The author has followed the National Hockey League for many years. He is a third-year law student at Hamline University School of Law. This article is an outgrowth of a paper he prepared for a course on ADR and technology.
Online dispute resolution (ODR) has transcended the need for parties to disputes to meet face-to-face. Thus, it provides a solution to concerns about arbitration’s efficiency and cost. It also eliminates the power dynamic sometimes present in face-to-face disputes.
Colin Rule, Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal, has said that ODR saves time, money and energy required to merely get the parties to sit down at the table, what he calls the “convening penalty.” ODR provides parties with the needed flexibility to decide when and where they will participate in an arbitration proceeding. By eliminating the need for travel, the actual dispute resolution can take place at a much earlier stage in the process.1
This article discusses ODR processes and how some of them could be used by the National Hockey League (NHL) to resolve salary disputes between eligible players and clubs. The first part discusses ODR options, then NHL salary arbitration, and finally, how ODR could improve salary dispute resolution at the NHL and similar businesses.