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LOS ANGELES – As the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising concluded last Friday, Blue MauMau caught up with Chairman Joseph Fittante. The second-term leader said he was pleased with the record attendance of 831, up from 772 at last year’s conference in Baltimore. He partly credits the rise in attendance to an improving economy.
Although there were a good number of franchisee attorneys present, Fittante said the Forum plans to be more aggressive in marketing to those representing franchise owners. This year they engaged in a research project where all legal cases were read to identify the attorneys who represented franchisees. “We found there are about 150 lawyers representing store owners who are not members of the ABA Forum, and not taking advantage of the educational programs we provide. Hopefully, we can do some outreach to bring new franchisee attorneys into the fold.”
This year’s program included topics in which franchisee attorneys might want to pay close attention. One session, Ancillary Agreements: Other Contracts Needed in the Franchise Relationship focused on how additional contracts need to be drafted in order to define the relationship between franchisor and franchisee.
Other workshops included the Strategy of Arbitration, Proving Irreparable Harm, Managing the Franchise Relationship through Franchisee Receivership and Bankruptcy, and Group Litigation- Involving Numerous Parties, Mass Actions, Class Actions and Claims Brought by Franchisee Association.
Next from ABA Forum: Independent Contractor v. Employee? Minimizing Exposure from Gray Areas of the Franchise Relationship