The Evolution of ODR (video extract)

Civil Justice Council

Watch Ethan Katsh, founder of eBay ODR, discuss The Evolution of ODR.

This clip lasts just under 2 minutes. The full  audio version of the interview can be streamed on the judiciary site or it can be downloaded on the Internet Archive.


Ethan: There was a day in March, I think 1999, in which eBay put a link on their website to a dispute resolution process. That was ours. Over the next two weeks, we got about 200 disputes.

Aled: Okay.

Ethan: That was a lot. There hadn’t really been any. It was the largest number of disputes handled online up until that point.

Aled: Yeah.

Ethan: Two hundred seemed like a huge amount. Compared to 60 million, it’s a laughable amount, but more human effort probably went into the 200 than goes into, today, the 60 million.

Aled: Yeah.

Ethan: Yeah, the parties knew they were dealing with a human being.

Aled: Okay. Ethan: The job of the human being was difficult because it was the same goal that he would have if the parties were in front of him, namely, manage the flow of information between the parties. Certainly, using email with 200 people, I’m surprised he was able to maintain his sanity. We actually ended the experiment a little early because it was overwhelming.