Julia C. Colarusso

Principal
Julia C. Colarusso Image

Support Staff

Robert Kass
Direct: 202.295.2214

Julia focuses her practice on commercial litigation with an emphasis on franchise law. She has experience in all phases of litigation, including preliminary relief, trials, appeals, and post-judgment collection procedures. She regularly represents prominent franchisors in federal and state court cases and arbitration proceedings involving contract disputes, business torts, enforcement of noncompete agreements, trademark and trade dress infringement, franchise terminations, and vicarious liability issues. She also represents corporations and nonprofit organizations in internal and government investigations.

Experience

  • Represented a large national franchisor at the trial of an action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri brought to enforce the termination of a franchisee’s development agreement. Obtained a final judgment in the franchisor’s favor on all claims in the case, resulting in an award to the client of more than $750,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs and dismissal of the franchisee’s counterclaims alleging, among other things, wrongful termination and violations of federal and state antitrust laws.
  • Represented a national franchisor in proceedings that resulted in the issuance of a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction enforcing post-termination covenants against competition and solicitation against a former franchisee. Subsequently assisted in obtaining an order holding the franchisee in contempt of the injunction and awarding the franchisor monetary damages, attorneys’ fees, and a one-year equitable extension of the noncompete provision.
  • Obtained a unanimous reversal by the First Circuit Court of Appeals of a lower court decision that a franchisor’s territorial franchisee for the Pacific Northwest was not subject to personal jurisdiction in Massachusetts.
  • In a putative consumer class action filed against a franchisor stemming from its franchisees’ alleged overcharging of state sales tax, prepared and argued a motion to dismiss that resulted in the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissing their claims.
  • Represented a franchisor in parallel litigation in multiple forums concerning a franchisee’s nonpayment of royalty and renewal fees. The franchisee was ultimately enjoined from continuing its post-termination infringement of the franchisor’s trademarks and from prosecuting a duplicative action in its home jurisdiction. Also defeated the franchisee’s request for a stay of the injunctions pending appeal.
  • Defended a multi-national hotel franchisor in an action brought by a terminated franchisee alleging breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, tortious interference with contract, and fraud. Drafted a motion to dismiss that resolved most counts of the complaint, and the remainder of the matter was then settled on terms favorable to the client.
  • Represented a Maryland medical practice with a group of surgery centers in litigation against its former officers and managers for embezzlement, fraud, and computer hacking and obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order that resulted in the freezing of the defendants’ bank accounts and other assets.
  • Conducted an internal investigation of a nonprofit client’s major fundraising program, drafted a report of findings and recommendations, and assisted in presenting the report at the client’s annual board meeting.

Julia is also an Editor of the GPMemorandum, a monthly newsletter about recent legal developments of interest to franchisors. Past editions of the Memorandum can be viewed here.

back to top