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If you are reading this blog, you are most likely engaged in a search for information or sources of information regarding franchising or more specifically, franchise law. Of course, I could gratuitously point out that information relating to franchising is readily available by picking up the phone and talking to any of the lawyers at this firm, but if you are a professional who is looking to immerse him or herself in the field of franchising, you might consider attending the Legal Symposium of the International Franchise Association, held in Washington, DC on May 17 to the 19th.

The Legal Symposium is a gathering place of the franchise legal community and franchise executives that provides more than just an esoteric discussion of franchising law. It is intended as a business oriented program that provides an opportunity for the franchising legal community, including many in-house attorneys, to present and discuss topics of current concern. The Legal Symposium Task force has made a conscious effort to incorporate the participation of more in-house counsel and franchise executives, to give the meeting a business oriented feel that distinguishes it from the more scholarly atmosphere of its ABA counterpart.

This year’s Symposium will focus on the unprecedented challenges facing the global economy and the inevitable effect on the franchising world of the nearly simultaneous crash of the real estate and stock markets. The legal community must view itself as a source of advice and innovative solutions that will help franchised businesses not only survive this harsh environment, but perhaps find opportunities to thrive in these difficult times. There are a number of presentations available at the Symposium in this vein.

However, it is important to not let economic anxiety overshadow the need to examine some real legal developments. There are other presentations that will address recently developing issues such as the rule changes governing financial performance representations in the Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”) and the effect of the new FDD form on registration requirements. There will be much discussion regarding general issues that have come up in the past year regarding disclosure under the newly amended FTC rule and the new FDD. There are also presentations of interest on trademark and antitrust issues and numerous other legal issues. This firm’s Julianne Lusthaus will participate in a panel discussion on “boilerplate clauses” in franchise agreements, an area that gives rise to many issues in interpretation and enforcement.

This event and the ABA’s Franchise Forum in October are the two primary legal gatherings for franchise law practitioners. If you are the type of attorney who is engaged on a consistent basis in the franchise practice with a “hands-on” approach to the businesses involved, this Symposium could be of particular interest to you.

Contact us on our contact sheet if you have any questions concerning this discussion or any other matter.

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