Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Delicious, Fattening Conflicts?

 A conflict allegation is a conflict allegation… But when it involves Coldstone Creamery, the ice cream vendor that boasts of its “expertise in innovating indulgence” at over 1400 locations, well, opportunities for creative commentary must be conspicuously consumed.

As reported by a franchise community news site Blue MauMau, it appears that in the dispute at hand: “Franchisee store owners claim the attorney who represented them in negotiating their lease agreement did not disclose that he also represented franchisor Cold Stone.”

According to the allegations, Coldstone recommended the services of this lawyer to franchisees looking to secure “the best possible terms” on their store leases:
  • “Aaron and Karin Tzamarot first retained attorney Craig Gruber of Salamon, Gruber, Blaymore & Strenger, PC in 2005. Gruber’s name was on a ‘preferred list’ of attorneys who had prior experience in negotiating the terms of leases for ‘hundreds, or even thousands, of franchisees across the country.’ The list was provided by Cold Stone to assure the franchisees that they would receive the best possible terms on their lease for their Cold Stone franchised store.”
See the complete story for various additional allegations swirled into the mix on this one, along with the lawyer’s reasoning as to why the cookie should crumble in his favor…

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