Frantz Ward LLP

James B. Niehaus

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Practice Areas

Jim focuses his practice on competition law—resolving disputes between and managing the relationships among competitors and businesses at different levels of the distribution chain. This includes litigating and counseling clients with respect to distribution, antitrust, intellectual property, franchising and licensing matters. Jim has extensive experience in litigating business disputes in the alcoholic beverages, motor vehicle and telecommunications industries, as well as disputes involving claims of unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of non-compete agreements, breach of franchise agreements and infringement of intellectual property rights.

Jim has assisted clients as national distribution counsel, including counseling clients on how to establish new distribution networks, both domestic and international, and how to restructure dealer networks in compliance with various state and federal dealer and franchising laws.

Over the past several years, Jim has represented several manufacturers in disputes with distributors involving Ohio’s Alcoholic Beverages Franchise Act, including a successful appeal to the Supreme Court of Ohio, the first two trials to determine “diminished value” under the Act and successful appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in cases under the Ohio Franchise Act.

Jim also has extensive antitrust and intellectual property experience.