Many business owners find investing in a franchise opportunity more appealing than starting a brand-new company. Once adequately taught by the franchisor, any potential franchisee with money can start a franchise.
Prospective franchisees are informed by the franchisor that the franchise agreement is non-negotiable. You want to hire a franchise litigation lawyer to safeguard your interest in expensive legal conflicts in the future. A vital final action before signing the contract is getting an experienced franchisee attorney on board.
Make Franchise Litigation your Primary Option
Retaining civil or commercial lawyers’ services may be necessary during franchisor-franchisee disputes. The necessity of bringing lawsuits arises from disagreements not resolved amicably by franchisors and franchisees. This includes other legal measures that are easier, less expensive, and quicker, including business meetings or mediation.
If no other options remain to settle a disagreement or conflict, franchise litigation is required. This entails filing a claim and engaging the services of an experienced lawyer to navigate the standard legal process, which may include a hearing before a judge and a jury unless you settled amicably before the verdict and the court issues a binding ruling to resolve the dispute.
Looking For a Franchise Litigation Lawyer To Discuss Your Case
Choosing a competent lawyer in franchise cases cannot be overstated. In many instances, the strength of your case depends on the lawyer. An excellent starting point is a referral from other franchisors or franchisees. Also, there are a few reliable websites that might aid in your search.
Your State Bar Association can tell you if an attorney’s license is infraction-free. Visit a few reputable franchise attorneys’ websites, browse their services in the franchise practice area, and decide whether to contact them for a quick initial consultation.
Your lawyer should make you feel at ease and confident, and you should have faith in their professionalism, work ethic, track record of success, and honesty. Finding a litigation attorney specializing in the franchise area, particularly pertinent to your franchisor-franchisee dispute, is challenging. This is ideal because the field of franchise litigation is so extensive. During the interview, some crucial inquiries could be:
- Does their current volume of cases allow your case to receive proper attention? If so, who could handle it?
- What potential strengths and drawbacks do they see, and possible approaches?
- Are they admitted to practice in the relevant district or court?
- Do they know the judge and the lawyer for the other party?
- What is the franchise litigation process?
- Can we discuss the cost in more depth and how much it will cost?
Educate Yourself About The Franchise Litigation Process And Risks
Dependent on the case’s complexity and the parties involved, the litigation process could last more than a year and frequently longer. Unlike a gradual process, litigation has pauses in between bursts of intense activity. Before reading the final, legally binding verdict by the arbitrator, judge, or jury, the involved entities/ parties have the option to settle their differences by written agreement at any point during the proceeding and up until the verdict is given.
This litigation-based dispute resolution procedure typically has particular steps that are performed in the order below:
- The franchisor or franchisee files a claim to the court outlining the court’s jurisdiction, the plaintiff’s claims against the defendant, and the damages sought. Unless your franchise contracts contain an arbitration clause, this lawsuit will ask if the plaintiff prefers a jury to a judge to resolve the case.
- Motions allow the franchisor or franchisee to ask the court for particular actions to be taken. Motions can be classified as non-dispositive motions, which allow the court’s decision to address a certain issue, or dispositive motions, which could result in the dismissal of the complaint or lawsuit.
- Good litigation counsel must seek a settlement or compromise between the parties to minimize the risk of uncertainty surrounding the court’s decision-making process, high court costs, and significant disruption to people’s lives.
Discuss Attorney’s Fees and Costs
In civil cases, the plaintiff’s attorney could take on contingency fees. A contingency fee is a success-based payment that does not compensate the attorney if the court does not award any money in the dispute. Instead, it shares a portion of any money it gets back from a settlement or a damages award with the lawyer to settle the dispute.
With contingency fees, the attorney takes on all the risk of the cost of litigation, except for any out-of-pocket expenses that were agreed upon and should be talked about and written down. Litigators who represent the defendant are typically compensated hourly in addition to an upfront retainer and expenses, including travel, filing fees, interpreters, court reporters, accommodation, etc.
While starting a franchise business seems like a good idea compared to starting a business from scratch, disputes could arise between the franchisor and franchisee. When one party breaches the contract, the claimant could consult a franchise litigation attorney to resolve the conflict and protect their rights.