As discussed in a previous post, “How to Know When You’re Ready for Online Arbitration or Mediation“, most people who would otherwise litigate their disputes in court, or simply walk-away empty-handed due to lack of financial resources or the time and energy necessary to go through the court process, can benefit from Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). There may be a learning curve for many, but there are certain segments of the population for whom ODR is second nature.
One segment is the Millennial Generation – young adults roughly between the ages of 15 and 30. Most grew up with the Web so it is second nature for them to conduct most aspects of their lives online. This includes banking, shopping, dating, sharing and almost every other activity that does not require face-to-face interaction. They trust the Web as much as older generations now trust credit cards and cell phones. I have no doubt that many older adults, although now accustomed to and appreciative of these older technologies, remember being highly skeptical of using credit cards and cell phones in the first decade of their existence.
Another segment of the population that stands to benefit greatly from online dispute resolution is the deaf community. Inevitably when interpreters serve as the communication link between deaf people using ASL and non-ASL mediators, arbitrators and other parties to disputes, conflicts and miscommunication will occur. Text-based communication, which is currently the primary method of conducting online dispute resolution, can help reduce this risk. This community is not only well-prepared to use ODR, but they also can facilitate and accelerate the development and adoption of ODR, says David Larson, Professor of Law.¹ Professor Larson explains that the deaf community has relied on technology such as text-based communication and videophones to communicate for generations. They have been early adopters of many new communication technologies and it is no different for online dispute resolution.
1. “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?” Technology Can Reduce Dispute Resolution Costs When Times Are Tough And Improve Outcomes. By David Allen Larson, Professor of Law at Hamline University.