Colin Rule, chief operating officer of Modria, Inc. (based in Silicon Valley) and former director of online dispute resolution at eBay and PayPal, recently visited the law school. During his visit, he assisted with simulations for mediation and negotiations in Professor Amy Schmitz’s Dispute Resolution in the Digital Age class.
Rule also gave a presentation for students and faculty on “Resolving Conflict and Expanding Access to Justice through Online Dispute Resolution.” He discussed the future of law and dispute resolution, and showed the power of the Internet for resolving disputes.
“Through the Internet, consumers now purchase items all around the world with swipes of their finger or clicks of their mouse,” Professor Schmitz explains. “These online transactions are generating more than a billion disputes a year, many of which are low value and cross-border. The face-to-face techniques we’ve used in the past to resolve consumer issues are not cost-effective or practical for these online issues. Recent work in the ever-expanding field of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) therefore builds on recent advances in the United Nations and the European Union to set out a design for a consumer ODR system that is global, scalable, and built for the future. This system aims to provide the access to justice that consumers crave.”
Professor Schmitz is working with Rule to complete a book, The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection.