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The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)

Apr 28, 2020

By: Howard Black, Partner - Wills and Estates

Howard Black - Wills and Estates MediationAs courts have closed to all but urgent and time-sensitive matters, there has been an increase in demand for resolving disputes through mediation and arbitration. Online Dispute Resolution has been available for a significant amount of time, but has recently become an increasingly popular way to find a solution for all parties involved while maintaining social distancing goals. As such, we have put together a list of do’s and don’ts when taking part in online dispute resolution to help the process run smoothly.


  • DO ensure that you have a workable laptop/tablet or desktop computer with a large screen and secure Wi-Fi or wired internet access
  • DO ensure that your laptop/tablet or desktop computer has a workable microphone and camera so that you may be properly heard and seen
  • DO familiarize yourself with the technology, in advance of the online dispute resolution process, to ensure that you are comfortable using it troubleshooting it
  • DO keep confidential all details concerning the online meeting link and any password that may be provided
  • DO ensure that you have a back-up option for sound (e.g. calling in by telephone)
  • DO ensure that only individuals who have signed the online dispute resolution agreement are present during the online dispute resolution process
  • DO ensure that you are physically present in a well-lit and quiet (door closed) room, with limited disruptions
  • DO ensure that, if necessary to keep out background noise, your microphone is disabled/muted while you are not speaking
  • DO ensure that you advise the mediator/arbitrator when you need to take a break
  • DO ensure that you and/or your counsel has ready access to a printer/scanner/email/telephone
  • DO provide contact information to the mediator/arbitrator in advance of the session


  • DON’T share the online meeting link or password with anyone not authorized to be participating in the online dispute resolution process
  • DON’T electronically record any of the proceedings
  • DON’T access the online meeting by way of a public network

If you would like to proceed in pursuing dispute resolution through mediation or arbitration, please contact Howard Black at For more information on mediations and arbitrations, read A. Irvin Schein’s article “Resolving Disputes During COVID-19: Considering mediation and arbitration” on our website at:'s-blog-resolving-disputes-during-covid-19---considering-mediation-and-arbitration.