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Ronald K. Gardner Jr.

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  • Franchise Law

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Ronald K. Gardner Jr. | Franchisee Lawyer Contact Me: (612)359-3501 | [email protected] Ronald K. Gardner, is a partner at Dady & Gardner, P.A., who limits his practice to the representation of franchisees, franchisee associations, dealers and distributors in their relations with their franchisors, manufacturers and suppliers. Ron, along with the rest of his colleagues at Dady & Gardner, P.A., prides himself on the fact that the firm has a national reputation for effectively and efficiently helping their franchisee, association, dealer and distributor clients to improve their relationships through negotiations and trust building, and when necessary, resolve their disputes through litigation, negotiation, mediation and arbitration.

Given his extensive experience (and you can read more about that below if you choose), he is available to talk to you at no initial charge about whatever issues you may be having with your franchisor, manufacturer or supplier.

Specifically, Ron has helped clients in dozens of industries, including fast food, automobile, trucking, construction equipment and agricultural implements. Ron has represented businesses of all sizes, including multi-unit franchisees, as well as single owner operations. Ron also does extensive representation of franchisee associations, representing some 25 associations, including several of the top 10 largest franchise associations in the world. He has handled disputes ranging from unlawful terminations to encroachment to cases regarding franchisor's failure to comply with registration and disclosure requirements of the FTC and state governments and has negotiated franchise agreements for entire systems. He has represented or counseled clients in all 50 states and several foreign counties. Ron has been named one of Minnesota's top 100 "Super Lawyers" six different times, a "Legal Eagle" by the Franchise Times (having been inducted into the "Legal Eagle Hall of Fame" for appearance every year the list has existed), and he has been named as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in the field of Franchise Law every year since 2006. For 2014-2015 and again in 2018-2019, "Best Lawyers in America" named Ron the "Lawyer of the Year" in Franchise Law in Minneapolis. Chambers USA has said he is "a pretty rare guy - his advice can truly be relied upon," as well as calling him "the premier franchisee lawyer in America." Finally, Who's Who has recognized Ron as one of the ten most highly regarded franchise lawyers in North America-and he is the ONLY franchisee lawyer to be on that list in the last decade (2010-2020).

Ron is a member of the American, Minnesota, Hennepin County and Rice County Bar Associations. He is a Past Chair of the ABA Forum on Franchising, the country's leading group of franchise attorneys (and the first "franchisee lawyer" to ever be elected to this position). In addition to the chairmanship of the Forum on Franchising, he also served as Division Director of the Forum's Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Division, and Co-Chair of the 2005 Orlando Forum. He is also an active participant in the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers. He is also one of only four franchisee advocates serving on the North American Securities Administers' Association Special Franchise Project Group-a highly select group of franchise practitioners who advise state policy makers on franchise regulation issues. Ron is a frequent speaker at various gatherings on franchise and distribution-related topics, such as the Annual Forum on Franchising, the National Convention of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (having received the AAFD's Total Quality Franchising Chairman's Award for Distinguished Service to the Franchising Community in 2017), the International Franchise Association, the International Bar Association and the International Distribution Institute. He speaks regularly to various franchise and industry groups about their rights. Ron is a former author of a widely cited franchise treatise, as well as the author of numerous books, chapters and papers on the rights of franchisees.

Ron graduated magna cum laude in 1991 from Mankato State University, and is a 1994 cum laude with honors graduate of the Hamline University School of Law, and was been honored by his law school as a Hamline University School of Law Distinguished Alumnus, making him one of only 35 of the graduates at Hamline to ever be so honored. He and his wife Becky are the proud parents of Devyn and Zach, as well as the proud grandparents of Ryan and Owen.



  • Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence – 1994
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Honors: Silver Gavel Honor Society
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Law Review: Hamline University Law Review, Senior Associate, 1992 – 1994
  • Mankato State University, Mankato, Minnesota
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts – 1991
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Major: Political Science
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Honors: Outstanding Debate Student
    • Major: Speech/Communication

Bar Admission

  • Minnesota, 1994
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1994
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, 1995
  • U.S. District Court District of Nebraska, 1997
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Arkansas, 1999
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Arkansas, 1999
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2004
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2004
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 2001
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2002

Published Works

  • Author, Franchising: Realities and Remedies, American Law Media (1998-2004)

Representative Cases

  • Dunafon v. Taco Bell, Bus. Fran. Guide (CCH), 1997, W.D. Mo.
  • C&B et. al. v. Ford New Holland, Bus. Fran. Guide (CCH), 1996, AAA
  • Pool Concepts, Inc. v. Watkins, Inc., 2002, D. Minn.


  • Rising Young Star of the Legal Profession (Law and Politics), 1998 - 2002
  • Minnesota SuperLawyer, 2003 - 2021
  • Hot Shots Under 40 -- The Best Franchise Lawyers Under 40 in the United States (Franchise Times), 2002
  • “Legal Eagle” by the Franchise Times
  • “Best Lawyers in America” in the field of Franchise Law, 2006 - 2020
  • Best Lawyers in America” named Ron the “Lawyer of the Year” in Franchise Law in Minneapolis, 2018 - 2019
  • Who’s Who, Ten most highly regarded franchise lawyers in North America, 2010 - 2020
  • AAFD announces 2022 TQF Lifetime Achievement Award to Ron Gardner
  • "WWL Thought Leaders: Global Elite” by Who’s Who Legal, 2020 and 2023

Classes & Seminars

  • Instructor, Good Faith Termination, American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 1999 to 1999
  • Instructor, Getting to Yes With Your Franchisor, AAFD National Convention, 1999 to 1999
  • Instructor, How to Find, Use and Defend Against the Expert Witness, American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising, 2000 to 2000
  • Instructor, Mapping the Contours of the Arbitration Landscape
  • Keynote Speaker, Annual Franchise & Distribution Law and Developments, American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising, 2002 to 2002
  • Instructor, The Road Warriors: Effective and Direct Cross Examinations in Franchise & Distribution Disputes, American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising, 2003 to 2003

Representative Clients

  • Franchisees
  • Dealers and Distributors
  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Trucking Equipment
  • Fast Food
  • Auto Parts

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association, Member, Forum on Franchising, 1994
  • American Bar Association, Member, Steering Committee, Litigation & Dispute Resolution Division, 1999 to 2000
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member, 1994
  • Hennepin County Bar Association, Member
  • Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Director, Steering Committee, Litigation & Dispute Resolution Division, 2001 to 2003
  • American Bar Association, Member/Marketing Officer, Governing Committee, Forum on Franchising, 2003
Rated by Super Lawyers(R) - Ronald K. Gardner Selected on 2023 | SuperLawyers.com
Best Lawyers Lawyer Of The Year 2015 Franchise Law Ronald K. Gardner, Jr. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Chambers Ranked In USA 2023 Ronald K. Gardner, Jr.
Watch Ron Gardner's Franchisee Law Q&A on Reel Lawyers.com Where America's Lawyers Talk Law
Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | U.S. News & World Report | Franchise Law - Tier 1 | Minneapolis | 2023
Rated By Super Lawyers Top 100 Minnesota SuperLawyers.com
Rated By Super Lawyers Ronald K. Gardner, Jr. 15 Years
Ronald K. Gardner, JR Recognized By Best Lawyers 2024
Best Lawyers Lawyer of the year 2024 Franchise Law Ronald K. Gardner, JR Minneapolis, Minnesota
2023 Franchise Times Legal Eagles