How NOT to Impersonate a Franchise Attorney Online


As the famous cartoon said, on the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.  However, they can usually tell that you’re not really a franchise attorney.  

Unhappy franchisees or weasely ex-employees leaving comments for revenge tend to give themselves away.

Why don’t they believe you when you used those big words and all?

Here’s a recent example with some important tips for those who want the credibility of being an attorney, but don’t like all the boring reading, book lernin’ and test-taking of law school.

On a post about the evil sub overlord Quiznos Sub (Quiznos Franchise Lawsuits Just Keep On Coming), probable shill Jeff  left a hearty endorsement for the Silver Mine Subs franchise, claiming it’s a gold mine.  Steve claimed it was more akin to the Springhill Mine Disaster and that any prospective franchisees considering it would get the shaft.

Writes suspected poser Steve:    “I know of which i speak having provided franchise legal counsel to an individual who considered purchasing a Silver Mine.”

He cites the fact that Silver Mine Subs recently “closed a corporate store in Boulder, CO and a corporate store in Champain [sic], IL.” and that “… to close a store directly across the street from a large undergraduate university for lack of business seems counterintuitive, and it certainly seems hypocritical given that they see no problem with placing franchise stores close to one another in the city of Denver.”

Says Steve:  “They have no key differentiators that can’t be replicated easily by the competition… anyone considering a Silver Mine Subs is better off working in one of their stores for three months and then opening their own sub shop rather than going the franchising route.”

“‘Every business makes mistake [sic] in the beginning,’ And who pays for those mistake [sic]? Not the franchisor.”

“Good luck with your store and i hope it works out for you. I’d suggest you think twice before promoting your franchise, lest you find yourself not being able to sleep at night.   As for the ‘non-compete’ — good luck enforcing that in a court of law.”

Steve almost immediately discredits his claim that he’s an attorney – or at least a competent one.

First, no attorney would (publicly) tell a bunch of strangers to take a job for a particularly deficient franchise concept, then start a new business that directly violates its non-compete and non-disclosure agreements. A decent attorney would know that it wouldn’t really matter if SMS could win in court, it would be enough to tie up the new owner in legal proceedings and divert his money and attention from his new business, which would then likely fail. And for what?  Procedural information from a flawed concept?

Second, I would hope that an attorney would check his own spelling before attacking that of others (It’s Champaign, IL).  Using big words like “Counterintuitive” does not impress when they’re used incorrectly.  Put the thesaurus away.

Third, and most importantly, are the references to motives being “hypocritical” and references to the danger of “not being able to sleep at night.” There is a basic divide between the franchise initiated and uninitiated, and Jeff is still the former.  Attorneys deal with matters of law, of actionable or non-actionable, proveable or non-proveable, not matters of conscience. In fact, the organ responsible for conscience, which sometimes remains functional in non-lawyers, is surgically removed within 8 days of passing the bar exam in a procedure resembling the Jewish bris.

Jeff’s emotional tone, in-depth knowledge and angry grammatical attacks suggest that this is personal. My guess is he is either 1) an angry ex-employee with an pickaxe to grind, 2) an angry ex-franchisee who did more due diligence after failing than before buying, or 3) an independent competitor. 

The smart money’s on Door Number 2



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