About Us

The mission of the Forum on Franchising is to be the preeminent forum for the study and discussion of the legal aspects of franchising.


  • To provide high quality educational programs and publications on the legal aspects of franchising.
  • To stimulate discussion of the legal aspects of franchising, in order to educate the legal community and the franchising community on issues of current concern.
  • To promote full and equal participation of minorities, women and other under-represented groups in Forum activities.
  • To enhance the professional growth of Forum members, among other ways by encouraging practitioners in all areas of franchise practice to participate fully in Forum activities.

Want to get involved with the Forum on Franchising?

The Forum actively solicits your involvement in and contribution to its activities.  These activities are not only a pathway to leadership in the Forum, but collegial endeavors that permit Forum members from all over the country—and the world—to get to know one another and work together in ways that build professional relationships and friendships. The below attachment lists those opportunities that are available.

Pathways to Leadership


Forum Leadership

Will K. Woods (2021), Chair
Baker McKenzie
Dallas, TX

Eric H. Karp (2021), Immediate Past Chair
Witmer, Karp, Warner & Ryan LLP 
Boston, MA

Governing Committee

Bethany Appleby (2020)
Appleby & Corcoran, LLC
New Haven, CT 

Ronald Coleman (2020)
Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs, LLP
Atlanta, GA

Peter C. Lagarias (2020)
Lagarias & Napell LLP 
San Rafael, CA 

Gerald Carlyle Wells (2020)
Rita’s Franchise Company, LLC
Trevose, PA

Gary R. Batenhorst (2021)
Cline Williams et al 
Omaha, NE

Elizabeth Weldon (2021)
Snell & Wilmer, LLP
Los Angeles, CA

Michael R. Gray (2021)
Gray Plant Mooty 
Minneapolis, MN

Dawn Newton (2021)
Donahue Fitzgerald LLP
Oakland, CA

Julianne C. Lusthaus (2022)
Lusthaus Law P.C. 
Harrison, NY

Beata Katarina Krakus (2022)
Greensfelder Hemker & Gale 
Chicago, IL

K. Whitner (2022)
Paul Hastings
Atlanta, GA

Robert Lauer (2022)
Haynes and Boone, LLP
Austin, TX

Yolanda Muhammad,
Forum Director
American Bar Association

Click here to view the full Leadership Chart.