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Hospitalitas Newsletter - Winter 2014

In This Issue: - Marriott Fined $600,000 For Wi-Fi Jamming - Franchisor Liability for Franchisee Employment Decisions: The NLRB’s General Counsel Addresses the Move to Expand the Joint-Employer Standard, and...more

Franchisor Liability for Franchisee Employment Decisions: The NLRB's General Counsel Addresses the Move to Expand the...

In July 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took the unexpected step of authorizing complaints against McDonald's USA, LLC and some of its franchisees for the franchisees' responses to employee protests. The Board...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Statutes of Limitation Message for Franchisors and Franchisees

In Kroshnyi v. U.S. Pack Courier Services, Inc., a case pending for 13 years (and not over yet), numerous drivers claimed their package delivery franchisor violated New York's franchise law. From 1996 to 1998 the drivers...more

“Would You Like Joint-Employer Liability With That?” McDonald’s Serves as a Cautionary Tale for Franchisors and Other Potential...

The National Labor Relations Board Office of the General Counsel has investigated charges alleging McDonald’s franchisees and their franchisor, McDonald’s, USA, LLC, violated the rights of employees as a result of activities...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

FRANCHISOR 101: Venue and Choice of Law Provisions Not Enforceable in California

In 2013, Pepe's Franchising, a U.K. company, entered into a Master Franchise Agreement with Frango Grill, based in California, granting the right to operate and franchise Pepe's restaurants in California. The Agreement's...more

Georgia Court of Appeals rules franchisees can assert claims for relief under Georgia’s tort statute for violating the FTC...

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently upheld a judgment entered on a jury verdict against a franchisor for violating the Federal Trade Commission’s Franchise Rule, 16 CFR Parts 436 and 437 (the FTC Rule), finding that the FTC...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Focused on Franchise - April 2014

FRANCHISEE 101: Terminated Franchisee Can Pursue Fraudulent Disclosure Claims - In Solanki v. 7-Eleven, Inc., a U. S. District Court in New York ruled that a terminated 7-Eleven franchisee who decided to purchase a...more

The GPMemorandum, Issue 179 (Distribution Issue)

In this Issue: - Tying And Other Claims By Service Competitor Rejected: A federal court in Arizona has rejected various antitrust claims brought by a servicer of aircraft power units against a manufacturer of...more

The GPMemorandum, Issue 178

In This Issue: - Appellate Court Vacates Order Denying Franchisor’s Motion For Preliminary Injunction; District Court Then Grants Summary Judgment To Franchisor And Enters Final Injunction: In H&R Block Tax...more

Putative Nationwide Class Of Car Dealers Turns Out To Be A Lemon - Individualized Issues Preclude Certification

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia denied plaintiffs’ motion for nationwide class certification because the proposed class did not meet Rule 23’s commonality or predominance requirements. The...more

Top franchise cases of 2013

1. In Hanley v. Doctors Express Franchising, LLC, a former franchisee of the Doctors Express franchise system sued Doctors Express, the franchisor, and Rhino 7, a broker involved in the franchise sale, asserting that the...more

A Cable Franchise Transfer Toolkit for the Time Warner-Comcast Merger

A proposed transfer of control of a cable television operator or a transfer of a cable television A Cable Franchise Transfer Toolkit for the Time Warner-Comcast Mergerfranchise presents the franchising authority with a...more

The GPMemorandum - Issue 177

In This Issue: - Washington Federal Court Denies Motion To Hold Defendants In Contempt Of Consent Judgment For Trademark Infringement: A federal judge in Seattle has denied a franchisor’s motion for a contempt...more

The GPMemorandum, Issue 176

In This Issue: - Missouri District Court Upholds Termination Of Franchise Based On Fraud: The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri recently upheld a franchisor’s decision to...more

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