One of the benefits of both traditional and online ADR is that the parties can control much of the process, including selecting an arbitrator and shaping the arbitrator’s powers and authority. However, the arbitrators also have a great deal of control thanks to the relative informality of ADR compared to a courtroom setting. Many skilled attorneys and retired judges choose to become arbitrators because of these benefits. Still, traditional ADR can be a difficult and time-consuming option for them. Online ADR negates many of these issues and provides additional advantages.
Advantages of Online ADR for Arbitrators
Working in an online environment offers arbitrators many of the same benefits enjoyed by the attorneys and parties. It also helps them be more effective in their role.
- Reduced time.Traditional arbitration’s limitations on discovery and evidence speeds ADR as compared to litigation. However, online ADR also enables hearings to be much more efficient. Easier scheduling and no travel or wait times means arbitrators can move cases along more quickly.
- 24/7 access to matters.Arbitrators can easily review evidence submitted online anytime and anywhere. They can also monitor the status of all of their arbitrations/mediations through an online platform. This helps them manage cases more effectively.
- An online platform can provide more security than many email systems, allowing the arbitrator to ensure that matters remain confidential and private.
- Expanded caseload.The reduced time, lack of travel and added convenience of online ADR allows arbitrators to handle more disputes in a wider geographic area.
Online ADR Reflects Today’s World
Some critics of online ADR express concerns about eliminating in-person hearings. The reality is that much of our communication today (both personal and business) is by phone, email and video. Even in a traditional ADR environment, telephone conferences are common, and arbitrators are accustomed to hearing witness testimony this way. In fact, some courts have recognized that there is often little reason to insist on in-person hearings, which are more difficult to coordinate, time-consuming and costly.
Online ADR opens more opportunities to arbitrators. They can handle matters that previously they might have rejected. This benefits the parties and attorneys because the more arbitrators are willing to conduct online ADR, the broader the selection of arbitrators available to decide cases.
Conducting arbitration entirely online is an efficient and economical way of resolving disputes. ARS provides the only complete end-to-end online ADR process. To learn more, visit ARS’ FAQpage or contact usfor a consultation.