Innovation That Matters

More dispute resolution, courtesy of the crowds

Work & Lifestyle

Consumers can already tap the wisdom of the crowds for advice about their image, their style or even their marital disputes. Now taking the notion a step further, Instant Jury gives them a way to resolve conflicts of most any kind—marital or otherwise. People stuck in a dead-end argument about virtually anything under the sun can open a “case” on Instant Jury to bring it to “the court of public opinion.” Current examples include a disgruntled man who claims his female coworker cheated to win a sales contest by wearing revealing shirts, and another man who wants his neighbour to buy some headphones while he’s learning to play guitar. Users of the site choose a username, give their case a name and description, and then list the stakes—lunch, for example, in the case of the sales contest dispute. Once that’s done, the defendant in the case receives an email asking them to participate—also anonymously, via the username of their choice—and give their own side. If they agree within 24 hours, the case becomes live and both sides get the chance to present opening and closing arguments in their defense, as well as uploading supporting evidence such as photos, emails, etc. The jury—made up of at least three interested visitors to the site—then “deliberates” and casts its votes, leading ultimately to a final decision; if fewer than seven votes are received, the site’s resident “judge”—dubbed “Hugh D. Cyde”—gets the final say. Potential jurors can search for interesting cases by category (“classmates,” for example, or “office politics”) as well as by descriptors including “Ending Soon,” “Cold Cases” and “Most Viewed.” They can leave comments as the case progresses, and each case they serve on earns them juror credits that increase their rank and—ultimately—will get them special privileges. Ad-supported Instant Jury is based in New Jersey. One to localize and bring to the bickering masses near you…? Spotted by: Brett Reilly



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