Mar 18, 2019
Practical advice and litigation experience from attorneys with a long track record of successfully representing franchisors across a wide variety of industries.
In today’s legal landscape, defined by a complex interaction of state and federal law, franchisors need litigators and counselors who understand the relevant legal and business landscape and can anticipate complications before they arise.
Our franchise dispute attorneys help franchisors navigate the often contentious relationships with franchisees and competitors. We emphasize creative, savvy strategies for resolving disputes and achieving optimal outcomes.
Just as important, we provide many of our clients with ongoing counseling and support so they avoid disputes in the first place. We offer deep industry knowledge and a command of the complex interplay of state and federal law.
We have experience litigating against the many of the leading franchisee attorneys around the county. We are known as effective franchisor advocates with significant courtroom experience and a winning approach. When Parker Hudson appears on the other side, they take notice.
Our approach includes:
- Offering cost-efficient legal services but with the same bench depth and quality of service found at larger, costlier firms
- Learning the ins and outs of your business so that we can be valuable advisors
- Basing our judgment calls and advice on many years of real-world experience, having represented clients across the whole spectrum of franchise disputes
- Limiting our franchise disputes services to litigation on behalf of franchisors
- Developing long-term relationships with our clients, and becoming true business partners
- Finding business-based solutions instead of resorting to litigation whenever possible (but always being prepared for trial if that’s what a successful outcome requires)
The attorneys on this team include thought leaders in the franchise bar, with a robust record of speaking engagements and publications in the field.
Our industry experience includes:
- Wireless accessories & repair
Our record of success in handling franchise disputes extends to:
- Franchisor-franchisee claims
- IP claims by and against franchisors
- Franchisor disputes with competitors
- Class Action defense on behalf of franchisors
- Franchise arbitration & alternative dispute resolution
- Franchise terminations
- Joint Employer issues
- Successfully represented our client, a national franchisor, in both the trial court and before the Georgia Court of Appeals in obtaining an order compelling the arbitration all of the plaintiff's claims in a seven-count, 42-page Complaint. The plaintiff argued that the parties' agreement to arbitrate had been superseded by another contract, but the trial court (Fulton County Superior Court, Business Court) granted the firm's motion to compel arbitration of all claims. The firm then handled the appeal before the Georgia Court of Appeals, which unanimously affirmed the trial court's decision compelling arbitration. The Court of Appeals' decision is reported at Samaca, LLC v. Cellairis Franchise, Inc., 345 Ga. App. 368 (2018).
- Represented a national franchisor of units selling wireless accessories and performing repairs of wireless devices, in a precedent-setting case enforcing a non-compete under the new Georgia restrictive covenants statute against a former employee and a guarantor of one of our client's franchisees. After the defendant began to work with one of our client's competitors, our client sued to enforce a non-compete in his guarantee agreement restricting his ability to work in the wireless accessory and repair industry within a 10-mile radius of any of our client's franchise units anywhere in the United States. In a case of first impression under the still-new Georgia restrictive covenant statute, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction enforcing the non-compete to the full extent of its terms – i.e., nationwide for 10 miles around any business unit. The Court's decision represents a major victory for franchisors because it recognizes a franchisor’s legitimate business interest in preventing unfair competition nationally by a former franchisee or its principals, and grants much broader relief than previously was available under Georgia law.
- Represented a national restaurant franchisor in pursuing and obtaining injunctive relief in federal bankruptcy court against a former franchisee for misuse of our client's trademarks. The firm successfully asserted claims arising under the Lanham Act (trademark infringement and false origin claims) as well as claims for unfair competition and breach of contract. The court granted our client's motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction and ordered the defendants immediately to stop using our client's trademarks and cease operation of the restaurants at issue.
- Defend restaurant franchisor in joint employer-based claims of sexual harassment and gender discrimination and retaliation in connection with one former general manager and one server. The employment agreements between the two employees and the franchisee required arbitration in New York. One has been resolved, the other is pending arbitration.