JAMS closely tracks emerging developments affecting our industry and the clients we serve, including technological advances that may change how alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is used. Smart contracts utilizing blockchain are one such example.
ADR and Blockchain Technology
What Are Smart Contracts?
A smart contract is a coded, self-executing agreement between parties on a blockchain (a decentralized ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions). Smart contracts raise unique concerns for several reasons, including the general anonymity associated with the process (as with transactions involving Bitcoin, Monero, Zcash, Ethereum and Litecoin, to name a few) and the regulatory and enforcement issues surrounding the entire crypto ecosystem.
This also creates new challenges and opportunities for dispute resolution mechanisms, whether they are needed to address a contractual dispute, an unforeseen coding error, hacking or some other event. Errors and other issues affecting a smart contract could occur both on and off the blockchain.
While some “on-chain” disputes could be candidates for self-executing, automated resolution, there is uncertainty regarding how complex or high-value disputes should be handled. This uncertainty causes apprehension in potential litigants because the resolution methods in this arena may turn out to be fundamentally different from traditional methods such as the court system and ADR processes such as mediation and arbitration.
Utilizing ADR in Disputes Arising from Blockchain Activities
JAMS is the first institutional ADR provider to create protocols supporting the use of ADR in disputes arising from blockchain activities, including smart contracts. JAMS draft rules and clauses are being provided for review and comment. JAMS can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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JAMS successfully resolves business and legal disputes by providing efficient, cost-effective and impartial ways of overcoming barriers at any stage of conflict. JAMS offers customized, in-person, virtual and hybrid dispute resolution services through a combination of first class client service, the latest technology, top-notch facilities, and highly trained mediators and arbitrators.
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Arbitrators & Arbitration Services
In an era of unprecedented business disruptions, timely dispute resolution is critical. In-person, virtual or hybrid arbitration with an experienced JAMS arbitrator provides an effective alternative to protracted litigation.
Mediators & Mediation Services
Rigorous preparation. Creative solutions. Persistent follow-up. We work diligently every step of the way-from pre-mediation calls to post-mediation follow-up to help all parties arrive at the best possible outcome to their dispute.