Arbitration Tips-N-Tools (TNT): Round 24

In this round of Arbitration Tips-N-Tools, Professor Amy Schmitz asks some of the leading arbitration practitioners about when an online arbitration (OArb) might be less beneficial than in-person arbitration, especially in a digital world, and faced with the complexities of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Round 24: When might online arbitration (OArb) be less beneficial than in person arbitration?


A) Olof Heggemann

If there is any chance of a settlement before the end of the proceedings, my assumption is that this change will be reduced without the more relaxed and “less official” channels available for talking during in-person proceedings.

B) Oladeji M. Tiamiyu

Understand what your jurisdiction’s restrictions are for in-person meetings
Prioritize the participants’ preferences. For example, understand whether participants have transportation challenges that would make in-person arbitration complicated or whether participants have technological limitations that would make OArb complicated. The last thing you want is to force participants into an environment they are uncomfortable with.

Identify whether the underlying dispute is a type that benefits from having ample non-verbal communication involved. For instance, there may be a different analysis when arbitrating employment-related disputes where parties are accustomed to being in-person and the underlying tension has been triggered by emotional neglect when compared to commercial arbitration for non-compliance in the shipment of semiconductors when the transacting parties have significant geographic distance and are accustomed to speaking remotely.

C) Myriam Seers

I think that in proceedings with a very large amount of money at stake and large legal teams on both sides, the value proposition of an online proceeding is arguably lessened, since efficiencies become less important relative to the amount at stake.


Olof Heggemann

I have a professional background from the Swedish public court system and experience from working in banking and law firms. The idea behind the founding of Eperoto is something that grew during my working years. Having a keen interest in technology I truly believe in the potential of new ways…


Oladeji Tiamiyu

Oladeji M. Tiamiyu is a Clinical Fellow at the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program. Prior to joining HNMCP, Oladeji was an Online Dispute Resolution Fellow with the Resolution Systems Institute in Chicago, Illinois where he helped in developing a pilot online dispute resolution program for family law disputes. Oladeji…


Myriam Seers

Myriam joined Savoie Laporte as a partner in 2021 after practising for 14 years in major Canadian business law firms. She specializes in investment treaty arbitration and international commercial arbitration, with a particular focus on disputes arising from the mining, electricity (including renewable energy), oil & gas and transportation sectors.…


Amy Schmitz

Professor Amy Schmitz is the John Deaver Drinko-Baker & Hostetler Chair in Law at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. From 2016-2021 Professor Schmitz was the Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor of Law at the University of Missouri School of Law and the Center for Dispute Resolution.…

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