Judge Me Kindly, Judge Me by API

Garrett Wilkin
Oct. 23 2012, 10:11AM EDT

What do you do when things don't go as planned in the course of business?  Filing a lawsuit is an option but for many people, myself included, navigating the legal landscape is like a trek into the wilderness.  I'd be foolish to do it without a guide.  Arbitration is a simpler process, involving only the parties to the dispute and an arbiter who will resolve the dispute.  Judge.me is a service that takes arbitration online in order reach parties in business arrangements that span the globe.  Now it is possible to integrate submission of arbitration cases to the Judge.me service via the Judge.me API, meaning that dispute resolution features could be added to existing contract focused applications.

Since I work remotely as a programmer, the issue of collaboration is near and dear to my heart.  I love the contract service AgreeNSign, which can be used to gather legally binding signatures without the typical print & fax or scan run-around.  I haven't had a need for arbitration, thankfully, but I'm glad to see that there is an API for it.  If I did need to resolve a dispute, I'd want to make sure that it could be done quickly, fairly, and for a reasonable price.

But how can such a service offer legally binding arbitration?  In case you didn't get the memo,international arbitration was legitimized more than 50 years ago in an agreement made by 146 members of the United Nations.

It seems that Judge.me is cautious looking for API integrations since potential partners are asked to submit a cover letter via a modal "contact support" window on their site.  There're also no mention of API fees or profit sharing.  I would think that with the $299 arbitration fee they collect, there should some room for partners to profit from referrals.

There are a handful of APIs in the legal category, but at the moment Judge.me is the only one for arbitration.

Garrett Wilkin

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