JAMSware: Key To Delivery Of High Quality Dispute Resolution Service

Wednesday, December 1, 2004 - 00:00

William Zauner
JAMS, The Resolution Experts

JAMSware is the fully integrated proprietary software of national ADR provider JAMS, The Resolution Experts. It is the technological engine that has allowed our company to flourish in recent years and to continue to offer high quality arbitration and mediation services to the top law firms throughout the world. JAMSware is used for case management, scheduling, billing, notes management, client tracking and reporting. JAMSware is a client/server, Visual Basic, application that runs on an Oracle database and also integrates with JAMS' Oracle financial system.

We created this case management system to enable our clients and panelists to focus on the substantive issues in dispute. It saves time and removes obstacles that might otherwise detract from the parties' ability to concentrate directly on resolving their disputes.

Virtually everyone working at JAMS uses JAMSware, but some of its most heavy users are JAMS case managers, who are tasked with setting cases, providing logistics and documentation information, verifying case information, and providing disclosure information. Case managers are essentially the administrative link between JAMS clients and panelists, and JAMSware is their secret weapon.

This software is an especially important organizational tool because JAMS panelists specialize in resolving complex and multi-party disputes. JAMSware often holds information for scores of clients and the scores of parties that they represent.

JAMSware allows us to deliver client service quickly and efficiently. If a client calls JAMS and wants to use a mediator she used five years ago, but she can't remember the panelist's name, no problem. It takes a case manager mere seconds to find this information in the "Client History" section. JAMSware also allows case managers to tell a client if a specific panelist is available to arbitrate his IP case a month from Tuesday in Philadelphia. Not only are the panelist calendars integrated through JAMSware, the availability of every conference room within the organization is also tracked for ease in scheduling.

This secure system is built to help case managers provide up-to-the-minute information about any case in any of our 23 Resolution Centers. JAMS mediators and arbitrators like it because it removes them from scheduling, billing, and collection duties, which ensures the panelists remain neutral in all aspects of the case. Case Managers also cite the "Recall" function of JAMSware as invaluable because this daily reminder of what needs to be done allows notices to go out on time, discovery schedules to stay on track, and arbitration awards to be issued in a timely fashion.

One of the biggest benefits of JAMSware to neutrals and clients is its ability to easily provide full-disclosure information. This is especially helpful in large arbitrations and in a state like California, which requires extensive disclosure, the system can automatically look at all cases and notify case managers and panelists when disclosures need to be made or updated. This is invaluable to clients and panelists because it guards against conflicts of interest.

Developed as a necessity of the business in 1987, JAMSware was not able to keep up with the expanding business. In 1996, JAMSware was rewritten to consolidate the company into one database with a scalable architecture and with a graphical user interface. JAMSware has had a long life because of its versatility and adaptability.

Because JAMS is custom software, we can tailor it to the changing business environment. A good example is a recent initiative to update all of our client correspondence. Our goal was to reinforce the JAMS brand of resolution excellence and enhance customer service. With off-the-shelf software, you are sometimes locked in, however, with JAMSware, we don't conform our business to our software, we make changes within the software to meet the changing needs of the marketplace.

As JAMSware has matured, it has given JAMS the ability to take the next step with its software, Business Intelligence. Business Intelligence will give JAMS a more in-depth understanding of clients and panelists' business in the future. JAMSware will no doubt continue to assist us in tracking and analyzing information crucial to us and our clients.

William Zauner is Vice President, Information Technology, JAMS. He may be reached at wzauner@jamsadr.com. Founded in 1979, JAMS, The Resolution Experts, is the nation's largest private provider of alternative dispute resolution services. With 23 Resolution Centers nationwide, JAMS and its more than 200 full-time, exclusive neutrals are responsible for resolving thousands of the nation's most important cases. JAMS may be reached at (800) 352-5267 or on the web at www.jamsadr.com.