Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2015


There was a time when individuals would meet in person to make purchases and do deals. They would discuss the terms, assess the trustworthiness and character of their contracting partners, and conclude the deal with a handshake. The handshake helped ensure the enforcement of the deal without need for the rule of law or legal power. That handshake was one’s bond — it was a personal trust mark. With the emergence of eCommerce, however, that handshake has nearly disappeared along with the sense of responsibility it inspired. Accordingly, this article discusses how this has impacted consumers’ access to remedies regarding their purchase complaints, and proposes development of a “New Handshake” through tailored Online Dispute Resolution “ODR” systems that offer consumers efficient and fair means for accessing remedies with respect to their purchases.



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