Over the last 25 years, Robert has represented hundreds of franchisees and/or employees in cases against the following companies: Snap-On Tools, Mac Tools, Matco Tools, Cornwell Tools, LensCrafters, Earl Scheib, Sterling Optical, AAMCO Transmissions, McDonald’s,  Aussie Pet Mobile, Inc., Big O Tires, Burger King, California Closets, Chevron, Coldstone Creamery, Colorall Technologies, Cool Brand Smoothies, Cottman Transmission, Inc., Coverall, Domino’s Pizza, Dream Dinners, Fantastic Sam’s, Fast Signs, Gold’s Gym, Jack-In-The-Box, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, Kumon Learning Centers, Liberty Tax, Mail Boxes Etc., Service Masters, Shred-it, Subway, The UPS Store, TrailersPlus, Young Rembrandts, and 1-800 Radiator.

Some of these cases involved written decisions by various courts as noted below, click on the case name to view the written decisions. Please call or e-mail if you have any questions on the cases below.

In Bridge Fund Capital Corp. v. Fastbucks Franchise Corp., 622 F.3d 996 (9th Cir. 2010), Robert’s work was instrumental in securing a significant victory for franchisees before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In that case, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision that the arbitration clause was unenforceable and that California law applied despite a Texas choice of law provision of the agreement. In addition, the court adopted the argument that there is no requirement that a party challenge an arbitration clause in the party’s complaint — a challenge presented for the first time in an opposition to a motion to compel can and should be ruled upon by a court of law.

In Prudence Corp. v. Shred-It America, Inc., 2010 WL 582597 (9th Cir. 2010) the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an order renewing a franchise on the original terms where the franchisor sought to delay renewal and take advantage of the delay to negotiate better terms. The Court also upheld a substantial award of attorney’s fees and costs in excess of $100,000.

McGuire v. CoolBrands Smoothies Franchise, LLC,  2007 WL 2381545, involved the successful representation of a franchisee in the defense of a franchisor’s motion to compel arbitration based on an arbitration clause in a franchise agreement. The trial court found that the arbitration clause was unenforceable and that California law applied despite a New York choice of law provision of the agreement. The franchisor appealed and the California Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling in full.

Independent Ass’n of Mailbox Center Owners, Inc. v. Superior Court 133 Cal.App.4th 396, 34 Cal.Rptr.3d 659 (2005), ), involved the successful representation of franchisees in the defense of a franchisor’s motion to enforce an unconscionable an arbitration clause in a franchise agreement. The Court of Appeal held that such a clause could not be used to force franchisees to litigate their claims on an individual basis as opposed to group actions and/or class actions. The Court of Appeal also and struck down provisions improperly limiting damages and statutes of limitations.

In Husain v. McDonald’s Corp., 205 Cal. App. 4th 860, 140 Cal. Rptr. 3d 370 (2012), McDonald’s sought to terminate certain franchises alleging they had expired. Representing the franchisee, Robert successfully urged the trial court to stay the termination pending a motion for preliminary injunction. The franchisees ultimately prevailed on the full preliminary injunction motion and that decision was affirmed on appeal. In the first case of its kind, the Court of Appeals rejected McDonald’s argument that the franchise agreement was a personal service contract that could not be subject to specific performance.

Current Cases and Investigations

Below is a list of current cases, legal claims we are investigating, and cases that we have worked on that have been resolved and/or otherwise dismissed.

Case/Investigation
Name
Date filed/Investigation Launched Practice area Court
C.R. England 5/27/11 Trucker Rights District Court
Matco Tools 6/30/13 Franchise Rights Arbitration
Snap-on Tools Ongoing Franchise Rights
McDonald’s 1/1/09 Franchise Rights Cal. Superior Court
LensCrafters 2006 Employment Rights District Court
Sara Lee Bread 4/1/13 Franchise Rights Arbitration
TrailersPlus 9/1/12 Employment Rights District Court
UPS Store 2006 Franchise Rights District Court