Keith Klein is a Partner with the firm, serving as an integral contributor to the technology, franchise and distribution, and commercial litigation practices. He is the creator and leader of the firm’s start-up and emerging growth incubator in Santa Monica, serving as outside general counsel for developing companies. His clients include demographic-specific networks, social commerce companies and international direct marketing companies offering a broad range of products and services. The firm’s incubator, launched in December 2010, has contributed significantly to the incorporation, development and financing of high profile businesses and has become a prominent contributor to the Santa Monica Silicon Beach business community.

Mr. Klein is certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Specialization as a Franchise and Distribution Law Specialist. He represents franchisors and large qualified franchisees in a broad spectrum of industries, including lodging and hospitality, fast food and fast casual dining, retail and specialty stores, real estate brokerages, and automobile-related servicing systems. He has argued key franchise-related issues before the California Supreme Court and in other courts throughout the country.

As part of Mr. Klein’s commercial litigation practice, he has served as the lead counsel defending the largest financial institution against more than 30 mass actions filed throughout the country. Mr. Klein’s team of lawyers from across the country has successfully defended the bank against lawsuits seeking substantial damages, including some which sought to place the financial institution in receivership. In doing so, Mr. Klein’s team obtained a significant appellate victory for the banking industry in Bank of America v. Superior Court, 198 Cal.App.4th 862 (2011).

Mr. Klein is an author of the book entitled California Franchise Law & Practice published by the Continuing Education of the Bar in February 2009. He is also an author of a chapter on franchising and the Internet in a book entitled Collateral Issues in Franchising, published by the American Bar Association in 2014. He is regularly interviewed by franchise publications on social media and Internet issues, and he has also participated in local, national and international panels on these issues.

Published Decisions:

  • Bank of America Corp. v. Superior Court, 198 Cal.App.4th 862, review denied (2011) (sustaining demurrer due to lack of causation between alleged scheme "to bilk investors by selling collateralized mortgage pools at an inflated value" and "the generalized decline in California residential property values") 
  • In the Matter of Arbitration between Ann Summers, Ltd. and Gueyffier, Business Franchise Guide (CCH) 12,525 (American Arbitration Association, March 27, 2003) (statutory interpretation of California Franchise Investment Law, Corporations Code § 31013)
  • Whittle v. Jamba Juice, Business Franchise Guide ¶ 11,854 (Utah Dist. Ct. 1999) (contractually shortened statute of limitations barred franchisee claims; no successor liability on part of acquiring franchisor)
  • Okocha v. Jani-King Franchising, Business Franchise Guide ¶ 12,479 (W.D.Wash. Dec. 2002) (granting summary judgment against franchisee on eight counts including race discrimination)

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Chambers USA - Franchise - Recognized Practitioner (2017)
    • Best Lawyers in America - Franchise 2013-2020
    • Best Lawyers in America - Lawyer of the Year, Franchise (Los Angeles), 2020
    • Benchmark: Litigation - Future Star, 2010-2015
    • Who’s Who Legal: Franchise (2016)
    • Certified Franchise and Distribution Law Specialist, State Bar of California
    • Best Lawyers in America - Lawyer of the Year, Franchise (Los Angeles), 2020
    • Benchmark: Litigation - Future Star, 2010-2015
    • Who’s Who Legal: Franchise (2016)
    • Certified Franchise and Distribution Law Specialist, State Bar of California
    • Who’s Who Legal: Franchise (2016)
    • Certified Franchise and Distribution Law Specialist, State Bar of California
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Professional Affiliations

    • American Bar Association
    • ABA Forum on Franchising
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • California State Bar, Franchise Law Committee of the Business Law Section, Member
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • California State Bar, Franchise Law Committee of the Business Law Section, Member
    • California State Bar, Franchise Law Committee of the Business Law Section, Member
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Publications

  • "Franchise Litigation—Frequently Arising Issues in Litigation," International Franchise Association Legal Symposium, May 2015
  • "Ethical Quandaries Associated with Franchise Representation," American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising, October 2014 
  • Collateral Issues in Franchising: "Internet Issue in Franchising," American Bar Association, 2014
  • Santa Monica Annual State of the City, "The Use of Technology and Best New Business Practices," Panelist
  • Canadian Bar Association British Columbia Sixth Annual Branch Conference 2011, "Legal Issues in Social Media," Panelist
  • Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference 2011, "CMO Panel of the Pros Reputation Management," Panelist
  • "Practical Advice for Using Social Media," Franchise Law News, 2011 
  • "Reputation Management, Protecting Your Brand Online," Franchise Update, Issue II, 2011 
  • "Online Best Practices," Franchise Update, Issue III, 2011 
  • "Establishing Your Brand Online: Q&A with Attorney Keith Klein," Franchise Update, Issue III, 2011 
  • "Driving Online Traffic," Franchise Update, Issue IV, 2011 
  • "Dot Complicated," Franchise Update, Issue 1, 2012
  • "2008 Developments in Franchise Law," Business Law Section of the State Bar of California, 2008 Annual Review
  • "California Franchise Law and Practice: California Franchise Relations Act," Continuing Education of the Bar, 2009
  • "Area Development Agreements-Law & Practice," International Franchise Association Legal Symposium, May 2006
  • "A Two Headed Approach to Advertising," Franchise Update, 3rd Quarter 2002
  • "Controlling Your Brand in an Electronic Age," Franchising World, July/August 2002
  • "Coping with COPPA," Los Angeles Business Journal, July 31, 2000