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

Eric H. Karp (2019), Chair
Witmer, Karp, Warner & Ryan LLP 
Boston, MA

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

Karen B. Satterlee, Immediate Past Chair
Hilton Worldwide, Inc.
McLean, VA

Governing Committee

Bethany Appleby (2020)
Franchise World Headquarters, LLC
Milford, CT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dawn Newton (2021)
Donahue Fitzgerald, LLP 
Oakland, CA

David W. Oppenheim (2019)
Greenberg Traurig LLP
Florham Park, NJ 

Elizabeth Martori Weldon (2021)
Snell & Wilmer LLP
Costa Mesa, CA 

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

William K. Whitner (2022)
Paul Hastings LLP 
Atlanta, GA

Yolanda Muhammad,
Forum Director
American Bar Association

Forum on Franchising Governing Committee Officers Directory (sign in to view)