Category Archives: VML – USA & International

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


Experienced family mediator, Helen Slade, introduced visual mediation techniques in her practice after learning about them online and immediately received great feedback from her clients!

That’s why she has invited, Lisa Arora, expert in visual mediation, to introduce you to the ways YOU can use visual communication to make the mediation process more effective, creative and interactive for YOUR clients.

In a visual mediation, parties can literally see what they’re saying. It has a catalytic effect on the conversation and ultimately improves decision-making. The idea of writing stuff down is so simple, yet the impact is so profound.


If you attend this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • 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 your clients where visual communication could really help
  • Ways you can begin to work visually (even if you worry that you 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


This 1-hour free webinar will take place Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 4:00pm UK Time (8:00am Pacific Time | 10:00am Central Central Time | 11:00am Eastern Time).

Registration is Free, but seating is limited.

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

Online Mediation via Zoom: Turning Mediators’ Initial Skepticism Into Enthusiasm

Conflict Intervention Service (CIS) is a grant funded project of the City and County of San Francisco in partnership with The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Bay Area Mediation Services Program. This innovative program utilizes skilled mediators with diverse backgrounds in landlord-tenant law, psychology, addiction, mental health and housing conflict to resolve disputes in affordable housing that can lead to eviction or homelessness.

On November 2, 2017 a group of those mediators participated in a Virtual Mediation Lab Hands-on Training in Online Mediation, which consisted of 2 parts:

  • Part 1 – 60-min Introduction to Online Mediation
    What online mediation means and how It works; how we (mediators) can do online everything we are used to do face-to-face; how to blend face-to-face and online mediation; which cases are suitable for online mediation; online mediation benefits; which video collaboration software works best for online mediation.
  • Part 2 – 90-min Hands-on Online Mediation via Zoom
    Each mediator practiced what they learned during Part 1,

At the end of the training Giuseppe Leone, founder of Virtual Mediation Lab, asked all mediators a simple question: “Has this 150-min hands-on training changed your view of online mediation?” Here are some of their answers:

  • “Now I am not afraid of it”
  • “I am eager to do it”
  • “I am marveling at the capabilities of this software (Zoom). It’s incredible.”
  • “I’m excited at the way people perceive technology and their relationship with technology. Online mediation may add an edge to mediation”.
  • “This is extraordinary”
  • “It opens up a whole new world!”

This experience seems to show that a good way to respond to many experienced mediators’ initial (and natural) skepticism about online mediation is to let them try it and judge by themselves.

Virtual Mediation Lab: Online Mediation Made Simple is a project sponsored by the Association for Conflict Resolution Hawaii Chapter. For more information contact Giuseppe Leone by email or by phone at (808) 383-4117

2017 Annual Mediterranean and Middle East Conference on Arbitration and Mediation

The 11th edition of the Annual Mediterranean and Middle East Conference on arbitration and mediation organized by the European Centre for Arbitration and Mediation will be held in Milan, Italy on November 6-7, 2017.

For more information visit their website or view the conference program

Online Dispute Resolution in Canada – New 47-min Video on Civil Resolution Tribunal

On October 13, 2017, Shannon Salter, Chair of the Civil Resolution Tribunal in British Columbia, presented the Canadian experience of Online Dispute Resolution at the Civil Mediation Council (CMC) Academic Conference.

Source: Civil Mediation Council


Call for Papers for January 2018 International Conference on the Challenges and Prospects of Alternative Dispute Resolution in India

Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow will hold an international conference on “The Challenges and Prospects of Arbitration and other forms of ADR in India” from January 19, 2018, to January 21, 2018.

The conference seeks participation of scholars in the area of arbitration, conciliation, mediation and other forms of ADR, both from within and outside India. Submissions are invited on the following sub-themes:

  • Challenges of commercial arbitration in India
  • Role of the mediation in the dispute resolution
  • Conciliation as an ADR mechanism
  • Online dispute resolution mechanism: Prospects and challenges in India
  • Lok Adalat and other existent dispute resolution mechanism: Growth and contemporary challenges

Read conference brochure

Online Mediation Project Virtual Mediation Lab Featured in “International Journal on Consumer Law and Practice” by National Law School of India University

Thank you to the National Law School of India University for featuring our online mediation project Virtual Mediation Lab in Volume 5 of their “International Journal on Consumer Law and Practice”.

Virtual Mediation Lab: Online Mediation Made Simple is a project sponsored by the Association for Conflict Resolution Hawaii Chapter.

Microsoft and Pro Bono Net Partner with Legal Aid in Alaska and Hawaii to Help People Solve Legal Problems – 1-Min Video

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Microsoft Corporation, and Pro Bono Net have named Alaska and Hawaii as state partners in a pilot program to develop online, statewide legal portals to direct individuals with civil legal needs to the most appropriate forms of assistance.

Source: Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and KHON2

Rebooting Justice: More Technology, Fewer Lawyers, and the Future of Law – New Book on Access to Justice

Authors: Benjamin H. Barton and Stephanos Bibas
ISBN: 159403933X


America is a nation founded on justice and the rule of law. But our laws are too complex, and legal advice too expensive, for poor and even middle-class Americans to get help and vindicate their rights. Criminal defendants facing jail time may receive an appointed lawyer who is juggling hundreds of cases and immediately urges them to plead guilty. Civil litigants are even worse off; usually, they get no help at all navigating the maze of technical procedures and rules. The same is true of those seeking legal advice, like planning a will or negotiating an employment contract.

Rebooting Justice presents a novel response to longstanding problems. The answer is to use technology and procedural innovation to simplify and change the process itself. In the civil and criminal courts where ordinary Americans appear the most, we should streamline complex procedures and assume that parties will not have a lawyer, rather than the other way around. We need a cheaper, simpler, faster justice system to control costs. We cannot untie the Gordian knot by adding more strands of rope; we need to cut it, to simplify it.


Benjamin H. Barton is the Helen and Charles Lockett Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee. His scholarship has been discussed or reviewed in Time Magazine, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Washington Examiner, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The ABA Journal.

Stephanos Bibas is a Professor of Law and Criminology and the Director of the Supreme Court Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a founding faculty member of the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, which seeks to study and fix flaws in the criminal justice system that cause innocent defendants to be wrongfully convicted.




  • The Reality of Criminal Justice for Poor Defendants
  • How We Got Here: Criminal Defense
  • Access to Justice in Civil Courts
  • How We Got Here: Civil Law
  • The Political Economy of Gideon and Civil Gideon


  • Against “More Lawyers, More Justice”
  • Techno-Optimism and Access to Justice
  • Court Reform
  • Cheaper Lawyers and Paraprofessionals
  • Criminal Case Triage
  • Conclusion: Fewer Lawyers, More Justice

Purchase “Rebooting Justice” on Amazon