In a story, we have continued to track since 2019, and brand new developing news broken by Metalsucks.com, lawsuits filed against Slipknot by former percussionist Chris Fehn have finally gone to mediation for a settlement, perhaps telegraphing an end to the legal saga for both parties. In 2003 Slipknot dissolved the original partnership they had before they hit it big with their debut, in favor of a new arrangement giving control of the band to Corey Taylor, M. Shawn Crahan, and their manager Robert short of RSA. Fehn sure the band and both Taylor and Crahan, and he was dismissed from the band. Since we are not lawyers, we consulted with one to get their take on the potential outcome last year. It did not look good for Fehn at the time. Metalsucks has caught up on the most recent events, which we have excerpted below, but you can read the full update at their site at this link:
To recap: in March of 2019, Fehn filed a series of suits against several Slipknot-related business entities as well as Corey Taylor and Shawn Crahan individually, alleging that the band had several entities dispersed between a handful of states which he did not known about, and they were using those entities to siphon money away from him. Fehn claimed that Slipknot were an equal partnership, and that he was due a commensurate portion of the band’s income but had recently been treated like a hired employee (which the band’s business manager then said he essentially was).
In an editorial penned that same month, I posited that eventually the case would head to mediation, a process led by an unbiased, third-party arbiter whereby a monetary settlement is reached between both parties. New court documents reveal that is exactly what is happening a year and a half later. Mediation is less time-consuming and less expensive than taking a case to trial, which often makes it a preferred option over a full-fledged court battle.
In a document filed on June 18 and signed by Justice Melissa Anne Crane, who has been overseeing the proceedings, the case was ordered to be referred to a mediator:
“This case having come before the court on May 15, 2020, and the court having determined that it is appropriate and the parties would benefit from an opportunity to participate in mediation, the parties and counsel are directed to appear for mediation and therefore, it is ORDERED, that the matter is hereby referred to Deborah Edelman, Esq, Special Referee, of New York County Supreme Court (“Mediator”), and it is further
ORDERED, that counsel are directed to contact Ms. Edelman either via [email] or [phone] within three business days of the date of this order;”
Unfortunately for inquisitive Slipknot fans and MetalSucks’ investigative interest in this case alike, when a case goes to mediation the details of the settlement are not made public. Lest there be any doubt on that matter, it says as much right in the court order:
“ORDERED, that any oral, written or other communications made during the course of the Mediation by any party, Mediator or any other person present shall be confidential, and shall not be disclosed in any present or future judicial or administrative proceeding as pursuant to CPLR § 4547;”
Reaching a settlement is voluntary and must be agreed to by both parties, so the possibility remains that one will not be reached and the case will be punted back to court. But that seems unlikely given the parties’ willingness to engage in mediation to begin with, as well as the aforementioned time and expense toll of a full-fledged trial.