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Minnesota Federal Court Upholds Franchise Release

By Henry Pfutzenreuter

We have long recommended to our franchisor clients that when they provide benefits or concessions to franchisees, above those required under their franchise agreements, they should obtain a general release from the franchisee in consideration for those benefits or concessions. Last month the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota upheld the validity of these releases. 

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When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Experts (as Witnesses)

Disputes between franchisors and franchisees can sometimes get ugly. The stakes can be high, especially when multiple franchisees are involved, or the issue goes to the heart of the franchise system. In those situations, the use of an expert witness can swing the pendulum in favor of one side or the other. I speak from experience because I have been called as an expert in several cases, including three this year.

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This year five of Larkin Hoffman’s franchisor attorneys have been included in the Super Lawyers Minnesota awards making Larkin Hoffman the law firm with the leading number of franchisor attorney’s recognized in Minnesota. Joe Fittante and Jim Susag have been selected as Super Lawyers for at least 10 consecutive years and Chuck Modell celebrates more than 20 years of recognition. Sawan Patel and Henry Pfutzenreuter are included in the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list.

Joe Fittante, Chuck Modell, Jim Susag, and Susan Tegt were also named as 2020 Best Lawyers® in the area of Franchise Law. Best Lawyers® is the world’s most selective and highly-regarded directory of attorneys, and inclusion is based on an exhaustive and rigorous peer-review process comprised of evaluations by top attorneys. Larkin Hoffman attorneys were also selected as 2020 Best Lawyers® in the areas of Land Use & Zoning Law, Real Estate, Litigation, Tax Law, Construction Law, and Environmental Law, among others.

In June, Larkin Hoffman elected Susan Tegt and re-elected Joe Fittante to serve two-year terms on its Board of Directors.


Susan Tegt will present a workshop entitled, “Corralling Business Valuation Damages Issues in Franchise Cases,” at the American Bar Association’s 43rd Forum on Franchising, which will be held virtually on October 27–30, 2020.

Franchising with Larkin Hoffman

If you are interested in franchising your business or would like to know more about franchising, please visit our website for additional information and resources.


Fall 2020

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Larkin Hoffman provides counsel to a wide variety of ‎organizations, from ‎small businesses and nonprofits to  Fortune 500 companies, in ‎many areas of practice including ‎corporate and governance matters, litigation, real ‎estate, government relations, labor and employment, intellectual property, ‎information technology, ‎franchising and taxation. The firm also serves the needs of individuals in many ‎areas ‎including trusts and estates, personal injury and family law.


This newsletter is provided as a service to our clients and firm associates. While the information provided in this newsletter is believed to be accurate, it is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.