The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the way that many businesses operate. The world of alternative dispute resolution is no exception. Arbitrators and mediators quickly pivoted from asking “What's Zoom?” to developing an expertise in managing virtual sessions. Much like some of the famed stages of grief, attorneys accustomed to in-person hearings and mediations went from denial, to anger, to bargaining, to acceptance––and, in some cases, even appreciation.
While in-person hearings and mediations will be the norm after the pandemic is in the rear-view mirror, virtual proceedings, including hybrid in-person/videoconference sessions, will be an enduring feature of the ADR landscape. Based on the substantial experience gained during the pandemic, the following tips can guide both neutrals and advocates as virtual ADR is transformed from a necessity to a choice.
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