Arthur L. Pressman

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.”

Since 2012, Arthur has also been an adjunct member of the Boston University School of Law faculty, teaching alternative dispute resolution, negotiation, representation of clients in civil litigation and professional responsibility. Previously, Arthur taught franchising in the Babson College MBA program (2006–2008).

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. As a proponent of cost-effective methods of identifying interests that can facilitate resolution in ways that courts cannot, I serve as a mediator of franchise and business disputes. 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 and am also listed on the American Arbitration Association neutral panels for franchise and commercial disputes.

I am also consulted by other lawyers to serve as an expert consulting or testifying witness on franchise-related issues including joint-employment, legal malpractice, adequacy of disclosure, vicarious liability and application of franchise regulations to business arrangements.

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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Arthur L. Pressman

Senior Counsel


Phone: 617-345-1158

Fax: 866-829-9268

Temple University, J.D.

University of Pennsylvania, B.A.


New York


U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

Arthur has been recognized as a “Senior Statesman” for exceptional standing in the legal community in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2019 for Franchising (nationwide). In a previous edition, a client stated that he is “probably the preeminent franchise litigator on the franchisor side today.” Chambers also named Arthur one of the top nine franchise lawyers nationwide. In its 2011 edition, Chambers USA wrote that Arthur is “‘one of the top litigators,” according to peers. “He brings to the team nearly 30 years of litigation experience and an impressive expertise in distribution issues, consumer service systems and mediation.”

Regularly featured as one of the top lawyers worldwide in International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, Arthur has also been named as one of the top 100 franchise lawyers in the country by Franchise Times every year since its inception. He has been selected by his peers as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer every year since 2005.

Arthur was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 in the field of Franchise Law, and was also named the 2020 Boston "Lawyer of the Year" for Franchise Law. Arthur has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2007.

Arthur has been recognized for the past eleven years as a “Legal Eagle” by Franchise Times and he was inducted into the Legal Eagles Hall of Fame in 2013.

Arthur is a member of the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, the International Franchise Association, and the International Bar Association Committee X on International Franchising. As a member of the Forum on Franchising, Arthur has spoken at annual forum meetings on a variety of franchise litigation and dispute resolution topics on multiple occasions from 1990 through 2010. Arthur has also spoken at the Annual IFA Legal Symposium on multiple occasions from 1988 through 2010. Arthur is also a member of the Boston Bar Association and the Barnstable County, MA Bar Association.

For the 2012-2013 academic year, Arthur serves as Lecturer in Law at Boston University School of Law,  teaching “Representing Clients in Civil Litigation.”  Previously, Arthur has been Adjunct Professor at Babson College, Wellesley, MA in the Entrepreneurship Division of its MBA Program, co-teaching “Franchising: Pathway to Wealth Creation,” and has taught franchising at Temple University School of Law.

Since 2009, Arthur has served as chairman of South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc., a provider of civil legal services to the elderly, disabled and working poor which serves southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands.

Back to top