The Franchise Memorandum - Issue # 263

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Illinois Federal Court Excludes Plaintiffs’ Expert Testimony on Certification Motion in Anti-Poaching Class Action -

A federal court in Illinois granted Jimmy John’s motion to exclude expert testimony of a putative class seeking certification, while denying the class’s motion to exclude Jimmy John’s expert testimony. Conrad v. Jimmy John's Franchise, LLC, 2021 WL 718320 (S.D. Ill. Feb. 24, 2021). The case against Jimmy John’s is the most procedurally advanced of the class actions filed against various franchisors alleging that employee anti-poaching provisions formerly contained in many franchise agreements constitute an unlawful conspiracy in restraint of trade in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. After extensive discovery, the plaintiff franchisee employees and former employees filed for class certification, and both parties submitted expert testimony with respect to whether damages in the form of allegedly suppressed wages could be proven on a class-wide basis. In connection with the class certification motion, both sides sought to exclude the opposing side’s expert testimony.

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