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The Franchise Memorandum

Posts from September 2020 - Issue 257.

Lathrop GPM continues to provide clients with alerts, articles, and other resources to help clients navigate important legal information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The following may be of particular interest to franchisors and distribution-based businesses:

This update and resources from Lathrop GPM’s cross-disciplinary team are available at the Lathrop GPM COVID-19 Client Resource website.

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A state court in Delaware denied a franchisor’s motion for a preliminary injunction based upon claims that a prospective franchisee misappropriated confidential information and started a competing business despite having signed a non-disclosure agreement. Smash Franchise Partners, LLC v. Kanda Holdings, Inc., 2020 WL 4692287 (Del. Ch. Aug. 13, 2020). Todd Perri was initially interested in potentially becoming a Smash Franchisee. Perri researched information that Smash published online about the company, spoke with franchise brokers about Smash, and participated in a ...

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A federal court in Maryland has recently granted franchisor Kiddie Academy’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing franchisee Wonder World Learning’s counterclaim for negligent misrepresentations. Kiddie Academy Domestic Franchising, LLC v. Wonder World Learning, LLC, 2020 WL 4338891 (D. Md. July 27, 2020). Wonder World alleged that Kiddie Academy made various misrepresentations regarding the value of the benefit of the Kiddie Academy curriculum, site selection and construction assistance, and financial performance pro formas, arguing that these ...

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Posted in Employment

A federal court in North Carolina granted in part and denied in part a franchisor’s motion for summary judgment because the franchisee’s owner and her employee-spouse could not demonstrate that they were jointly employed by their franchisor. Elsayed v. Family Fare LLC, 2020 WL 4586788 (M.D.N.C. Aug. 10, 2020). We previously reported on the court’s denial of the franchisor’s motion to dismiss in Issue 251 of The Franchise Memorandum. Family Fare entered into a franchise agreement for a gas station convenience store with Almy, LLC, a company owned by plaintiff Lola Salamah ...

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Posted in Arbitration

A federal court in Oregon compelled arbitration over the objections of franchisees who claimed they were fraudulently induced to enter franchise agreements because of false representations made by the franchisor’s counsel. Black Rock Coffee Bar, LLC v. BR Coffee, LLC, 2020 WL 4728877 (D. Or. Aug. 14, 2020). Black Rock, a coffee shop franchisor, became embroiled in a dispute over initial franchise fees with a company that had opened three franchised Black Rock coffee shops. In response, Black Rock exercised its option under the territory and franchise agreements to purportedly ...

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A federal court in Tennessee recently enjoined from violating a post-termination noncompete a former franchisee, as well as his son and his son’s competing business — neither of which were party to the franchise agreements. AmeriSpec, LLC v. Sutko Real Estate Servs., Inc., 2020 WL 3913584 (W.D. Tenn. July 10, 2020). Lathrop GPM represented AmeriSpec in this case. In May 2020, Sutko Real Estate Services, Inc. (SRESI) and its principal Thomas Sutko agreed with franchisor AmeriSpec to the termination of the franchise agreements for SRESI’s property inspection franchises. As ...

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A federal court in Texas reached a different conclusion with regard to enforcement of a noncompete covenant, granting in part and denying in part a franchisor’s motion for preliminary injunction to enforce post-termination obligations against a former franchisee. JTH Tax LLC v. White, 2020 WL 3843691 (W.D. Tex. July 8, 2020). White entered into three franchise agreements with JTH to operate three Liberty Tax franchised businesses, and into another franchise agreement to operate one SiempreTax+ franchised business within a Liberty Tax location. Eventually, White closed the ...

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About this Publication

The Franchise Memorandum is a collection of postings on summaries of recent legal developments of interest to franchisors brought to you by Lathrop GPM LLP. 

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