Understanding the Opportunities in Providing ADR Online and Adapting Your Techniques to the Online Environment (20 hrs CPD)



Applying the fast developing online technologies to resolving disputes is taking an increasingly significant role in justice systems worldwide. The European Union has now passed a Regulation on ODR under which there is now an EU run website to direct the parties in disputes related to online consumer transactions to various approved ADR services operating online. Moreover, as from the 15th February 2016 it became a legal duty on all in the EU who sell products or services online to carry a link on their websites to the EU ODR platform. This will have the effect of promoting a large increase in the use of ODR in such disputes. As there is no value limit in the definition of 'consumer', this duty, to effectvely help develop market awareness of ODR through the link, will apply to those selling ocean going yachts as much as to phone accessories.

The course has been taken by over 120 mediators in 12 countries and now updated in 2016 with additional facilities and guest experts.

In 2016 Lord Justice Briggs published his Final Report into the structure of the UK court system, which supports the proposals in the Report of the Civil Justice Council's ODR Advisory Group (of which your lead tutor, Graham Ross, is a member and co-author of the Report) recommending the setting up of 'HM Online Court'. The Court and Tribunals Service is already working on development of this online justice addition to the court system. Not only will such an online court make use of online technology but it will include within the court system all forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (mediation, arbitration, adjudication etc) so that the word 'Alternative' then becomes redundant or, more accurately, replaced by 'Appropriate'. Moreover, Lord Justice Brigg's vision is for the HM Online court to be largely lawyer free

ODR is often used as a term to refer to simply using online technology as a medium for communication. As this course will highlight, ODR is far more than that (as the image below makes clear).

However, even when focusing just on online communication, mediating online is not just about using the technology but, more importantly, understanding the dynamics of online discourse and how mediators can best adapt their skills, such as by generating and maintaining trust whilst not meeting the parties, as well as by controlling the pace and atmosphere of the discussions.

Mediators who can better make use of online technology will have a marketing advantage in that they will be able to offer their services to parties in dispute who simply cannot, at proportionate cost and time, resolve their disputes in person. More than that, ODR skills add value to in-person mediations by enabling much preparatory work to be undertaken online (clarifying and narrowing the issues, beginning to brainstorm alternate solutions, ensuring the parties fully understand, and buy into, the process etc, ensuring that the mediator can 'hit the ground running' at the beginning of the in-person meeting so that more time can be spent productively moving forward

More importantly, this course will equip ADR professionals to market their services to industries and organisations handling large volumes of disputes in way that will enable them to provide ADR services in a far more efficient, economic and profitable way than through traditional norms of ADR.

This course is delivered partly online and partly in person.

During your ODR Mediation course, you will cover the following topics:-

* ODR related legislation

* ODR in the court system

* Demonstrations of available ODR services

* The pros and cons of offering ADR online

* Developing trust online

* Appropriate procedures and techniques for communication

* Avoiding the pitfalls when communicating online

* Time management in asynchronous online conversations

* Adapting discourse for the online environment

* Promoting your ODR skills

* Marketing opportunities specific to your practice

* Making online mediation cost effective and profitable

* Exploiting the opportunities for online mediation within lawyer free courts and tribunals

The elements of the course include:-

1. Reading material covering the above topics.

2. Access to a series of 6 video/slide presentations in total covering each of the above topics to view in your own time with no date limit.

3. Quizzes and assessment.

4. A minimum of four live, one hour, webinars with experts and leaders in the field.

5. A 1 hour sessions of personal 1:1 training (or, at an additional quoted fee, group training for a firm) with the emphasis on assistance with marketing in selected categories of disputes. One will be at the outset (to enable marketing advice to be personalised) and one at the end of the core program. These sessions will be by web conferencing although in-person meetings can be arranged for an additional fee.

6. At least 2 live roleplays, one using web conferencing and one using asynchronous discussion.

7. Membership of our panel of ODR Professionals with access to our private LinkedIn group where, as well as being updated on ODR developments, members will be able to network with fellow ODR professionals and develop ideas, projects etc.This is a small group focused on practical aspects to help exploit the opportunities ODR opens up for practitioners.

8. A continually growing online library resource of references to books and papers on the subject with full access to certain of them.

10. Detailed presentations of ODR systems.

Live webinar experts will include Colin Rule, who headed the ODR department at eBay for more than 8 years and, later PayPal's ODR department as well as being the founder and current Chairman and COO of Modria.com Inc, the company recognised as the leaders in the field. Colin wrote the seminal ODR book, Online Dispute Resolution For Business, which covers ODR as applied to B2B, Ecommerce, Consumer, Employment, Insurance, and Other Commercial Conflicts.

Another expert will be Daniel Rainey, Chief of Staff for the National Mediation Board, an independent agency responsible for labor-management relations in the U.S. airline and railroad industries and also Clinical Professor of Dispute Resolution at the Southern Methodist University in Texas. Dan Rainey makes extensive use of a range of ODR technologies in his work at the NMB and is recognised as a leading expert in the field. He is co-editor of the leading text book in the field, Online Dispute Resolution: Theory and Practice, Eleven Publishing, 978‐94‐90947‐25‐5 ( http://www.elevenpub.com/law/catalogus/online-disp... ) and one of the three Editors in Chief of the International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution. Dan is a member of the editorial board for Conflict Resolution Quarterly.

The third expert taking a live webinar will be Noam Ebner, Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at the Werner Institute, Creighton University. Noam has had a number of papers published on developing trust online and negotiating by email including "Nonverbal Communication and Trust Development in Online Video-based Mediation' published in the International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution,no. 2, 2014.

The fourth expert taking a live webinar will be Giuseppe Leone, founder and project manager of the Virtual Mediaton Lab, an online mediation project sponsored by the Association for Conflict Resolution Hawaii Chapter. Guiseppe first began undertaking regular mediations online as long ago as 1999 (for Square Trade). He trains mediators into how best to use web conferencing facilities for mediation.

Other interviewees will include speakers from various ODR services as well as ODR developers.

All taking the course and satisfying the final assessment will receive a certificate and will be enrolled on the panel of ODR practitioners.

In view of the fluid nature of developments in ODR, the course content will be regularly updated with new developments. All taking the course will have continued access for 12 months to revisit the course content, whether for updates or a refresh, and participate in future masterclass webinars and ODR site visits. This access can be continued after the 12 months on a monthly subscription.



Graham is an accredited business mediator and negotiator and a recognised expert in the fast developing field of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) which exploits the power of technology to facilitate resolution.Graham was trained in commercial mediation by the ADR Group and is a member of the Civil Mediation Council and the Ombudsman's Association. He is a Fellow of the National Center of Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR) at the University of Massachusetts and also a member of the 12 strong ODR Advisory Group appointed by the Civil Justice Council (CJC) to advise the UK's Ministry of Justice on the role of ODR in a modernised civil justice system. Graham is also a member of the Civil Justice Council's ADR Working Party and an expert advisor to The All Party Parliamentary Group on Alternative Dispute Resolution.

In 2014, Graham was invited to advise in meeting the Committee of Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe on the impact of ODR on access to justice and human rights. The Committee produced a draft Resolution, since adopted by the Council, which calls on all 47 member States to promote the development and use of Online Dispute Resolution. In February 2016, Graham was invited to be an advisor to an EU funded research project led by the Faculty of Law at Salamanca University in Spain to consider the role of online mediation in cross-border disputes.

As well as his private practice as a business mediator and negotiator, Graham is Head of the European Advisory Board for a Silicon Valley spin-off from eBay and PayPal called Modria Inc (www.modria.com) the global leader in applying online technology to all forms of resolving complaints and disputes.

Graham has been an innovator in the field of mediation, specialising in disputes between shareholders in private companies leading to stalemate situations (see www.BoardroomResolve.com).

The significance of ODR in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which includes arbitration and mediation, has been reinforced by the European Commission which has recently passed a Regulation on ODR, and a Directive on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) requiring ADR companies throughout Europe to provide ODR facilities for consumer claims.

Graham co-founded the UK's first ODR service, a blind bidding service called We Can Settle in 2000, and two years later the online mediation service The Mediation Room, on which platform pilots have been conducted for PayPal, the UK Small Claims Court, the Law Council of Australia and other organisations.

Graham was a member of the Working Party of the European Committee on Standardisation (CEN) which developed a Workshop Agreement on standards for Online Dispute Resolution and a member of the EU funded EMCOD project (www.emcod.net) led by the University of Tilburg and which has developed an online tool for the measurement of justice through ODR.

Graham was the co-author of the European chapter in “Online Dispute Resolution: Theory and Practice” and which was published in 2010 (Eleven Publishing - ISB 9490947253), which described as "a state-of-the-art overview and assessment of the status quo and future of the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) field."

Graham speaks regularly at international conferences on the impact of the law on the Internet and e-commerce and on technology in the judiciary and Alternative Dispute Resolution. He has been presenting regularly at conferences on ODR since 2002 when the now annual International Forum on Online Dispute Resolution was first launched at the Palais Des Nations in Geneva by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The Forum, which has traveled around five continents, was hosted by Graham in 2007 at the University of Liverpool. He has presented more recently on ODR at events in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria , Poland, Azerbaijan, (where he chaired the workshop on ODR at the Internet Governance Forum) Spain, Canada and USA. In 2012 he was invited by the European Commission to attend an expert group round table in Brussels on introducing a new European Law on Alternative Dispute Resolution and ODR for Business to Business disputes across Europe.

Graham developed the leading training course in applying technology to ADR and, as such, has trained mediators from over 20 countries as well as developing and delivering a course for the Milan Chamber of Arbitration and for the UK Ministry of Justice. He has been invited to advise court services in the UK , Canada and Bulgaria on applying technology tools to improve ADR.

Graham was also the founder of LAWTEL the online legal information update service now owned and operated by ThomsonReuters.


Colin Rule


Colin has worked in the dispute resolution field for more than two decades as a mediator, trainer, and consultant. From 2003 to 2011 he served as the first Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal. Before eBay, Colin co-founded and ran Online Resolution, one of the first online dispute resolution (ODR) providers. Colin has worked at Mediate.com, the National Institute for Dispute Resolution (now ACR) in Washington, D.C., and the Consensus Building Institute in Cambridge, MA. He is currently Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution at UMass-Amherst and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. Colin is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002. He has contributed more than 50 articles to prestigious ADR publications such as Consensus, The Fourth R, ACResolution Magazine, and Peace Review. He currently blogs at Novojustice.com, and serves on the boards of RESOLVE and the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center. He holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a graduate certificate in dispute resolution from UMass-Boston, a B.A. in Peace Studies from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.

Daniel Rainey


Daniel has three decades of experience working in fields related to communication and conflict resolution. Currently, he is Chief of Staff for the National Mediation Board in Washington, DC, which he joined from private practice in ADR and conflict management in April 2001. From 1978 through 1990, he was a faculty member and administrative faculty member at George Mason University. He is currently a Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution and an adjunct member of the graduate faculty in dispute resolution at Creighton University, Southern Methodist University, and Dominican University. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the InternetBar.Org, an NGO dedicated to the use of technology to enhance access to justice. He is recognized as a leader in the application of dispute resolution technology in traditional alternative dispute resolution venues.


Noam is Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at Creighton University School of Law and also Online Graduate Program Chair at the School's Werner Institute.

Noam has authored many articles and book chapters on his research interests of negotiation pedagogy, trust and its role in dispute resolution, and negotiation and mediation processes conducted online.

Noam has practiced as an attorney, negotiator, and mediator at his own Jerusalem-based firm. He has trained mediators for the Israeli court system as well as playing key roles in a number of community mediation programs. He has conducted hundreds of workshops on negotiation and conflict resolution for a broad range of private sector industries, governmental agencies, NGOs, universities and non-profits.

Before joining the Creighton faculty, Prof. Ebner has had over a dozen years of experience teaching at universities around the world – in Israel, Turkey, Costa Rica and elsewhere. His most recent engagement in international education involved designing and teaching a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on negotiation, with over 2000 students enrolling from 87 countries.


Professor Pablo Cortes is Chair in Civil Justice at the University of Leicester, UK.

Pablo conducts research in the field of consumer law, civil procedure, ADR and ODR. He has advised the European Commission during the drafting of the ODR Regulation and ADR Directive and has been invited to write reports and to participate in expert meetings by the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL Working Group-III ODR), the European Commission Directorate-General for Health & Consumers (DG SANCO) and Justice (DG JUST) as well as by the European Parliament Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) and the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI). Pablo serves on the advisory board of NetNeutrals and Youstice. He is a fellow of the National Centre for Technology and Dispute Resolutions (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and in 2012 he was a Gould Research Fellow at Stanford University. He is also a member of the Online Dispute Resolution Taskforce of the International Mediation Institute and a member of the ODR Advisory Group of the Civil Justice Council in England and Wales


Vikki is the Director of the Institute of International Commercial Law (IICL), and Assistant Dean of Online Programs at Pace Law School in New York City. Her work focuses on the promotion of the commercial rule of law and access to justice by leveraging technological innovation to (1) provide high-quality educational opportunities and online legal resources in international commercial law and dispute resolution; and (2) facilitate the development of online dispute prevention, management and resolution systems.

Vikki is responsible for maintaining the online CISG Database (www.cisg.law.pace.edu) and also co-chairs the technology committee of the dispute resolution section at the American Bar Association. Vikki was part of the US delegation at UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) for its Working Group III on ODR. She is the editor of the UNCITRAL CISG Digest and sits on the editorial boards for the Journal of Online Dispute Resolution and the Journal of Technology in International Arbitration. Nikki is also a Fellow at the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution. In 2015, Vikki organized the International Forum on ODR in 2015 in New York.

Over the last few years Vikki has developed, and now manages, several online certificate programs on ADR and ICL including the IICL online Certificate Programs on International Commercial Law, International Alternative Dispute Resolution and International Mediation Advocacy (http://law.pace.edu/IICL-certificate-program). These programs annually draw professionals from over 20 countries. In 2013, she launched the first global online Vis pre-moot to help prepare students for the Vis Moot competition. It now runs annually, attracting over 80 teams from over 30 countries.

Vikki has practiced law in New York and Germany, focusing on construction law arbitration and litigation. She was also an international case manager at the ICDR at the American Arbitration Association in New York, and has worked as a research fellow at the Universities of Heidelberg and Cologne in Germany.


Over the past twenty years, Professor Zeleznikow, of the College of Business at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia, has focussed on how Artificial Intelligence can be used to enhance decision-making. Specific examples have been created in the domains of law, negotiation and sport. His research findings have been utilised by law and mediation firms, Victoria Legal aid, Relationships Australia Queensland, Victorian Institute of Sport, Australian Institute of Sport and Relationships Australia Victoria.

Professor Zeleznikow's current teaching focuses upon research methods, research evaluation, negotiation, ethics and legal issues related to information technology.

John has conducted research and taught in Australian, US, French, Dutch, Israeli, Belgian, German, UK and Polish universities for forty years. He is the author of 3 research monographs, 65 refereed journal articles and over 200 refereed conference articles. John has also won over $A 7 million in competitive research grants.

He has successfully supervised 13 PhD students (including one who is a professor at Harvard Medical School), 6 postdoctoral fellows and over 50 honours students. On November 16 2005, he and a former PhD student Dr. Emilia Bellucci won their heat of ABC television's New Inventors program for software that assists divorcing couples to negotiate their disputes.

Your Instructor

Graham Ross
Graham Ross

Course Curriculum

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