R. Henry Pfutzenreuter advises clients in litigation, with a focus on franchise and distribution, employment and general commercial disputes. He represents a broad range of businesses, from startups and closely held corporations, to international franchises and publicly traded companies. Henry approaches disputes with a balance of pragmatism and zeal that maximizes his clients’ business objectives and minimizes the burden of litigation. He is adept at using the latest litigation technology to thoroughly review the evidence, present his clients’ positions effectively to the court, and obtain the most efficient results possible.
Henry prides himself on the variety of litigation matters with which he is able to assist his clients, including contractual disputes, sales under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, insurance claims, shareholder disputes, enforcement of noncompete agreements, business torts such as tortious interference, misrepresentation, and defamation, as well as trade secret misappropriation and intellectual property infringement. He also has experience litigating a variety of employment disputes, including wrongful discharge, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblower, and wage and hour claims.
Franchise and Distribution Litigation
- Breach of Contract and Misrepresentation Claims. Henry represented a national franchisor in claims brought by a group of franchisees alleging breach of contract and misrepresentation in connection with sales and operation of the franchise, including by compelling the franchisees to bring their claims separately in an arbitral forum.
- Noncompete Agreements. Henry is regularly involved in enforcing franchise agreements’ noncompete terms against current and former franchisees who attempt to take knowledge and experience gained from franchisors and use it to operate their own competing businesses, both domestically and abroad.
- Trademark Infringement Claims. Henry brought suit against a business that was knowingly and willfully using a franchisor’s trademarks to market its own services.
- Discrimination Claims. Henry defends employers from claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination Act, and the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
- Noncompete and Confidentiality Claims. Henry has enforced noncompete and confidentiality agreements against employees who attempt to leave their job to work for competitors and take customer lists, trade secrets, and other proprietary information with them.
- Government Complaints and Investigations. Henry counsels employers in responding to investigations and complaints filed with state and federal employment discrimination agencies like the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- Breach of Contract. Henry defended a utility district from a neighboring city’s breach of contract claim in connection with the construction of a shared municipal facility.
- Premises Liability Claims. Henry regularly defends retailers from premises liability claims.
- Copyright Infringement. Henry defended a start-up online service provider from claims of copyright infringement by a well-established national competitor.
- Securities Offerings. Henry represented a securities provider engaged in the secondary market for viatical settlements in connection with an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
Professional Associations & Memberships