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Justin L. Sallis

Justin litigates commercial disputes across the country on behalf of both corporations and individuals, with a particular focus on franchise-related matters. He regularly counsels and represents some of the nation’s most prominent franchisors on matters central to the integrity of their brands and systems, including trademark infringement, breach of in-term and post-termination covenants against competition, violations of brand standards, claims arising from pre-contractual disclosures and representations, and vicarious liability issues.

Justin practices in federal and state courts and in domestic and international arbitrations. He also represents corporations and individuals in connection with internal and government investigations.

Justin currently serves as an Associate Editor for the ABA publication, The Franchise Lawyer.

Prior to joining the firm, Justin served as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas F. Hogan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained an award in favor of a national quick service restaurant franchisor following a full evidentiary arbitration hearing. A panel of three arbitrators unanimously dismissed all claims against the franchisor, including claims of pre-franchise agreement misrepresentations concerning start-up costs, potential earnings, and the level of support to be provided, brought by a multi-unit franchisee seeking in excess of $8 million in damages. The franchisor was awarded attorney’s fees in full.
  • Defended a national tax return preparation franchisor against claims that it had unlawfully terminated the plaintiffs’ franchise agreements for breaches of their in-term covenants against competition. The case settled on terms favorable to the client after a successful motion for summary judgment in which the United States District Court for the Central District of California upheld the termination and found in favor of the franchisor on its counterclaim for damages arising from the franchisees’ competition.
  • Obtained final judgment from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts rejecting the claim of an association of franchisees that their franchisor’s pricing arrangements with the designated supplier of its proprietary products breached the franchise agreements of the association’s members.
  • Defended a national retail franchisor against breach of contract claims alleging encroachment in the form of brick and mortar stores and online retail operations. The matter settled on terms favorable to the client after the client largely prevailed on a motion to dismiss the franchisees’ claims in proceedings before the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.
  • Secured preliminary injunctions on behalf of numerous franchisor clients seeking to enjoin a franchisee’s continued use of the franchisor’s trademarks and business systems following the termination of a franchise agreement.
  • Conducted an internal investigation of potential False Claims Act violations for national health care contractor.
  • Represented a physician in a Stark and False Claims Act matter investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Court Memberships

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts for the District of Columbia

Honors

  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Fellows Program, 2020-2021
  • “Washington, D.C. Rising Star,” Super Lawyers, 2017-2020

Presentations

  • Facilitator, Roundtables: Non-Solicitation/Anti-Poaching Clauses – In or Out?, IFA Legal Symposium, Washington, D.C., May 6, 2019