Alan strives to give common sense practical business solutions to even the most complex problems. In fact, clients often describe Alan as a businessman who also happens to be an attorney.
Alan’s practice focuses on assisting both people and entities as daily business counsel, assisting both franchisors and franchisees with various aspects of the franchise relationship, acquisitions, sales, leaseholds and defaults arising from or relating to business and real property relationships. He has been involved in the formation of entities for acquisition of multi-unit franchises, the acquisition of multi-unit franchises and companies and the work-out or disposition of distressed companies. Alan presently serves as the Co-Chair of our Franchising, licensing and distribution practice group.
Alan has acted as lead counsel in multiple complex business lawsuits, including disputes amongst owners, franchise litigation, commercial landlord tenant and other real property related litigation, non-compete related litigation, and trade secret related litigation. Alan’s participation in “bet the farm” disputes includes owner disputes, assertions of breaches of duty, assertions of breaches of contract and purchase agreements, complex foreclosures, and trade secret violations. Several matters involved claims and disputes valued in the millions of dollars; one dispute had an asserted value in excess of one billion dollars.
Over the course of his nearly 30 year career, Alan has developed a unique skill set of understanding both interpersonal and complex business relationships. As a result, Alan is often called upon to use these skills to mitigate claims, avoid litigation or participate in alternative dispute resolution formats such as pre-suit mediation or arbitration. In fact, Alan has been involved in hundreds of lawsuits and well over a hundred mediations.
Alan was at the forefront of the data privacy arena and has been involved in this area of the law since 2004, once serving as the firm’s Co-Chair. In this area, Alan, advises clients regarding design and implementation of data security plans and measures, and provides response and assistance with respect to data security breaches.
Alan is active in civic organizations, a published author and has lectured at Palm Beach Atlantic University and the University of Miami School of Law. He serves as Chair of the Curriculum Committee for the Titus Center for Franchising. On numerous occasions, Alan has been called upon to teach commercial landlord law to other attorneys seeking continuing legal education credits.
Alan earned a J.D. from California Western School of Law in 1989 and an LL.M. from the University of Miami in 1990. He received a B.A. from the University of Florida in 1986.
- Counsel to several different universities whose confidential information relating to students was compromised.
- Counsel to National Franchisor.
- Counsel to start-up Franchisor, designing entire franchise system.
- Counsel to National Franchisees, involved in day to day business issues and litigation.
- Counsel to Franchisees In Multi-Unit Purchases.
- Counsel to Several Multi-Unit Franchisees in Distress Situations.
- Counsel In multiple “Family Companies” including Intra-company or intra-family disputes.
- Counsel In High Profile Non-compete/restrictive Covenant Case in Which Client was sued for 20M dollars and Plaintiff obtained a zero verdict.
- Defense Counsel in Multiple High Profile Foreclosure Cases.
- Obtained Injunction Against High Profile CEO for Cyber-stalking a Competitor’s CEO.
- Lead counsel in approximately 200 commercial evictions.
- Lead counsel in which a client disposed of a portion of its apartment building portfolio for in excess of one hundred million dollars.
- Corporate counsel to entities overseeing not only day to day legal issues but acting as lead counsel with respect to litigation, acquisitions, and financings.
- Lead counsel in defense of multiple suits brought against Owners, Landlords, and Tenants for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Lead counsel in arbitration against a prominent securities broker/dealer for securities fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices resulting in a confidential seven figure settlement.
- Lead counsel in successful defense of a control person of a NASD broker dealer in a NASD Arbitration proceeding seeking millions of dollars in which all other Respondents were found liable or settled.
- Lead counsel in tortious interference and trade secret theft suit in which a jury entered verdict for client in excess of $60 million.
- Successfully defended a lender in a suit asserting a constructive trust against millions of dollars.
- Lead counsel in successful defense of a software piracy suit brought by one of the world’s largest software companies, seeking tens of millions of dollars.
- Co-counsel in class action with agreed upon injunctive and declaratory relief having an approximate value in the millions of dollars.
- Defense co-counsel in a suit seeking $25 million which was settled for pennies on the dollar. Successfully defended entities and employees who were alleged to have violated employment, non- competition or trade secret agreements.
- Successfully obtained injunctive relief against persons or entities violating non-compete agreements.
- Involved in hundreds of mediations.
- Represented public company over the course of years in multiple commercial lawsuits including employment- related claims, lender related claims, and claims arising from complex contractual relationships.
- Represented private company with respect to claims made by a minority interest holder where minority interest holder asserted value of its claims exceeded $1 billion.
- Represented high profile CEO of a public company in various claims arising from the bankruptcy of the entity.
- Represented assisted living/senior care center in defense of a $125 million mortgage foreclosure suit.
Admissions - Court
- Admitted Pro Hac Vice in the following states: Maine, New York, New Jersey, Alabama, California, Illinois, Delaware, Oregon, and Minnesota
- Courts of the District of Columbia
- Southern District of Florida Trial Bar
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Admissions - State
- District of Columbia
- California Western School of Law
- University of Florida
- University of Miami
Honors and Awards
- Selected for inclusion in Florida Legal Elite (2011)
- Selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers (2009, 2010, 2012-2015, 2017-2018)
- Selected for inclusion in the Corporate Counsel Edition of Super Lawyers for Litigation
- Named one of the Best Lawyers in America (2019)
- AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell
- Named one of "South Florida’s Top Lawyers," Miami Metro Magazine (2001)
- Titus Center for Franchising, Advisory Board, Chair of the Curriculum Committee
Joint employer and agency exposure in the franchise relationship
Mediation and franchise relationships
"Does and "Will" are not equal, or Arbitration clauses are tricky things: Federal court in Connecticut rules against franchisor, allows Colorado lawsuit to proceed in court
Court upholds arbitration decision and allows franchisee to rescind franchise agreement
Four takeaways from the International Franchise Association Legal Symposium
How to use intellectual property to increase franchisor entity value
7 basic considerations before entering a franchise relationship
Does the ADA apply to websites?
The franchise, the FTC, deception, and data protection
Court mandates de-branding, but refuses to enforce non-compete
Blurring lines and planning for the inevitable
Is the Franchise Apocalypse Upon Us? Court disregards independence of franchisor/franchisee
Poaching and Sibling Rivalry: Franchisee Wins in Suit Against Out of State Sister Franchisee for Hiring Former Employees
Landlord's credit for tenant improvements may not be subject to tax under Florida law
Commercial Landlord Relationships (And for that Matter, Any Business Relationship) and Social Media
Using the EB-5 in franchising
Franchisor's beware: Franchisees seek new legislative protections
Franchisor Beware! Fine Line Drawn Between Independence and Control
A few best practices when offering franchise opportunities
Recently filed lawsuit emphasizes the slippery slope of licensing
Four attorneys at McDonald Hopkins named Florida Super Lawyers
"Green Bay Packers, others seek bankruptcy for West Palm firm that collected race fees"
7 basic considerations before entering a franchise relationship
Six attorneys at McDonald Hopkins named Florida Super Lawyers
Five McDonald Hopkins attorneys honored as top attorneys in Florida
- "Don't Risk Customers' Data - Protect your business when a vendor handles clients' personal information;" Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition, January, 2011
- "What Indemnification Means to You;" Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition, April 2010
- "What are the options when a tenant files for bankruptcy?" Commercial Investment Real Estate, January 2010
- “Innovative Uses for Special Assessment: Building Infrastructural Without Raising Taxes;” University of Miami, Business Law Journal 129
- “Commercial Evictions In Florida;” National Business Institute, 2003
- “Real Estate Sales Transactions;" Sterling Education Services, Inc., 2004
- “Practical Real Estate Title Skills in Florida;” Half Moon LLC, 2004
- “Data Security and Compliance;” Lorman Education Services, 2005
- “Landlord and Tenant Law in Florida;” Lorman Education Services, 2003-2006, 2008
- “What is ‘Material’? Giving Definition to the Standard for Contract Rescission and Document Amendments;” Ralph E. Boyer Institutes Real Property and Condominium Law, Eighteenth Institute on Real Property Law/Thirtieth Institute on Condominium and Cluster Developments, November 2005
- “Drafting Commercial Real Estate Leases: The Ins and Outs of Protecting our Interests;” National Business Institute, 2006
- “Evictions,” Lorman Education Services, 2007
- “Landlord-Tenant Law Beyond the Basics;” Sterling Educational Services, 2009
- Contributor: “Secure Data Destruction for Protecting Business Data;” Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Journal: News
- Webcast -- Franchise Relationships and Health Care Reform | Wednesday, July 17, 2013
- Franchise Relationships and Health Care Reform | Wednesday, July 17, 2013
- Lecturer, Titus Center for Franchising, Palm Beach Atlantic University: Franchise Terminations, Antitrust, Non-Compete Agreements, Liquidated Damages
- Lecturer, Titus Center for Franchising, Palm Beach Atlantic University: Franchise Law 101
- Network Privacy & Cyber Risk: The 21st Century Challenge, 35th Annual Florida RIMS Educational Conference (Panelist), 2010
- Commercial Tenant Bankruptcy: Legal Strategies for Landlords And Tenants, Strafford Publications (Speaker), 2010
- Protecting Data and the Importance of a Data Policy, In House Counsel, National Quick Service Restaurant Franchisor
- Protecting Data and the Importance of a Data Policy, In House Counsel, International Power Company
- University of Miami Forum on Small Practice (Speaker)