The International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) has awarded its annual Book Award to “ODR Theory and Practice”, available online at ODR.info. This online dispute resolution source-book was edited by Mohamed S. Abdel-Wahab, Ethan Katsh, and Daniel Rainey.  There were more than a dozen contributors from around the world. Chapter 16, “ODR and eNegotiation” was written by Smartsettle’s Dr. Ernest Thiessen, Paul Miniato and alumni Dr. Bruce Hiebert. 

CPR describes its awards program this way:

The CPR Institute’s Awards Program honors outstanding scholarship and practical achievement in the field of alternative dispute resolution.  Award criteria focuses on processes, techniques, systems, commitment, and scholarship which address the resolution, prevention or creative management of major disputes involving public or business institutions between corporations, between government and corporations, or among multiple parties. The review committee comprises judges and lawyers from leading corporations, top law firms and academic institutions across the U.S.

The review committee was comprised of judges and lawyers from leading corporations, top law firms and academic institutions across the United States. It is a sign of things to come when respected decision makers in the legal community award their annual book prize to a textbook regarding Online Dispute Resolution.

But it should come as no surprise as court backlogs and lawyer fees are leaving people waiting for their day in court or alternately appearing in court unrepresented. It seems that the cry in the legal community is “There must be a better way”, or another alternative to see justice done!  The CPR Award indicates that there is a hunger in the legal community for online dispute alternatives like those described in the compilation textbook.