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Poll: Mediation and the Wine Industry

This weekend I had the pleasure of speaking with Richard Keenan of Keenan Mediation Services, mediation for the wine industry. Mr. Keenan worked as a trial attorney for thirty years involving complex commercial business disputes at the San Francisco law firm Folger Levin & Kahn. Currently, Mr. Keenan is a trained mediator, having completed over 75 hours of basic and advanced mediation training provided by the U.S. District Court for Northern California and private mediators, and participates in mediation as both a mediator and a proponent for his clients. Mr. Keenan also owns Kick Ranch vineyard in Santa Rosa, California and is a graduate of Yale Law School. To read more about Mr. Keenan’s wine mediation practice, visit Keenan Mediation and to read about Mr. Keenan’s opinion on mediation in the wine industry, visit Mediation for Wine Industry Disputes, an article featured by Wines & Vines.

As mediation is a growing option for wine industry disputes, we decided it would be of great interest to poll On Reserve readers with respect to their involvement in mediation as an alternative dispute resolution. To all external readers, please post a link to this article and share with your industry colleagues and friends, as the more feedback we receive, the more complete our results will be. We will poll readers again in a few weeks and share the complete results after our second polling. Please send all results to dick@keenanmediation.com. We are looking for responses from vineyard owners or anyone who has been involved in legal disputes entailing the wine industry, along with other attorneys.

The poll is as follows:

Wine Mediation Poll

For readers who have participated in mediation for a wine industry dispute:

(1) Have you ever had a mediation clause in any contract involving the wine industry?

If yes, have you ever mediated a dispute concerning that contract?

Did the mediation result in a settlement of your dispute?

Regardless of whether the mediation resulted in a settlement, was it beneficial to have mediation as an option to resolve your dispute?

If you have not had a mediation clause in any contract involving the wine industry, why not? (Please choose from one of the following)

(a) It was not suggested to me
(b) I did not want to agree to mediation 

(6) I think it makes sense to include a medication clause in contracts I sign — yes or no

I have used mediation, whether or not in my contract, in an effort to resolve my disputes — yes or no

Please described (without names) the types of disputes you have attempted to resolve by mediation and whether the mediation resulted in a settlement.

For readers who have participated in wine mediation as attorneys:

(1) Have you included a mediation clause in contacts?

Is yes, why? If no, why not?

Again, please send all results to dick@keenanmediation.comand please share any overall comments or questions with Mr. Keenan. We will provide the results in a forthcoming entry.

Thank you!

Lindsey A. Zahn


Lindsey is the founder and author of On Reserve: A Wine Law Blog. She is an alcohol beverage and food attorney and is admitted to the New York State Bar.

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