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Bryan P. Couch

Partner

Overview

Bryan Couch is the Managing Partner of Connelly Foley’s Newark office and Chair of the firm’s Franchise and Distribution Group. An accomplished and knowledgeable litigator, Bryan focuses on complex commercial disputes, trademark litigation, product liability claims, business torts and other claims arising from a wide variety of business relationships, primarily in the franchise, manufacturing, distribution and hospitality sectors. 

Experienced in all aspects of litigation, Bryan provides exceptional counsel at trial, and in mediation and arbitration proceedings. He has appeared in the federal and state courts of New York and New Jersey and elsewhere throughout the United States. Bryan regularly handles cases across the country arising from franchise, license and management agreements, including trademark claims and the full gauntlet of relationship, competition and enforcement issues. He has represented national and international franchisors, several Fortune 100 corporations, and some of the largest hospitality companies in the world. Throughout his career, Bryan has also defended clients in a broad array of casualty claims, including premises liability, inadequate security and product liability. He likewise has extensive experience defending against manufacturing, design defect, negligence and breach of warranty claims for his manufacturer and product distribution clients.  

Bryan is a graduate of the prestigious International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Trial Academy at Stanford University. He is also an active member of the International Franchise Association, the ABA Forum on Franchising, and the Defense Research Institute (DRI).  Bryan frequently lectures and writes on franchise, hospitality and other litigation-related topics.

Experience

Representative Experience

Bryan regularly represents or has recently represented:

  • Franchisors in disputes with their franchisees across the country relating to all issues arising from the termination of the franchise relationship
  • Hotels and entertainment venues in negligent security and other premises claims, including multi-million dollar claims involving catastrophic injuries or death
  • Manufacturers and retailers of paper shredders in product liability claims, many of which allege catastrophic injuries
  • Manufacturers of tools, blades, grinding wheels and other component parts in product liability claims
  • Construction project managers and general contractors in catastrophic injury claims at work sites
  • A manufacturer of recreational vehicles in commercial disputes with dealers
  • A brake manufacturer in a commercial dispute relating to an Asset Purchase Agreement
  • A worldwide manufacturer of factory and logistics automation in a commercial dispute with a distributor
  • An electric bicycle franchisor in a dispute with a franchisee
  • A scrap metal company in a negligent cargo loading claim
  • A non-profit charitable organization in a dispute relating to an Affiliation Agreement
  • Hotel management companies in disputes with hotel owners relating to management agreements
  • A large retailer in a trade dress dispute with a competitor
  • A large hospitality franchisor in a multi-site dispute involving claims of wrongful termination
  • A scrap metal company in a dispute with a distributor

Activities

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • HospitalityLawyer.com
  • Defense Research Institute
  • International Franchise Association
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) - Trial

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

  • Featured Speaker, "Litigation Against Competitors," IFA Annual Legal Symposium
    Washington, D.C. , 05.2017
  • Featured Speaker, "Walking the Franchise Tightrope," DRI Retail and Hospitality Litigation Seminar
    Chicago, IL, 05.2017
  • Speaker, “Jury Research,” ALM In-House Counsel CLE, Sponsored by the New Jersey Law Journal
    Brooklake Country Club; Florham Park, NJ , 11.2015
  • Featured Speaker, "The Pendulum Swings…Survey of Management Agreement Litigation," Hospitality Law Conference
    Houston, TX, 02.2014
  • Featured Speaker, "Emerging Trends Roundtable Discussion," Hospitality Law Conference
    Houston, TX, 02.2014
  • Moderator, Hospitality Law Conference
    Houston, TX, 02.2012
  • Featured Speaker, "How to Conduct a Data Breach Investigation," DRI's Strictly Hospitality Seminar
    Scottsdale, AZ, 09.2011

Publications

  • ROI-NJ, 01.25.2019
  • Author, “Will New Court Rulings Make it Harder for Franchisors to Rescue a Hostage Trademark?”
    New Jersey Lawyer, 02.2016
  • Author, "Manifest Destiny: Helping Your Franchisor Clients Navigate The Risks Associated With Global Expansion"
    The Business Suit, Volume 14, Issue 3, 03.2011
  • Author, "Practical Advice for Dealing with a Bully Adversary"
    The Defense, DRI In-House Defense Quarterly, 04.2010
  • Author, "An Alternative to the Alternative – How Outside Counsel Can Help Clients Reduce Litigation Costs within the Traditional Hourly Fee Model"
    The Whisper, DRI Young Lawyers Committee monthly newsletter, Volume 6, Issue 2, 03.2010
  • Author, "Are Franchises Subject to Personal Jurisdiction in the Franchisor's Home State?" 
    Franchise Law Journal, Volume 28, Number 3, Winter 2009
  • Author, "How Agent Competition and Corruption Affects Sports and the Athlete-Agent Relationship and What Can Be Done to Control It"
    10 Seton Hall J. Sport L. 111, 2000

Honors

New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Star (2015)

Top Franchise Attorney, 1851 Magazine (2019)

Education

Seton Hall University School of Law (J.D., Seton Hall University Journal of Sport Law Notes and Comments Editor 2000)

Fordham University (B.A., History, 1997)

Admissions

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