Last week, I wrote about the sad and anti-climatic ending of the first cannabis patent infringement case. UCANN is in the same predicament as many other businesses in the industry, and most experts expect the pandemic to create a surge of bankruptcy cases in the second half of this year. Civil courts are seeing tons of filings directly relating to COVID-19 as well – employees are suing their employers over leave and workplace safety issues, contract parties are suing each other over force majeure provisions, and businesses are suing their insurers for controversial coverage. This trend isn’t hitting the cannabis industry any differently as handshake deals and poor documentation often leads to courtroom disputes.
Unfortunately, these new cases are just adding to the strain that most courts in the United States have felt for a long, long time. For example, cases in the Los Angeles Superior Court have easily taken longer than two years from start to finish. Our experiences in the Multnomah County Circuit Court (Portland, Oregon) are nominally better. And that, coupled with the fact that most courts have now been essentially shut down since March, means litigating is going to require a whole new level of