Alternative dispute resolution

in the contract field in the wine industry



By Augustin Weiss-Maurin

SKEMA Business School

Lille, France



A recent trend in business is to settle contract disputes by other alternative ways, by other means than going to court. Then, it could appear interesting to understand why? What are these alternatives and which ones are the most efficient. For an easier reading, we are going to focus in this paper only on the contract dispute in the wine area. To do so, we find out five different alternatives methods of settlement among the most used extra-judicial ways of contract issues solving. After a brief description of each one, we compared these fives ways regarding six relevant criteria specific to the wine area. This deep and close analysis allows us to affirm that the rent a judge program is the most efficient way to solve a contract dispute arisen in the wine industry.

Key words: Mediation, Rent-a-Judge program, Arbitration, Summary jury trial, Negotiation, Quality, Unfair Clause, Unpredictable


Problem recognition, definition and evaluation

In all the steps of the wine industry, as in all the industry, the final objective will be to sell. It could to sell grape, wine, bottle, services or knowledge. We currently live in a world where all our interactions are governed by a whole set of rules, laws and treaties. If you want to buy or sell something you will need a well-made contract and moreover it will be compulsory to respect what you accepted by signing this contract. It happens that one of the contractors does not respect his commitments. Indeed, in the wine business this kind of conflicts arises frequently since the results of your work in this field is not really predictable. In fact, all depends of the whim of Mother Nature. Thus it’s hard to establish, for instance, a relevant price per kilogram for the grape since the quality of it depends of the weather, the rain, quality of soil, sun shining… and not only of the kind of work furnished. That’s why, by custom, the “Force Majeure” case is rarely used.

In case of disagreement the first way to settle the problem for the other party of the contract is to go straight to the judicial court. However, these last decades and even maybe these last centuries the reputation and the public image has taken a bigger and bigger importance in the wine industry. Thus, often, in case of failure of the contracts obligations the contractors prefer a more discreet way to settle their conflicts. Instead of a public judicial case they will prefer other solutions.

These one are often cheaper, could be confidential (not on all fields as we will see) and quicker Moreover these solutions has produced by real expert of this field instead of judges who does not really have, sometimes, a deep knowledge of the case they work on. Furthermore a really interesting point is that the parties can choose the applicable law for the settlement of their contract, there is an infinity of choices possible, it could be a substantive law, a procedural law or a choice of conflicts of laws. The most common solutions of out of court dispute settlement are: Mediation, arbitration, negotiation, rent a judge program or summary jury trial.

Our aim in this paper will be to answer the following question:

What are the advantages and the drawbacks of the extra judicial settlement methods and a description of these different uses from the wine industry point of view. And, the most important which one of these alternatives is the most interesting?


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

How to cite this paper: Weiss-Maurin, A. (2018). Alternative dispute resolution in the contract field in the wine industry, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue IX – September. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/pmwj74-Sep2018-Weiss-Maurin-alternative-dispute-resolution-in-wine-industry-student-paper.pdf


About the Author

Augustin Weiss-Maurin

Lille, France




Augustin Weiss-Maurin is currently an Msc student in Project and Program Development and Business Development in Skema business school, Lille, France. He starts his academic career by a bachelor in law in the University of Burgundy, Dijon, France and the university Charles, Prague, Czech Republic. After an academic semester in management in Fundaçao dom Cabral, Belo Horizonte, Brasil, he is now working on a master in sciences in Skema business school in the aim of working as a project manager in the wine business.