ADR/ODR

Resource Guide

Provides information about court connected ODR (online dispute resolution) and ADR (alternative dispute resolution) programs, including the different types of programs available (arbitration, mediation and other dispute resolution processes); funding issues; certification of neutrals; and established standards.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.


Featured Links

Utah Online Dispute Resolution Steering Committee Utah Online Dispute Resolution Pilot Project. (2017).

This pilot project, funded by SJI, is being developed by the Utah AOC to allow self-represented litigants access to justice through a computer or mobile device. The system that was conceptualized by the ODR Steering Committee will assist users in filing documents, defending claims, communicating with other parties, learning about processes, and participating in their small claims cases. 

JTC Resource Bulletin ODR for Courts. (2017).

This Resource Bulletin from the Joint Technology Committee provides a basic primer in ODR and describes several implementation models, as well as court-specific opportunities and considerations.

JTC Resource Bulletin Case Studies in ODR for Courts: A view from the front lines. (2017).

This Resource Bulletin from the Joint Technology Committee is a companion to the JTC Resource Bulletin: ODR for Courts and describes ODR implementations in a variety of court settings.

General

Shestowsky, Donna When Ignorance Is Not Bliss: An Empirical Study of Litigants' Awareness of Court-Sponsored Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs. (2017).

This study, published in the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, examined how well litigants could identify their court as offering mediation or arbitration when such ADR programs were in fact available. The study found that litigants had significantly more favorable views of their court when they knew it offered mediation.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Research Symposium (2016).

The University of Maryland Center for Dispute Resolution hosted the Maryland Judiciary Alternative Dispute Resolution Research Symposium June 2016. The Symposium highlighted the results of eight discrete research studies and examined the implications of the research for court-connected dispute resolution programs and the ADR field generally. Instead of using typical self-reporting information from mediators, the Maryland study used rigorous research methodology, including behavioral observation of actual mediations, control groups, and other empirical data gathering and analysis to provide rich information into areas previously unstudied in the field. The outcome is a vast and informative amount of data to help mediators, court administrators, and judges think critically about the benefits of ADR to the Judiciary and the public.

Kramer, Liz The Next Frontier of Arbitration Litigation: Lessons From State Courts (2013). Author Liz Kramer looks at arbitration case law from state high courts.  In doing so, she looks at current ADR issues being litigated in 2013.
Diamant, Michael H. ADR in Technology and Applied Science: A Better Way. (2015). As proof that ADR is the preferred alternative to a court trial, Diamant asserts that all science and technology cases are best suited for ADR. He argues that mediators who understand the industry are more effective than judges with little technical background, so cases involving intellectual property as well as the general application of scientific principles should be solved through ADR.
ABA Journal Current ADR Topics and Discussions . (2012). ABA Journal: Law News Now.

A helpful link to numerous current discussions relating to ADR and its ever evolving uses.

Anthony J. Fernandez and Marie E. Masson Online Mediations: Advantages and Pitfalls of New and Evolving Technologies and Why We Should Embrace Them. (2014). The increased commercialization of the internet has brought about an entirely new genre of disputes, requiring a new genre of mediation, negotiation, and arbitration known as Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). Fernandez and Masson discuss the benefits and concerns associated with computer-based mediations including accessibility, confidentiality issues, and more.

Funding

Griller, Gordon Advancing Alternative Dispute Resolution in the New Mexico Judiciary: Key Strategies to Save Time and Money. (2011). Williamsburg, VA: National Center for State Courts.

This special study is a statewide, comprehensive assessment of court-annexed alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs in appellate, district, metropolitan, and magistrate courts, and suggested practical strategies for improving the use and impact of ADR programs for the New Mexico Judiciary and the public it serves. Such programs hold great promise to save both time and money for courts and litigants.

Program Evaluation

RSI/ABA Model Mediation Surveys.

A toolkit for courts to collect high-quality, reliable data on their mediation programs.  In collaboration with the ABA Dispute Resolution Section, these tools are available to all courts.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Evaluation Support System (ADRESS): final report. MACRO - Mediation and Conflict Office.

MACRO's activity during the ADRESS project can be grouped into three categories: developing the software application, developing the questionnaires, and publicizing the project.  Together, these activities have resulted in a robust system that will collect and report vital data not only for the management and improvement of the Maryland judiciary's ADR programs, but also for any other court system nationwide that chooses to use it.

Alaska`s Adult Guardianship Mediation Program Evaluation. Alaska Judicial Council

This project evaluation looks at the program's need, the court's response and provides background for the project.  Evaluation criteria include whether agreement was reached, whether plans enhanced the care and safety of high risk adults, the avoidance of contested court proceedings, and whether participants experienced a satisfactory mediation process.

Pou, Charles Jr. Scissors Cut Paper: A "Guildhall" Helps Maryland's Mediators Sharpen Their Skills. Justice System Journal (Vol. 26, No. 3)

This article offers an overview of Maryland's new Quality Assurance (QA) system; compares it to approaches that have been taken elsewhere; and commends it to courts and other mediation users as a vehicle for improving mediation practice and for serving as a trustworthy indicator of skilled performance.

Standards

Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators. American Bar Association, American Arbitration Association and the Association for Conflict Resolution Nine standards cover the following issues: self-determination, impartiality, conflicts of interest, competence, confidentiality, quality of the process, advertising and solicitation, fees and other charges, and advancement of mediation practice.
Standards for the Establishment and Operations of Ombuds Offices. American Bar Association

These standards were approved by the ABA House of Delegates at its 2004 midyear meeting and cover ombuds qualifications, impartiality, confidentiality, limitation of authority, and removal from office.