Taking Mediation Online: How to Adapt Your Practice Chapter 25
Jeffrey Krivis mediates complex employment, catastrophic injury and insurance cases at his Encino, Calif.-based firm, First Mediation Corp. See www.firstmediation.com. He teaches at the Pepperdine Law School/Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and is former chairman of the ABA Technology Committee, and is a member of Altenatives’ editorial board.
Consider the latest and perhaps most notable discovery of the past century, the microchip. This small object, similar to the fast-disappearing arcade game Pac Man, needs constant nourishment to survive, snacking on outdated electronics and gobbling up obsolete modes of communication. On the way, the device serves notice that we had better accept it or there will be consequences to our personal fortunes.
What is the dispute resolution community going to do with this little creature? Does it make sense to bring the microchip into the mediation room? Or will it be more of a barrier than a useful tool to help mediators solve problems?
Lawyers have no choice but to use every medium at their disposal or risk ethical violations or the loss of clients. The Internet already has a plethora of settlement tools, and mediation “rooms” are available. But even the basics of cyberspace – E-mail, bulletin boards, etc. – are adaptable and can produce settlements.
This article deals with the ways attorneys can extend their traditional ADR neutrals’ skills and make online negotiations produce results – perhaps with lower costs and more convenience and speed--than previously have been achieved in traditional ways, like in person, by mail, and on the telephone.