San Diego Mediators Predict COVID-19 Crisis Will Reshape Alternative Dispute Resolution

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The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted visible changes in alternative dispute resolution, and these changes will become mainstays long after the virus has gone. This is the projection of mediators Elliott Kanter and Leticia Ostler, both experienced mediators at Kanter Ostler Mediation & Dispute Resolution in San Diego.

Kanter Ostler Mediation & Dispute Resolution

Kanter Ostler Mediation & Dispute Resolution

Many industries have had to adapt to quarantines and physical distancing mandates by conducting business remotely. Now they’re realizing that this is a viable option for the longer term.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted visible changes in alternative dispute resolution, and these changes will become mainstays long after the virus has gone. This is the projection of mediators Elliott Kanter and Leticia Ostler, both experienced San Diego-based mediators.

“Many industries have had to adapt to quarantines and physical distancing mandates by conducting business remotely. Now they’re realizing that this is a viable option for the longer term,” says Mr. Kanter, who has nearly 40 years of experience in law and dispute resolution.

“ADR, as a communication-focused field, is an area where this impact is particularly felt,” he adds.

Kanter Ostler Mediation & Dispute Resolution is a San Diego mediation firm that offers remote Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) sessions, whether by telephone or via video conferencing. However, clients didn’t have that much interest in the remote options until more recently.

“At our firm, there is definitely a rise in requests for online mediation,” notes Ms. Ostler. “Our clients want to pursue dispute resolution while staying safe in their own homes. It’s also largely because operations at the courthouse have slowed, with jury trials postponed and judges just starting to explore remote hearings. Courts themselves encourage or even require alternative dispute resolution in lieu of litigation, now more than ever.”

Mediators across the country are experiencing this shift in the various areas they handle, such as business and corporate ADR, employment law, personal injury, real estate, and family law dispute resolution.

Ms. Ostler says remote ADR is much more efficient now than it was before. “With the technologies available to us today, and with the online conferencing training that we’ve personally acquired, our online mediation practice is now smoother and more efficient. Communication happens clearly and in real-time, much like in in-person sessions.”

“Many mediation clients are realizing that remote sessions are practical – they don’t have to travel, they don’t have to wait,” adds Ms. Ostler. “We think they’ll still want these advantages even after the virus threat has subsided.”

With these advantages, could remote dispute resolution replace in-person meetings?

Both Mr. Kanter and Ms. Ostler believe that in-person interaction is still the standard, at least as a springboard for subsequent remote communication. Many people are still more comfortable with personally meeting other parties in the same room before transitioning to online or phone sessions. Some clients also feel that there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings.

“At least for now, however, remote ADR sessions are worth exploring,” says Mr. Kanter. “We have various communication options that work, and these help our clients proceed with dispute resolution without any more delays.”

About Kanter Ostler Mediation & Dispute Resolution

With a combined 40+ years of experience, Kanter Ostler Mediation & Dispute Resolution conducts mediation and arbitration in San Diego, CA. Their areas of expertise include corporate/business mediation, HOA mediation, aviation mediation, IEP/school district mediation, family business mediation, family trust/estate mediation, and personal injury/wrongful death mediation. For more information on mediation services visit https://www.kanterostlermediation.com or call (619) 304-2244.

Kanter Ostler Mediation & Dispute Resolution
2445 Fifth Ave #350
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 304-2244

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