Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Information

38 University of Toledo Law Review 213 (2006)


Technology Mediated Dispute Resolution (TMDR) presents opportunities and dangers that we cannot yet fully envision. Technologies are available or imminent, such as tele-immersion, that will dramatically change the ways we think about dispute resolution in a virtual environment. Whether or not one finds the idea of TMDR appealing, a generation of teens and preteens is integrating technology so deeply into their daily lives that they not only will expect, but will demand, that those technologies be used in a dispute resolution proceeding. Because girls communicate differently than boys when using technology, it will be interesting to learn if women prove to be more effective technology mediated dispute resolvers than men.

TMDR already is proving to be the most appropriate process when great distances are involved or safety and security are paramount. Despite the fears some may have, virtual spaces do not produce only virtual agreements. TMDR can enable us to achieve long-term process goals, and technology usage does not cause us to be less satisfied or content. Although the dangers of technology can be formidable, a number of protective measures are possible. We must be vigilant to ensure that neutrals are not using technology to manipulate dispute resolution processes. And finally, parties and neutrals must take care to protect confidential information from wrongdoers intent on taking advantage of technology's inherent vulnerabilities.