A few weeks ago, I wrote a post called “Cannabis Business Litigation: What’s the Point of a Demand Letter?” If you didn’t read that post, the gist is that demand letters can sometimes spur early settlement talks or the correction of improper conduct and avoid costly litigation or arbitration. Today, I want to talk about another possible way to settle cannabis disputes: mediation.
Mediation is a process by which parties sit down together, generally with a neutral third party to and try to resolve a dispute. The third party is often a retired judge or lawyer, but in some cases, she or he may be the actual judge or arbitrator presiding over a case.
Mediation can beneficial for cannabis disputes for a host of reasons. Mediation is not necessarily a formal process. Parties to a contract often agree to pre-litigation or pre-arbitration mediation. It can be before a mediation forum, but that’s not required.
Mediation is also generally confidential. Where I practice in California, there is a statutory mediation privilege that generally prevents parties from using anything that is communicated during mediation to be used outside of mediation. That gives parties to the mediation a lot of leeway to