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Holdover Franchisees - Protecting the Brand When the Relationship is Over

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 91 minutes
Recorded Date: September 14, 2017
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  • Best practices to ensure a smooth "break up" with a franchisee
  • Strategies to protect brand and goodwill during holdovers
  • Enforcing a break up
  • Preliminary Injunctions
  • Post-Injunction
  • Questions and answers
Runtime: 1 hour and 31 minutes
Recorded: September 14, 2017


This webinar will review the steps a franchisor may need to take to "evict" the holdover franchisee to resolve the situation permanently, protect the brand, and minimize the actual harm to the franchisor's customers and goodwill. The panel will also discuss practical strategies for protecting both the brand and customer goodwill in the face of a holdover situation, including the balance between the competing needs of resolving the holdover and making sure customers have the intended brand experience.

This program was recorded on September 14th, 2017.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Jeffrey L. Karlin

Director and Legal Counsel
Dunkin' Brands, Inc.

Jeff Karlin is a Director & Legal Counsel for Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., the parent company of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands, with a focus on litigation issues.

Prior to joining Dunkin’ in 2015, he was a shareholder with Gray Plant Mooty in the firm’s Washington, DC office. Jeff started his career as a Trial Attorney with the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice, where he defended cases brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act. He is the co-author of “Ongoing Operations Considerations,” which appeared in Collateral Issues in Franchising: Beyond Registration and Disclosure (ABA Forum on Franchising, Kenneth B. Costello, ed., February 2014) and “You Want Me to Sign What?: Permissible Changes to the Franchise Agreement Upon Renewal,” (46th Annual IFA Legal Symposium, Washington, D.C., May 2013). Jeff’s article, “Burning Your Bottom Line: How to Protect Your Business From the Looming Danger of Hot-Coffee Spills,” was published in the July 2013 edition of Fresh Cup magazine.

In January 2017, Jeff participated as a panelist at the IFA Annual Convention on the subject of franchise system standards enforcement. In January 2013, he received the Lexology Client Choice Award in Franchising for both the United States and District of Columbia.

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Carmen D. Caruso

Carmen D. Caruso Law Firm

The first thing that clients notice is Carmen Caruso’s passion for the law and his dedication to advancing their causes in the most effective and efficient manner.

Carmen thrives in trial practice having over 30 years of experience trying civil and criminal cases, bench and jury trials, state and federal cases, evidentiary hearings at the preliminary injunction stage and arbitration hearings.

Clients retain Carmen and other lawyers refer cases to him because they appreciate his determined advocacy, single-minded focus on what is best for the client, his ability to “see around the corner” and his creative thinking to win cases and solve client concerns.

Carmen established his own firm to create a law firm with “best practices” and the single purpose of winning cases, to avoid conflicts of interest, and in fulfillment of his entrepreneurial spirit. He works closely with a growing team of talented and enthusiastic young lawyers who are on their way to becoming great trial lawyers and savvy counselors. The firm invests in state of the art litigation software to compete effectively in any size case.

Carmen is most widely known for his success in franchise and dealership cases mainly as as a protector of franchisees and dealers. In his early years, he defended McDonald’s Corporation and Godfather’s Pizza in high stakes, system wide impact cases in Illinois, California, Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Missouri. Later he served as trial counsel and outside general counsel for Petland, an Ohio-based “Top 200” retailing franchisor, successfully defending the company in federal court against serious fraud claims, advising management on a wide array of franchising, corporate, intellectual property, real estate and employment law concerns and overseeing its national and international growth.

From these experiences, Carmen is intimately familiar with franchisor litigation and business strategy, and savvy franchisors that appreciate his candid and objective advice continue to call on Carmen and his team seeking to stay on track for growth and profit and enjoy good relations with their franchisees.

On the franchisee and dealer side, Carmen has been widely recognized for nearly 20 years as one of very best trial lawyers on their side of the fence. He has represented clients in over 100 branded systems in all industries, ranging from quick service restaurants, gas stations and c-stores to hotels and automobile dealerships, health care providers, sophisticated manufacturing franchises, and everything between. His clients include individual and multi-unit owners, area developers, and independent franchisee associations at the national brand and start-up level. Carmen’s franchisee/dealer clients know that he can level the playing field against much larger law firms that franchisors often turn to, and they are not disappointed.

Carmen received his JD from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law in 1983.

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