February 09, 2021 Feature

The Rise of Online Mediation: Lessons from the E-Commerce Marketplace

Emily Martin
Parties and mediators will continue to become more comfortable and skilled in conducting mediations online.

Parties and mediators will continue to become more comfortable and skilled in conducting mediations online.

[Photog]/[Collection] via Getty Images

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2020 brought an increase in online shopping. It also brought an increase in online mediations. For many mediators, this was a sudden shift. However, for disputes arising from online transactions, online dispute resolution (ODR) is nothing new. The move to online mediation for online transactions began in the early days of e-commerce more than two decades ago. In general, there are pros and cons to online mediation, but for online transaction disputes, the pros have always outweighed the cons. In fact, some of the development of ODR systems is a byproduct of online shopping. In many ways, ODR for online retailers has moved beyond merely online mediation and will play a role in how we use technology in more and more types of disputes.

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