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Franchise General Business Civil Procedure

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Franchise issues written by leading professionals.

FRANCHISEE 101: Special Delivery

by Lewitt Hackman on

For a relationship to meet the legal definition of a "franchise" in some jurisdictions, the franchisor must give significant assistance to, or have significant control over, the franchisee's business. A franchisor's...more

Tesla “Franchisee” Thwarted in Utah

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Tesla, the electric vehicle automaker, recently lost a round in the Supreme Court of Utah. Tesla set up a wholly-owned subsidiary called “Tesla UT” that was to hold a license to sell Tesla’s cars to the public. The Utah...more

Sheppard Mullin Secures Major Victory for Chipotle in Nationwide Misclassification Action By Demonstrating Variations Among...

The Court’s opinion in Scott v. Chipotle Mexican Grill demonstrates how employers can successfully combat class action claims that employees were misclassified as exempt. The successful defense of the class certification...more

FACTA Suits Still Bite - $31 Million Subway Class Action Settlement Approved

Ten years ago, hundreds of retailers, chain restaurants and others were targeted nationwide as defendants in class action suits under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) for violating the so-called...more

Court Finds That Arbitration Award That Interpreted Contract “Termination” To Include Contract “Expiration” Was Not A “Manifest...

by Carlton Fields on

Former franchisees filed a petition to vacate an arbitration award entered in favor of their former franchisor which enforced a 2-year non-compete provision in the parties’ franchise agreement when the agreement expired. The...more

Court Grants Default Judgment Confirming Arbitration Award, With A Lesson On Jurisdiction

by Carlton Fields on

Choice Hotels filed an application to confirm an arbitration award of over $247,000 for the alleged breach of a franchise agreement by two defendants, which failed to timely commence construction of a hotel. The defendants...more

THANKSGIVING EDITION [FROM THE ARCHIVES]: Court Protects Quizno’s Franchise Turkey Trade Secrets

This Thanksgiving, Trade Secrets Watch is serving a delicious tale about protecting trade secrets in a franchising relationship. In 1994, Quizno’s entered into a franchise agreement with Robert Kampendahl, an...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Is It a Franchise? Yes and No

by Lewitt Hackman on

A federal court in Indiana made an interesting decision on whether a business relationship was a franchise. Wabash National Corp. is a famous maker of semitrailers. Wabash notified a dealer in Texas that its dealership was...more

September 2016 Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance News Update

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

The past month’s judicial and administrative activity in the area of IC misclassification reflects the wide range of industries facing these types of claims: communications; cleaning services; transportation and delivery...more

Lessons Unlearned: Franchise and Independent Contractor Agreements Can Be Kiss of Death

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

The Third Circuit’s decision is a pointed reminder to franchisors, as well as businesses that use independent contractors, that the form of their agreements can either serve their legal interests or harm them in employee...more

FRANCHISEE 101: How Far Do Earnings Projections Go?

by Lewitt Hackman on

A franchisor is allowed to make "financial performance representations" in its disclosure documents. These figures may project how much money a franchisee is likely to make and can play a critical part in the franchisor's...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

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

by McDermott Will & Emery on

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

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

by Carlton Fields on

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

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

by Baker Donelson on

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

by Lewitt Hackman on

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

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

by McDermott Will & Emery on

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

by Lewitt Hackman on

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

by Lewitt Hackman on

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?

by Bryan Cave on

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

FranCast: Good news for franchisors: Ontario Court of Appeal dismisses Pet Valu class action

by DLA Piper on

The recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in 1250264 Ontario Inc. v Pet Valu Canada Inc.1 is good news for both Pet Valu Canada Inc. and Ontario franchisors....more

Joint Employment Challenges Continue in 2016

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

The legal concept of “joint employment” exists when a person is employed by two or more entities, such that the employers are responsible, individually and jointly, to the employee for compliance with a particular statute or...more

Adventures in Joint Employment: the Browning-Ferris Saga Continues with an Appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

Last week, Browning-Ferris Industries, the California-based waste management company, appealed two decisions issued by the National Labor Relations Board related to the definition of joint employer. Its appeal to the U.S....more

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