Jeffery S. Haff is a partner at Dady & Gardner. In his over 30 years of practice, Jeff has represented franchisees, dealers and distributors throughout the United States. For the year 2017, Best Lawyers in America named him “Lawyer of the Year” for Minneapolis franchise lawyers. Over the course of his career, Jeff has been honored to receive numerous accolades including:
- Being named every year since 2010 as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in the field of Franchise Law.
- Being named a Minnesota “Super Lawyer” every year since 2002.
- Being named a “Legal Eagle” by Franchise Times on multiple occasions.
- Being ranked as an “AV Preeminent” lawyer for 20 years and recently receiving the prestigious “AV Preeminent Judicial Edition” award from Martindale-Hubbell.
Over his career, Jeff has achieved millions of dollars of settlements and awards for wronged dealers, distributors and franchisees, including arbitration awards in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for wrongfully terminated Polaris dealers and defrauded Sir Speedy franchisees. Some of Jeff’s reported cases include:
- Jeff successfully argued to the Iowa Court of Appeals the case of FECO, Ltd. v. Highway Equipment Co., Inc., 2010 WL 5394727 (Iowa App. Dec. 22, 2010). This case establishes, contrary to the trial court’s ruling and also contrary to one previous decision by an Iowa federal court, that Chapter 322F of Iowa Code (the Iowa Dealer Act) does permit a wrongfully terminated equipment dealer to sue and recover money damages for the wrongful termination. The manufacturer of agricultural equipment had argued that a dealer’s only remedy for wrongful termination under the Iowa Dealer Act was an injunction against termination.
- On February 23, 2011, the Iowa Supreme Court denied review of the decision and sent the matter back to the trial court for a determination of damages and attorneys’ fees due to the dealer, FECO, ltd.
- Town & Country Equipment, Inc. v. Deere & Company, Inc., 133 F. Supp.2d 665 (W.D. Tenn. 2000) (finding dealer had a claim for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing based upon Deere’s refusal to allow relocation);
- Heck Implement, Inc. v. Deere & Co., Inc., 926 F. Supp.138 (W.D. Mo. 1996) (dealer granted injunction against “low market share” termination);
- Metro All Snax, Inc. v. All Snax, Inc., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 10,885 (D. Minn. 1996) (snack food distributor was franchisee under Minnesota Franchise Act);
- Hardee’s Food Systems, Inc. v. Oreel, 32 F. Supp.2d 342 (E.D. N.C. 1998) (release signed by franchisee did not bar claims for continuing misconduct by franchisor.)
- On November 2, 2016, Jeff, along with South Dakota counsel David Edwards, received a favorable jury verdict for a terminated Isuzu Truck dealer in the case SIOUX FALLS KENWORTH, INC. d/b/a ISUZU TRUCKS OF SIOUX FALLS v. ISUZU COMMERCIAL TRUCK OF AMERICA, INC., Civil Case No. 14-cv-04187(RAL) (D.S.D. 2016). The South Dakota jury awarded $1.676 million against the Defendant, who was represented at trial by two of the most prominent defense firms in the nation. The amount of damages was remitted to $1,033,756.48 on August 18, 2017 – see Sioux Falls Kenworth, Inc. v. Isuzu Commercial Trucks of America, Inc., 2017 WL 3600404 (D.S.D. August 18, 2017) (the court also added $802,246.04 in attorneys’ fees and costs to the reduced judgment, resulting in a total judgment of $1,836,223.52).
Jeff has been a regular speaker at the ABA Forum on Franchising, and his written publications include:
- Co-Presenter: “FRANCHISING–LITIGATING THE DEFINITIONAL ELEMENTS,” Annual ABA Forum on Franchising (2018).
- Co-Author: Annual Franchise and Distribution Law Developments 2013 (ABA Publishing 2013) and was a plenary session speaker on this topic at the 2013 Forum on Franchising in Orlando, Florida.
- Co-Author: “Differential Treatment of Franchisees in Tough Economic Times” ABA Forum on Franchising, October 2011.
- Thinking Outside the Franchise Law Box: Is Our Area of Law Special? Should It Be? 20 Franchise L.J. 101, 132 (Winter 2001). (Co-author with Nancy L. Lochner).
- Co-Author: Depositions In Franchise Cases, ABA Forum on Franchising 2008.
- Co-Author: Zealous Advocacy or Sharp Practice? ABA Forum on Franchising, October 2006.
- Co-Author: Franchise Litigation—A Changing Landscape. ABA Forum on Franchising 2004.
- Co-Author: Franchisee Non-Payment of Fees: Underreporting, “Royalty Strikes” and Related Issues. ABA Forum on Franchising 2000.
- Co-Author: Lost at Sea: Avoiding and Addressing Wrongful Termination of Your Franchise, AFA Legal Symposium, 2000.
- Co-Author: Nine Holes Was More Than Enough—How Franchisees Can Get Away From Systems That Give Them No Value, AFA Legal Symposium, 1999.
- Author: How the SBFA Would Affect Franchising: The Franchisee’s View, 5 Leader’s Franchising Business and Law Alerts No. 11 (August 1999).
Jeff was one of 20 Presidential Honors Scholars in his graduating class at the State University of New York at Buffalo (B.A. summa cum laude 1986). Jeff graduated from the prestigious Duke University School of Law (J.D. With Honors 1989). Jeff lives in Maple Grove, Minnesota with his wife and three children.