Orlando Mediator Lawrence Kolin explores current issues in Alternative Dispute Resolution, including mediation and arbitration of complex cases by neutrals resulting in settlement of state and federal litigation and appeals. This blog covers a wide variety of topics-- local, national, and international-- and includes the latest on technology and Online Dispute Resolution affecting sophisticated lawyers and parties to lawsuits.
Thursday, May 25, 2023
My Pillow CEO Faces Confirmation of Award
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell offered to pay $5 million to anyone who could debunk his evidence of interference in the 2020 presidential election. A vocal supporter of the former President, Lindell believed that the 2020 election was stolen, and that he had the evidence to prove it. There was a catch, however, as Lindell required that any such claims be submitted to an arbitrator, and the terms were written quite narrowly–but perhaps not narrowly enough. A computer forensics expert who had apparently voted for Trump twice, took Lindell up on his challenge. He analyzed the supposed evidence and demonstrated there was nothing of any sort of election interference. Lindell's terms required that he show the data had nothing to do with the 2020 presidential election. When Lindell refused to pay, the matter went to arbitration. There, despite Lindell having written the terms to make recovery difficult, the arbitrators sided with the forensic expert, Robert Zeidman, who has now filed in federal court. According to Case Western Reserve University School of Law Professor Jonathan Adler, Lindell may not have learned much about election administration through these travails, but it appears he is about to learn something about the enforceability of arbitration awards. Reportedly, Lindell is also facing multiple defamation suits from Dominion Voting Systems and former Dominion executives, and has been hit with legal sanctions for frivolous legal claims. See more here-- https://tinyurl.com/s4vr4rd2
3M CEO Required at Mediation
A Florida federal judge has ordered 3M CEO Michael Roman to attend mediation to resolve some 260,000 lawsuits alleging its military earplugs caused hearing loss. The judge wants the executive present so that he may "listen and engage directly with the mediators." Reportedly, mediation so far has been "encouraging," but requires 3M senior leadership to push ahead per the judge's order. Attendance of the CEO will ensure that 3M's board will have "firsthand knowledge of the current state of the negotiations" when evaluating any settlement offer. The lawsuits brought by veterans and members of the military allege that 3M's combat arms earplugs were defective. The company utilized bankruptcy of its subsidiary Aearo Technologies LLC, which manufactured the earplugs to try resolving the cases. 3M had opposed efforts to renew global mediation efforts in Florida federal court while Aearo's bankruptcy case is pending. 3M states it continues to believe that Aearo's bankruptcy provides a better option for resolving the earplug claims "more quickly, with more certainty and with more balanced recoveries among claimants." Aearo's bankruptcy strategy has been fiercely opposed by plaintiffs, who said that 3M was merely trying to escape litigation in Florida, following a series of unfavorable legal rulings and trial losses. See story here-- https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2023-05-22/3m-ceo-must-attend-mediation-in-earplug-litigation-judge-rules
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