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An Introduction to Online Dispute Resolution

Tuesday, May, 3, 2011

Online dispute resolution is a new form of mediation.  Contrary to what its name may suggest, it does not only concern itself with disputes that originate in cyberspace; the term is also applied to the use of online mediation attorneys and resources, when they are used to resolve real-world disagreements.  Internet-based disputes in particular, however, can be difficult to resolve using traditional mechanisms.  This is partly due to problems of time and distance; the parties in conflict may live in widely separated time zones, for example.  When the parties also live in separate nations, or when the internet server at issue is in a third nation, problems of jurisdiction can also arise.


Online Dispute Resolution: No Humans Needed?


Strange as it may seem, some online dispute resolution websites are attempting to fully automate the process of reaching a settlement between the parties in contention.  This would seem to be a hopeless endeavor since the complexities of human interaction rarely lend themselves to a pre-scripted process.  However, some websites that attempt to deliver dispute resolution via an online environment do involve mediation attorneys in the process from beginning to end.  Unlike computer programs, humans are not limited by their programming.  They can adjust and adapt to changing circumstances, something that is essential when working with the unpredictability of fellow humans engaged in disputes.


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