Government and University support Pilot of The Electronic Courthouse

April 2, 2004 — A Pilot of the Electronic Courthouse™ will be carried out under the direction of McMaster e-Business Research Centre (MeRC), an international Centre of Excellence for research in business innovation. Dr. Yufei Yuan, Professor of Information Systems, MeRC, will lead the research project. The Pilot forms part of a larger e-Negotiation Research project under the Initiatives for the New Economy (INE) Program, a prestigious government funding agency for university-based research.

The objective of the research is to identify the value of ADR and promote the use of today’s telecommunications and technology tools to facilitate dispute resolution among target industry sectors. The project will incorporate a test of the �Electronic Courthouse� – an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service which has been financed through the venture community in partnership with CANARIE Inc., a corporation that facilitates the development and use of high-speed telecommunications networks and services that run on them. The Pilot will measure user satisfaction rates under the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which is used by industry experts to evaluate customer satisfaction and predict the future performance of products and services.

The Electronic Courthouse™ has been built in collaboration with universities, industry associations, and federal organizations and its Roster of �Resolution Professionals� incorporates members of many major law firms around the world. The service utilizes a �Computerized Litigation and Adjudication Method and System� that guides parties through an 8-step process on the Electronic Courthouse Web site, incorporating all the steps that they would undertake in a conventional dispute resolution session, in a fraction of the time and cost, and with no need for travel. All the tools have been designed with the needs of both lawyers and business people in mind and include �point and click� forms that allow companies to submit their claim and file the documentation to support or defend the claim, corporate credit reports, model dispute resolution clauses, multilingual translation solutions, and a ResolutionRoom™ that allows parties and their counsel to meet with their Resolution Professional in a secure online meeting room to carry out a professional dispute resolution process.

The Pilot will focus on 5 industry sectors: (i) Manufacturing & Exporting, (ii) Banking & Insurance, (iii) IT & Telecom (iv) Construction, and (v) Retail & Services. Standard commercial terms apply to all cases, which are set at $2500US per party per dispute. This fee includes all core elements of the service, including 6 hours of the arbitrator�s or mediator�s time.

Charles Presti, President, Retex Inc., Technology Buying Group for the National Retail Federation, New York, says, �The Electronic Courthouse allows North American retailers to quickly resolve disputes with suppliers around the world.� And, Wendy Kelley, Managing Director & Associate General Counsel, BMO Nesbitt Burns, says, �we are committed to supporting initiatives, such as this one, that use technology to bring about business innovations that can be of benefit to the banking sector and to industry as a whole.”

To refer a case, or to make enquiries about your firm, industry association, or enterprise participating in the trial, contact: Mr. Andrew Putman, Account Executive, Legal Profession, The Electronic Courthouse, toll-free across North America at (866) 622 � 6682, for international callers at (416) 651-0571 or by email at aputman@ElectronicCourthouse.com. For questions relating to the Research, Dr. Yufei Yuan yuanyuf@mcmaster.ca or at (905) 525 – 9140 ext. 23982.

About The Electronic Courthouse

The Electronic Courthouse provides an online forum for businesses as an alternative to expensive litigation. Designed to uphold the principles of fairness and justice, the service provides a fixed product, for a fixed price, within a fixed time. Our solution combines automated systems and a team of reputable resolution professionals to resolve your commercial disputes – within 72-hours after your submissions have been filed! More at www.electroniccourthouse.com