How Much Justice Can You Afford?

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The FinReg Blog

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It is one of the oldest lawyer jokes in the book, and its punchline is about to change.

Remember the New Yorker cartoon, in which a lawyer and their client sit at a table, and the lawyer assesses the client’s legal problem? “You have a pretty good case,” the lawyer informs him, “How much justice can you afford?”

The client’s response is unvoiced in the cartoon, but moving beyond the punchline, one can imagine the client’s heart sinking, realizing they may not be able to afford all the justice they need, or any justice at all. This reflects the day-to-day reality of most people in the US and around the world: the justice they can afford is not the justice they need.

That, too, is about to change as Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) offers an affordable justice option for litigants who have been denied access to justice because they could not afford the cost of lawyers.