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Broadway-Bound or Not, Attorneys Present Franchise Drama


It may not have been Helen Mirren in “The Audience” or Jude Law in “Hamlet,” like other Playbills in this reporter's personal collection, but franchise attorneys took the stage in “The Road to Purgatory or Paradise” at the ABA Forum on Franchising.

Deborah Coldwell and Ronald Gardner took a dramatic approach to presenting their topic called “The Road to Purgatory or Paradise. The devil is in the details.” They handed attendees a Playbill, just like the ones you get on Broadway, and let the play commence, at the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising last week.

“We presented a play in three acts,” Coldwell said, featuring Larry Lawyer as played by Mike Joblove, Freddy Franchisee as played by Wes Dutton, Baron Von Moneybags as Jeffery Haff, plus Ron Gardner as bailiff. 

Directors were Gardner, of Dady & Gardner, and Coldwell, of Haynes & Boone, and the entire cast and crew are well-known on the franchise attorney stage if not the white lights of Broadway. It was a unique way to present sometimes dry-as-dirt legal topics.

The synopsis went like this:

“Freddy Franchisee was content with his quiet life until he decided to risk everything he owned on a year-round vegetable stand business he found on the internet, Grandma’s Garden. Suffice it to say, Grandma’s Garden was a tough row to hoe!

“The plot thickens when Freddy enlists the aid of the 'Franchise Doctor,' and they go head to head with Baron von Moneybags in an objectionable deposition, and battle it out on summary judgment in front of an ice fishing judge.”

The ABA’s 42nd annual Forum on Franchising’s theme was “Franchising at its Peak” in Denver.


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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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