The National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution supports and sustains the development of information technology applications, institutional resources, and theoretical and applied knowledge for better understanding and managing conflict. This organization believes in using networked information technology to leverage, expand and improve conflict management resources and expertise.
NCTDR was founded in 1998 by University of Massachusetts professors of legal studies Ethan Katsh and Janet Rifkin with a grant from the Hewlett Foundation. Shortly after it was founded, the Center was asked by eBay to conduct a pilot involving online mediation. Ebay established ODR (online dispute resolution) as a feature of its site and by 2010, it was handling over sixty million disputes each year. This success led to efforts to use online resources to help resolve more traditional offline disputes.
In 2003, the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution received the first of several National Science Foundation grants to support collaboration with the UMASS Department of Computer Science and the National Mediation Board. ODR.info has been the main portal for the field of online dispute resolution since 2001. NCTDR is an online resource where increasingly powerful tools will be available for working to find solutions to many forms of offline/online conflict. Further information about the history of the Center and the field of online dispute resolution can be found here and here.
Fellows at the NCTDR have experience that covers a broad range of legal experience. They practice around the world and are involved in several organizations and groups that facilitate online legal services and online dispute resolution.
Bios of the current NCTDR Fellows can be found below: