David J. Katalinas

According to Dave, "My job is to help clients navigate the regulatory, business and commercial paths to success. For this, my unique approach to legal counsel is what I call 'inside-out.' I combine my in-house and advisory experience to deliver comprehensive, practical legal solutions to franchisors."

David "Dave" Katalinas is a seasoned attorney specializing in franchise and distribution law. His unique experience as a former in-house attorney for an international franchise equips him with an insider's perspective, enabling him to anticipate and effectively address complex legal issues. Dave has served franchises in:

  • Advertising
  • Airlines
  • Construction
  • Fitness
  • Fly fishing
  • Food and beverage
  • Real estate development
  • Restaurants
  • Snow sports
  • Wholesale and retail distribution

Helping franchisors save time and become more efficient is at the core of Dave's practice. Whether through facilitating new partnerships, strategizing for expansion, or negotiating for the addition of new products, his work is focused on helping clients meet their objectives. He meticulously manages every aspect of the commercial process, from franchise registration to procurement. More than simply offering legal advice, he also considers the potential impacts of legal challenges on a franchisor's internal operations and guides clients accordingly. He assists franchisors with:

  • Commercial transactions
  • Contracts
  • Distribution
  • Emerging and mature systems
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Multi-unit franchising
  • Private equity
  • Procurement
  • Real estate leasing
  • Registration, disclosure and compliance
  • Start-up systems
  • Supplier deals

Dave finds inspiration in watching clients take on calculated and strategic business risks and achieve success. He has successfully orchestrated commercial agreements for franchisors with vendors, service providers, consumers, distributors and freight organizations in national and global arenas. He has successfully crafted shipping agreements for goods destined for Europe, Asia and the Middle East. His versatility extends to negotiating distribution and sourcing agreements for products across different continents and structuring logistics and transportation agreements for food products in line with nationwide distribution systems.


What inspires you about the practice of law?

As my parents say, I love to talk … and to everyone. This habit led me to a successful high school debate team and eventually law school. While I'm not a litigator, I enjoy the spirit of negotiating and advocating for clients. My work allows me to combine my passion for tackling clients' business problems with many interesting industries.

What do you do outside of work?

My family loves to ski and spend time outside. Our daughter is a soccer player, and our son is a golfer. Once in a while, my wife can drag me onto the tennis court, but it never ends well (for me). I'm also an avid saltwater fly fisherman.


  • Panelist, "Thoughts on Budgeting Post-Pandemic: A Panel Discussion with Law Firm Leaders on Spending in 2022," Legal Marketing Association, June 2021
  • Co-presenter, "Selling Franchises: Keys to Smart Growth," Client Annual Sales Conference, 2018
  • Roundtable Presenter, "Best Practices for Supply Agreements," International Franchise Association, October 2016
  • Moderator, "Preparing to Sell Your System - Steps to Take and Pitfalls to Avoid," Franchise West Expo, October 2016
  • Presenter, "Event Sponsorship Agreements and Sweepstakes Rules Considerations," Contracts CLE Seminar, Colorado Bar Association
  • Presenter, "Supply Chain Risk Management," MARSH Restaurant Roundtable, April 2010

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising, Member
  • Colorado Bar Association, Member
  • Denver Bar Association, Member
  • International Franchise Association, Member
  • National Association of Asian American Professionals, Member

Community Involvement

  • Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Member
  • Captains for Clean Water, Member
  • Ducks Unlimited, Volunteer
  • Trout Unlimited, Volunteer


  • Selected among The Best Lawyers in America®, Franchise Law, 2020-2024
Photo of David J. Katalinas
  • Denver

    675 15th Street
    Suite 2650
    Denver, CO 80202

Court Memberships

  • Colorado


University of Denver Sturm College of Law, J.D.

  • International Law Journal, Articles Editor

Michigan State University, B.A.