Modria, a pioneering company in the field of online dispute resolution, has been acquired by Tyler Technologies, a company that develops software products for local governments. Modria will become part of Tyler’s Courts and Justice Division, where Modria’s technology will be used to help courts more efficiently handle large volumes of disputes.
Modria was founded in 2011 by Colin Rule, who earlier designed and ran eBay’s ODR system, considered the most successful ODR system in the world, and Chittu Nagarajan, the woman who formerly ran the largest ODR system in Asia.
Modria’s ODR platform has been used by a number of e-commerce sites as well as by innovative sites designed to provide alternatives to litigation, such as the Rechtwijzer site in the Netherlands, developed by HiiL and the Dutch Legal Aid Board to provide dispute resolution for divorce and separation, landlord-tenant and employment disputes. (See my post: Is There a Future for Online Dispute Resolution for Lawyers?)
Modria’s platform has also been adopted by various tax assessors in the United States and Canada to resolve property tax appeals. I wrote about this in the ABA Journal.
Rule will remain with Tyler as vice president of online dispute resolution. Modria will be shutting down its e-commerce customers and focusing entirely on courts and ADR organizations, Rule told me.
Modria will provide Tyler’s court clients with efficient ways to handle large volumes of disputes in an automated fashion, through integration with Odyssey. Specifically, it will help reduce the number of cases that need to be heard, leading to reduced costs in the court and in clerk offices for supporting these hearings.
The press release said that Tyler will also continue to support Modria’s tax and appraisal clients.
A post on the Modria blog gave further details of the integration:
This combination will create a single system capable of supporting citizens all the way through their justice journey. Marrying Modria’s technology with Tyler’s advanced guidance, e-filing, and court case management tools will create a comprehensive system that expands access to justice while meeting the ever-increasing expectations of citizens in the modern era. Fortified by Tyler’s vast resources, Modria customers will gain access to sophisticated support and training platforms as well as best practices used to develop, install and maintain Tyler products, including 24/7 client support, an online forum and knowledge base where clients share ideas and ask questions.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
(Rule and I presented a program on ODR at ABA Techshow in 2016. Victor Li covered it for the ABA Journal: Is Online Dispute Resolution the Wave of the Future?)