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Dispute Resolution and the Internet. By John Zillmer. Traditional Forms of Dispute Resolution. Litigation Mediation Arbitration. Benefits to Litigation. Perceived as fair for everyone Studies have shown that some litigants would prefer to have a fair hearing even if they lose.

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traditional forms of dispute resolution
Traditional Forms of Dispute Resolution
  • Litigation
  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
benefits to litigation
Benefits to Litigation
  • Perceived as fair for everyone
    • Studies have shown that some litigants would prefer to have a fair hearing even if they lose.
  • Public results
    • Sets precedent for later cases which may contain similar situations
    • Puts the public on notice when a company has been proven to commit wrongful acts.
drawbacks to litigation
Drawbacks to Litigation
  • Can be expensive
    • Court costs
      • Filing fee in Cook County for cases over $30,000 with a twelve person jury cost more than $400.
    • Attorney fees
      • Depositions
      • Copying costs
      • Exhibits
  • Can be sssssllllooooooowwwwwww
  • Results are public record
benefits to mediation
Benefits to Mediation
  • Allows parties to come to a mutually agreeable solution
    • Facilitates communication between the parties.
    • Results can be tailored to meet their situation
  • Less expensive than litigation or arbitration
    • No discovery required
    • Fees are split between the parties unless otherwise agreed
  • Protects confidentiality of the parties.
  • Faster than litigation process
drawbacks to mediation
Drawbacks to Mediation
  • If entered into after onset of litigation, one party may simply be using it as another discovery tool.
  • No value as a precedent
    • Solution may work for one party, but if the other is a repeat offender, no benefit to later victims
benefits to arbitration
Benefits to Arbitration
  • Less expensive than litigation because:
    • Discovery may be more limited
    • Faster than litigation
    • Parties may agree to limit the range of any monetary awards
  • Less formal procedures
  • Reaches a final result
    • May be limited to a specific issue which is holding up an overall settlement
drawbacks to arbitration
Drawbacks to Arbitration
  • Potential for Abuse
    • Repeat player status
    • Contractually limited selection of arbitration
    • Non-neutral or conflicted arbitrator
  • No value as legal precedent
    • Results not made public
    • Lack of deterrence
  • May preclude broader resolution of issue
    • Class action lawsuits
    • Enforcement of civil rights and consumer protection laws
  • May be unfairly cheaper for some parties because it eliminates the risk of a “runaway jury” award.
  • Contracts frequently include provisions which dictate aspects of dispute resolution
    • Jurisdiction in which a lawsuit can be filed
    • Choice of law which would be applied in a lawsuit
    • Selection of third-party to facilitate resolution
    • Mandating Arbitration
what s changed over the past few years
What’s Changed over the past few years?
  • Contracts containing pre-dispute mandatory arbitration clauses have been found to be enforceable.
    • Federal Arbitration Act allows one party to use the courts to enforce the provision
    • States not allowed to regulate arbitration clauses except on general contractual terms
advent of technology
Advent of Technology
  • As use of the internet has expanded, so has the potential for conflicts
    • Internet Commerce
      • Auctions such as e-bay
      • Internet domain name registration
      • Internet shopping
    • What constitutes a contract?
      • When does a party enter into a contract involving an internet entity?
on line dispute resolution
On-line Dispute Resolution
  • As internet commerce has increased, so has the availability of resources to resolve conflicts.
    • ICANN
    • Squaretrade
      • Both of these entities resolve conflicts that arise out of the internet
      • Both are highly successful at what they do
  • Resolves disputes involving internet domain names
    • Evidence gathering not limited to the internet, but tends to be documentary in nature.
    • Requires bad faith on the part of one party
    • Resolution takes place in an instant
      • Flip a switch, the domain name changes.
  • Both parties are already internet savvy
squaretrade com
  • Gained fame as the dispute resolution provider to E-bay.com
    • Parties to a dispute are internet savvy
    • Evidence consists primarily of on-line “paper trail”
    • Parties can resolve dispute through mediation or arbitration
odr vs conventional adr
ODR vs. Conventional ADR
  • On-line Dispute Resolution cannot completely replace conventional ADR
    • Some disputes may require evidence that is not suited to presentment over the internet
    • Some disputes are better resolved through face to face interaction
      • Where the parties are in an on-going relationship
adr vs litigation
ADR vs. Litigation
  • Some disputes may still be better suited for litigation
    • Disputes in which precedent is important
      • Employment matters
        • Enforcement of Civil Rights Statutes
    • Business/Consumer Disputes
      • Class Actions
      • Small Claims