This report covers the proceedings and recommendations of a virtual panel convened to develop a prioritized list of needs of court-based online dispute resolution (ODR), which encompasses an ever-increasing array of technologies and processes used to resolve disputes in the legal system.
Since 2015, court-based ODR programs in the United States have expanded from a few exploratory pilots to countless programs in both small and large courts. This trend has been spurred by rising case volumes and tightening budgets. More recently, courts have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addressing issues related to this ODR trend, members of the featured virtual panel provided their experiences with ODR programs and their perspectives on needs and opportunities to promote ODR expansion in a manner that preserves litigants’ rights, promotes access to justice, and increases court efficiencies. This report details the 27 high-priority needs that emerged from the panel and provides further context based on participant discussion. High-priority needs relate to the design and implementation of ODR programs and platforms, strategies to improve access to justice, opportunities to engage potential ODR users, and rigorous research on and evaluation of ODR programs. 2 figures, 2 tables, and 24 references