Civil Procedure Franchise

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Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise to Pay $150,000 to Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Doughnut Franchise Manager Sexually Harassed Young Female Employees, Some in Their Teens, and Retaliated Against Worker Who Resisted Advances, Federal Agency Charged - NEW YORK - Hillcrest Marshall, Inc., which owns...more

Federal court certifies class of franchisee’s employees to pursue ostensible agency claims against franchisor: three takeaways

In Ochoa, et al. v. McDonald’s Corp. et al.,[1] the United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently certified a class of more than 800 current and former employees of a McDonald’s franchisee in...more

Franchisor to Be Considered Statutory Employer? PA Supreme Court to Decide

The far-reaching implications of this decision could change the existing franchise business model. Is a franchisor a statutory employer of its franchisee’s employees? The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board thinks so,...more

Government Involvement in Noncompetes… Against a Sandwich Maker?! Jimmy John’s Slapped With Another Lawsuit, This Time Brought by...

Jimmy John’s can’t seem to escape the limelight. Last year, the company made headlines when employees hit it with a putative class action lawsuit seeking to invalidate their non-compete agreements. The District Court...more

District Court: CFPB May Hold Law Firm Owners Individually Liable for Alleged Violations

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled on July 20, 2016, that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) may hold the owners of two law firms offering debt relief services liable for alleged...more

Res Judicata: California Mandamus Claims Are Not Fundamentally Distinct From Federal Counterparts Under California’s Primary...

The age-old doctrine of res judicata is as strong as ever in California. In Franceschi v. Franchise Tax Board, et al. (B267719, filed July 8, 2016) the California Court of Appeal Second District, held that Ernest Franceschi’s...more

Sixth Circuit Tri County Decision Provides Much-Needed Clarity on “Successor” Provision in Ohio Franchise Law

I attach a copy of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s recent decision in Tri County Wholesale Distributors v. Labatt USA Operating Company, Nos. 15-3710/3769 (6th Cir., July 6, 2016). For students of the...more

Excess Policies at Issue Deemed Not to Attach Absent Actual Payment of the Amount of Underlying Limits by Either the Insured or...

Policyholders contemplating insurance coverage settlements with low-level insurers should use caution to preserve their ability to access higher-level excess policies. Excess insurers are increasingly disputing that...more

The limits of negligent misstatement

The house always wins - except, it seems, at the Court of Appeal. The appellant bank did not owe a duty of care to Playboy Club's casino for a negligent misstatement as to a gambler's creditworthiness made to a sister...more

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

New Tool to Protect Franchisors’ Trade Secrets

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Defending Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (the Act). The Act amends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (EEA) to create a federal private right of action for the misappropriation...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Wins, Losses & Lessons in Joint Employer Liability

As joint employer liability continues to develop, plaintiffs seeking deep pockets continue to claim, with some success, that franchisors are joint employers, responsible for actions of their franchisees' employees. In April,...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

Employment Practices Newsletter - April 2016

Is Labor Law Putting the Franchise Business Model at Risk? - Over the course of the last year, we have kept you abreast of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case law and Department of Labor (DOL) interpretive/...more

Spotlight on Tennessee: Forced Franchise/Excise Tax Variance Upheld by Supreme Court

On March 23, 2016, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued its much-awaited decision in the case of Vodafone Americas Holdings, Inc. et al. vs. Tennessee Commissioner of Revenue....more

Franchisee Can’t Work Its Way Out of Trademark Infringement and Breach of Contract Litigation on Jurisdictional Grounds

An out-of-state franchisee sought to escape the reach of the Massachusetts District Court in a breach of contract and trademark infringement litigation filed by its Massachusetts-based franchisor. But, the parties quickly...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Purposes and Limits of Non-Compete Clauses

Many franchise agreements have "non-compete clauses", which state that after termination or expiration of the franchise agreement, the ex-franchisee may not operate a business that is similar to or that would compete with the...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

Ohio Court of Appeals Upholds a Successor Manufacturer’s Termination of a Distribution Franchise

The “successorship” provision of Ohio’s franchise law for alcohol beverages has spawned much litigation over the past two decades. Premium Beverage Supply, Ltd. v. TBK Production Works, Inc. represents the latest chapter of...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

FRANCHISEE 101: Relying on Franchisor’s Profit Projections

Most experienced franchisors know better than to make claims about profits franchisees can expect when those claims do not match the information in the franchisor's Franchise Disclosure Document. However, if a franchisor or...more

Can a Guarantor Waive his Right to a Foreclosure Confirmation Proceeding in Georgia?

Yes. On Monday, February 22, 2015, in a case closely watched by commercial real estate lenders, borrowers and guarantors, the Supreme Court of Georgia issued its opinion in PNC Bank, N.A. v. Smith, et al., S15Q1445. ...more

Rulings Pose Obstacles to Franchisors Seeking to Stop Wrongful Trademark Use

A series of recent Circuit Court decisions has made it more difficult for a franchisor to enjoin a former franchisee from using the franchisor’s federally registered trademarks after the franchise agreement has been...more

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