Imagine this: a health pandemic sweeps the globe and, suddenly, the courthouse is closed. Time sensitive cases such as Family Court, Civil Disputes, Divorce and Landlord-Tenant need to be processed, but Zoom and Email aren’t secure and, honestly, don’t do the practice any justice.
Without in-person hearings, how can cases securely proceed?
Bringing Justice to You
For approximately 4 billion people, the courthouse has always been closed – the barrier to justice was intact well before the pandemic pushed us into virtual adoption. The costs of transportation, missing work for court dates, childcare and the emotional toll of confusing court processes and facing offenders had long driven a wedge between justice and the people who needed it.
Online dispute resolution (ODR), a popularly debated topic among the justice community for years, was built to bridge that gap. Now that the world continues down an increasingly remote path, ODR is gaining momentum. Failure to appear (and to pay) rates have dropped significantly since the courts have gone virtual – all while case turnaround becomes increasingly robust.
The truth is that online dispute resolution works better for all case participants. Litigants can handle matters on their own time, be it after work, during lunch or on the weekend. For sensitive cases, it’s better that respondents have time to clearly think through the case’s elements before replying, and that they don’t have to face offenders or hostile environments. For the Judge, it means only urgent, top-priority cases are brought into court, significantly reducing foot traffic and workload. And for the overwhelmed prosecutor, he/she is only brought in once the disputed case concludes – either a binding resolution, or next steps in the court process.
What Do I Achieve with ODR?
As an active participant in the global mission to increase access to justice, you’ll be operating every case from a comprehensive, cloud-based system. The intuitive, task-driven dashboard allows users to effortlessly manage and triage cases and/or individual tasks, and also serves as your document repository, case history and complete audit trail.
360-Degree Case Management
Quickly deployed as a Cloud application and seamlessly integrated with existing case management systems, a 360-degree case management tool displays all cases on your online dispute resolution docket. From an intuitive dashboard, users can quickly navigate to online payment portals, upload documentation, respond to messages and check notifications.
We understand that safeguarding your processes with the upmost security is the priority, which is why we offer secure, U.S. based hosting in the Microsoft Azure Cloud, which is compliant with CJIS, IRS and FedRAMP.
Secure File Sharing and Conferencing
End-to-end encrypted communication and sharing tools safeguard all data and documentation throughout the ODR process, including audio clips and video calls. Document exchange is instantaneous – facilitated by an automatic workflow that immediately notifies recipients when their documents are ready.
Settlement Builders and eSigning
Parties can make offers, either directly or through a mediator, so it’s easy for Judges or arbitrators to post determinations with the support of our settlement builder tool. Online judgements and settlements are then quick and seamless when coupled with electronic signature integrations, which allow Judges and other legal counsel to apply digital signatures and submit cases with the click of a button.
Payment Notifications and Integrations
Fees and other payments are simplified through ODR’s secure, electronic transactions, in which case participants are reminded of their individual upcoming due dates and settlement costs, and can pay dues online.
From its roots in small claims to its expanded capacity for criminal and misdemeanor cases, family law, landlord-tenant resolutions, bankruptcy, probate and beyond, ODR has a purpose in every court. This scalable platform expands and contracts to meet evolving business options or case-specific needs.
Meet Molly – Your AI Mediator for Dispute Resolution Outside the Courts
As the landlord of a rental home, you’re giving a final inspection on your property after the latest tenant has moved out. You’re disappointed to find the upkeep was poor and you’ll need to hire a professional cleaning service before you can re-lease. There are also some new scratches on the furniture – probably the doing of the tenant’s cat. Now that the tenant has moved out of state for a new job, it’s difficult to get in touch and work out an agreement on how much he’s responsible for paying. And, honestly, neither of you are interested in the stress of the court system or accruing any more costs.
So you decide to turn to Molly, the algorithm-based mediator, to guide you through to an agreement.
Why an Algorithm-Based Mediation Tool?
Developed to manage small claims, such as the landlord-tenant dispute above, insurance claims, consumer complaints, etc., Molly the Mediator is extremely successful at her job – helping users quickly resolve disputes, keep costs low and stay out of court.
Without human limitations, Molly the AI Mediator is available 24×7 and can facilitate cases quickly regardless of differing time zones or geographic distances – flexibility is her specialty. And despite Molly’s asynchronous communication style, she typically wraps up her client’s dispute in minutes or just a few hours. Much of this can be attributed to her strictly monetary nature – AI cannot interpret or be influenced by emotion, which eliminates the typically heated “negotiation dance” and keeps the parties’ focus on coming to a financial agreement.
Settlements and Case Escalation
Once the AI Mediator identifies that the case participants’ bids are close enough to reach an agreement, she will encourage both parties to reveal their blind bids to one another. If they accept the revealed price, she will then draft the settlement based on the agreed upon bid, any contingencies the case parties have decided, and a payment due date.
While Molly the Mediator will work with case participants as long as necessary, she can also be configured to only entertain a set number of rounds. After the case parties run out of rounds, they may need to escalate their case to human mediation or the courts.
If human mediation is necessary, the case participants can use the same ODR platform to request their case be managed by human mediator of their choice, or that a mediator be assigned to them.
Your Full-Service Partner on the ODR Journey
If you share our mission to increase access to justice and want to learn more about the opportunities online dispute resolution can bring to your practice, we encourage you to visit our ODR-specific website, www.ResolveDisputes.com, for an expanded walkthrough and/or to request a demo.
As a full-service partner of ODR efforts in North America and Canada, ImageSoft is with you every step of the way. With over 25 years of justice experience and serving as the full-service eFiling partner for more than 34,000 attorneys, we pride ourselves on serving as your go-to team for providing increased access to justice to your community and clients.
Questions, Concerns or Just a Conversationalist?
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Make a Visit
Meet our team, journey through expanded use cases and explore all the platform’s capabilities from our ODR-specific website.
THE F.A.Q of ODR
If you’re wondering why ODR is such a hot-button topic, about its potential in supporting your evolving business needs, or how ImageSoft serves as your full-service provider, this one-pager is your one-stop-shop.
Making Justice Effortless and Accessible
The Founder of the Collaborative Lawyers of Saskatchewan joined us for a conversation about ODR in his expansive, 40+ year legal practice. Followed by a use case-based demonstration of the Cloud-Hosted ODR system, you’ll walk away with a confident understanding of how to resolve every dispute from a 360-degree dashboard without ever stepping foot in a courthouse.