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A Primer on California’s Franchise Laws: The Toughest in the Nation

(434 reviews)

Produced on January 13, 2017

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$ 89 Business, Corporate, & Securities In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 1m
Difficulty Beginner
Topics covered in this course: Business, Corporate, & Securities

Course Description

California, the nation’s most populous state, has long been the launch pad for numerous franchise chains including the first McDonald’s restaurant. Home of the nation’s first franchise law, California’s franchise laws have been a legislative model for the federal franchise sales law and other state franchise laws that followed and are among the toughest in the country.  Jurisdictions outside of California look to California’s enforcement policies and judicial decisions to guide their own decisions. Consequently, knowledge about California’s franchise laws and their enforcement and interpretation is both essential and relevant to attorneys who practice franchise law in California and beyond.

This course, presented by Rochelle Spandorf, of Davis Wright Tremaine’s Los Angeles office, chair of the firm’s National Franchise Practice Group, provides an overview of franchising in California. It explains the types of commercial arrangements that California regulates as franchises, reviews California’s franchise sales law and “relationship law,” highlights key California enforcement and judicial decisions involving franchise businesses, and explains the interplay of federal franchise law and other state franchise laws with California’s franchise laws. 

Learning Objectives: 
  1. Understand what defines a “franchise” in California
  2. Grasp the essentials of California’s Franchise Investment Law and the rights and duties of franchisors and franchisees regarding how franchise contracts may be formed
  3. Apply the New California Franchise Relations Act and how it regulates franchise relationships in California
  4. Examine key California cases and enforcement decisions
  5. Articulate the interplay of the federal franchise sales law and other state franchise laws with California’s franchise laws

Credit Information

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Rochelle Spandorf

Davis Wright Tremaine

Shelley Spandorf is a nationally recognized business franchise and distribution attorney with more than 35 years of experience representing franchisors, manufacturers, licensors, suppliers, franchisees, and distributors in their domestic and international expansion and strategic development. Shelley concentrates her practice on a broad spectrum of transactional and regulatory issues for clients in all industry sectors, from startups to mature public companies. Shelley assists clients with their contracts and legal compliance including preparing franchise disclosure documents, domestic and international franchise and distribution agreements, and registration filings. She counsels clients on franchise sales compliance duties, and advises franchise and non-franchise distribution systems on a broad array of operating issues ranging from contract enforcement to trademark protection, relationship disputes, antitrust and pricing matters, terminations and transfers, mergers and acquisitions, and implementation of system-wide changes.

Shelley has advised numerous companies on the issue of whether a particular commercial arrangement is a franchise. With significant experience on this issue, she not only has served as an expert witness in litigation, but has helped dozens of companies evaluate restructuring alternatives to avoid regulation as a franchise. Shelley supplies strategic litigation support in cases involving franchise agreements or where franchise status is an issue and represents clients in mediations and before government agencies in addition to serving as a mediator of franchise disputes.

Shelley assists companies in the acquisition of franchise and non-franchise distribution systems and corporate financing by providing franchise due diligence reviews and lead counsel services. On behalf of franchisees and area developers, Shelley also assists with the acquisition and sale of franchise rights and handles a broad range of transactional projects.

Shelley is nationally ranked by Chambers USA as one of the leading U.S. franchise attorneys and recognized as a certified specialist in franchise and distribution law by the California State Bar. In 2013, Who’s Who Legal identified Shelley as one of the ten most highly regarded individuals in franchise law in the world, and the only woman earning this distinction in the U.S.


James H.

excellent. full of useful information

Miriam S.

Great and thorough course

Sanjay A.

Nice course

Robin E.

This program provided a huge amount of information in just an hour, and the written outline was great.

Jason G.

Extremely clear and intelligent presentation.

Robert N.

Your courses are always the best. I enjoy watching. It's always interesting and not a burden.


Excellent presentation of Franchise law.

tony j.


Gerald C.


Dave D.

Great class

Erin H.

Lots of concrete knowledge imparted; appreciated presenter’s delivery style - easy to listen to and learn from.

francisco javier m.

eye-opener. very good

Linda H.


Adam P.

I recommend your company constantly through out the nation.

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