National Franchise Law Firm Exclusively Representing Franchisees and Dealers
Very few law firms can accurately call themselves national franchise law firms. Fewer still can say that they exclusively represent franchisees and dealers. At the Goldstein Law Firm, we are the exception. Not only are we a national firm that is committed exclusively to franchisee and dealer representation, but we have maintained this commitment for more than 30 years.
With offices in Washington D.C., we have experience representing franchisees and dealers across the country. Firm founder Jeffrey M. Goldstein is licensed to practice in multiple states and in federal jurisdictions nationwide. We can seek bar admission on a temporary basis in other jurisdictions as necessary; and, for franchisees in need of transactional representation, we are available to advise you and protect your interests in contract negotiations immediately.
Our Areas of Practice
We represent prospective and active franchisees in all franchise-related legal matters. We routinely provide advice and representation for:
Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and Franchise Agreement Review
We provide three tiers of flat-fee services for prospective franchisees. If you are considering a franchise opportunity (or trying to decide between multiple franchise opportunities), we can use our experience to help you understand the risks and make informed decisions.
Franchise Agreement Negotiation
We also regularly represent prospective franchisees in franchise agreement negotiations. When you engage us to negotiate your franchise agreement, we will work directly with your franchisor’s legal counsel, and we will focus on the provisions that both: (i) impact you most, and (ii) are most likely to be considered negotiable.
Litigation Against Franchisors
Taking on franchisors is our bread and butter. We have earned a national reputation for our franchise litigation experience, and Mr. Goldstein has recently been named a “Top Franchise Litigator for Franchisees and Dealers.” We have extensive experience in cases involving:
- Disclosure violations
- Enforcement of franchise agreements
- Franchise encroachment
- Franchisor fraud
- Wrongful terminations
- Unfair franchise practices
- Various other franchise-related disputes
If you have been sued by your franchisor, you are not alone. Many franchisors vigorously pursue litigation against their franchisees, and they will stop at nothing to protect the one-sided rights in their franchise agreements. We regularly handle cases involving:
- Breach and default litigation
- Financial disputes
- Post-termination litigation
- Territory disputes
- Other franchisor-initiated lawsuits
Mediation and Arbitration of Franchise Disputes
If you are facing a dispute with your franchisor, there is a good chance that your dispute will be subject to mandatory mediation or arbitration. We have represented franchisees and dealers in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings across the United States, and we can use our experience to help protect your franchise investment.
Franchisee Group and Association Matters
From forming franchisee associations to representing franchisee groups in complex litigation, we routinely handle group and association matters. We can help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of organizing, and we can execute a strategic approach to protect your legal and contractual rights.
Franchise Litigation in Federal Courts Nationwide
Most types of franchise-related lawsuits can be filed in federal court, and it will often make sense for one or both parties to seek federal jurisdiction. Litigating a dispute in federal court is wholly unlike litigating in state court. As a result, you need not only an experienced franchise litigator but a franchise litigator who has specific experience at the federal level.
Attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein has this experience. Mr. Goldstein has been licensed to practice in multiple federal jurisdictions, and he can represent clients in federal court pro hac vice in all 50 states. Intimately familiar with the nuances of federal civil practice, he has secured favorable results on behalf of franchisees and dealers at all stages of pre-trial and trial practice.
Two Grounds for Seeking Federal Jurisdiction in Franchise Litigation
There are two grounds for seeking federal jurisdiction in a franchise-related dispute. The first is “federal question” jurisdiction. If a dispute involves an issue of federal law (i.e., an antitrust issue or an issue arising under a federal law that prohibits discrimination), then the dispute can be filed in federal district court.
The second is “diversity” jurisdiction. In this context, “diversity” means that the parties reside (or have their principal places of business) in different states. For example, if you own a franchise in California and your franchisor’s headquarters are in New York, then diversity jurisdiction will potentially apply. We emphasize “potentially” because there is another requirement for diversity jurisdiction as well. When seeking to litigate a franchise dispute in federal court based on diversity jurisdiction, it is also necessary to plead that the “amount in controversy” is $75,000 or more.
Determining Which Federal Court has Jurisdiction Over a Franchise Dispute
There are nearly 100 federal district courts in the United States. So, how do you know where you (or your franchisor) can file a lawsuit? In the vast majority of cases, this is dictated by the terms of the franchise agreement. Franchise agreements almost universally include jurisdiction clauses, and, as you might expect, they almost universally favor the franchisor.
As a result, if you are facing federal litigation, there is a good chance that you will need to litigate in your franchisor’s home state—if not its home city. There is also a very good chance that there will not be any lawyers available locally who are experienced in handling federal franchise litigation. Mr. Goldstein can use his experience not only to help protect your investment in your franchise but to do so as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
What if My Franchisor has Filed Suit in Federal District Court?
What if your franchisor has already filed suit in federal district court? At this point, the clock is ticking, and you need to engage experienced franchise litigation counsel immediately. Mr. Goldstein can get to work on your case right away, and he can take all of the steps necessary to ensure that you preserve your legal rights, defenses, and potential counterclaims.
Schedule a Free and Confidential Consultation
If you need legal advice regarding your existing franchise or a franchise opportunity, please feel free to schedule a confidential initial consultation. To request an appointment with national franchise lawyer Jeffrey M. Goldstein, call (202) 293-3947 or get in touch online today.