As counsel in the Franchise and Distribution Practice Group, Iris focuses her practice on domestic and international franchise matters. She provides practical and efficient counseling and advice to large and small franchisors on transactional matters, including:
- Structuring, documenting, and implementing domestic and international franchise systems
- Complying with domestic and international franchise disclosure and registration requirements
- Drafting and negotiating franchise-related agreements
- Analyzing and resolving pre-litigation franchise disputes
- Developing and enforcing system standards
Iris has experience in all facets of counseling franchisors, including transactional, litigation, and in-house roles. Although Iris’ work currently concentrates on transactional matters, Iris’ clients benefit from her prior position as an in-house franchise attorney for a large public fitness franchisor and from her extensive practice litigating on behalf of franchisors in federal and state courts and in arbitration proceedings. Iris’ litigation experience includes substantive claims that arise in the franchise relationship, including fraud and nondisclosure claims, vicarious liability, implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings claims, violations of disclosure and state relationship law obligations, and contractual disputes. In 2020, Iris has passed all sections of the examination to become Certified Public Accountant. Iris relies on these financial and accounting skills, as well as her extensive experience in all aspects of representing franchisors to advise her clients.
- Conducting depositions of numerous plaintiffs as defense counsel for international franchisor facing tort claims brought by nationwide group of plaintiffs.
- Obtaining summary judgment for equipment dealer in dispute with equipment rental company regarding allegedly defective trucks.
- Representing national franchisors in disputes involving Lanham Act violations, breach of franchise agreements, tortious interference, and lost profits.
- Obtaining summary judgment and declaratory relief in favor of franchisor regarding interpretation of covenant not to compete.
- Representing national franchisor in successfully enforcing forum selection clauses.
- Donating more than 500 pro bono hours, representing needy clients in family law cases, including those involving domestic violence, consumer matters, and social security disability cases.
- Prosecuting code violations and misdemeanors for the City of Houston Municipal Courts as a volunteer prosecutor.
- Pro Bono Attorney and Firm Coordinator, Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas
- City of Houston Municipal Courts Prosecutor (2007)
- Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court, Associate Member (2004-2006)
- Member, ABA Forum on Franchising
- Travis County Bar Association
- Travis County Women Lawyers' Association
- American Bar Association
- Austin Young Lawyers Association
- Meals on Wheels volunteer
- CASA volunteer
- 2010 J. Chrys Dougherty Award for commitment to pro bono work
J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 2002, high honors; Order of the Coif; Texas Law Review
B.B.A., The University of Texas at Austin, 1997, high honors
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Takeaways The National Labor Relation Board (“NLRB”) issued a Final Rule effective Dec. 26, 2023 (if it survives pending legal challenges) that changes the standard for determining whether two or more companies are joint employers under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). The Final Rule provides that indirect control of or the reserved right to control (even if never exercised) another [...]