Small Claims Courts 2.0 – Online Dispute Resolution in Action at Franklin County Municipal Court in Cleveland, Ohio


On January 18, 2018 an international group of court administrators, judges, mediators and attorneys attended a 1-hour webinar “Online Dispute Resolution: Resources Saved, Justice Served”. It was hosted by Giuseppe Leone, founder of Virtual Mediation Lab: Online Mediation Made Simple, and presented by:


During the webinar, Sanchez and Cartwright shared the benefits and results of a new FMCM ODR program for small claims, which allows people to resolve a dispute online – right from their smart-phone or computer. And at the end of their presentation – available here in Pdf format – they answered several questions from the webinar attendees.

The FMCM ODR program for small claims is based on a Court Innovations’ ODR software called Matterhorn; it was launched in October 2016; and in August 2017 received an award for “Judicial Innovation” from the Ohio State Bar Association

ODR FOR COURTS – 2 New Reports, 9 Case Studies, 18 Recommendations, Book
2 New Reports – If you are interested ODR for Courts, we recommend you read two reports published in November 2017 by the Joint Technology Committee, a committee established by the Conference of State Court Administrators, the National Association of Court Management and the National Center of State Courts, in order “To Improve the Administration of Justice Through Technology”.

  • Resource Bulletin
    It explains not only what ODR exactly means and what it takes, but also how to make it work: for example, it provides 18 recommendations from court personnel who have “lived” an ODR implementation.
  • Case Studies in ODR and the Courts: A View from the Front Lines
    It describes 9 case studies in the USA, Canada and Europe. One of those case studies is the FCMC ODR Small Claims, which was presented in our January 18, 2018 webinar.

Book – We also recommend Benjamin H. Burton and Stephanos Bibas’ book Rebooting Justice: More Technology, Fewer Lawyers, and the Future of Justice published in August 2017. According to the authors “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”.

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