Virtual Mediation and Virtual Arbitration: Stop the World (Please!) I Want to Get Off!(ARBITRATION)

AuthorWarshaswky, Ira B.

* Slop the World: I Want to Get Off was a musical with Anthony Newley. It originally opened in London in 1961 and made it to Broadway in 1962. It was followed by a film in 1966 and a revival in 1978.

In the play, whenever something unsatisfactory happened to the lead character, named Littlechap, he called out, "Stop the World" and proceeded to address the audience directly. This occurred multiple times throughout the performance.

During the week of March 9, 2020, there were numerous occasions where many of us wanted to scream "stop the world" as the markets plunged, the world of sports was put on hold and our country struggled to come to terms with a combination of threats (health, social, and economic) that most of us have never witnessed in our lifetimes. The coronavirus, Covid-19, has now been added to our lexicon.

We, as individuals, cannot do much about most of these things except to "soldier on" and follow good health habits. The world continues to spin and our economy must go on as well. We cannot yell out, "stop the world." It won't work. We obviously are prioritizing the health and well-being of our employees, colleagues and families while keeping our organizations and economies moving forward.

The court system is practically on hold. Leadership has pushed the pause button. That does not mean, however, that legal matters must vegetate and become even older than they already are. Just because you cannot get your jury trial, that does not mean you cannot resolve your case in mediation or in arbitration. We all know that over 90% of all cases within our civil system settle before trial, so why delay?

The answer is Virtual Mediation and Virtual Arbitration.

What should you look for in order to accomplish either a virtual mediation or arbitration? As you search for the right ADR vendor, who has both ADR and technical expertise, you may want to consider asking the following questions: Will my people be able to converse (virtually) without being in contact with the adversary? Are private virtual conference rooms available through your service?

Will my exhibits be easily exchanged and used by the witness and my adversary? Bottom line, do you utilize and support document sharing technology?

Will my staff be able to use their own devices from home, office or even on the road? Or must they be using specific equipment provided by the vendor?

Is special software needed for my employee's equipment and, if so, is there training available for my...

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