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I started, became a lawyer in 1994, so it was 20 years ago this year and I took a job with a guy who was leaving a large firm to start his own solo practice, and I was the first lawyer hired by Mike Dady. Michael was leaving a large Minneapolis law firm to start a niche practice in franchise and distribution, his father had been a beer distributor and so he had grown up in that lifestyle that’s where he wanted to be. I was just looking for a job I kind of fell into it and loved it. But since that time we’ve grown the firm, we intentionally hover around 10 lawyers because we really want to be able to control the quality of the work that we do. We think that if we get much bigger than that and it starts getting difficult to make sure that we’re always bringing the A team list that we’ve become well known for. We set out to be the premier franchisee dealer distributor law firm in the country, we’ve done that through a number of different ways and I’m happy to report that I’m told by the press that people do independent of us that we are, in fact, the premier franchisee law firm in America.
I’ve been extraordinarily lucky in the last 10 years in particular my career to be the only franchisee lawyer ever elected to be the chairman of the American Bar Association’s forum on franchising. Our law firm is the only firm in the United States ranked by Chambers USA as the tier one franchisee representation. There are three lawyers listed as tier one lawyers in Chambers in the United States doing what we do and two of those three are Michael Dady and I. And so I’m extremely proud of what we’ve put together here of the way that we are able to help people, and frankly, in the way that we approach it. We are known for being zealous advocates and we can be pit bull litigators, but we’ve also become known for being problem solvers. Our motto from day one was to help people effectively and efficiently solve their disputes with their franchisors, manufacturers, and suppliers. And litigation is rarely the most efficient way to solve problems. Sometimes you don’t have a choice and you need to be ready, willing, and able to draw that sword. But oftentimes picking up the phone and calling the other side and working something out is much more effective for the client than it would be otherwise. And so we’ve worked hard on trying to create positive relationships with our adversaries even when we have to go bludgeon them to death in a courtroom or an arbitration.
Minneapolis franchisee lawyer Ron Gardner talks about his firm, Dady & Gardner.