– Effective. Affordable. Confidential. Nationwide.
NEW: VENTIT™ external helpline and ombudsman for breweries and small businesses
Disagreements, disputes and conflicts within and between breweries can cost vast sums of money, take years to address and create intense headaches…if the standard methods of resolution are followed (e.g. ignoring the problem, litigation, forced directives). Our Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services can reduce headaches, cut the time of resolution from years to weeks, and at a fraction of the costs associated or caused by usual methods.
Basically, the BMN offers another option, between do-it-yourself and suing-the-pants-off-them. We handle all types of disputes, from the most noticeable (trademarks) to the most common (partnerships). The BMN also makes available facilitation, coaching, consulting, team building and other trainings to breweries. When possible, we keep services local to each client.
Main categories the BMN addresses:
- Strain between owner, brewer, staff and/or investor
- Trademark disputes*
- Co-worker tension and disagreements
- Brewery-Distributor relations
- Brewery-Neighbor relations
- Private/Domestic disputes of brewery employees
* Our trademark mediators are certified by the International Trademark Association
It can be difficult for breweries to take the time to locate, vet and select the most appropriate resolution process and provider. The Network does this and offers additional benefits:
- Cutting costs of disputes, especially those involving trademarks
- Decreases reliance on expensive litigation
- Reduces the time, energy and stress of disputes
- Helps build and strengthen teamwork
- Repairs, maintains and reinforces the collaborative ethos of craft brewing
While the Brewery Mediation Network is nationwide, beer-centric regions will see initial focus with other regions coming online soon after. See map below. Director of the BMN, Jason Gladfelter, is a beer enthusiast who wants to see the craft beer industry survive, thrive and set a precedent for intra-industry collaboration.
To be a member of this Network, a service provider (an individual or mediation center) must meet and adhere to certain criteria set by OvalOptions to maintain integrity, professionalism and skill level.
HOW IT WORKS
OvalOptions manages each case from start to finish and while you will be in contact with an assigned provider, most of the “official” documents and communications will be between you and OvalOptions. This keeps things streamlined and organized, and helps us monitor and evaluate each case.
For each case, we recommend a conversation (free) with OvalOptions, either in person or over the phone, so we can better understand your situation, outline the process and answer any questions you may have. We aim to, a) discover if BMN services (see below) are appropriate for your situation and, b) determine which service and provider will best match your situation. If BMN services are appropriate, then we will engage the procedure listed below. If not, then we can recommend outside resources.
Contact the BMN: Email, phone call or in person.
- Upon evaluating your situation, from your point of view, we will contact the other party to discuss BMN services*
- If the other party agrees to BMN services, then we will match the most appropriate and convenient service provider. Both clients must voluntarily agree to accept the service provider; we cannot force the issue. This can be discussed with OvalOptions
- Clients must send procedural documents (see below) to OvalOptions to proceed with service
- The fee for service is divided equally between clients
- OvalOptions will schedule the service provider to contact each party to discuss steps to deliver service
- Once the service is conducted, OvalOptions will contact clients for feedback and evaluation
* References will be given if situation requires services not offered by the BMN
- Agreement to Service (Mediate, Facilitate, etc)
- Fee Agreement and Fee
- Non-Disclosure Agreement (recommended, but not required)
Brewery Mediation Network Service List:
- Strategic Planning
- Communication Training
- Team Building
Fees vary due to nature of cases and providers used. (We encourage a dual-mediator model, but sometimes this is not applicable). These fees are DIVIDED EQUALLY between clients. OvalOptions must receive signed Agreement to Mediate and other appropriate forms with a minimum payment prior to service engagement.
Most cases do not incur more than 4 hours of mediation.
NOTE: Mediation does not negate your right to legal avenues, unless otherwise authorized by you in writing.
April 15th was chosen as a launch date for two reasons: It is during the Craft Brewers Conference in Portland, OR, and is the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s death, a leader with superb skills in mediation, communication and magnanimity.
In person: Jason, whom you may run into at any random brewery or beer event. Twitter: @BeerMediation
Already have legal counsel? No problem, have them contact us
ALL COMMUNICATIONS ARE CONFIDENTIAL UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY CLIENTS
If you are an employee of a brewery and want assistance with private or domestic matters, you may use the same contact information (above). Your information will be held in strict confidence.