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The Ups and Downs of ADR Policymaking

Mary Novak, September 17th, 2014

This is the story of how a law intended to increase mediation use led to a dramatic drop-off in mediation and what was done to try to fix the error.

In April 2013, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act came into force in England and Wales. The law cut legal aid, which formerly had been available for nearly all civil cases. In family law, legal aid for court cases was now only available for cases that involved allegations of domestic violence or child abuse. However, government funding for mediation of family case was increased by ten million pounds.  (more…)

Facebook’s User Conflict Resolution System: An Illustrated Walkthrough

Mary Novak, August 27th, 2014
Picture of a blooming cherry tree over a river

A Facebook user who objects to this photo can try conflict resolution online.

This post illustrates my recent discussion of the template-based online conflict resolution system Facebook has implemented for user disputes. The system asks users a series of questions, and suggests possible resolutions based on their answers. In some cases, Facebook may offer a user a pre-written message, filled out with a computerized template, to use as a starting point to address a conflict. (more…)

How Facebook Designed Its Template-Based Online Dispute Resolution System

Mary Novak, August 25th, 2014

 

Why don't you want to see this photo? It shouldn't be on FB

Facebook’s conflict resolution process, page 1

After my original post about Facebook’s online conflict resolution system, I received some requests for more information about the company’s research and the template-based self-help system they now use to resolve user disputes. This post will expand upon the research performed for Facebook by a team of social scientists from Berkeley, and present some examples of the conflict resolution templates which are now in place on the website. The source of this information is the video “New Tools to Understand People” which is available here. Tomorrow, I will follow up with a graphic demonstration of how this system works on the current Facebook site.
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Facebook’s Templates for Conflict Resolution and Court ADR

Mary Novak, July 25th, 2014

Facebook recently announced its creation of a self-guided dispute resolution system for users. The company has designed a new user-to-user conflict resolution system that could have implications for court ADR systems as well. (more…)

Values and Interests Revealed in Detroit “Grand Bargain”

Mary Novak, June 24th, 2014

The story of the Detroit bankruptcy mediation’s emerging “Grand Bargain” (as it has been dubbed in the media) is a fascinating case of many different groups working to protect their chosen interests. The bargain demonstrates how mediation allows parties to consider what they are willing to give in order to secure the things that matter most to them, and how traditional rivals may collaborate for a shared goal. Where litigation must have winners and losers, the proposed mediated bargain seeks to avoid that. Instead, it involves a complex balancing act in which many parties give a little to get a little — if “a little” is the right way to describe the potential movement of hundreds of millions of dollars. (more…)