biography

Debra began her legal career representing a national franchisor in 1991. Almost 25 years later, Debra continues to concentrate her practice on brand expansion through franchising, dealerships and distributorships, and, trademark and brand protections. Her clients operate in a wide range of industries, including food & beverage, manufacturing, recycling, construction, marketing, personal services and transportation industries. Since 2009, Debra has been recognized as a “Legal Eagle” in the Jacksonville community in the practice areas of franchising and business law. She holds the highest achievable rating with Martindale Hubble Law Directory, (AV Preeminent) and the highest AVVO rating (10).

  • Her experience in franchising is comprehensive. She represents clients in FDD & document preparation, state registrations, dealership arrangements, co-branding, franchise compliance, real estate negotiations, acquisitions, vendor agreements, franchise advertising compliance, and franchise litigation monitoring.
  • Debra represents clients in trade protection matters including trademark registration, non-competition agreements, NDAs, trade secret protection, unfair c...
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  • Corporate Experience

    Arthur Treacher’s, Inc, General Counsel

  • Professional Accomplishments
    • Super Lawyer – Franchising
    • Editorial Board Member, Florida Bar Journal – Florida Bar
    • Senior Law Committee Member – Florida Bar
    • Former Chair of the Jacksonville Bar Franchise Committee
    • Former Membership Committee Member by the ABA Forum on Franchising
    • Former Trustee of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce
    • Former Diversity and Inclusion Committee Member – Florida Bar
    • Recognized in Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who of American Women
    • Recognized as a “Legal Eagle” in Franchising and Business Law – Jacksonville Magazine 904
    • AVVO rating 10
    • Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent rating
  • Publications
  • Presentations and Speaking Engagements
    • “Exploring Entrepreneurial Options: Buying An Existing Business” – Presenter, Small Business Resource Conference
    • “ABCs of Contracts CLE: Ethics and Business Contracts” – Presenter, National Business Institute
    • “ABCs of Contracts CLE: Competition Issues” – Presenter, National Business Institute
    • “Negotiating A Commercial Lease” – Presenter, Entrepreneur’s Law School, University of North Florida, Business Resource Center
    • “Advantages and Pitfalls in Buying an Existing Business” – Presenter, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce LaunchPad
    • “Starting a Business” –       Presenter, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce LaunchPad
    • “Franchising” – Presenter, Jacksonville Business Expo 2010
    • Contracts Law Professor, Director of the Municipal Clinic – Florida Coastal School of Law
  • Community Service
    • Duval Audubon Society – Director of Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids, Former Board Member
    • Friends of Jacksonville Animals – Foster Volunteer
    • Florida Urgent Rescue – Volunteer

MiamiCleveland

Credentials

Admissions

Florida
Ohio
US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
US District Court for the Middle District of Florida

Education

Case Western Reserve University, J.D., 1991
Kent State University, M.A., 1986
Kent State University, B.A., 1983

Practice Areas