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Publication Information

22 Cardozo Journal of Dispute Resolution 569 (2021)


When I began helping the New York State Unified Court System design a pilot online dispute resolution (“ODR”) system back in October 2016, I never imagined more than four years would pass before a system was implemented. One reason our journey was so long is because our target kept moving. After completing a detailed credit card debt collection ODR platform, we had to change direction before implementation and focus instead on small claims cases. Then like the rest of the world, we suddenly had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it took longer than anticipated, we achieved our goal and the New York State Civil Court Small Claims ODR platform went live on January 29, 2021. We learned a great deal along the way, and I hope it will be useful to share some of what we did and what we learned. This short article will not describe every detail of the small claims ODR system. It will instead focus on distinct stages of our ODR system design that required close attention.