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Katsh Keynotes International Forum in India

Ethan Katsh, professor emeritus of Legal Studies, was a keynote speaker at the 10th International Forum on Online Dispute Resolution in Chennai, India from Feb. 7-9. ODR2011 brings "together the world's leading practitioners, academics, theorists, and online negotiation application developers, to share information, and to create a vehicle for ODR education."

Katsh, who is the director of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, has been involved in a series of activities related to online dispute resolution since 1996. He participated in the Virtual Magistrate project and was founder and co-director of the Online Ombuds Office. In 2001, he received a grant from the Markle Foundation to improve accessibility to domain name dispute rulings. The domain name dispute database was built in collaboration with the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute. From 1997-1999, Professor Katsh mediated a variety of disputes online, involving domain name/trademark issues, other intellectual property conflicts, disputes with Internet Service Providers, and others. In the Spring of 1999, he supervised a project with the online auction site eBay, in which over 150 disputes were mediated during a two week period. During the Summer of 1999, he co-founded Disputes.org, which later worked with eResolution to become one of four providers accredited by ICANN to resolve domain name disputes.

For the past five years, Professor Katsh has been co-Principal Investigator, with Professor Lee Osterweil and Dr. Norman Sondheimer of the UMass Department of Computer Science, of a National Science Foundation funded project to model processes of online dispute resolution. This work is also being coordinated with the United States National Mediation Board. In 2007, this project received a second grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct further research on ODR processes.

Professor Katsh is currently serving as principal dispute resolution consultant for the  Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), a new federal agency mandated to provide mediation in Freedom of Information Act disputes. He is also spending the 2010-2011 academic year at the University of Haifa (Israel) as Fulbright Distinguished Chair in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

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