Technology: Using Modern Methods to Streamline ADR


Originally published in InsideCounsel on September 7, 2012.

As the Chief Judge of the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami, Florida, I experienced first-hand my colleagues’ reluctance to adopt technology. We had the means at our disposal to adopt new methods, such as live streaming our oral arguments, yet some of my colleagues were fearful of unintended consequences. When I first came to the court in January 2000, every judge had a computer, but some would not even turn theirs on, perhaps still suffering from the Y2K hysteria.

Now that I am an arbitrator and mediator with JAMS, I have encountered the same anti-technology qualms. We have made tremendous strides in making conference calls cheaper. For those of us who have suffered through the adversities of airplane travel, the option of appearing by telephone can be quite attractive. Yet I hear: “I want to see people in the flesh; I want to read their body language.” As an attorney for 13 years, a judge for 12 years and an appellate judge for another 12 years, I believe people’s professed ability to read body language is very overrated. My credibility determinations were based more on whether the witnesses’ stories made sense, rather than in what direction they averted their eyes. I am not advocating abandoning face-to-face ADR sessions in most cases. They are unquestionably more valuable than telephonic ones. But I do believe that technology will not wait for us to become more comfortable with its advances. We need to stay current with innovation and adopt those improvements that work.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© JAMS | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


JAMS on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.