Introduction A funny thing happened on April 1, 2020. After over 30 years and 7,500 cases as an in person, high-touch mediator, I grudgingly became, out of necessity born by COVID-19, a virtual, online mediator. The first month was admittedly a very rocky one for me. I worried about my ability to handle the very easy technology and that I might accidentally bump the participants off the platform. I also hated to see myself on the screen. Initially, I felt, albeit incorrectly, that this made me the center of attention – something I have always felt is the opposite of the mediator’s role. Today, overRead More →

Despite the fact that video conferencing is a very small part of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) and how best to mediate online, Fat Larry’s 1980s hit seems to have been taken to heart by mediators who, anxious not to delay mediations due to the Covid-19 lockdown, have, after “just one look” fallen rapidly in love with the Zoom video conferencing platform. Just as falling in love on first looks can often deceive, there are security issues with Zoom that may compromise the mediator’s professional duties of confidentiality and his or her privacy policy. A very detailed independent examination of the platform by a technology researchRead More →

Former eBay and PayPal Exec to Focus on Global Expansion and Online Dispute Resolution EUGENE, OR, June 9, 2020—Mediate.com announced today that Colin Rule has been named President and Chief Executive Officer. Jim Melamed, the company’s co-founder and CEO for 25 years, is now chair of the board and general counsel. Rule returns to Mediate.com where he served as General Manager in 1999. Rule spun his company OnlineResolution out of Mediate.com in 2000, creating one of the world’s first ODR providers. In 2003, Rule became the first director of ODR for eBay and PayPal. In 2011, he co-founded Modria.com, where he was CEO and COO.Read More →

Capic v Ford Motor Company of Australia Limited (Adjournment) [2020] FCA 486 File number: NSD 724 of 2016 Judge: PERRAM J Date of judgment: 15 April 2020 Catchwords: PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application by Respondent for adjournment of trial – where virtual trial proposed in circumstances of COVID-19 pandemic – where virtual trial submitted adversely to impact conduct, length and expense of trial – consideration of relevant principles Legislation: Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) ss 37M, 47CPublic Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Amendment Order 2020 (NSW)Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 (NSW)Public Health Act 2010 (NSW) ss 7, 10Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic) ss 199, 203Stay at Home Directions (No 3) (Vic) Cases cited: CampaignRead More →

Africa has one of the most digitally connected populations on the planet, with 400 million internet users. Sacha Poignonnec, cofounder and co-CEO of Jumia, Africa’s largest internet group, discusses why the e-commerce opportunity in Africa is so great for companies large and small in this interview with McKinsey’s Georges Desvaux. An edited transcript of his remarks follows. Africa’s big appetite for e-commerce From the outside, you look at Africa, you read the news, and you think it’s going to be very difficult—everything is going to be very difficult. We started the business in Lagos, and on the first day we had consumers buying mobile phones. IRead More →