Franchise Civil Procedure

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A Cautionary Tale on Arbitration Clauses

In July 2014, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released its decision in 2296432 Ontario Ltd v. FOF Franchise Corp. The case involved an action by plaintiff franchisees for rescission of a franchise agreement and related...more

Oklahoma Chicken Express Franchiser to Pay $15,000 to Settle EEOC National Origin Discrimination Suit

Restaurants Exploited Class of Hispanic Cooks by Failing to Pay Overtime, Federal Agency Charged - OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - NSC Chicken, LP, dba Chicken Express, will pay $15,000 and furnish other relief to settle a...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

Domino’s Delivers Key Ruling in Favor of Franchisors

The California Supreme Court recently issued an important victory for franchisors, finding that a franchisor does not stand in an employment or agency relationship with the franchisee and its employees for purposes of holding...more

Putative Class Members Not Lovin’ It – Court Denies Conditional Certification of Supersized McDonald’s FLSA Class of More Than...

McDonald’s, the fast food giant known for supersizing its orders, avoided conditional certification of an FLSA collective action this week based on the “very large” size of the putative class. The Eastern District of Michigan...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

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

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