ONLINE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ODR) FORUM CONVENES IN VICTORIA BRITISH COLUMBIA
The International ODR Forum will
convene for a two-day conference inventory a British Columbia on June 18 and
19, 2008. The Forum has as its purpose the bringing together of the world's
leading practitioners, academics, theorists, and online negotiation application
developers, to share information, and to create a vehicle for ODR education.
The Forum in Victoria will build on the research, applications and field
development discussed at other international ODR meetings and workshops that
were held in Geneva (2002 and 2003), Edinburgh (2003), Melbourne (2004),
Bologna (2005), Brussels (2005), Cairo (2006), and Palo Alto (2007), Liverpool
(2007) and Hong Kong (2007).
The Forum will consist of two days of
plenary sessions and breakout sessions. The Forum brings together the world's
leading practitioners, academics, students, and civil society to discuss the
resolution of disputes using online technologies. These disputes may range from
b2c (Business to consumer) to the prevention of human rights violations in conflict
regions, to reconciliation of opposing groups in armed conflict, to disputes
over intellectual property on the internet. It also brings together the leading
technology developers who design conflict resolution platforms for use legal,
commercial, or insurance related disputes (i.e. PayPal).
The Forum organizing committee has invited two special
keynote speakers, Dr. Vinton Cerf, inventor of the Internet, (Please see:
http://www.icann.org/biog/cerf.htm) and Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, Pax Nobel 1996
and President of East Timor (Please
see:http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1996/ramos-horta-cv.html). The keynote speakers will add their unique
perspectives on the possible uses of technology and the Internet to resolve
disputes and create peace. Also, the
founder and chief mediator of all American dispute resolutions on line Inc.
(AADROL) , mediator/attorney Jack A. Draper II will present a paper on the
afternoon of June 18 at the Forum entitled "21st Century ADR -- synchronous audio visual immediate online
mediation." Mr. Draper will
describe the AADROL live online mediation method now in operation (see
medi84u.com) and give some selected mediation case insights gained from actual
cases mediated live, on line (with names and case details modified suitably to
protect anonymity and confidentiality).
ADR DENIED TO RALPH'S GROCERY DUE TO INSUFFICIENT DISCLOSURE
TO RALPH'S EMPLOYEE
opinion ordered published recently, the Court of Appeal of the State of
California, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three, in the case of Samuel Metters v. Ralphs Grocery Company,
has upheld a trial court denial of
Ralph's grocery's motion to compel arbitration of an employment dispute between
Ralphs and its employee Samuel Metters.
Metters had signed a Ralph’s dispute resolution form which included an
arbitration provision but the court held that that there was substantial
evidence that the form did not reasonably appear to be a contractual document, that
Metters had insufficient notice to alert him to its contractual nature, and
that in such cases there is an exception to the general rule that a person is
bound by provisions in a contractual document signed by him or her even if not
read by the signatory. This ruling can
obviously be applied to contractual mediation provisions as well. The bottom
line here is that employers must place ADR provisions in clearly contractual
documents and also ideally prominently disclose them as contractually binding
in nature, so that employees’ failing to read the entire contract would not be
able to escape ADR under this fact-based exception to the general rule.