Is Online Dispute Resolution A Good Career Option For Lawyers

The online dispute resolution is a new and evolving option in the field of law and different entities use this method to resolve a wide range of disputes.  Right from property related tax, starting new business, to marital conflicts, the use of ADR is apparent. In a country like India where the pending cases in the courts have reached record numbers, this method of resolving the disputes has become popular. Most of the expansion of the process of ADR does not involve the lawyers. Quite naturally, the design of these programs aim in eliminating the role of the lawyer. Many of the litigation law firms in Delhi use this method for resolving the disputes with alternative approach.

The alternative dispute resolution is an umbrella term that includes varied range of processes for management and resolution of disputes that are different from the methods of judicial adjudication. To speak more precisely, it is another way of practicing law for peacemaking, resolving various issues, and to show responsiveness to the clients that do not align with the traditional system of law.

Types of issues

The following are the types of matters and the areas of law where the legal resources may focus on ADR or the advocates for parties. Take a quick glance at the issues.

  • The complex civil proceedings that involve the self-represented litigants.
  • Disputes with or between the not-to-profit organizations.
  • Matters related to small claims in the courts.
  • Family law, especially the family law disputes or the disputes related to children and property.
  • Problems regarding setting up business in India.
  • Disputes related to small business and estates.
  • Assisting the parties to make certain agreements or seeking the consent orders.
  • Disputes related to employment.
  • Collaborative law practice.

Future of ADR

To understand the future of ADR, you have to know the advantages it offers.

  • It is an informal process of settling the dispute and is highly flexible. 
  • The process does not include the bindings of the law or comes under the strict rules of procedure and evidence.
  • It is ideal for high-volume transactions involving less amount of money.
  • Best option for parties that are geographically disparate.
  • Well-suited option for those disputes where the parties are not emotionally compatible to stay in the same room.
  • Right option for settling those disputes that arise while setting up LLP in India.
  • Process is low-cost and the cost that incur can be jointly shared by both parties.
  • Right option for people who are physically challenged and cannot attend the court proceedings.
  • Process is confidential and in many cases the lawyers may not have a role to play.

While there may be a host of advantages of ADR, you must be aware of the disadvantages as well. Certain cases may not be resolved properly with the alternative arrangements due to the following issues.

  • The methods requires familiarity and access to the internet technology.
  • It can be intimidating for people with language or communication issues.
  • No personal interaction can cause more harm to the case.
  • Lack of binding and enforcement is not suitable for many cases.
  • It is not the right option for those cases that do not look forward to remedies with no pecuniary benefits.
  • May not be suitable for complicated issues. For instance, setting up LLC in India is a complicated matter and the owner of the startups must consult the lawyers and interact with them for setting up business. However, it can work for setting the minor issues during the set up.

Role of lawyers 

The lawyers have a role to play in ADR practice and the first step is to engage with the clients, judges and courts and with each other. Apart from this, the law practitioners also offer advice to the clients about the benefits of this process such as during the India entry strategy during the initial business set up. They also accompany the clients during this process, review them for implementing the agreements that their clients need to make in ADR. The lawyers have a significant role to play even after the completion of the process regardless of the result. In both situations, the clients may again seek the guidance of the law practitioner as the remedy has to necessarily come from the court. It is hard to predict the future of ADR in the real sense. A lot depends on the nature of the case and the methods that apply to make the process a success.

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