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Post-Renewal Season Debrief: Questionnaires & Acknowledgments

By: Mark Landauer

The North American Securities Administrators Association’s (“NASAA”) Statement of Policy Regarding the Use of Franchise Questionnaires and Acknowledgments (the “Policy”) became effective on January 1, 2023, and was the talk of the franchising community going into this last renewal season. The Policy aimed to establish uniform standards for questionnaires and acknowledgments in the franchise sales process, and specifically to prohibit their use across the board. We saw the majority of registration states adopt the Policy, albeit in different ways.

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California FAST Act Update

By: Jessica Johansen

On September 28, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an amended version of AB 1228 into law, eliminating some of the worst aspects of the Fast Food Franchisor Responsibility Act from the final law, and avoiding the need for a risky ballot referendum on the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act in November 2024. While the final law’s pared down provisions still establish a $20 minimum wage and unelected “Fast Food Counsel” that may recommend onerous workplace standards, its rulemaking powers are now more limited, and franchisors can once again breathe a sigh of relief having dodged yet another a joint-liability threat to franchising in California.

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How to Assure Your Franchise Mediation Fails

By: Chuck Modell

Early mediation of franchise disputes is very popular today. Franchisors and franchisees who willingly engage in early mediation of franchise disputes often find a way to resolve their dispute and avoid protracted, expensive and time-consuming arbitration or litigation. They also find that mediated settlements can produce creative, win/win results that could never be achieved by having an arbitrator, judge or jury declare one victor and one loser.

Unfortunately, some franchisors and franchisees, and/or their attorneys, participate in early mediation only because the franchise agreement requires them to do so, and they need to “check the box” before starting the war. While much has been written about how to make your mediation a success, as a frequent mediator I have learned a lot from reluctant participants on how mediations get derailed. Perhaps by understanding the ways these people sabotage the mediation, presumably unwittingly, you can avoid the pitfalls that can derail your mediations.

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Larkin Hoffman was recognized as a leading franchise firm in the 2023 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, an annual guide identifying the top attorneys and firms in the United States. Chambers made note of the team’s “Strong bench of attorneys offering notable experience and expertise in franchising M&A and regulatory and compliance work.” Joe Fittante, Max Schott, and Chuck Modell have been ranked nationally for 14, 12, and 15 consecutive years, respectively. Chambers USA is one of the world’s leading publishers of guides to the legal profession, ranking leading firms and lawyers in an extensive range of practice areas throughout United States.

Joe, Max, Chuck, Jim Susag, and Susan Tegt, were named as 2023 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.

Joe, Jim, and Chuck were also included in the 2022 Super Lawyers awards, while Sawan Patel and Henry Pfutzenreuter were included in the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. Super Lawyers rates outstanding lawyers in multiple practice areas based on peer recognition and professional achievement. Only a small percentage of practitioners in Minnesota are selected each year.


Max will present a workshop titled, “Structuring Distribution Models to Avoid Franchise and Business and Opportunity Laws” at the upcoming American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, in Dallas, Texas from November 1–3, 2023. Joe, Jim, Susan, Henry, Sarah Greening, and Tyler Hartney will also be attending the Forum.

Larkin Hoffman will host its annual Women’s Networking Event on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at Maison Margaux in the North Loop, Minneapolis. If you are interested in attending, please email Kathy Keenan to RSVP.

Community Service

Larkin Hoffman was a sponsor of the Gala for the Benefit of Bridging, held at ‎the Saint Paul RiverCentre on September 29, 2023. Bridging is the largest non-profit furniture bank in the United States. Serving ‎the greater Twin Cities area, Bridging provides quality, donated furniture and household items to ‎people transitioning out of homelessness, poverty, and other difficult circumstances. Dan Kadlec, ‎a shareholder in Larkin Hoffman’s Corporate and Finance Group, serves as a member of Bridging’s Board of Directors.‎

On September 10, 2023, the City of Bloomington held its third annual Bloomington Pride Celebration on the east lawn of the Bloomington Civic Plaza with entertainment, food, arts, crafts and games. Larkin Hoffman was proud to be included as a community sponsor of the event and to support the LGBTQ+ community.

Larkin Hoffman members participated in The Open Door Food Pantry’s third annual 5k Race on August 19, 2023. The Open Door is a hunger relief organization dedicated to ending local hunger through access to healthy food, aiding over 14,000 Dakota County residents every month, and delivering more than 2 million pounds of food yearly. This year’s event was The Open Door’s most successful to date, raising nearly $25,000 to support its cause.

Our Professionals
Joseph Fittante, Jr.

Susan Tegt

Max Schott
Max Schott, II

    Chuck Modell
Charles Modell, CFE

Mark Robertson

James Susag

Sawan Patel

Henry Pfutzenreuter, Editor

Inga Kingland
Inga (Schuchard) Kingland

    Mark Landauer
Sarah Greening
Mark Landauer
Mark Landauer

 Jessica Johansen
Jessica Johansen
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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.