The Pew Charitable Trusts has published a Q&A with Professor Donna Shestowsky of the UC Davis School of Law about the empirical study of online dispute resolution (ODR) that the law school and Resolution Systems Institute are conducting, which looks at court ODR programs in Michigan and Texas. The Q&A explores procedural justice, an integral element of the study.
RSI’s Director of Research, Jennifer Shack, and Professor Shestowsky are working with the Pew Charitable Trusts to evaluate online platforms that courts are using to assist parties in engaging in mediation and negotiation. RSI and UC Davis are one of three research teams involved in a larger project initiated by Pew to empirically study issues surrounding the provision of ODR by courts and its effects.
While these platforms could offer benefits, such as eliminating the need for some parties to appear in person for a trial, the study looks at possible drawbacks as well. In addition to procedural justice, the study also looks at other questions, such as whether ODR reduces the time and stress on parties and courts; affects case outcomes; and improves litigants’ use of court procedures and navigation of court rules.
For more on how courts are using ODR, visit RSI’s Special Topic on Online Dispute Resolution.