Appliance Alliance, LLC et al v. Sears Home Appliance Showrooms, LLC et al, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, 3:15-cv-01707-M

Defended Sears in a lawsuit in federal court in Dallas, Texas, filed by a former franchisee and its owners for wrongful termination, breach of contract, and numerous other state law torts, including defamation, conversion, trespass, and tortious interference regarding the parties’ franchise relationship and Sears’ repossession of the Plaintiffs’ franchise locations. Sears removed the case from state to federal court and then filed a motion to transfer venue based on the forum selection clause contained in the various agreements governing the parties’ business relationship, which required litigation in Illinois. The current Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Barbara M.G. Lynn, granted Sears’ motion to transfer the case to Illinois. This ruling is important because it confirms that franchisors should be able to enforce forum selection clauses in their franchise agreements.