We are facing rapid changes to how we work, with growing uptake of video conferencing software to facilitate our meetings, negotiations and even lawsuits. Driving or flying to new cities to attend an event in person will not be as frequent, particularly as video conferencing capabilities improve and eclipse the conveniences of face-to-face meetings. Simultaneously, we are coming to terms with the reality that our courthouses are ill-equipped to deal with the ever-growing number of disputes arising from our businesses and families. We will soon be taking full advantage of the rich plethora of arbitrators, mediators and other dispute resolution professionals to assist with resolving the equally complex range of disputes we face.
Given the importance of video conferencing in the future of dispute resolution, the International Council of Dispute Resolution’s ‘Video Meeting Guidelines’ provides a vital guide to how online tools can best be used to conduct proceedings in a way that is accessible to clients from all walks of life, fair to all parties, and secure for data sharing purposes. ICODR is the standard-setting body for arbitrators and mediators around the world, with a mission to develop and promote adoption of ethical standards for resolving disputes. At a time when dispute resolution professionals are turning to video conferencing platforms at an unprecedented rate, it is vital that they choose software that is compliant with the Video Meeting Guidelines.
Legaler is a pioneer in guaranteeing industry-first compliance with these guidelines, in line with our mission to ensure that legal services are accessible by everyone. We are one of the first legal technology companies to self-report our compliance with ICODR. This means that dispute resolution professionals using Legaler can rest assured knowing that the platform sends all required notifications automatically, without further action on their behalf, and that all privacy and security features are provided. This article addresses how Legaler fulfills the requirements set out by the ICODR’s five Video Meeting Guidelines.
The ICODR guidelines require that platforms be free to parties, reliable, and easy to log into. Clients in Legaler never need to pay and are not required to create an account. Clients can be invited by email address and may enter a meeting directly by clicking the link sent to them in their invitation email. If the meeting organizer has set the meeting to private, all they need to do is await approval to enter.
The ICODR guidelines also recommend that reminder emails are sent twice before the meeting. All clients invited to Legaler meetings are reminded via email once on the day before the meeting and once again 30 minutes prior to the meeting.
The ICODR requires dispute resolution professionals to practice using video conferencing software before meetings start. Legaler makes it easy to test meetings, from the perspective of both the client and the arbitrator or mediator. Simply start an instant meeting, then paste the link in a private browsing (incognito) window to emulate the client experience. Once in, you can explore every aspect of the meeting room so you’re an expert by the time proceedings commence.
The Guidelines stipulate a range of rules to ensure the privacy of proceedings. Firstly, meetings must not be recorded without the knowledge of all participants. Legaler clearly labels who is recording a meeting, so dispute resolution professionals can intervene if anybody records the meeting without permission and take appropriate action, including removing parties from the meeting room if required. Legaler’s screen sharing functionality also allows arbitrators and mediators to share documents without having to send files susceptible to modification or copying, as required by the ICODR (of course, file sharing is also possible with Legaler). Finally, the Guidelines require arbitrators or mediators to ‘lock the door’ of the meeting after it has started. In Legaler, meeting organizers can set meetings to private at any time, so that the meeting is locked to anybody who attempts access unless they are approved by the organizer.
The Guidelines requires arbitrators and mediators to provide back-up options so everyone can fully participate in the meeting if technical difficulties arise. Because Legaler works in the browser, clients can always try different browsers or devices, including their smartphones. If internet connectivity is the issue, Legaler’s dial-in feature allows anybody with a phone to enter a meeting.
The ICODR provides encryption requirements for video conferencing platforms. In Legaler, all data, including video streams as well as files shared, is encrypted both in transit and at rest using military-grade encryption protocols. That, combined with granular privacy settings, gives dispute resolution professionals peace of mind that proceedings remain totally secure from cyber attacks.