With the COVID-19 pandemic unfolding, and Ontario courts prioritizing disputes and advising against unnecessary visits to the courts, now is the perfect time to consider the use of technology for upcoming mediations and arbitrations in your legal practice.
Dispute resolution is no stranger to technology
The use of teleconferencing or videoconferencing in mediations and arbitrations is not new. In your pre-COVID-19 legal practice, you may have already been exposed to telephone mediations and/or the use of teleconferencing or videoconferencing for procedural hearings, case conferences, and motions in arbitrations.
You should select a mediator or an arbitrator who is experienced and who is also comfortable using technology in his or her dispute resolution practice. This will provide you and your clients with flexible and readily available options for resolving disputes.
Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service that has become widely used to virtually meet with others. It allows users to connect from a desktop or mobile device, and it offers high video and audio quality to make it feel like everyone in the meeting is in the same room. You can even present and share documents, and collaborate on a settlement agreement.
While the use of technology in dispute resolution may be appealing and perhaps necessary while we are all practicing social or physical distancing, using technology for dispute resolution may become an even more attractive option once the courts resume regular operations and are potentially faced with a significant backlog of cases.
If you have any questions about mediating or arbitrating using technology, feel free to contact us anytime.