Use Of Expert Witnesses In Franchise Agreement

While the franchise agreement is there to bond the relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee, this sometimes creates disagreements.

Franchise agreements are complex. They require experts who know how to deal with such disagreements. However, the dire need to have expert handle disagreements is a contentious issue to many.

The decision to have a court handle your legal matter in any business may depend on many factors.

This article highlights why one should choose an expert witness for their franchise agreement and whether one can use a lawyer as an expert.

Use Of Expert Witnesses In Franchise Litigation

Not every franchising case calls for an expert. Expert witness for franchise agreements are well versed with domestic and international franchising startups, litigation issues, business models, among other issues.

Nowadays, parties are well versed with the use of experts to have guidance and support on factual issues needed in franchise agreements. In disputes, those who contact the best franchise law firms find it easy to tackle conflicts. Such first can help address the issues governing the use of expert witnesses and how to overcome challenges.

As stipulated earlier, not every case calls for expert witnesses. Some cases have it all when it comes to having an expert. Such cases include:

  • Issue of lost profits
  • Encroachment cases
  • Non –compete for cases
  • Trademark infringement

When thinking about the use of expert witnesses, you have to consider costs as not every case is worth your money. Remember that in most instances, you may not recover the costs. One way to argue this out is, if your franchise dispute requires a mediator or an arbitrator, you may not need an expert witness.

Conversely, if your case demands for more fact-finding, you may choose to have an expert witness handle the issue.

This brings the rise to the question of whether one can use a franchise attorney as an expert.

Can I Use A Lawyer As An Expert?

According to American Bar Association, the dire need to use a lawyer as an expert depends on the issue at hand. If you need concession in your franchise agreement because of the below, you may require an expert witness:

  • Lack of ongoing training and support. Where there is no training, a franchisee is unable to run the business smoothly. However, ongoing training varies from franchise to franchise industry.
  • Lack of loyalty in payment of fees:As a franchisee, you are expected to pay marketing fees, royalty fees. If there is no loyalty, this may breed disagreements.
  • Wrongful termination:The majority of franchisors wrongfully terminate franchisees. If a franchisor terminates an agreement without any legal rights, this is considered an illegal termination.
  • Disclosures or fraud:The question of misrepresentation comes in when the franchisor is offering the franchisee agreement. A franchisor can misrepresent a value to lure a franchisee to purchase the business. They do this by omitting material facts.

Whether to use a lawyer- expert may depend on:

  • Whether such has worked for a similar industry in an operating capacity.
  • Whether the individual can offer advice on both the legal and non-legal aspects of franchise business.

Lawyer experts are known to:

  • Draft document.
  • Testify to legislative businesses.
  • Speak during franchising conference.
  • Negotiate franchise disclosure documents.

The above makes them be well versed with the ins and outs of the franchise business.

However, even if you are to use a franchise attorney as a lawyer expert, note that such may be vulnerable due to lack of business experience. Thus, you should consider whether it’ more critical to have their credibility than their overall knowledge.

Consult A Franchise Lawyer

If you don’t understand your case, it’s vital to seek legal advice early.

Before you put your both feet into franchising, you should consider whether it’s the best approach to take. You should check whether the business that interests you is franchise-able and whether it aligns with your goals and plans.

You also need to learn the pro and cons of franchising. This would be vital to consult a franchise attorney to guide you on all alternatives, options and any legal implications of your chosen franchise industry.

There are legal standards that govern the use of expert witnesses. For instance, there may arise question of facts such as:

  • Will the expert testimony help in providing enough evidence to the trier of facts?
  • Is their method reliable?
  • Will the expert give testimony be based on specialized knowledge?
  • Is the expert qualified?

If the above is not met, one may not be allowed to use an expert testimony.

If you have a legal claim and need to prove evidence or critical issues of your franchise litigation efficiently and effectively, you can consult an expert witness.  Such an expert can help a litigator develop a case and also provide the correct documents to be used in case of a legal action.


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