American Franchisee Association


Legal Resources

Use this list to locate a franchisee lawyer, all of whom are "Affiliate Members" of the AFA.  Click on a State to view those Affiliates.

California Illinois Mississippi Washington State
Connecticut Massachusetts New York Washington DC
Florida Minnesota North Carolina


Law Offices of Singler, Napell & Dillon, LLP
127 S Main St
Sebastopol, CA  95472

PH: 707-823-8719    FAX: 707-823-8737
web address:

Peter A. Singler, Jr.  -  AFA Affiliate Member  -

Law School/Year: University of  Pennsylvania, 1990

Practice Areas/Emphasis: Franchise law; Business formation, financing, acquisition and transfers.

Major Clients/Decisions: Franchisees / distributors /Associations of:  McDonald's; Round Table Pizza; Figaro s Pizza; Carlson -Wagonlit Travel; Goodyear; Toshiba America; Mrs. Field s; Econo-Lube; T.C.B.Y.; Woodcraft.

Additional Information: Mr. Singler is one of the few business lawyers in the country who represents exclusively franchisees with regard to franchise matters.  An Officer and Director of a multi-unit franchisee, Mr. Singler has a truly unique perspective regarding the changing relationships and dynamics of franchising.  He also sits on the American Franchisee Association s Board of Directors, giving him a wide perspective on issues facing franchisees across the nation.   Mr. Singler recently negotiated a new system-wide franchise agreement for Round Table Pizza owners franchisees which is being heralded the best in the industry.   Mr. Singler was the only franchisee lawyer invited by the United States House of Representatives to testify in support of federal franchise legislation in oversight hearings before the Subcommittee on Administrative and Commercial laws in June 1999.  A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Mr. Singler also received formal business education from the Wharton School.


Mohajerian Law Corporation
AFA Affiliate Member: 
Al Mohajerian
1925 Century Park East, Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA  90067
Tel: 310-289-9625     Fax: 310-203-2306

web address:

Law School/Year: 
West Los Angeles School of Law, 1995.

Practice Areas/Emphasis:  franchise law; complex business and entertainment litigation; commercial and real estate litigation; employment law; intellectual property, and product liability.

Major Clients/Decisions:  Franchisees of Jack-in-the-Box; Carl s Jr.; Burger King; Kentucky Fried Chicken; Papa John s; CoCo s; Shakey s; Remedy Intelligent Staffing; Lloyd Staffing; NHK Laboratories.

Additional Information:  Al has broad experience in representing franchisees on such matters as franchise licensing and renewals, franchise litigation, dispute resolution, and structuring franchise distribution programs. He has represented clients in state and federal courts on franchise terminations and contract and encroachment violations. Al is a member of the State Bar of California, is admitted to the Federal District Courts for the Central, Northern, and Eastern Districts of California and in September 2003, Al was appointed for a three year term to the California State Bar s Franchise Law Committee. Al is a graduate of West Los Angeles School of Law.



Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP
90 State House Square
Hartford, CT 06103-3708

(860) 275-8140

Richard S. Order - email:

Law School/Year: Columbia University School of Law, 1981

Practice Areas/Emphasis: Commercial disputes and representing franchisees in litigation and negotiation.

Major Clients/Decisions: Petereit v. S.B. Thomas, Inc., 853 F. Supp. 55 (D. Conn. 1993), aff d in part, rev d in part, 63 F.3d 1162 (2d Cir. 1995), franchisees/distributors of S.B. Thomas, Inc., Dunkin' Donuts, Cummins Engine Company, Surface Doctor, Travel Centers of America, Howard Johnson s and Advantage Payroll Services.

Additional Information: Mr. Order has served a three-year term as Chairman of the Federal Practice Section of the Connecticut Bar Association.  The Executive Committee of that Section included all of the judges of the federal district court in Connecticut, where most franchise disputes in Connecticut are litigated.  Mr. Order has also served on the Executive Committee of the Franchise Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association. 



Garcia & Milas, PC
44 Trumbull Street
New Haven, CT  06510
203-773-3824 voice
203-782-2312 fax

Raymond A. Garcia - AFA Affiliate Member

Please contact Kitty Koenig - Director of Marketing & Public Relations at: (203) 773-3824 Ext 25

Law School/Year:  John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois - 1979.

Practice Areas/Emphasis: Construction Law, Franchise Law, Commercial Litigation, Appeals.

Major Clients/Decisions: 

Gerald Hadelman v. Frederick Deluca, Doctor s Associates, Inc., 274 Conn. 100 (2005) Obtained arbitration award against Franchisor of Subway Restaurants for $300,000 in punitive damages, legal fees and cost of arbitration (which in the aggregate could exceed $800,000) without any award of compensatory damages, which was affirmed by the Connecticut Supreme Court in part because the Court held Connecticut has no clearly defined policy against excessive punitive damage awards under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) and arbitration does not constitute state action, in which case BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore, 517 U.S. 559, 575 85, 116 S. Ct.1589, 134 L. Ed. 2d 809 (1996) does not apply.  Associate attorney Nicole Liguori assisted Garcia in this case.

PSE Consulting, Inc. v. Frank Mercede and Sons, Inc., 267 Conn. 279, 838 A.2d 135 (2004) Successfully argued before a jury that an indemnitor was not entitled to collect money it had paid a subcontractor for a claim allegedly covered by a surety bond issued by the indemnitor because the Surety had breached the obligation of good faith and fair dealing implied in every general indemnity agreement. The Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed the decision on appeal. This was the first time in the country such a decision had been obtained.

Alex Charts v. Nationwide Insurance Co., Civil Action 3:97 CV 01621 (CFD December, 2004) Obtained a jury verdict for $2,300,000 for a former agent of Nationwide Insurance based on the theory that the agent was a franchisee of Nationwide and that Nationwide had breached its obligations of good faith and fair dealing, as well as the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. It is the first case in the United States in which a court has decided that an insurance company is a franchisor.  Associate attorney Nicole Liguori assisted Garcia in this case.

PaineWebber, Inc. v. American Arbitration Association, 217 Conn. 182, 585 A.2d 654 (1991) Successfully argued that the AMEX Window allowed customers of Paine Webber, Inc. under the standard Paine Webber brokerage account agreement to use arbitration administered by the AAA. It was one of the first cases in the country to force a broker to arbitrate before a panel of arbitrators selected by the AAA rather than the SRO panels assembled by the Stock Brokerage Industry.

Additional Information: Mr. Garcia is the founding principal of the firm. He combines 10 years of hands-on construction industry experience with more then 25 years of legal experience primarily in litigation of complex commercial construct and franchise disputes.

Ray grew up in his family s construction business. He worked as a timekeeper, estimator and ultimately project manager supervising a variety of projects. The projects included college dormitories, hospitals, health care facilities and scientific laboratories, with a present value of over $200 million.

He is a member of the American Arbitration Association s Connecticut Policy Board and on the National Panel of Arbitrators for large commercial cases. He also serves as an Arbitrator by appointment for the American Dispute Resolutions Center.

He is currently a member of the ABA Franchise Law Section, the ABA Litigation Section, the Construction Industry Forum, the ADR Committee and the Construction Litigation Committees of the ABA Litigation Section. He is Co-Editor in Chief of the ADR Committee s Journal Conflict Management.

He is a member of the Associated General Contractor s of America s National Surety and Bonding Committee.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Building Congress, and a member of the prestigious Industry Practice Committee.

Mr. Garcia has lectured and written extensively on many subjects. Please contact the firm for a list and copies of articles and seminar papers. Most recently he authored articles about the application of the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution to punitive damage awarded by arbitrators.





AFA Affiliate Member: Robert Zarco
Bank of America Tower
100 S. E. 2nd Street, Suite 2700
Miami, Florida 33131
TEL: 305-374-5418    FAX: 305-374-5428

Law School/Year: University of Miami, 1985.

Practice Areas/Emphasis: Franchise law: litigation, arbitration, mediation: Pre-and Post-contract advice.

Major Clients/Decisions: Franchisees from Burger King, McDonald s, KFC, Dunkin Donuts, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, 7-Eleven, TCBY, Denny s, Johnny Rocket s, ServPro, Roto-Rooter, Little Caesar s, plus many more! Associations including Denny s, TCBY, Roto-Rooter, KFC (Florida), Schlotszky s (Houston), Little Caesar s, and Johnny Rocket s. Major decisions: Scheck V. Burger King (Encroachment)

Additional Information: Robert and his firm of 11 lawyers represent franchisees exclusively in over 100 different franchise systems from over a dozen countries and virtually every state in the U.S. Robert is a nationally recognized expert who frequently provides expert testimony and advice as well as commentary to national and local television, as well as print media. He was an elected delegate to the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business (WHCSB). Robert is especially known for his role and representation of franchisees in several landmark and prominent legal precedents which have helped shape franchise laws today.




Law Office of Marc N. Blumenthal
AFA Affiliate Member: Marc N. Blumenthal, Esq.
19 South LaSalle Street Suite 1500
Chicago, IL   60603
TEL:  312-641-0616  FAX:  312-332-4629

Practice Areas/Emphasis: All aspects of franchise law, trademark, leasing, and corporate law.  Representation of clients from prospective franchisee stage through review of offering materials, negotiations, counsel during franchise term.  Litigation, arbitration, administrative hearings and/or mediation, if necessary.  Also significant experience with small start-up franchisors, related to drafting all offering materials, registration, exemption, and filing.

Reported Decisions/Arbitration Awards: Hengel, Inc. v. Hot n Now, Inc., et al., 825 F. Supp. 1311 (N.D. III 1993), which has had an impact on Illinois franchise law related to the statute of limitations for filing a complaint under the Illinios Franchise Disclosure Act, Section 27.  Genin, Trudeau & Co., Ltd. v. Integra Development International, and Zak Designs, Inc. 845 F. Supp. 611 (N.D. Ill. 1994), which involved issues related to the license of a trademark to manufacture and distribute product.  Dar v. Southland Corp., claimant was awarded over $200,000 for wrongful termination of a 7-ELEVEN franchise agreement, for breach of contract, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing (Dec. 1998).

Additional Information:  Marc has represented franchise clients for almost thirty years.  His franchise practice is divided between representing clients in various stages of dispute resolution and representing clients in transactional matters.



AFA Affiliate Member:  Michael R. Liss, Franchise Attorney
1301 West 22nd Street, Suite 709
Oak Brook, Illinois  60523
National Toll-Free: 1-888-FRANLAW
Telephone: (630) 571-5626
Facsimile: (630) 571-1882

Practice Areas/Emphasis:  Complete franchise legal services.  Extensive background representing franchisees, distributors, and franchisors in all transactions, litigation and arbitration matters since 1980.  Represents franchisee associations.  Negotiates franchise contracts initially and upon renewal.  Expertise in buying and selling businesses, leasing, financing, incorporating and estate planning.  Expert witness.  National practice.

Additional Information:  Michael R. Liss is a business and franchise attorney, a frequent instructor at area colleges and an author of numerous articles on buying a business, franchising, financing, and the legal issues which business owners must know.  He is a member of the American Franchisee Association, the International Franchise Association, the American Bar Association Forum Committee on Franchising, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, the DuPage County Bar Association Business Law Committee, and the State of Illinois Attorney General's Franchise Advisory Board.



Witmer, Karp, Warner & Ryan LLP
AFA Affiliate Member: Eric H. Karp
22 Batterymarch St
Boston, MA 02109
Tel: 617-423-7250 FAX: 617-423-7251

Law School/Year: Boston University School of Law, 1977.

Practice Areas/Emphasis: Specializes in franchise law, representing franchisees and franchisee associations, having represented franchisees throughout the country in a wide variety of matters including purchases, relocations, remodels, transfers, defaults, terminations, and lease issues.

Major Clients/Decisions: Franchisees / Associations of Franchisees: McDonald s, 7-Eleven, Pearle Vision, Ben & Jerry s, Unishippers, Pepperidge Farm, Great Clips, Little Caesar s, Howard Johnson s, Great Frame Up, Servpro, Beverly Hills Weight Loss, Foot Locker, Johnny Rockets, Better Living Patio Rooms.

Additional Information: Represents Affiliate Members on AFA s Board of Directors. Testified before U.S. House Small Business Committee on "Self Regulation of Franchising: The IFA Code of Ethics"; Elected delegate: 1995 White House Conference on Small Business; Advisory Committee, Franchise and Business Opportunities Committee, North American Securities Administrators Association; Regular guest lecturer at Babson College; Presenter at AFA, IFA, and ABA conventions; Program Chair, 1999 AFA Franchisee Legal Symposium.


Valas and Associates, PC
AFA Affiliate Member: Rory A. Valas

250 Summer Street, 1st Floor
Boston, MA 02210
Tel: 617-399-2200; Fax: 617-399-2202
web address: 
Rory A. Valas email:

Law School/Year: Boston College Law School, 1991

Practice Areas/Emphasis: Franchise law and litigation; Representing franchisees, distributors, and dealers in arbitration and litigation. Analyzing and negotiating franchise agreements and transactions.

Major Clients/Decisions: Franchisees, Dealers, Distributors and/or Associations: Dunkin Donuts; Baskin-Robbins; Togo s Eatery; Subway Sandwiches; Quizno s Subs; Kabloom Flowers; Tower Cleaning; Coverall Cleaning Concepts; ServiceMaster; Chem-Dry Cleaning; Jani-King; Super Coups / MailCoups; Val-Pak Direct Marketing; Mail Boxes, Etc.; White Hen Pantry; Meineke Discount; Pizzeria Uno; Water Doctors; Ladies Workout Express; Curves International; Contours Express Fitness Centers; Lady of America Fitness; Sign-A-Rama; Minuteman Press; Allegra Network; AlphaGraphics; Fantastic Sam s Hair Salons; SISNA Source Internet Services; WIS World Internet Services; Gymboree Play and Music; Club Z Education; Goddard School Systems; Kinderdance International; Closets by Design; 7-Eleven, Inc. Southland; Golf USA; Budget Rent a Car; Gloria Jean s Coffee; Panera Bread; Cartex Limited; Fabrion; Dealer Specialties International; Ford; Jaguar; GM; Days Inn; Holiday Inn; Coldwell Banker; Avis Rental Car; McDonald s; Burger King; Carvel Ice Cream; Beverly Hills Weight Loss Concepts; Christy s Markets; Cash Converters; MRI Management Recruiters; GNC General Nutrition Centers; and many others. 

Additional Information:
 Mr. Valas and his law firm represent and assist franchisees, dealers and distributors throughout the United States and abroad.  If you are buying a franchise or you are engaged in a dispute with your franchisor, Mr. Valas and his firm can help.  They provide sound advice and skilled negotiation and trial work at a reasonable cost. 




Dady & Gardner, P.A.
5100 IDS Center
80 South Eighth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Tel: 612-359-9000; Fax: 612-359-3507

J. Michael Dady  

Law School/Year: University of Minnesota, 1975.

Practice Areas/Emphasis: Franchise, dealer, and distribution law.

Major Clients/Decisions: Michael is the founding partner of Dady & Gardner, P.A., a seven member firm which limits its nationwide practice to representing franchisees, distributors, and dealers. Michael and his firm have successfully represented hundreds of franchisees, dealers, and distributors, both individually and as groups; have obtained several recoveries in excess of $1,000,000; and have obtained numerous published decisions advancing the law in favor of franchisees.

Additional Information: Michael is a frequent speaker on franchise law topics and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. In appropriate cases, his firm will limit its fee to a percentage of the recovery.


Perry, Perry & Perry
AFA Affiliate Member: Shawn Perry
Suite 270, Parkdale 1
5401 Gamble Drive
Minneapolis, MN  55416
Tel  (952) 546-3555
Fax (952) 546-3855

Law School/Year:  William Mitchell College of Law, 1987.

Practice Areas/Emphasis:  Shawn has practiced primarily in the areas of complex commercial litigation in recent years, but also has extensive experience in less complex litigation.  He has considerable experience in franchise matters involving a variety of issues, including:  Product sourcing restrictions, advertising fund misuse, encroachment, deceptive franchise sales practices, and franchise terminations.

Major Clients/Decisions:  Shawn was one of the lead attorneys in the Little Caesar s anti-trust class action suit which was one of the few cases to be successfully certified as a class action in the last 15 years.  In the course of that litigation, which began in 1993, he represented several franchisees in the system and worked very closely with one of its franchisee associations.  He has also represented franchisees in other systems, in both litigation and counseling matters.

Additional Information: Shawn has spoken on the use of class actions in franchise litigation from the plaintiff s perspective.




Rutherford Calder Attorneys
AFA Affiliate Member:  Kenneth A. Rutherford
2160 South Lamar Blvd.
PO Box 1381
Oxford, MS   38655
TEL:  662-513-3901   FAX:  662-513-3904

Law School/Year:   University of Mississippi, 1971.

Practice Areas/Emphasis: Franchise Law, Business Litigation, Arbitration.

Major Clients/Decisions:  Franchisees: Domino's Pizza, McDonald's, Cendant Dealers: General Motors, John Deere.

Additional Information: Ken has been representing franchisees and dealers since the mid-1970's in business and litigation matters, including breach of fiduciary duty, covenant of good faith, fraud and encroachment.  He represents franchisees on a contingent fee basis in an appropriate case.



New York

Einbinder & Dunn, LLP

AFA Affiliate Member:  Michael Einbinder
104 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018
Tel: (212) 391-9500
Fax: (212) 391-9025


Law School/Year:  Pace University School of Law (J.D., 1980); Clark University (B.A., 1977);  University of London, England (1976)

Practice Areas/Emphasis:  Franchise Law; Business and Real Estate Litigation; Corporate Law; Creditor's Rights, Banking Law.

Major Clients/Decisions: 

Additional Information:  MICHAEL EINBINDER is a founding member of Einbinder & Dunn, LLP and has been practicing law since 1981. Michael Einbinder is a participating Member of the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Panel Memberships on Franchise Law, Commercial Law and Commercial Litigation) and a Member of the Franchisee Lawyers Association. He is also a Member of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers, the International Franchise Association, and the American Franchisee Association where he serves on the Legal Symposium Steering Committee. He has been listed among the top franchise lawyers by Franchise Times for the past two years and he has spoken at events hosted by the American Franchisee Association and the International Franchise Association on topics relating to forming and representing independent franchisee associations. He has also written articles on franchise agreements and what franchisees should be aware of when renewing their agreements.

Bar Admissions - 1981, New York; 1982, U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; 2004, U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.



North Carolina

Johnson, Hearn, Vinegar, Gee & Glass, PLLC
Affiliate Member:  M. Blen Gee, Jr.  
PO Box 1776
Raleigh, NC  27602


Ph:  (919) 743-2200
Fax: (919) 743-2201

Law School/Year:  University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D. with Honors, 1981. 

Practice Areas/Emphasis:  business and corporate law; business litigation, including arbitration, mediation, trials and appellate law; automobile dealer law; franchise law; insurance insolvency; sale or acquisition of businesses.    

Major Clients/Decisions: the firm has represented the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association since 1978.  Blen regularly represents auto dealers for all major manufacturers, as well various non-auto dealer franchisees; Craig F. Goess, et al. v. David J. Rogers, American Arbitration Association, Case No. 31 199 00158 95 (award of $1,298,000.00 involving the aborted sale of an automobile dealership) (1996).  

Additional Information:  Blen regularly represents franchisees and prospective franchisees in business matters, including business litigation and sales of businesses.  For a period of several years he was especially active in litigation on behalf of Hardee's franchisees.  Blen and his firm also have a very active auto dealer practice.  Blen is a certified mediator.



Washington State

Gordon, Thomas, Honeywell, Malanca, Peterson & Daheim LLP
AFA Affiliate Member:  Howard R. Morrill
One Union Square
600 University  Suite 2100
Seattle, WA  98101
TEL:  206-676-7500 (Firm)
        206-676-7513 (Direct)


Law School/Year:  University of Washington, 1987.

Practice Areas/Emphasis:  Franchise law counsel and advice; franchise litigation/dispute resolution; commercial/corporate litigation.

Major Clients/Decisions:   Franchisees from dozens of systems, including 7-Eleven, Aire Serv, KnowledgePoints, Precision Tune, The Little Gym, Mr. Rooter, Decorating Den, H&R Block, Sylvan Learning and Papa Murphy s. Recently obtained $482,000 arbitration award and judgment confirming award on behalf of franchisee group in NWAS Oklahoma, Inc., et al. v. Northwest Aquifer Surveying, Inc., et al., US District Ct. for the Western Dist. of Wash. #C07-0580.

Additional Information:  Howard has represented franchisees for more than 20 years in state and federal courts and in arbitrations. He has been the editor of the franchise law section of the Washington Lawyers Practice Manual since 2004, a local franchise law commentator on both radio and television, and a presenter at continuing legal education seminars on franchise law topics. Howard s article, The Unintentional Franchise, was the cover story of the March, 2003 Washington State Bar News.



Washington DC

AFA Affiliate Member:  Jeffrey M. Goldstein
818 18th Street, NW, Suite 505
Washington, D.C.  20006
TEL:  202-293-3947 (Firm)
         202-359-0441 (Direct)


Law School/Year:  Boston University School of Law, 1983

Practice Areas/Emphasis:  Franchise registration and documentation, litigation, arbitration, mediation, post contract counseling.

Major Clients/Decisions:  Howard Johnson, Super 8, Days Inn, Knights Inn, Ramada, EconoLodge, Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, Rodeway Inn, Hilton Hotels, McDonald s, Arby s, Quizno s, ReMax, H & R Block, GNC, Val-Pak, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Carvel, IHOP, KFC, Taco Bell and many others.

Additional Information: Jeff and his group of lawyers represent  franchisees nationally and regularly litigate issues related to encroachment, non-compete covenants, monetary defaults, exclusive territories, quality assurance inspections and wrongful termination.  Jeff s specialty is representing franchisees in courts and at arbitrations and mediations.  However, Jeff has obtained cutting edge victories for clients, including court decisions permitting franchisees to pursue RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) claims against their franchisors.



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