IP Mediator Michael Young’s “Girls Gone Wild” Commentary Catches Court’s Attention

From ALTERNATIVES TO THE HIGH COST OF LITIGATION, INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR CONFLICT PREVENTION & RESOLUTION VOL. 26 NO. 3 MARCH 2008

UPDATE: DESPITE MEDIATION RELATED INCARCERATION, GIRLS GONE WILD FOUNDER IS HEADED FOR MORE ADR

A federal judge has rejected a recusal motion from the maker of the Girls Gone Wild videos, who challenged the judge’s impartiality for first ordering mediation, and then sending the producer to jail for contempt based on his ADR conduct. That means the civil case against still incarcerated Joseph Francis will proceed. And, surprisingly, the case will go back to mediation.

In an order accompanying the . . . . opinion . . . U.S. District Court Judge Richard Smoak . . . told the parties to try mediation again. Smoak ordered . . . . mediation by June 27, with a “mediation report” deadline six days later.

In his 22-page opinion, Smoak strongly defends his record as a mediation supporter, and rejects claims that he tried to force Francis to settle before sending Francis to jail for contempt.  The defense charges stem from a suit brought by Francis’ video subjects.  . . . .  

The support for the defense motion included Los Angeles attorney Michael Young’s 2007 Alternatives article, “Mediation Gone Wild: How Three Minutes Put an ADR Party Behind Bars,” 25 Alternatives 97 (June 2007) (available at WileyInterscience. com). Young wrote that Smoak’s moves intruded into the mediation process and hurt ADR.

                        author

Victoria Pynchon

Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all… MORE >

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