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Jeffery S. Haff
- Franchise Law
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 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).
In November of 2019, Jeff obtained an $890,000 arbitration award based upon statutory and common law fraud claims against the 18|8 franchise system franchisor and two of its control persons. After adding attorneys’ fees and pre-award interest, the final Award was roughly $1,400,000.
On May 20, 2022, Jeff, along with his colleagues Riley Horan and South Dakota counsel Rebecca Mann, won a very important ruling in the case of Expedition League, Inc. v. Badlands Big Sticks Baseball Club, LLC et al., South Dakota Circuit Court Case No.: 51Civ22-150, defeating a 3-year 100-mile non-compete claim and the possibility of over $5,000,000 in liquidated damages against owners of a summer baseball league. Circuit Court Judge Stacy Wickre dismissed the non-compete claims, accepting the argument of Jeff and his co-counsel that non-competes of this sort are void under SDCL 53-9-8 and case law of the South Dakota courts. The Plaintiff in the case, the Expedition League, had hoped to put the owners out of business and deny the people of the Upper Midwest summer baseball for 2022-2024. Jeff is very proud to have solidified the law in South Dakota on non-competes and to have been able to help the public see summer baseball in these trying times.
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 Carol. They have three grown children: Kelly (born 1994), Ryan (1995) and Erica (1998).
- Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina
- J.D. - 1989
- Honors: With Honors
- State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
- B.A. - 1986
- Honors: summa cum laude
- Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Presidential Honors Scholar
- Major: Communication
- Minnesota, 1989
- U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1989
- Co-Presenter: Focusing On the Bottom Line: Managing Costs and Driving Value When Resolving Franchise Disputes (2020)
- 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).
- Sioux Falls Kenworth, Inc. v. Isuzu Commercial Trucks of America, Inc., 2017 WL 3600404 (D.S.D. August 18, 2017)
- FECO, Ltd. v. Highway Equipment Co., Inc., 2010 WL 5394727 (Iowa App. Dec. 22, 2010)
- Town & Country Equipment, Inc. v. Deere & Company, Inc., 133 F. Supp.2d 665 (W.D. Tenn. 2000)
- Zitco, Inc., v. BASF, Inc., Business Franchise Guide, 1999, D. Minn.
- Heck Implement, Inc. v. Deere & Co., 926 F. Supp. 138, 1996, W.D. Mo., 1996117699
- Metro All Snax, Inc, vs. All Snax Inc., 1996, D. Minn.
- Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. v. Prudential Long Island Realty, Inc., Business Franchise Guide, 1995, C.D. Cal.
- Expedition League, Inc. v. Badlands Big Sticks Baseball Club, LLC et al., South Dakota Circuit Court Case No.: 51Civ22-150,
- Best Lawyers in America named him “Lawyer of the Year” for Minneapolis franchise lawyers, 2017
- Minnesota “Super Lawyer”, every year since 2002
- “Legal Eagle” by Franchise Times for 20 years
- “AV Preeminent” lawyer for over 20 years and recently receiving the prestigious “AV Preeminent Judicial Edition” award from Martindale-Hubbell
- Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly, Attorney, 1989 to 1995