Franchise & Distribution, Special Update - October 2008
Co-Chair of the 31st Annual ABA Forum on Franchising
After spending over one year and countless hours organizing the 2008 ABA Annual Forum, which recently concluded in Austin, Texas, I am happy to report that by all accounts the Forum was a smashing success. Not only were we treated to excellent discussions on some of the hot legal issues in franchising currently, but we also took in some of Austin’s night life while renewing old acquaintances and making new ones. Looking back on the experience, I would not trade it. It is not very often that you are entrusted with the responsibility of putting together the premier legal event in the country for your peers, and I think we did pretty well.
In any event, inside this publication you will find what we consider to be some of the hot topics covered at the Forum as well as other useful information about the law and business of franchising. We hope you are doing well in these changing times. If you have any questions about the information contained in this publication or we can assist you with your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact us.
Regulators Address Disclosure Issues Raised by Amended FTC Rule
At the ABA Forum, Dale Cantone of the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, and Craig Tregillus of the Federal Trade Commission, served as part of a panel discussion entitled “Advanced Disclosure Issues Under the Amended FTC Rule.” The panel focused on identifying problematic disclosure and compliance issues that remain unclear under the Amended FTC Rule, and discussed the NASAA, state and FTC responses to such issues. Follow the link below to read a sample of some of the issues touched upon by the panel that franchisors should keep in mind during the disclosure process.
The Role of the Internet and Other Media in Attacks Against Franchisors
A relevant and timely issue raised at the ABA Forum relates to the role of the internet and “new media” in attacks on franchise systems, and the threat posed by the use of websites, blogs, chat rooms, social networking sites, and virtual worlds. The following paragraphs highlight some of the unique issues raised related to this type of “new media,” as it relates to franchisors and franchise systems
Franchisor Liability for Actions of Franchisees
Cynthia Klaus, a Shareholder in Larkin Hoffman’s Franchise and Distribution practice group, collaborated with two other attorneys to present a workshop which addressed ways in which franchisors can take steps to protect itself from vicarious liability claims, i.e. claims against franchisors based on the activities of their franchisees.
Disclosure Issues Arising Out of the Amended FTC Rule
Potentially Leading to Litigation
Several attorneys specializing in franchise litigation collaborated at the ABA Forum to present a workshop entitled “Litigating Disclosure Claims,” which highlighted the most frequently litigated disclosure-related issues brought by franchisees. This workshop examined the new provisions in the Amended FTC Rule that are likely be the subject of litigation.
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This alert is provided as a service to our clients and firm associates. While the information provided in this publication is believed to be accurate, it is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.
In This Issue:
For more information about Larkin Hoffman’s Franchise and Distribution practice group, visit our homepage by clicking here.
Contact our Larkin Hoffman Franchise and Distribution group members:
Charles S Modell, Chair
Cynthia M Klaus
Pamela N Merkle
Meredith A Bauer
Andrew F Perrin