Future of virtual ADR
These days a song by John Lennon fits the situation "nobody told me that there would be days like these", a situation of the pandemic has stopped or normal functioning of Life and even the legal system could not escape this; the courts are closed, trials have come to a halt and this has left clients in an ambiguous state.
Despite all these tough times, the legal system does not stop working and because of sheer efforts and training and the good temperament, the legislators can adapt to this unexpected event and respond promptly to this situation, even if the courts and arbitral tribunals are closed the arbitrator and mediators does not stop resolving issues of their clients and honestly, the virtual arbitration does not bring much effect on the process of resolving issues and mediating or arbitrating the clients. It is easy to host a meeting as an arbitrator or a mediator and the procedure remains the same.
The clients are dealt with the same way as would be or are dealt with in an actual physical meeting or session. After the meeting starts the clients have to introduce themselves to the mediator or arbitrator and give the factual background of the problem and the clients are even provided with the waiting rooms, so that the parties can talk freely to the mediator or arbitrator, the things which he/she is generally uncomfortable to talk in front of the other party and also these virtual waiting rooms are fully confidential, i.e., the other party can neither see nor can hear the conversation, this virtual process goes same as the physical functioning.
However there are certain things to be kept in mind in a virtual alternative dispute resolution process, same as the physical ADR,
1. The mediator should be trustworthy
2. Submission of the pre-mediation brief.
3. Trial blinders should be avoided
4. A decision-maker should be present at the meeting.