Category Archives: VML – USA & International

Online Dispute Resolution in Courts – What It Means, How to Make It Work. 2 New Reports, 9 Case Studies, 18 Recommendations, and January 18, 2018 Free Webinar

Established by the Conference of State of Court Administrators, the National Association of Court Management and the National Center of State Courts, the Joint Technology Committee (JTC) has a clear mission: To improve the administration of justice through technology.

With that mission in mind, JTC has recently published two new documents on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) in Courts.

The first document is a Resource Bulletin. It provides a basic primer in ODR and describes

  • Several implementation models
  • Court-specific opportunities
  • Considerations
  • 18 recommendations from court personnel who have “lived” an ODR implementation

The second document is Case Studies in ODR and the Courts: A View from the Front Lines. It provides the following case studies of court-specific ODR, either fully implemented or under development:

  • Franklin County, Ohio Small Claims (*)
  • Washtenaw County, Michigan Online Traffic Pleading
  • Ottawa County, Michigan Family Court Compliance
  • Utah Courts Small Claims
  • New York State Unified Court System Consumer Debt
  • British Columbia Civil Resolution Tribunal
  • UK Ministry of Justice Personal Injury Claims Portal
  • Netherlands Rechtwijzer
  • British Columbia MyLawBC

(*) 1-Hour Free Webinar
To learn more about the Franklin County ODR Small Claims project you can register for a 1-hour Free webinar Online Dispute Resolution: Resources Saved, Justice Served Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 2:00pm Eastern Time

Happy New Year to the 601 Members of Our Linkedin Group Virtual Mediation Lab: Online Mediation Made Simple

Happy New Year to the 601 members of our LinkedIn Group “Virtual Mediation Lab: Online Mediation Made Simple” who are interested in ADR/ODR and live in:

  • Algeria
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Greece
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Kenya
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Vietnam

Giuseppe Leone

World Map courtesy of

First Report on European Union Online Dispute Resolution Platform

The European Commission adopted its first report on the functioning of the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform, which was launched in January 2016 and opened to the public on February 15, 2016 .

The aim of the platform is to facilitate the online resolution of disputes between consumers and traders over online transactions. The platform has the following key characteristics:

  • Consumers and traders can choose any of the EU official languages for their interaction with the platform (e.g. submitting their complaints, receiving notifications). An automatic translation tool is available for free text communication.
  • The platform identities which notified ADR bodies are competent to handle the case and refers the dispute the ADR body on which the parties agree.
  • ADR bodies can use the platform’s case management system to conduct the ADR procedure entirely online.
  • The parties can request that the outcome of the ADR procedure is translated by a professional translator.
  • Clear deadlines are built into the platform to ensure a fast process.

Online Dispute Resolution: Resources Saved, Justice Served – 1-Hour Free Webinar – January 18, 2018 2pm ET

This webinar will provide an introduction to court-connected online dispute resolution through a firsthand perspective from the Franklin County Municipal Court and its online dispute resolution (ODR) platform provider, Matterhorn by Court Innovations

In 2017, the Ohio State Bar Association recognized the Franklin County Municipal Court for Judicial Innovation for its online dispute resolution program.


This webinar will interest people involved with court-connected dispute resolution, including judges, court administrators, mediators, and attorneys. At the end of the webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Define court-connected online dispute resolution, including the who, what, where, when, why and how of ODR
  • Determine whether court-connected online dispute resolution is appropriate for their court
  • Identify steps to implement a court-connected online dispute resolution program
  • Forecast the project scale, procurement steps and benefits of ODR

Presenters: Alex Sanchez, Esq. and MJ Cartwright.


Alex Sanchez, Esq. is Manager of Small Claims and Dispute Resolution at the Franklin County Municipal Court. Alex mediates all civil case types for the court.

Prior to joining the municipal court, Alex worked with the State of Ohio, The Ohio State University, and nonprofit organizations across the country.

In his spare time, Alex serves as an officer for a large private foundation that awards more than a quarter-million dollars annually through an international student STEM competition. Alex is a graduate of the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and received his undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount University.

MJ Cartwright leads all aspects of the online dispute resolution company Court Innovations. Matterhorn by Court Innovations provides meaningful, usable, and fair solutions that expand online and mobile access to our courts for all citizens: “go to court” without going to court.

MJ builds teams and businesses to develop powerful, disruptive solutions that solve industry problems, produce irrefutable outcomes, and leverage developing

She has led technology initiatives in many different industries including: manufacturing, education and training, healthcare, and medical devices. Now she brings her expertise to the judicial ecosystem – working with Court Innovations’ founder University of Michigan Law Professor J.J. Prescott, courts, other stakeholders, and citizens to implement solutions that directly impact today’s issues.


This 1-hour webinar will take place Thursday, January 2018 at 2:00pm Eastern Time (11:00am Pacific Time | 1:00pm Central Time). You can attend this webinar with a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android tablet or smartphone.

Admission is Free, but seating is limited. To register click the button below. If you have any questions send an email to Giuseppe Leone or call him at (808) 383-4117.

New Jersey Mediators Learn the Benefits of Adding Online Mediation to Their Practice – December 28, 2017

On December 28, 2017 members of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (NJAPM) will learn how they can do online everything they are used to do face-to-face, the benefits of adding online mediation to their practice, and how to blend online and face-to-face mediation.

Their 1-hour general meeting will be conducted online. And, in order to make it as useful and interesting as possible, it will consist of 3 parts

  • Part 1 – 30-min presentation/demo “Introduction to Online Mediation” by Giuseppe Leone, founder of Virtual Mediation Lab: Online Mediation Made Simple, a project sponsored by the Association for Conflict Resolution Hawaii Chapter
  • Part-2 – Short video of an online mediation simulation of a workplace case run and video recorded on December 18, 2017 with 3 NJAPM mediators
  • Part 3 – Q&A Session. NJAPM members can ask the 3 mediators who participated in the above simulation any questions about their experience. For example, if the mediator had mediated the same case face-to-face, would she have done anything different than what she did online? How was the parties’ experience: different, easier, more difficult than they expected?

Learn more about Virtual Mediation Lab 2-hour one-on-one hands-on training in online mediation and webinars on online mediation for ADR organizations

Online Services Make Access to Justice Easier in Ontario

Ontario is modernizing the justice system to make it more accessible, efficient and responsive to the needs of people across the province. The plan includes:

  • Developing digital tools, such as online questionnaires and e-mail summonses, to make it faster and more convenient to go through the jury process
  • Expanding the civil filing online pilot provincewide to allow all Ontarians to file their civil claims online, 24/7, from any location
  • Developing a new digital service by spring 2018 to help people save time and money by going online to look up the status of their traffic tickets and other provincial offences, and request early resolution meetings
  • Exploring online dispute resolution options to potentially allow people who receive a traffic or similar ticket to resolve matters from their computers or smart phones
  • Providing the convenient option of filing joint divorce applications online by April 2018
  • Delivering an online service to set up or update child support to help parents save money on legal fees and avoid unnecessary trips to the courthouse
  • Building an online dispute resolution platform model with the Landlord and Tenant Board to help identify and develop the right tools so that tenants and landlords in Ontario can avoid and resolve disputes without formal legal processes
  • Funding start-ups that use artificial intelligence to develop solutions that help lawyers and consumers, or increase access to justice

Read on …

Source: Ontario Newsroom

Call for Presentations for 2018 Forum on Online Dispute Resolution in New Zealand

The 18th Forum on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) will take place on February 15-16, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. Its theme is “Innovation and Impact: Online Courts and the Changing Landscapes of Digital Justice”, and its three broad fields of interest are:

  • ODR in the Courts and tribunals
  • ODR platforms and portals: professional, entrepreneurial and organizational developments
  • Digital access and wider networks: the emerging role of digital technologies at grassroots, indigenous and remote locations

Here is how to find more information about the Forum and how to offer a presentation

Online Dispute Resolution in an Information Age – New Article by Eugene Clark

On November 16, 2017 published an article on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) by Eugene Clark titled Online Dispute Resolution in an Information Age 

Eugene Clark is Emeritus Professor, University of Canberra, previously Distinguished Professor and Global 1000 Talents Scholar, College of Comparative Law, China University of Political Science and Law.

Let’s Get Visual: Opportunities to Leverage the POWER of Visual Communication in Your Mediation Practice – 1-Hour Video


During this 1-hour webinar organized by Virtual Mediation Lab, a group of mediators from around the world learned from Lisa Arora, a family mediator in Canada, and Helen Slade, a family mediator and solicitor in the United Kingdom,

  • The problem visual communication solves for parties in mediation
  • Why visual communication is so powerful for parties in resolving conflict
  • Key points in the process of working with clients where visual communication could really help
  • Ways mediators can begin to work visually (even they worry that they can’t draw)


Lisa is a family mediator and the creator of BIG Time Visual & the Big Beginnings in Visual Mediation Course. She helps mediators improve their visual communication skills BIG Time so that they become the GO TO mediators.

Lisa first discovered visual communication in 2003. During a discordant board meeting, she watched a visual facilitator neutralize conflict dynamics simply by mapping the conversation on giant sheets of paper. It rocked her world to see the profound power visuals had to improve communication between clashing parties.

Over the next decade, Lisa studied and practised with the best minds in visual facilitation. Eventually, she was travelling the globe to visually map high level business meetings and teach prestigious organizations how to leverage visuals in their communications and work processes.

Lisa has worked with companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Emirates Foundation, Bell, the Conference Board of Canada, Goldcorp, Helmsley Trust, Amgen, Health Canada, TransCanada and LNG Canada. She’s also worked with countless universities across Canada and the USA, First Nations, and all levels of government including a range of ministries, Offices of the Auditor General and municipalities.

In 2013, Lisa’s world was rocked again when mediation proved unsuccessful during her divorce. Naturally, it was one of those stressful situations where emotions were running high, and although Lisa and her ex-husband were in the exact same conversation with their mediator, they somehow both walked away with different understandings of what they’d decided on. The agreements they thought they had made later fell apart simply because none of them (her, him, or the mediator) could agree on what had been said.

With Lisa’s background in visual facilitation, it was obvious to her that if they’d written their thoughts out on paper while they were having the discussion, they’d have known for sure they were on the same page – literally. That’s when she developed a passion for combining visual communication with mediation and returned to school to become a certified family mediator.

In every mediation Lisa has ever conducted, she’s seen the same thing… VISUALS WORK! They clarify, they guide, they serve as a record and most importantly they are a thinking tool for her parties in their mediation when they are making life-changing decisions.

That’s why Lisa created the Big Beginnings in Visual Mediation course. It’s the only place you can learn visual communication skills nuanced to mediation.

Mediators from 30 countries around the world are tapping in to the power of using visual communication in their mediations resolving conflicts in business dealings, families, and workplaces. These mediations are better because the parties can actually see they’ve been heard, they understand faster, they have more trust in the process and it’s easier to stay focused on the future they want.

Helping people see their way to a better future. This is really why Lisa mediates visually! Now you can too.

For more information about Lisa visit


After a 20 year career as a solicitor specialising in dispute resolution and following her own divorce, Helen retrained as a family mediator, and now has her own mediation practice, Rapport Family Mediation, based in Surrey.

Working with clients in person and online, wherever they may be, Helen is committed to, and passionate about, delivering the very best in mediation practice that she can; she continues to look for ways to ‘do better’.

It is Helen’s enthusiasm for the opportunities that visual communication present, and the positives for clients, that led her to invite Lisa to share her expertise with family mediators in the UK. Please do join us for what promises to be an hour really well spent.

For more information about Helen visit

New Online Dispute Resolution Program for Helping People Settle Small Claims in Franklin County, Ohio

Franklin County in the state of Ohio now offers Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) to parties in small claims and civil cases. For more information:

The article’s authors, Colleen Anderson and Travis Peterson, are students in a joint program at the University of Toledo, Ohio, and the Folkeuniversitet i Trondheim (University of Trondheim). After giving an overview of the need for mediation and ODR for helping people settle Small Claims disputes in the USA, they asked Alex Sanchez, the manager of the small claims and dispute resolution department at Franklin County Municipal Court:

  • What made Franklin County decide to pursue ODR?
  • Has there been any feedback from the public, or from court employees, on how the ODR system is being received?
  • Have you seen any changes in turnover time or compliance since implementing the system?
  • What advice would you give to other courts who are interested in ODR?

The Franklin County’s ODR program is powered by the company Matterhorn: Online Dispute Resolution for Courts