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As a trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience, Arthur helps franchise clients resolve disputes in the best way for them and their business interests.

Chambers USA has recognized him among the top seven U.S. franchise lawyers for the past five years. According to client feedback, Arthur is “the go-to guy,” a “very good litigator,” “gets things done very efficiently” and is “very knowledgeable.” “His client service is great.”

What do you focus on?

I focus on solving problems efficiently. My goal is to help clients succeed in their core businesses without unnecessary distraction from disputes with business partners. I am a proponent of mediation as a cost-effective method of identifying interests that can facilitate resolution in ways that courts cannot. That said, I often appear in court or in arbitration on behalf of franchisors and sometimes on behalf of franchisees or distributors with legitimate business complaints that are not easily resolved.

I’ve tried many cases before juries, judges and arbitration panels over my career. I am also a trained mediator and arbitrator listed on the American Arbitration Association neutral panels for franchise and commercial disputes.

What do you see on the horizon?

Significant growth in the global marketplace. As franchise systems expand, it will become increasingly important to efficiently and cost-effectively resolve disputes in a way that minimizes interruptions and maintains good business relationships among all business partners.

Representative Experience

  • Truglio et al. v. Planet Fitness, Inc. et al.
    Defense of putative class action over adequacy of fitness club franchisor’s membership agreement under state law. Motion to dismiss all counts, except one, granted; case otherwise pending, USDC(NJ).

  • Cormier v. Pla-Fit Franchise, LLC et al.
    Defense of fitness club franchisor’s policy of permitting transgender members to use locker rooms with which they self-identify. Complaint by complaining member dismissed. Case currently on appeal to Michigan Court of Appeals.

  • ABP Corporation v. Statewide Management Inc.
    Representation of franchisor in enforcement of arbitration clause against multi-unit franchisee in federal courts in California and Massachusetts. Case settled 2016.

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  • RE/MAX New England, LLC et al. v. Prestige Realty Inc. et al.
    Representation of franchisor in action against multi-unit breakaway franchisee. 2014–2016. Case resolved 2016, USDC (MA).

  • Andersen et al. v. Griswold International LLC.
    Defense of franchisor against fraud and unfair trade practices claims by multiple franchisees, USDC (NDCA). Companion cases in Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. All settled 2016.

  • KFC Corporation v. Iowa Department of Revenue, No. 10-1340, United States Supreme Court.
    Representation of International Franchise Association in amicus brief filing in connection with KFC Corporation’s petition for Supreme Court review of Iowa’s taxation of its in-state royalty revenue.

  • FSRO Association Ltd v. Fantastic Sams Franchise Corporation, American Arbitration Association Claim No. 11 114 01221, and Fantastic Sams Franchise Corporation v. FSRO Association Ltd., USDC (MA).
    Representation of franchisor in court action to limit franchise association’s ability to bring consolidated arbitration proceeding on behalf of multiple association members. Trial court orders 2/3 of association members to bring individual arbitrations and refers issue as to remaining 1/3 of members to arbitrators.

  • Pinnacle Pizza Co. v. Little Caesar Enters., No. 08-3999, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 5801 (8th Cir. Mar. 22, 2010).
    Representation of franchisor against franchisee’s $600M claim for contract breach, trademark misappropriation and additional business torts. In March 2010, Eighth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in franchisor’s favor, dismissing all claims that Little Caesar had misappropriated its “Hot-N-Ready” advertising based on language in the franchise agreement giving franchisees ownership of all “original advertising material.”

  • Barkan v. Dunkin’ Brands, Inc, USDC (RI).
    Representation of franchisor in defense of $13 M fraud and breach of contract claims by former franchisee. Jury trial in December 2009 ended in mistrial for juror misconduct, and retrial in January 2010 ended in directed verdict for franchisor after the court barred franchisee’s expert witness from testifying. Judgment for franchisor affirmed per curiam at 637 F.3d 634 (1st Cir. 2010).

  •  G.L.M. Security & Sound, Inc. v. LoJack Corporation, USDC (E.D.N.Y.).
    Representation of former distributor of after-market, auto security systems in various contract and tort claims.

  • Williams et al. v. Kahala Corp., Case No. 10-L-166, Circuit Court, Madison County, IL.
    Defense of Blimpie® franchisor in putative class action based on alleged false advertising of amount of meat in “double portion” Blimpie sandwich. No class certified. Settled for de minimis food pantry donation.

  • Pohlmann et al v. Fiducial Franchises, Inc. et al., 21st Judicial Circuit, St. Louis County. MO (2010).
    Defense of financial services franchisor in class action alleging agency and direct liability for franchisee’s sale of fraudulent tax credits. Motion for class certification denied by trial court in July 2010. MO Court of Appeals affirmed denial of class certification in July 2011.

  • Planetarium Travels, Inc. v. American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., Index No. 600794/10, Supreme Court, New York County, NY (2010).
    Defense of franchisor in action for injunction to compel renewal of franchise agreement and damages. Preliminary injunction denied after hearing; affirmed on appeal. Case pending.

  • Kiddie Academy Domestic Franchising LLC v. Faith Enterprises DC, LLC, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61989 (D. Md. 2009).
    Representation of franchisor in defense of multimillion-dollar fraud and breach of contract claims by franchisee. Summary judgment in favor of franchisor on all claims, including award of attorneys’ fees.

  • DeGiovanni v. Jani-King of Boston, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 07-10066 (D. Mass. 2007); Myers v. Jani-King of Philadelphia, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 09-1738 (E.D. Pa. 2009).
    Defense of putative class actions alleging violation of state wage payment laws, misclassification of franchisees as employees, and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Additional issues include enforcement of forum selection clause, choice of law clause, and inherent “fairness” of royalty and other fees disclosed in FDD and contained in franchise agreement.

  • Hamilton-Dutt et al. v. Pla-Fit LLC, No. 1:09- cv-10560 (D. Mass. 2009); HD Fit, Inc. v. Pla-Fit, LLC, No. 13-C-09-076764 (Maryland Cir. Ct. 2009); HD Fit, Inc. et al. v. Pla-Fit, LLC et al., American Arbitration Association (Boston 2009).
    Defended franchisor against franchisee claims in multiple proceedings for $10 million in antitrust, civil conspiracy and fraud damages based on franchisor’s sale of development rights to third party. Litigated in multiple proceedings, including successful action to compel arbitration; settled on extremely favorable and confidential terms.

  • In Re Fein, Debtor, Bankr. Case No. 08-30185, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts (Western Division), CCH Business Franchise Guide 2008-2009, ¶13,951.
    Defense of franchisor in adversary proceeding for relief from automatic stay to assert claim for violation of post-termination covenant against competition. In granting relief to franchisor, court held that franchisee-debtor was entitled to “fresh start” under bankruptcy laws, but not “head start.”

  • Monster Cable Products, Inc. v. Monster Mini Golf, LLC, No. 2:08-cv-01037-LKK-EFB (E.D. Cal. 2008).
    Defended franchisor of monster-themed mini-golf course concept and its franchisee in federal trademark infringement and unfair competition claims by owner of various MONSTER trademarks who contended that it had trademark rights to exclusive use of the word “monster” in connection with various business applications. Settled on favorable terms. Reported in Wall Street Journal, page one, April 4, 2009, “The Scariest Monster of All Sues for Trademark Infringement.” 

  • Hotel Associates v. Howard Johnson Franchise Systems (D.P.R. 2003), affirmed per curiam, 198 Fed. Appx. 13 (1st Cir. 2006).
    Summary judgment in favor of franchisor on all claims in $22M suit for encroachment and breach of contract.

  • McDonald’s Corp. v. Benito, No. 1:04-cv-01575 (S.D.N.Y. 2004).
    Representation of franchisor in contested termination of multiple-unit restaurant franchisee in New York City. After the court denied franchisee’s motion for a temporary restraining order, franchisee settled by leaving the franchise system and reimbursing franchisor for all legal fees and expenses.

  • Carta v. McDonald’s Corp., No. 1:03-cv-12237 (D. Mass. 2003).
    Defense of self-insured restaurant franchisor in action for bad faith failure to settle insurance claim under state insurance statutes. Court granted franchisor’s motion to dismiss, holding that franchisor could not be liable under a statute that applied only to insurance companies.

  • Superior Walls of America, Inc., v. Weaver Precast, Inc. (E.D. Pa. 2003).
    Prosecution of patent infringement action by franchisor alleging franchisee infringed upon franchisor’s patent by offering proprietary business process in unauthorized channels of distribution. Case settled on terms favorable to franchisor.

  • Huntington Learning Centers, Inc., and The Association of Remedial Educators (American Arbitration Association 2003); Huntington Learning Centers, Inc. v. The Association of Remedial Educators (New York County Supreme Court 2003).
    Defense of franchisor against claims by 80 franchisees for $20M in alleged lost profits arising from ad fund shortfall, including striking of consolidated damage claims in separate state court litigation; case favorably settled.

  • Andrews v. Avis Rent a Car and Cendant Car Rental, (Florida Superior Court 2003).
    Defense of franchisor against vicarious liability claims by quadriplegic plaintiff injured in one-car motor vehicle accident in Mexico. Case settled.

  • Bradley et al. v. The Arrow Corporation, Superior Court, Connecticut, 2002.
    Representation of franchisor against multiple franchisees in conflict over system expansion and Internet use: case settled by franchisee buy-out of franchise agreement obligations)

  • Hunter v. Superior Walls of America, Inc., No. 0:00-cv-02519 (D. Minn. 2001).
    Defense of franchisor against claims by former franchisee for fraud and violation of state franchise registration law. Case included motion to dismiss and motion to disqualify plaintiff’s counsel for unauthorized communications with one of franchisor’s managerial employees, who was also a named defendant. Case favorably settled.

  • McDonald’s Corp. v. Dat Do, No. 00-1592-A, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10457 (E.D. Va. 2001).
    Representation of franchisor in termination of multiple-unit franchisee in “rocket docket” jurisdiction. Affirmed by 4th Circuit.

  • McDonald’s Corp. v. Robertson, 147 F.3d 1301 (11th Cir. 1998).
    Representation of franchisor in action to enforce termination of long-time franchisee for failure to comply with franchisor’s quality, service, and cleanliness standards. Preliminary injunction granted and affirmed on appeal.

  • McDonald’s Corp. v. Michael, No. 0:97-cv-02252 (D. Minn. 1998).
    Representation of franchisor in action to enforce termination of franchisee for violation of quality, service and cleanliness standards. Temporary and preliminary injunctions granted.

  • Dunkin’ Donuts, Inc., v. Mandorico, Inc., 181 FRD 208 (D. Puerto Rico 1998).
    Representation of franchisor in termination of development rights and defense of Law 75 counterclaim. Case settled on favorable terms.

  • Specialty Bakeries, Inc. v. HalRob, Inc., 129 F.3d 726 (3d Cir. 1997).
    Representation of franchisor in enforcement of arbitration provisions against franchisee of competing franchise system acquired by franchisor for resolution of franchisee claims, including vacating state court injunction against arbitration proceedings.

  • Cione v. Carvel, Inc., (D. NJ 1995).
    Representation of franchisor in defense of civil RICO and fraud claims; two-month jury trial followed by twenty-day jury deliberation; hung jury, case favorably concluded.

Media Clips

  • Planet Fitness Member Contract Class Action Trimmed In NJ
    Law360 | July 30, 2016
    New York City partner Craig Tractenberg, Boston partner Arthur Pressman, Manchester partner Dan Deane and Boston associate Morgan Nighan are mentioned as representing Planet Fitness in a case about its membership agreements with regard to state consumer protection laws.
  • Shout-Out: Nixon Peabody Scores Win for Planet Fitness in Transgender Locker Room Suit
    American Lawyer Litigation Daily | January 13, 2016
    This feature story highlights the firm’s efforts securing a dismissal of transgender locker room policy lawsuit for client Planet Fitness. The Boston team of partner Art Pressman and associate Troy Lieberman are noted as counsel.
  • Planet Fitness asks Beale to dismiss Cormier's suit
    Midland Daily News | September 26, 2015
    Boston Franchise partner Art Pressman is noted as counsel for Planet Fitness parent company, Pla-Fit Franchise LLC, in its efforts to dismiss a lawsuit involving the gym’s transgender-friendly locker room policy.
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  • People on the Move
    Boston Business Journal | May 13, 2015
    Boston Franchise & Distribution partner Arthur Pressman has been appointed to the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission by Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.



Arthur L. Pressman