Comments: Arbitration -- a community tool or a weapon?

The terms and conditions do not have to use a third party one could easily use a democratic form of arbitration on disputes of a lower amount. If the dispute had a monetary value of below the cost estimate of either forum mentioned then designing a system that allowed users to vote or a panel of users to vote can be derived and probably should be as a fail safe to the risk of cost escalating in a third party forum. In addition the an internal forum of users voting could weigh the merits of a case against a third parties forum. In essence creating a user democracy that is empowered and interested in the disputes of the system. The use of traditional forums for arbitration do not take into consideration the learning curve that forums must acquire to become relevant. So by outsourcing the process you have exported a vital educational service now held in the mystical realm of the legal world. Those that defer to a third party loose a very special brand of knowledge called self governance. The self governing always have the right to outsource but if that process is outsourced too quickly the knowledge is all exported to an attorney's office.

Posted by jim at September 26, 2007 04:25 AM

Short Note on Virtual Law Classes: Second Life and Other Three Dimensional Visual Worlds Next Phase for Online Dispute Resolution?


Virtual communities and virtual worlds have become popular places on the internet, with some visited even more than Google. The virtual worlds offer opportunities to Online Dispute Resolution. With the advent of the virtual worlds, virtual conflicts ask for an adequate online resolution mechanism: a virtual courtroom. Insights from Online Dispute Resolution research can be applied in developing such a courtroom. The interesting aspect about these environments is that they are electronic by nature but that they look and feel like the real world. As such they might be able to bridge the gap between online and offline dispute resolution. This paper elaborates upon the potential of ODR in three dimensional worlds. I use as an example two recent classes I gave in Second Life, and indicate the experiences relevant for dispute resolution.

Posted by spotted... at September 28, 2007 10:55 AM

"Judge Robreno, in denying the motion to compel arbitration in California, offers useful hints to attorneys and clients on how to avoid pitfalls when drafting standard electronic form contracts. The following are some of the factors the court relied upon to support its conclusion that the standard electronic form contract signed by Mr. Bragg was unconscionable and thus unenforceable. ...."

Posted by article at October 18, 2007 04:24 PM
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