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Franchise Times Legal Eagles names top lawyers in franchising.


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The Franchise Times Legal Eagles of 2015 were quick to share their best advice for clients, when we sent them three intriguing questions. We’ve published as many as possible in the pages that follow.

A couple of responses deserve extra attention. Carmen Caruso, owner of Carmen D. Caruso Law Firm, sent over actions that have caused him to “fire my client, something that happens fairly often.” To wit:

Legal Eagles

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  1. That a franchisor wants us to prepare their FDD but does not want to be open and honest with us with respect to things that might be subject to disclosure.
  2. That a franchisor is going to try to profit at the expense of its franchisees, and cannot justify the action from the franchisee viewpoint.
  3. That the managers of a large, independent franchisee association are putting the financial interests of the association ahead of the interests of the franchisees.
  4. That a franchisee is running a poor shop, breaking all the rules, and damaging the brand.

James Goniea, Wiggin and Dana, sent over a colorful response, too:

  1. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given a client?  The two most expensive words in the English language are “f**k you.”  They make you feel good for a moment, but in the end you always pay a steep price for that privilege.
  2. What’s one thing attorneys never want to hear from their clients? Don’t worry, I backdated all of those documents, so we are in the clear now.

Above all, the 193 Franchise Times Legal Eagles of 2015 are superior attorneys, selected from nominations by their clients, peers and our editors. We’ve included excerpts from some of the nominators.

Read on to see who made the list, who debuts on our new 2015 Hall of Fame (page 66), and what never to say to your attorney. Nominations for next year’s project open in December.

—Research by Jenny Raines