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Robert Zisk

Bob Zisk concentrates his practice on franchise and distribution and commercial litigation. 

Bob has extensive experience as a franchise litigator and counselor. For over thirty years, he has represented national franchisors in litigation with franchisees over issues of financial fraud, system standards, class actions, encroachment, trademark and trade dress infringement, and covenants not to compete. He focuses on addressing franchisee underreporting of sales, tax fraud, and related financial issues, both in and out of court. Bob has worked with major national franchisors to develop cutting edge programs to ensure the honest reporting of sales by franchisees and to address cases of intentional underreporting. He is a frequent speaker on this topic, and has presented programs at the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising, the International Franchise Association’s Legal Symposium, and the National Restaurant Association’s Internal Auditors’ Group annual meeting, and to the top executives, legal staff, and auditors of national franchisors.

Bob has tried many cases in federal and state courts throughout the U.S. and has handled many appellate matters. In addition to the franchise matters that he handles, he has litigated cases involving breach of contract, real estate, corporate and insurance coverage issues, product liability, and personal injury.

Bob is a frequent speaker on franchise and litigation issues.

Court Memberships

  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Tax Court

Honors

  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Franchise, 2015–2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, 2010–2019
  • “Legal Eagle,” Franchise Times, 2014–2020
  • The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers, 2008–2019
  • “Washington DC’s Best Lawyers,” The Washington Post, 2010
  • “Washington, DC Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising
  • International Franchise Association

Presentations

  • Facilitator, "Roundtables: Franchisee Financial Statements for Franchisors," H.E.A.T. Franchise Summit, August 25 - 27, 2020
  • Presenter, “Achieving Compliance to Increase Brand Value,” International Franchise Association’s 53rd Annual Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada, February 17, 2013
  • Presenter, "Protecting the Brand: Conducting Brand Compliance Audits,” International Franchise Association's 50th Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas, February 5, 2010
  • Presenter, “Preparing and Winning Injunctions for Franchisees and Franchisors,” roundtable facilitator, International Franchise Association's 42nd Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, DC, May 17, 2009
  • Presenter, “Detecting, Deterring, and Addressing Underreporting of Sales and Tax Fraud in Restaurant Franchises,” 6th Annual Hospitality Law Conference, Houston, Texas, February 11, 2009
  • Presenter, “A Practical Guide to Franchise Audit and Compliance Investigation Programs,” American Bar Association’s 28th Annual Forum on Franchising, Orlando, Florida, October 19, 2005
  • Presenter, “Underreporting,” International Franchise Association’s 38th Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, DC, September 1, 2005
  • Presenter, National Restaurant Association Internal Auditors' Group, Annual Meeting, featured speaker, Miami, Florida, September 1, 2005
  • Presenter, “Judicial Update II,” International Franchise Association’s 36th Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, DC, July 1, 2003
  • Presenter, “The Prevent Defense,” International Franchise Association’s Legal Roundtable Series, Washington, DC, February 1, 2001
  • Presenter, “A Critical Look at Alternative Dispute Resolution,” International Franchise Association’s 33rd Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, DC, May 15, 2000
  • Presenter, “Tort vs. Contract Claims and the Economic Loss Rule: The Impact of Meineke and Other Cases,” International Franchise Association’s 32nd Annual Legal Symposium, Washington, DC, May 19, 1999
  • Featured Speaker, National Restaurant Association Internal Auditors' Group, Annual Meeting, Memphis, Tennessee, February 10, 1999

Press releases

Legal alerts

  • “The Case for Effective Standards Enforcement,” author, International Franchise Association
    3/27/2017
  • “Ongoing Operations Considerations,” chapter coauthor, Collateral Issues in Franchising: Beyond Registration and Disclosure, ABA Forum on Franchising
    2/7/2014
  • 12/1/2007
  • 7/1/2007
  • 5/1/2007
  • 2/1/2007
  • "Recent Developments In Consumer Class Actions," Franchising World
    7/1/2004
  • “Practical Considerations in Enforcing Standards,” 12 Franchise Law Journal 97
    1/1/1993
  • “Criminal Liability for Violations of Federal Hazardous Waste Law: The 'Knowledge' of Corporations and Their Executives,” 23 Wake Forest L. Rev. 203
    1/1/1988