Judge Me

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= a small claims court for the internet, proposed by a start-up in Chile

URL = http://www.judge.me



Radical Social Entrepreneurs chatted with Celis about Judge.me, and his bold vision for the future of legal systems.

RSE: So, what’s judge.me?

Celis: Judge.me is a small claims court for the internet. We offer fast and convenient online arbitration that is legally binding in 146 countries at just $299 total fixed price ($149.50 per party).

RSE: That’s surprisingly cheap. Some courts can charge that much just in paperwork fees. At RSE, we’re always interested to hear people’s stories and how they arrived upon their radical social entrepreneurship project. What’s yours? How does a twenty-something end up in ‘start-up law’?

Celis: The divorce of my parents has been going on for 7 years and still running. It became very obvious to me the court system was failing around the same time I got interested in private law as a “last frontier” for innovation.

In essence, any legal system is an attempt to manage negative externalities, although incentives in centralized legal systems unfortunately also go beyond that.

Imagining how private law might work as an alternative to today’s monopoly legal systems was the last “hard nut to crack” for me. Trying to find a pragmatic way in the current legal system was an even harder exercise, but after studying arbitration at a CIArb course (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) I came up with the Judge.me system.

What I am most proud of is that I found a way to offer immediate enforcement value to my customers leveraging current international arbitration laws while hoping to build a more reputation based enforcement mechanism as soon as possible. (Read: user profiles.)

RSE: Judge.me seems to have two main components. The first is the arbitration service, which is why people pay you. The second is your contract clause. With one click, people can literally copy and paste a clause from your website into their contracts — making any disputes that arise Judge.me cases. This could be used by all sorts of people. How have both components been received? What’s the caseload like? What does the market look like?

Celis: The service has been very well received. There is, however, a lag between clause usage and dispute filing. As a result, the number of disputes arbitrated can still be counted on one hand. Also, I can’t track how many contracts use my clause yet." (http://www.radicalsocialentreps.org/2012/05/taking-the-law-online-judge-mes-plan-to-build-the-future-of-legal-systems/)