we frequent, the social organizations in which we live, the people who make up our lives, the way we develop our jobs andRead More →

Designing Online Dispute Resolution Information Systems Effectively DEODRISE, by Dr. Clare Fowler Most Ombuds would say they didn’t sign up to be an online ombuds. I didn’t sign up because I was impressed with block chain and ecommerce and AI ADR algorithms. I signed up because I love connecting with visitors, hearing their stories, and feeling like I have helped. We all have that moment where two people walk into a room hating each other, but after a couple of hours of mediating, the fairy dust appears as they forgive and begin to heal. It is that magical moment that draws me to mediation andRead More →

Much attention has been given to online mediation, in addition to other types of online dispute resolution (ODR), as it has seen widespread acceptance as of late due to restrictions on in-person gatherings. Is that acceptance forced in light of the need to keep claims moving forward with no viable alternative, or are parties finding that online mediation may, in fact, be preferable to face-to-face in some cases? It is widely known by claims professionals and legal practitioners that most lawsuits resolve before trial, and that mediation is an effective tool for settling claims. Nevertheless, until recently, online mediation has largely been eschewed by counsel.Read More →

As the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, every aspect of our pre-pandemic ways of work is under review. Simply returning to our old ways is not the answer. To do so is to ignore the lessons learned while working remotely. Dispute resolution, like almost every aspect of society, changed as a consequence of the pandemic and what will remain is the extensive use of video. Why because it is less costly, efficient and effective. COVID-19 thrust the legal community to work online. To the surprise of many lawyers, mediators, arbitrators and judges, the work continued to get done. Virtual hearings and mediations proved to be so successfulRead More →

Over the past year, we have been forced to learn to use virtual technologies. Many have come to appreciate, even love, the ease, convenience, flexibility, time and cost savings associated with meetings, hearings, mediations, arbitrations and conferences conducted via video conferencing technologies such as Zoom, Teams and others. Indeed, the advantages are many, including: Ease of scheduling and gaining participation of busy people in a far-flung locales Cheaper Efficient Saves time, travel costs No Commuting Working in the comfort of own home or office Safety in a pandemic, safety and reduced risk from personal aggression Great tools, sharing screen, private conference rooms, whiteboards for drawing,Read More →