Authored by Paul Gorman, Account Executive, ImageSoft
Throughout human history, access to justice has been uneven.
Our earliest legal codes reflected attempts to provide a way for the King to define rights and penalties for proscribed behavior. In one of the earliest surviving Saxon historic documents, Aethelberht, one of the Saxon Kings of Kent, defined penalties (generally, financial penalties) as a means of providing justice for specific wrongs. The purpose for the codes included the extension of the King’s justice to as many of the King’s subjects through deputies standing in for the king. It is not hard to understand why this became necessary — the king could not possibly sit in Court and administer justice in-person for every dispute. (The Laws of Aethelberht, The Chronicle of the Dark Ages, Edited by Richard Barber, 2008).
All our modern, common laws in the United States come from these earliest legal codes.
Access to the King’s justice then required tremendous financial resources and was available only to the wealthy and influential; but these early codes do show that, even in the Dark Ages, attempts were being made to expand access to justice to more of the King’s subjects.
Even back then, lack of access was recognized as a problem that needed to be addressed.
A Less Serious History of Dispute Resolution
Borrowed from Monty Python And The Holy Grail, 1975
Peasants: We have found a witch! (A witch! a witch!)
Burn her, burn her!
Peasant 1: We have found a witch, may we burn her?
Sir Vladimir: What makes you think she is a witch?
Peasant 2: Well, she turned me into a newt!
Sir Vladimir: A newt?!
(Peasant 2: pause & look around)
Peasant 1: (thinking): If she weighs the same as a duck… she’s made of wood!
Sir Vladimir: And therefore,
(pause & think)
Peasant 3: A witch! (Peasant 1: a witch!) (Peasant 2: a witch!) (all: a witch!)
Dispute Resolution Today
It is amazing to consider that, even after 1500 years, we are still struggling with identical issues that Kings struggled with in the Dark Ages. Even more amazing is that some of the reasons for lack of access to justice have not changed.
The expense and time-consuming processes of litigation are still barriers obstructing access to justice. Courts are too busy to rapidly hear cases, just as the King was too busy to reside in-person.
The invention of the Internet and the rise of ubiquitous network access has dramatically changed the way in which disputes can be resolved. Low cost access to online portals, which are specifically designed to provide dispute resolution, has eliminated the final barrier of access to justice.
ImageSoft is pleased to present our Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) portal.
What is Online Dispute Resolution?
We don’t always refer to Wikipedia but, when we do, it’s for good reason. And the reason is I honestly can’t sum it up any better than this!
“Online dispute resolution is a branch of dispute resolution which uses modern technology to facilitate the resolution of disputes between parties. It primarily involves negotiation, mediation or arbitration, or a combination of all three.” — Wikipedia
Our ODR portal was created by dispute resolution experts who understand the Alternative Dispute Resolution and litigation processes. With it, users are equipped to create and host their own branded platform, comprised of effortless case management, and collect insightful data analytics.
The blueprints for this solution are comprehensive, accounting for every need in the ODR process, including:
- Case Management – Effortlessly view and manage all cases registered on your dispute resolution service. Case management supports multi-party actions involving represented and unrepresented parties.
- Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration – All recognized Alternative Dispute Resolution methods are provided through the same platform in a user friendly, easy-to-understand interface.
- Secure File Sharing – Securely share case information and evidence with our encryption technology.
- Encrypted Communication – End-to-end encryption protects your messages, audio, video calls and more.
- Justice On-The-Go™ – Access to justice truly on the move. We can create a custom application for your dispute resolution service so your users have access to resolution from their mobile device or tablet.
- Settlement and Judgement Builder – Enable parties to make offers directly, or through a mediator, by means of the settlement builder. It allows judges and arbitrators to post determinations with ease.
- Brand Integration – Integrate your branding, key processes and key content into your online dispute service.
- Statistics and KPI Reporting – Want a breakdown of the types of cases on your system? How long they take to resolve? What feedback rating clients give your service? You can obtain live KPI reporting through the ODR application.
ODR solutions enable users to reduce caseloads by removing the small claims that can be easily resolved from home – no need to travel to the courthouse, fret over parking, pay a babysitter and jump through all the other fun hoops in between. Not to mention that, in the post-pandemic world, we’ll be seeing a lot of more one another online than in-person.
Most importantly, the ODR solution improves access to the courts and justice overall by eliminating the cost barriers of litigation. Everyone should have access to justice today.
If you’re ready to rest an issue that has been recognized for more than a millennium, I’d love to chat with you.