Universiteit Leiden

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Online Dispute Resolution through the Lens of Access to Justice

dinsdag 7 maart 2023
Radboud University Nijmegen, Faculty of Law, Grotuis Building
Montessorilaan 10
6525 HR Nijmegen


Professor Amy J. Schmitz will discuss how she and others became interested in “online dispute resolution” (ODR) many years ago as means for expanding access to justice (A2J). Although there is no generally accepted definition of ODR, it includes online problem diagnosis and self-help tools, as well as technologies to promote online negotiation, mediation, arbitration, community courts, and variations thereof. Nonetheless, ODR comes with perils and it is necessary to revamp research regarding ODR to promote A2J. As Co-Director of the Translational Data Analytics Institute (TDAI) for Responsible Data Science at The Ohio State University, Professor Schmitz will add concerns not only about process and design, but also the human element. In these times of iterative AI, and mechanisms like ChatGPT, there are reasons to be concerned that we have lost perspective on what it means to promote “responsible data science.” Furthermore, there is a lack of comparative research to date that compares in-person verses online dispute resolution with a deeper lens beyond outcomes and time. Professor Schmitz hopes to engage discussion on this topic, after sharing her own pre-Covid research, and future research avenues and ideas that she and others hope to pursue in the future.

Presenter bio

Professor Amy J. Schmitz is a full professor at The Ohio State Moritz College of Law and Program on Dispute Resolution as the John Deaver Drinko-Baker & Hostetler Endowed Chair in Law and a Co-Director of the Translational Data Analytics Institute (TDAI) for Responsible Data Science at The Ohio State University. She is also affiliated with The Ohio State Program on Data Governance and is a Co-PI with the Divided Community Project. Before teaching at Ohio State, Professor Schmitz taught at the University of Missouri School of Law and Center for Dispute Resolution as the Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor of Law, starting in 2016. Previously she was a Professor at the University of Colorado School of Law for over 16 years. Prior to teaching, Professor Schmitz practiced law with large law firms in Seattle and Minneapolis and served as a law clerk for the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. Professor Schmitz teaches courses in Contracts, Lawyering and Problem-Solving, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), Arbitration, International Arbitration, and Consumer Law. She has been heavily involved in Arbitration and ODR teaching and research for a long time and is a Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, as well as the Co-Chair of the ABA Technology Committee of the Dispute Resolution Section and the ODR Task Force. Professor Schmitz is also an elected member of the American Law Institute and the 2023 winner of the Association of American Law Schools Technology, Law and Legal Education Section Award. Professor Schmitz has delivered over 160 presentations and hosts The Arbitration Conversation, a highly regarded webcast that moved to a podcast after reaching 100 video web episodes. She also is a researcher with the ACT Project exploring AI and dispute resolution at the Cyberjustice Lab in Montreal, Canada, and is heavily involved in discussions and research around technology and access to justice. She has published over 65 articles in law journals and books, is a co-author of the leading casebook, Resolving Disputes: Theory, Practice and Law (Aspen 2021), the new book with Stipanowich, Arbitration: Theory, Practice and Law (Aspen 2022) and a book with C. Rule, The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection (ABA 2017).

About the seminar series

Institutions for Conflict Resolution / Conflictoplossende Instituties (COI) is a research collaboration between Utrecht University, Leiden University, and Radboud University Nijmegen. As part of its activities, the COI research group organises seminars throughout the year for researchers interested in current and innovative topics relating to institutions for conflict resolution. The seminars feature international speakers who present their work, followed by Q&A and discussion. Themes include the evolving role of judges in preventing and resolving conflicts, the role of alternative avenues and non-public actors, and how societal challenges such as climate change or digitalisation affect institutions for conflict resolution. Seminars are hosted on a rotating basis at each of the three universities, and are delivered in a hybrid format: online via Microsoft Teams and in-person, on campus at the host institution.

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