Testimonials

  • Carmen is one of the brightest and most tenacious litigators in franchising. I have had the chance to work with him as an Expert Witness in several different matters, and in each case his preparation was flawless and his arguments were well crafted. He is passionate about defending his clients. He has my highest recommendation.

    Mark Siebert CEO, The iFranchise Group
  • This is, no doubt, a high stakes, high profile case … let me take the opportunity to recognize and acknowledge both you, Mr. Caruso, and your team of lawyers, as well as …, for the high caliber of advocacy and zealous advocacy.

    Cook County Circuit Court Judge Stated on the record on February 5, 2013
  • Caruso is one of the half dozen best franchise trial lawyers in the country. It comes as no surprise that he is the lawyer who established this ruling.

    Richard Solomon Senior Business Counselor and Litigator
  • Carmen saved our business! It was evident at the arbitration hearing in our case that Carmen totally outperformed the Franchisor's big firm lawyer. Even the Franchisor and Arbitrator were complementing Carmen on a job well done. Carmen provides outstanding service and quality for franchisees.  -- Arbitration Hearing held September 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Paul & Patty Petersen Northern Illinois Franchisees
  • We engaged Carmen Caruso to defend our company against fraud claims. Carmen took over the case from another firm and quickly turned it around in our favor, and we won in federal court after a three day trial. Carmen prepared me to testify, and when he put me on the witness stand I was tremendously pleased with the results. Following that success, Carmen became our outside general counsel and gave us great advice and high quality legal work across all areas of our business, including our contracts with franchisees and vendors; defending claims by employees; protecting our intellectual property; and resolving a boardroom dispute with a minority shareholder. In every way, Carmen was our essential and trusted advisor in addition to being our “go to” lawyer in every case.

    Former President & Chief Executive Officer A Franchise Times “Top 200” Retail Franchisor
  • I will tell Mr. Wilbern and Mr. Anderson and your colleagues this was as well-tried a case as I've had. I've only been a judge about three and a half years, but I've been a lawyer for about 30 -- more than 30 years, so I've tried a lot of cases myself, and I've seen a lot of trials. And I've seen two or three dozen as a judge, but this on both sides was as well-tried a case as I've seen. There was not a lot of -- everyone was prepared. Everyone was professional to each other. I thought the jury got a great presentation of the evidence, the good and the bad for each side. And, Mr. Wilbern, Mr. Anderson, I think your lawyers all did very good jobs for you, whatever the result may be. There's always a winner; there's always a loser. So it's easier for me to say this right now, but I mean it very genuinely.

    Wilbern v. CFSI compliments expressed at conclusion of 12 day jury trial by Honorable Thomas Durkin, U.S.N.D. of ILL of judge
  • As we began our start-up business in the health care field, we were immediately presented with our first major hurdle – a lawsuit filed against us from our former employers. Thanks to the adept handling of this matter by attorney Carmen Caruso, my partners and I were able to focus more on developing whiat is now an extremely successful business, while Carmen handled all the legal issues. The pressures of entering a start-up business alone are overwhelming. Coupled with a lawsuit on day one would have been otherwise crippling if not for the legal expertise provided by Carmen at this critical time.

    Steven Golden President, The Nurse Agency
  • Our firm had been involved in a contentious employee contract lawsuit for a year. This lawsuit was consuming an extensive amount of time and resources, and threatened the viability of our company. We switch legal counsel after one year of making no progress on the resolution of this case. Carmen Caruso and his associates introduced aggressive new defenses which led to a settlement of this case within our target range. This settlement had enabled our firm to concentrate on our core business, which is product design, not litigation defense. Carmen and the team was persistent and diligent. They also listened to their client, which was not our experience with our prior attorneys.

    James M. O’Brien CFO, Herbst LaZar Bell, Inc.
  • Carmen Caruso flew to Ohio to meet with us only two days after our initial phone call. He took time to understand our situation and to explain his approach to litigation. His guidance, counsel and style yielded the desired results. We prevailed on our lawsuit in Federal Court and were awarded a significant judgment entry, protecting the value of our franchise brand and validating the reasonable non-compete provisions of our Franchise Agreement… Caruso has represented us on subsequent litigation matters, all with successful results for our company.

    Greg Hudson COO, Petland Inc.
  • Carmen has managed the unmanageable for us on a large scale, in a very complex case, with multiple clients in a common claim, but with different agendas. To say that he is of high moral fiber is an understatement. This man will not sacrifice his character or values to win a case. He will carefully manage the issues at hand and provide his clients with a gentle nudge or a precise strike, to keep them on the straight and narrow without losing focus on what really matters and that is a satisfactory conclusion. If you are on the fence and considering Carmen to represent you in a franchise litigation or mediation/arbitration, do yourself a favor and choose wisely and in my opinion, you should use Caruso, period.

    A Franchisee Client
  • I have had the opportunity to serve as a mediator in cases where Carmen has represented clients. The cases have been complex franchise cases, requiring legal knowledge in the franchise area and negotiation skills in situations where the conflict has been quite intense. I have found Carmen to be very skilled. He recognizes his client’s unique interests in the negotiation, and uses the perfect balance of advocacy and problem solving, while working towards resolution of conflict. I recommend him highly and have been impressed with his work.

    Kimberly Stamatelos Attorney and Mediator, Stamatelos & Associates
  • I was fortunate to be represented by Carmen in a complicated, multi-year franchise litigation dispute. His integrity, work ethic, and no-nonsense approach achieved the desired results. I would confidently recommend Carmen as a go-to franchise litigation expert. -- November 9, 2009

    John Hawkins
  • Carmen is one of the preeminent attorneys engaged in the practice of franchise law, with a national reputation for superior advocacy. He has been a leader within the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers and a staunch advocate protecting the rights and interests of franchisees. Carmen has earned my unqualified recommendation.

    Robert Purvin
  • I was an expert witness for Carmen on a case against Bang Olufsen and I was able to see first hand his trial expertise. This was the second case that I worked with Carmen on and both had excellent results.

    Alan Sklar Founder and partner, Gleeson, Sklar, Sawyers & Cumpata
  • Your extensive knowledge and experience of franchise law, including having represented both franchisors and franchisees in previous cases, litigation skills, and strategic guidance enabled the Association to develop an effective strategy and game plan that resulted in a very favorable settlement. This was even more impressive given the frequently divergent goals of the members of the Association…. Not only did we improve our economic position and eliminate the vast majority of onerous provisions in the license agreement through protracted negotiation and arbitration, we successfully brought about a systemic change in the franchisor’s system – namely conversion to a licensee/licensor model and restructuring of their organization.

    A Franchisee Client
  • One of the best Attorneys for franchise or business related work. I highly recommend him to all of my friends.

    Chandrakant I. “CK” Patel Chairman, Asian American Hotel Owners Association
  • This whole thing turned around when you (Carmen Caruso) joined the team. I am sure we would never have reached a settlement without your expertise and talent. When I am in Chicago I will call and buy you a good Irish drink.

    Name witheld upon request Former defense client charged with professional liability
  • I recently hired Carmen Caruso to assist us in a franchise/legal malpractice lawsuit that was fraught with problems on several fronts. He became very actively involved from the beginning and successfully attacked the claimed damages issues such that we were thereafter able to effectuate a mediated settlement that never would have been reached without Carmen’s efforts in the depositions. Carmen was a delight to work with. He was always available for discussion and he displayed a wide ranging knowledge of franchise law. If the situation presented itself again, I would hire him in a heart beat!

    Mike Kinney Attorney, Cassem Tierney Law Office, President Nebraska State Bar Association 2009
  • We found our local insurance agency, AVA Insurance, about to lose its historically most important insurance carrier relationship. Not only did AVA face the loss of this market, but the carrier was also threatening to sell AVA’s business to another appointed agency (and one of our largest competitors). Carmen Caruso stepped into this unsettled situation and achieved a great result for us through litigation and negotiation at a reasonable cost. We easily could have spent three times the money litigating and still not be near a decision as favorable as Carmen negotiated.

    Daniel T. Buelo President, AVA Insurance Agency
  • Carmen Caruso on the offense. Carmen Caruso on the defense. Carmen passionately represents his clients to the fullest. Carmen is a winner.

    Michael Liss Franchise Attorney. Business Lawyer. Franchising. Franchisor. Franchisee. Buying & Selling Businesses. Leasing. Startups
  • Carmen is one of the finest Hospitality Industry attorney's in our Industry. If you need an attorney that understands this industry inside and out, Carmen is your man. He is at the TOP of his game. Steven J. Belmonte, Chairman, Hospitality Solutions LLC.

    Steve Belmonte CEO at Vimana Franchise Systems, LLC
  • Carmen opposed me in a multimillion dollar lawsuit. Carmen is one of the very best trial lawyers I've been up against in my thirty five plus years of litigation. He is a great advocate for his cause. He is relentless in the pursuit of his clients' best interests. I was impressed and would personally hire him.

    Richard Rensch Owner, RENSCH & RENSCH LAW p.c.l.l.o.
  • I wanted to take this opportunity to express in writing my appreciation for your efforts on behalf of the members of our independent franchisee association, of which our company was a founding member, and which was established with your assistance. Your extensive knowledge of and experience in franchise law, including having represented both franchisors and franchisees in previous cases, litigation skills and strategic guidance enabled our Association to develop an effective strategy and game plan that resulted in a very favorable settlement, which we achieved shortly after you interrogated the franchisor’s CEO at his deposition. This was even more impressive given the frequently divergent goals of the members of the Association. From our perspective, we were able to achieve all of our desired goals that we set at the outset of the formation of the Association. Not only did we improve our economic position and eliminate the vast majority of onerous provisions in the license agreement through protracted negotiation and arbitration, we successfully brought about a systemic change in the franchisor’s system – namely conversion to a licensee/licensor model and restructuring of their organization and their approach to their licensees/franchisees. In the process we were able to rewrite the operative documents in a fashion that was far more favorable to the franchisee/licensees than had previously been the case and far better align the economic interests of the licensor and the licensees. Perhaps the most unexpected yet gratifying outcome was the recognition by the franchisor’s senior management team of the quality of our organization and newfound respect for our business operations and market vision. Lastly, your professionalism and dedication, particularly as you were in the process of moving your practice in the middle of the litigation, was exemplary. Thanks again for all of your efforts and please feel free to refer potential clients to me should you ever need a reference.

    Michael Daven
  • I have had the chance last year and this to litigate on the other of Carmen D. Caruso in a hard fought Title VII litigation. I found Mr. Caruso to be a knowledgeable and aggressive advocate.

    Edward C. Jepson, Jr.
  • Please accept this letter as my recommendation of Carmen Caruso for referral of franchise / dealership matters. I have known Mr. Caruso for the past few years and I am familiar with his work. Mr. Caruso and I have had, and continue to have, matters in the franchise and dealership areas where our respective clients are adverse to one another. In addition, I have known Mr. Caruso through his work with various bar committees, including the ABA Forum on Franchising. Indeed, I have quoted his articles during some of our franchise cases against one another. My firm has, in the past, referred franchise matters to Mr. Caruso.

    David M. Harris
  • Carmen was the perfect choice for my little historical dispute. Matter settled last week with an excellent result given the circumstances, very limited effort on my part, and very responsive and surgical work by Carmen and his team. Opposing party and counsel started by throwing up a bunch of dirt and bullshit, and ended up essentially begging for us to close it out before we got in front of court and arbitrator. Almost made me want to take it through arbitration just to watch him run them through the paces. The final exchange between Carmen and other side was a brief thing of beauty.

    David B. Benjamin
  • While I can't speak for the group I will speak for APEX. Your professionalism, expertise and overall general attitude have made us a customer for life.  Thank you for your continued guidance through this minefield.

    Thomas Holland
  • Carmen Caruso is the consummate professional. Focused, diligent and efficient. Carmen always exceeded expectations. I was a witness in a case Carmen litigated in the US Federal District Court for the franchise company I worked for at the time. I vividly remember Carmen’s ability “to see around corners”. If you don’t like surprises, hire Carmen.

    Jim Whitman
Winning The Case Begins With The First Phone Call
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