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Attorney cites ‘broad-brush bias’ in article


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To the editor:

I guess your writer has a different definition for what it means to be a journalist.  According to the Associated Press code of ethics: journalists abhor inaccuracies, carelessness, bias and distortions. The article “Clipped Wings” in the May issue is a prime example of broad-brush bias that is reported as fact, given the number of misstatements and inaccuracies.

I cannot comment on the pending litigation with Tutor Doctor. I would like to address several additional statements and conclusions pertaining to other topics that are set forth in this article as fact, but which are at best, misrepresentations, at worst, highly inaccurate.

In the section of the article that dealt with my relationship with Mr. Sign, the writer acknowledged that the Mr. Sign litigation had nothing to do with my capabilities as a franchise lawyer or with the legal representation of franchisors, and, in fact, this action occurred almost 30 years ago—so why was it included in an article about alleged malpractice, if not as an attempt to inflict harm on my reputation? 

The truth of the matter is, Mr. Sign was a subsidiary of a public company, and the investor referenced as a “defendant in securities fraud actions” was a consultant to the public entity, not Mr. Sign. As the CEO of Mr. Sign, I did not sell franchises nor did I own the company. I have never owned nor have I ever been a franchisor.

The article implies that 53 of the Fetch! franchisees left the system as a result of being offered rescission – further evidence, in the writer’s mind, of my negligence. Not true.

The truth is: I have practiced franchise law for more than 35 years. I pride myself on my dedication and service to business owners navigating the tricky franchise legal requirements. I am a proud recipient of Franchise Times 2014 Legal Eagles Award, and having also been so honored from 2002-11 and in 2013. I am truly pleased to have been nominated by my clients.

All in all, this article was nothing more than an attempt to embarrass me before my peers, colleagues and clients. 

 

Harold Kestenbaum, attorney
Harold L. Kestenbaum PC


Correction: 

The article “Tutor Doctor hits attorney, claims he dropped registration ball” in the May edition contained two errors. Consultant Shery Christopher of Tucson sought to help franchisors seek exemptions from New York state’s franchise laws; she was not hired to do so. Also, she has never contacted Harold Kestenbaum’s clients to inform them of their registration status, as the article incorrectly stated, or for any other reason.

 
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