Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Franchise

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Chorley Enterprises, Inc. v. Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.: Arbitration Provisions in Maryland Franchise Agreements

Maryland law requires franchisors include a provision in their franchise agreements that preserves the franchisee’s ability to litigate certain claims in court rather than in arbitration. In Chorley Enterprises, Inc. v....more

Sign O’ The Times: SCOTUS Denies Cert In Franchise Arbitration Dispute

On Monday of this week, after stringing the parties along for five months, SCOTUS denied cert in a case involving the intersection between arbitration and franchise regulation. The petition was filed in November of 2015,...more

Ninth Circuit: Arbitration Provision Contained In Sham Agreement Is Not Enforceable

The Ninth Circuit reversed a district court ruling that had compelled arbitration, holding that a party may not enforce an arbitration agreement where the clause is contained in a nonbinding contract. The parties had entered...more

What’s on the Horizon for U.S. Employers in 2016?

While the upcoming U.S. Presidential election and on-going Congressional gridlock make it unlikely any new federal employment laws will be enacted in the U.S. in 2016, employers can expect federal agencies to continue their...more

Arbitration Provision Rejected in Franchise Dispute

In Case Del Caffe Vergnano SPA v. ItalFlavors, LLC, the Ninth Circuit held that the court, not an arbitration tribunal, could review a franchise contract and determine it was a sham, based upon a second contract signed...more

Franchising Update

While dispute resolution clauses may be straightforward for domestic franchise agreements as a result of the Franchising Code, dispute resolution clauses can be one of the most neglected provisions in international master...more

Ninth Circuit Refuses To Enforce Arbitration Clause In Sham Franchise Agreement

A short new opinion from the Ninth Circuit may run counter to long-standing Supreme Court precedent. In Casa Del Caffe Vergnano v. Italflavors, 2016 WL 1016779 (9th Cir. Mar. 15, 2016), the court refused to enforce an...more

FRANCHISOR 101: The Importance of Arbitration Provisions

Though some of the more important terms may appear early in a franchise agreement, some key terms placed near the end - the portion of the agreement that is often called "boilerplate" - may determine who wins or loses a legal...more

Sixth Circuit Holds Pizza Hut Franchisee Waived Arbitration Right

The world’s largest Pizza Hut franchisee, NPC International, Inc. (“NPC”), which operates more than 1200 Pizza Hut restaurants in the United States, was sued in federal district court by employees in five separate collective...more

Last Call: California Legislature Makes Final Push for 2015 Session

The California Legislature reconvened on Monday, August 17, to finish its work for the 2015 regular session, which must end by September 11. The following bills are of particular interest to California private sector...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Florida Franchisor Awarded Lost Future Profits

An arbitration panel in Florida found that a disaster recovery and remediation business franchisee breached his agreement with John Woods, his franchisor, by terminating the agreement 13 years before expiration of the 20-year...more

Eighth Circuit Upholds Arbitration Agreement In Absence Of Actual Proof Of Unconscionability Due To Cost

The Eighth Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri which rejected the contention that an arbitration agreement was unconscionable, and unenforceable under the Federal...more

Obligation to Enforce Arbitration under FAA Policy Trumps Motion to Prevent Enforcement of “Clearly Void” Non-Competition...

On May 20, 2015, Judge Dudley H. Bowen of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, entered an order denying the Motion for Preliminary and Permanent Injunction filed by one of the plaintiffs...more

California Legislative Update

The end of the first week of June is the deadline for California bills to pass out of their house of origin. The following are significant bills affecting private-sector employers in the Golden State that have advanced to...more

Court Applies Concepcion And Compels Arbitration, Rejecting Claim That Agreement Precluded “Effective Vindication Of State...

In a putative class action alleging violation of Pennsylvania labor laws, unfair trade practices, and other state law claims brought by a franchisee against the franchisor and two subsidiaries, the court stayed the...more

Eighth Circuit Shows How Difficult It Is To Prove Arbitration Agreement Unconscionable Due To Cost

Almost two years ago in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors, SCOTUS significantly narrowed, but did not overrule, the “effective vindication” doctrine, which allows plaintiffs to invalidate an arbitration agreement if it...more

Direct Benefits Estoppel: 7th Cir. Explains How You Can Be Compelled To Arbitrate Without Agreeing To Do So

Everyone knows that you can’t be compelled to arbitrate a dispute unless you’ve agreed to do so. But what everyone knows is sometimes wrong. There are situations in which a person has to arbitrate even though she didn’t sign...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Illusory Arbitration Provisions Not Enforceable in Indiana

In 2010, Steak 'n Shake, a franchisor of hamburger restaurants, adopted new pricing and promotion policies that required all franchisees to follow company mandated pricing on every menu item and to participate in all...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - August 2014

Partial-Day Leave Deductions Lawful for Exempt Employees - A California court of appeal recently confirmed that employers may require exempt employees to use accrued leave for partial-day absences, even if shorter than...more

Focused on Franchise Law - July 2014

FRANCHISOR 101: Location of Dispute Clauses Will Be Enforced - A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision is having a big impact on the locations where franchisor-franchisee disputes are being resolved. ...more

Appellate Court Holds That Arbitrators Did Not Act In Excess Of Their Authority Or In Manifest Disregard Of Law In Denying Motion...

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s denial of a motion to vacate an arbitration award issued in a dispute between the Johnsons and Wetzel’s Pretzels, concerning the termination of a franchise...more

Focused on Franchise Law - March 2014

FRANCHISOR 101: Franchisee Not Bound by Arbitration Provision - In March 2013, Edison Subs, LLC, a Subway franchisee/transferee, filed a complaint in New Jersey against Subway and Aliya Patel (the original...more

Focused on Franchise Law - April 2013

In This Issue: Barry Kurtz and Bryan Clements Featured in Bar Association Publications; Franchisor 101:Out of Control - Franchisor Not Liable For Franchisee's Negligence; and, Franchisee 101: Improper Termination May Be A...more

Fourth Circuit Sends Franchisee To Individual Arbitration, Expands Application Of Concepcion

The Fourth Circuit issued a bold new arbitration decision last week, sending a putative class of shuttle drivers to arbitration while expanding its application of SCOTUS’ Concepcion decision beyond cases involving federal...more

US Supreme Court Upholds Arbitrators Authority to Decide the Validity of a Non-Compete Clause in an Arbitration Agreement

The US Supreme Court recently vacated a decision by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, holding that the national policy favoring arbitration found in the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and supporting case law, a policy which...more

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