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Technology has changed just about everything at the courthouse but the judges.
Filing, briefing, and even appearing in court can be done electronically. Judges would like to make telephonic appearances, too, but we're not quite there yet.
Of course, you knew all that. What you didn't know, unless you've been to high-tech mediation lately, is that technology is even better in alternative dispute resolution.
Just kidding about judges and technology, by the way. The Hon. Elizabeth Bonia, a former judge and "Best Individual Arbitrator" in New York, knows that. She also knows how technology helps dispute resolution. She says "technology permeates nearly every facet of today's modern legal proceeding."
As a neutral for National Arbitration and Mediation, she has pretty much seen it all. One time, an attorney came into the proceedings and handed out electronic tablets for everybody to keep up with the presentation -- and to keep. "This technique made an impression," she said. "The plaintiff was not only ready for trial, but they gave the defense the impression that plaintiff's counsel would invest whatever it took in order to try their best case."
Money and technology isn't everything in ADR, but it helps. Sometimes the best things are virtually free -- like electronic submissions and video conferencing. Some ADR services have upped their game with mobile technology, too.
NAM provides myADR, a mobile app, that gives parties secure, instant access to case-related data and information in real-time. It's a patented case management system, and works on any mobile device. Parties use it to:
The app also gives NAM clients access to hearing officer profiles and the capability to submit new cases. The "technological innovation has made it possible for the mobile attorney to practice law and access important case-related information from anywhere at any time," Bonia says.
Apparently it works for judges, too. In ADR.