Community Arbitration: a Legal “How it Works”

Kent Dahlgren
3 min readMar 5, 2021

In our many in-depth discussions with refugee nations, stateless people, and other groups, we’ve learned that a self-governing, autonomous community requires seven functions, one of which is “arbitration,” which is used to address conflicts internal to the community.

Working with an indigenous attorney, we’ve defined a “private administrative process using notary,” (or “Notary presentment”), leveraging common law legal precedents that go back to the Roman era.

In our model, we’d work with the community to identify sources of “wisdom capital” that would be ideally suited to resolve conflicts internal to the community; generally older women who are wise and not prone to drama or anger.

By the way, this dovetails with Ruth Glendinning’s (of Future Story Lab) vision of creating a “wisdom as a service.”

These “wisdom keepers” would become Notaries, and leverage the Community Activation app to review and address all conflicts, because all agreements within the community would be bound to the agreement to arbitrate internally before it goes to an outside court.

Ok, so that said: here’s an interesting development that was published yesterday in the 6th Circuit.

It was affirmed on appeal that Tribal Sovereignty can’t be waived, or argument of waiver must be strictly interpreted, in favor of preserving the common law right of tribes on original homelands whose existence pre-date the U.S. Constitution.

(Caveat: whether there was ever a valid contract between the federal government and those tribes who were forcibly removed to be understood as waiver of a common law right such as sovereign immunity of a “domestic dependent” / see Oneida and Oneida II cases).

The private Notary Presentment process (a.k.a arbitration) between two parties who claim to have a dispute is neutral, solely evidence based, private and cost effective. Baseless claims will not resolve any dispute (as we have seen lately), and any attempt to not responding or rejecting the Notary presentment is done at the person’s peril.

Notary presentment is based on contract and can only be responded to with evidence or to conditionally accept and counteroffer (the other side who starts the presentment process then must counteroffer, etc….) but the process will cause a clear determination as to who had the best evidence.

The wisdom holders in each community (“Wisdom as a service”) are those who decide on behalf of what’s best.

Additionally, in terms of governance (one of 214 Alpha’s seven core features): this is the only way to make a private common law trust (whether revocable or not) work and work its best, as a contract-driven solution.

In our community-activation app, all agreements are stored to a distributed ledger which serves as a form of notary that’s transparent, accountable, and easy to audit, thus making it difficult for parties to engage in fraud, waste, abuse, or corruption.

Additional consideration:

If a participant on the platform contracts with someone or an entity that isn’t on the platform, then like the court decided in the 6th circuit, platformers contract with third parties and add the same language the platform’s arbitration process applies and is binding with any third party.

The third party is then contractually bound to use the same arbitration process and can’t publicize it by filing anything in a more expensive / less certain public court (and neither can the third-party forum shop like the difference between federal and state courts).

And it’s all built into the Community Activation app, by 214 Alpha.



Kent Dahlgren

Product management fix-it guy. World-famous people skills. Extremely small hands. (edit) marketing lady says I’m also supposed to say “CEO of software company”