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Purvin in Nader’s No Contest

Ralph Nader is a current presidential contender and was named one of the 100 most influential Americans in American history by The Atlantic. Only a handful of these are currently living. Nader, an attorney by training himself (Harvard Law School, class of 1958), is co-author, along with Wesley J. Smith, of No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America.

The one-sided agreements going on in franchising are just part of the bigger picture of what is going on in corporations in general. In the book’s introduction we read that the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct states, “As a public citizen, a lawyer should seek improvement of the law, the administration of justice,” (page xix, very shortened version). But, write the authors, “How many lawyers think of these words even once a year? The gap between the profession’s idealism and reality is vast and replete with difficult contradictions.”

On pages 364-366, franchise agreements are covered. At the top of page 366 we read, “All this was too much for one prominent attorney for franchisors, Robert L. Purvin, Jr., who used to enjoy ‘being able to pull out all the stops in the preparation of a lawsuit against franchisee defendants unable to afford even an “inadequate defense.” ‘ His growing concern over the ‘inequity of the franchise relationship’ led him to tell a Wall Street Journal reporter, ‘I had never written or read a franchise agreement I could recommend a franchisee to sign.’ (Purvin now represents as an attorney—and crusades as a lawyer for—franchisees who are seeking a fairer, more balanced franchising industry.)”

If you’re interested in the one-sided power of corporations and how and why corporate attorneys have assisted them over the years to more and more power while ignoring their own moral principles and the ethics that, as far as I know, the ABA still professes, this book is highly recommended. (The ABA’s website has “Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice” right under the ABA name, and states that Goal V of their 11 goals is, “To achieve the highest standards of professionalism, competence and ethical conduct.”) The book is a real eye-opener, and as a law student wrote on, “This is not the kind of stuff they teach you in law school!”

I’ve heard Ralph Nader in person. He is dedicated to improving the lot of the common citizen, does his homework and knows what he’s talking about—which makes him very convincing. Apparently his character is flawless, at least when compared with the rest of us typical mortals. General Motors back in the ‘60s sent private detectives to get the goods on him, in particular looking for sexual scandal, and came up with nothing. Instead, their efforts boomeranged and they were the ones who were disgraced, with the company issuing a public apology to Nader and paying him $284,000 net settlement after he brought suit against them for invasion of privacy.

Here’s what one patriot said about corporations:

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." —Thomas Jefferson

The “private banks” mentioned above is a whole ‘nother can of worms, but their control of the currency came on December 23, 1913 with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, which was passed in the dead of night at a time when the people were distracted by the holiday season. The dead of night is a favorite time for Congress to pass laws whose close inspection is unwanted.

michael webster's picture

Government Did Squat

Guest writes: "Labor unions didn't gain a major foot-hold in this country until the government stepped in and stopped alot of the intimidating practices of greedy, corrupt, corporate barons. "

Do you understand anything about your history?

Labour fought, they fought in the streets, they fought with general strikes, they just plain fought.  Physical, nasty and brutal fights.

Labour supporters died.  Dead. Killed by Government supporters.


Freaking franchisees won't even pay their franchisee associations to lobby. 

Michael Webster PhD LLB
Franchise News

Government Made Labor Unions Work

You need to check your history. Labor unions didn't gain a major foot-hold in this country until the government stepped in and stopped alot of the intimidating practices of greedy, corrupt, corporate barons. Franchisees are in the same position as those workers - except instead of scabs and bully boys these greedy corporate execs use their high powered lawyers and paid for judges to break men and women simply looking for a square deal. Bob Baber's is a good example of how far some are willing to go to keep this system in place.

michael webster's picture

History of Labour Unions

Guest writes: "Until franchisees get the same legal right as workers to organize there will be many chains with no strong franchisee association to fight the injustices and bullying tactics of rogue franchisors"

Uh, try reading some American history on the labour movement. Unionists died fighting for collective negotiation rights.  Not one person, but thousands.

You want to join the fight, or continue to be whiner? 

Michael Webster PhD LLB
Franchise News

RichardSolomon's picture

Franchisees already have the right to organnize themselves

into an association. They can't become a labor union because they don't qualify to be a labor union.

What keeps franchisees from having a strong say about their destiny through franchisee associations is the lack of cojones. They won't put up and they won't stand up.

Those who do put up and stand up do better than those who don't.

 See --

Richard Solomon,,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Howard R. Morrill's picture

re: Franchisees Need The RIGHT To Organize

Some state statutes explicitly grant or acknowledge this right.

Franchisees Need The RIGHT To Organize

Until franchisees get the same legal right as workers to organize there will be many chains with no strong franchisee association to fight the injustices and bullying tactics of rogue franchisors.

For example, there have been countless articles regarding Quiznos' efforts to kill any franchisee dissent - those efforts going as far as pushing one poor franchisee, Bob Baber, to suicide. The illegal efforts to decertify and close the stores of the TSFA leadership a couple of years back has also had a profound and long-term negative effect on efforts to organize. The result is a weak, ineffective franchisee association even with a majority of franchisees on the verge of bankruptcy.

Most franchisees don't have the monetary muscle to stand-up for themselves. Getting government rules in place would level the playing field and give organizations like the TSFA the ability to organize franchisees free of harassment.

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