The Virginia Supreme Court has approved the development of a technology course to add to the menu of training for mediators certified to accept court-referred cases in Virginia.

The CME (continuing mediation education) course will, in the words of the Supreme Court mandate: “provide training on how to use electronic tools such as e-mail, Drop-Box, and other file sharing tools in an ethical manner that ensures preservation of confidentiality of information both during and after the mediation. . . . [and] may be expanded to summarize issues surrounding online dispute resolution, the way in which artificial intelligence can support Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), and the ethical considerations associated with both. Depending on responses to the CMEs, the module also may be included in the mandatory training mediators must undergo in order to be certified as court-referred mediators.”

As a member of the SRL Committee I suggested the development of the course, and I am a member of the sub-committee that will develop and test the module. Although some state bar associations have made technology training mandatory for lawyers, to my knowledge this will be the first ODR/technology course endorsed as a mediation CLE by a state supreme court in the US.