Civil Procedure Franchise

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FRANCHISEE 101: Forum Selection Clauses May Be Enforceable

A recent decision in Allegra Holdings, LLC v. Davis demonstrates that courts are enforcing forum selection clauses in favor of out-of-state franchisors and against in-state franchisees, notwithstanding franchise anti-waiver...more

California Supreme Court Overturns 2012 Domino's Decision

On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court reversed a 2012 Court of Appeal decision in Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC. The lower court held that franchise operating systems, like Domino's, deprive franchisees of the...more

California Employment Law Notes

Franchisor Is Not Liable For Franchisee's Alleged Sexual Harassment Of Its Employee - Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC, 2014 WL 4236175 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) - Taylor Patterson was hired by Sui Juris (a franchisee...more

Domino’s Pizza is Not Vicariously Liable for Acts of a Franchise Employee Where Domino’s Lacks Control Over Employee, Says...

Domino’s Pizza This week, the California Supreme Court held that Domino’s Pizza was not liable for the torts of an employee of a franchise because Domino’s had no contractual or operational control over the employee. The...more

Ice Cream Maker No Softee When It Comes to Infringement of Its Trademarks

Just as summer is coming to a close, the battle between Mister Softee and Master Softee appears to be heating up. Mister Softee is a family-owned business that has been in operation since 1956. It is the franchisor for the...more

Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC: Franchisors Are Not Vicariously Liable as “Employers” or “Principals” for Their Franchisees’...

In a significant win for franchisors, the California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that although Domino’s “imposes comprehensive and meticulous standards for marketing its trademarked brand and operating its franchises in a uniform...more

Restrictions in Franchise Agreements Narrowly Construed

Virginia’s public policy in favor of freedom of contract is well established. It may be most conspicuously evidenced by the Supreme Court of Virginia’s increasingly narrow construction of post-contract employment restrictions...more

Who's in Control Here? California's Supreme Court Establishes New Standards for Potential Franchisor Liability for Employee Tort...

On August 28, 2014, the Supreme Court of California, in Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC, decided whether a franchisor was entitled to summary judgment on the plaintiff's claims that the franchisor was vicariously liable for...more

Landmark Ruling: Franchisor Not Liable Absent Employment Related Control

On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in favor of Domino's Pizza and all business format franchisors that do business in California. In Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC, ---P.3d---, 2014 WL...more

Patterson v. Domino’s: California Supreme Court Lends Important Guidance on Franchisor Liability

Taylor Patterson claimed that Domino’s, as the franchisor of thousands of pizza stores across the nation, should be held responsible for sexual harassment she experienced from a fellow employee over a two-week period when she...more

California Supreme Court: Holding Franchisor Liable as Employer Depends on Level of Control Over Day-to-Day Employment Decisions

Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. S204543 (August 28, 2014): On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that a franchisor that did not exhibit the characteristics of an “employer” was not...more

For California franchises, there’s no place like home

Competitors of all kinds know home court advantage helps them win. Home court advantage refers to the psychological, procedural and logistical edge gained by competing in a familiar setting, where one has better knowledge of...more

Focused on Franchise Law - August 2014

FRANCHISOR 101: NLRB McDonald's Ruling May Put Crimp on Franchising - On July 29, 2014, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) stated that McDonald's could be held jointly liable with its...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

Fifth Circuit Protects Franchisors, For Now

In the wake of the National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s announcement that he intends to pursue unfair labor practice charges against a franchisor, franchisors are on high alert. With the NLRB considering an...more

The GPMemorandum, Issue 182

In This Issue: - Supreme Court Holds Company Can Sue Competitor For Unfair Competition Even If It Complies With FDA Labeling Regulations: In an 8-0 decision announced on June 12, 2014, the Supreme Court held...more

Update on Orozco v. Plackis: was franchisor’s principal the employer of franchisor’s employee? Fifth Circuit reverses – 3...

We reported in September 2013 about Orozco v. Plackis, a case out of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in which the plaintiff (a cook in a franchised restaurant) filed an action under the Fair...more

Mister Softee vs. Master Softee: Non-Compete & Trademark Ice Cream Fight in the SDNY

Dimitrios Tsirkos first became a Mister Softee franchisee in the mid 1980’s. To be clear, we are talking about the ice cream truck business. Over the years, Tsirkos entered several franchise agreements with Mister Softee and...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

Heads Up: Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) Takes Effect on July 1st

Once CASL takes effect, you will need express or implied consent before you (or your franchisees) can send a commercial electronic message (CEM). While franchisors are well aware of the pending impact of CASL and have been...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

The GPMemorandum, Issue 181

In this Issue: Missouri District Court Awards Attorneys' Fees And Costs In Termination Case: In Dunkin' Donuts Franchising LLC v. Sai Food (ST Hospitality, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67512 (E.D. Mo. May 16,...more

Privacy Alert: Judge Backs FTC Authority in Data Breach Case Against Franchisor

On April 7, a federal judge denied the motion of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, LLC (“Wyndham”) to dismiss a complaint brought by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) for unfair or deceptive acts or practices based on alleged...more

Trials Are About Truth; Consent Decrees Are About Pragmatism

I recently wrote about Judge Rakoff’s refusal to enter the SEC’s proposed consent decree in SEC v. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., 827 F. Supp. 2d 328 (SDNY 2011) – and the shift in SEC enforcement policy that it prompted. ...more

Québec Court of Appeal Decision Results in Significant Victory for Franchisors

In a victory for franchisors, the Québec Court of Appeal confirmed the application of the doctrine of the indivisibility of contracts in a franchise context, supporting significant retroactive royalty awards for breaches of...more

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