Mulcahy LLP is a boutique litigation firm that provides legal services to franchisors, manufacturers and other companies in the areas of antitrust, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, and franchise and distribution laws. Our years of hands-on experience as former General Counsels and seasoned litigators provide us with the expertise to achieve our clients' business goals.
Our primary objective is to provide our clients with the highest quality legal services with a small firm touch to efficiently and cost-effectively aid them in achieving their business goals. Mulcahy LLP is a recognized expert in the competition, franchise and distribution injustries. Our lawyers understand the relationship between litigation strategy and business needs to craft innovative solutions for our clients.
Based in Southern California, the firm serves clients nationally.
With more than 30 years of experience, Jim Mulcahy, managing partner, is one of the leading authorities in California on franchise and distribution law. Jim is widely recognized for his ability to assist corporations in structuring solid franchise and distribution business solutions and in identifying potential conflicts before they arise. His experience includes litigating, trying, and arbitrating hundreds of matters involving disputes between franchisors/suppliers and franchisees/dealers, franchise disclosure and relationship statutes, antitrust and trade regulation, unfair competition issues, dealer and distribution programs, vertical marketing issues, claims of trademark and copyright infringement, allegations of tortious business conduct, and a myriad of contractual and other business disputes.
Jim has taken over 60 cases to trial, and he brings the seasoned perspective of a former general counsel, having served in that capacity for American Suzuki Motor Corporation for over four years. He began his legal career at Chicago-based Wildman Harrold, Allen & Dixon, where he was a partner for nine years before joining American Suzuki. Jim has served as a faculty member at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and for the College of Trial Advocacy.
Publications and speaking engagements include:
California Courts Are Beginning To Reexamine Their Outdated Decisions Addressing Vertical Price and Other Distributional Restraints Under The Cartwright Act, American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law Distribution & Franchising Committee’s Newsletter, August 2013;
AT&T Mobility v. AU Optronics Extends the California Cartwright Act’s Expansive Geographical Scope, American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law Pricing Conduct Committee’s Price Point Newsletter, Summer 2013;
Chapter 5 (Handling Department of Corporations Enforcement Actions) and Chapter 11 (California State Antitrust Law Issues) of the CEB’s publication entitled California Franchise Law and Practice (2013);
Franchisors Wince as Some Courts Re-Label Franchisees as Employees, Executive Counsel Magazine, January 2013;
Capitalizing on the International Franchising Boom: What’s Hot, What’s Not, And How To Avoid Landmines – program leader, Franchise Leadership and Development Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 2012;
Building Winning Programs for Multi-Unit Franchise Growth – panelist, Franchise Leadership and Development Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 2012;
Are Franchisees Employees? Franchise Update Magazine, September 2012;
Dispute Resolution: Protecting the Franchisor – Keep Your Brand Out of Costly Lawsuits, Franchise Update Magazine, April 2012 (co-authored with Steven Emmons);
Best Practices in Franchise Litigation – roundtable facilitator, Franchise Leadership and Development Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 2011;
Financial Performance Representations: Should You Make Them and, If So, What Should You Say Or Not Say – moderator and panelist, Franchise Leadership and Development Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 2011;
Inadvertent Franchises and the GrayBar Hotel, Orange County Lawyer
Professional Associations & Memberships
President of Los Angeles and Orange County chapters of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms (2009-present). The INBLF is an organization of the most highly credentialed and preeminent single-discipline law firms throughout the United States and some of the world’s most prominent full-service law firms in foreign nations.
Member (2005–2007), the Franchise Law Consulting Group and the Franchise & Distribution Law Advisory Commission, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Jim was one of seven attorneys charged with writing the exam and establishing the necessary qualifications for attorneys to become certified specialists in franchise and distribution law – a new certified specialty practice in California.
Co-Chair of the Franchise Law Committee of the California State Bar (2005-2006).
Memberships: American Bar Association (Forum on Franchising; Section of Antitrust Law (Antitrust Law Committees: Distribution & Franchising, Economics, Intellectual Property, Pricing Conduct); Section of Intellectual Property Law; Section of Litigation); California State Bar Association (Section of Antitrust and Unfair Competition); Los Angeles County Bar Association (Section of Antitrust and Unfair Business Practices); Orange County Bar Association (Section of Business Litigation); Federal Bar Association (Orange County Chapter); National Panel of Arbitrators; the National Futures Association; the National Association of Securities Dealers; Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Orange County Chapter); International Trademark Association.
Graduate of University of Arizona (Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Juris Doctorate, Phi Beta Kappa). Jim received his law degree in 1978 from the University of Arizona College of Law where he served as Chairman of the Fegtley Moot Court Program.
Bar and Court Admissions: Illinois (1979), Northern District of Illinois; California (2001), U.S. District Court, Central, Southern, and Eastern Districts; U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits; U.S. Supreme Court.
Frequent author and speaker on franchise, distribution, and competition issues for, among others, the California State Bar, the International Franchise Association, and the American Bar Association Antitrust Section.
Honors and Awards
Certified Specialist in Franchise and Distribution Law for the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization
AV® Preeminent™ Rated, Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Directory
Named "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyers magazine for the years 2012 & 2013