Photo of Judson Welborn

In his more than two decades at Manning Fulton, Judd has represented franchisors and franchisees in a wide variety of claims, from work outs to modifications, from negotiated resolutions to trial. With his wide variety of franchise-focused litigation experience, Judd has developed a reputation as being one of the most experienced and trusted franchise litigators in North Carolina. His temperament, passion, and approach to dispute resolution have contributed to his successes both inside and outside the courtroom.

Judd regularly represents his clients in the state and federal courts of North Carolina and beyond, as well as arbitration forums and administrative agencies. Judd has also been certified as a Civil Superior Court Mediator by the State of North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission.

Judd was named by his peers and clients as a “Local Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation, the definitive guide to America’s leading litigation firms and attorneys. Benchmark Litigation is the culmination of extensive annual research, including comprehensive interviews with litigators and their clients, an examination of recent casework, and solicited professional and peer reviews. His status as a “Local Litigation Star” is a recognition by colleagues, clients and the broader market that he is “consistently reputable and effective,” and that he “plays a vital role in Manning Fulton’s bench strength.” In addition, Judd is honored to have been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Real Estate Litigation (2013-2019), Commercial Litigation (2013-2019), Land Use and Zoning Litigation (2013-2019), Construction Litigation (2012-2019) and Construction (2015-2019), named as a North Carolina Super Lawyer as one of North Carolina’s top rated Business Litigation Attorneys (2014-2019), Construction Litigation Attorneys (2019) and General Litigation Attorneys (2019), as well as a Rising Star (2009-2013), and to have been recognized by Business North Carolina Magazine as one of North Carolina’s Legal Elite in the areas of Construction Law (2006, 2008-2018), Business Litigation (2007-2009), Litigation (2013, 2014, 2017, 2019). Finally, Judd holds Martindale-Hubbell’s highest “AV” peer review rating.

Judd regularly counsels and represents franchisors and franchisees in the hospitality, home improvement, quick service restaurants, and retail industries and has litigated all matters of franchise disputes, from bet-the-company cases with more than $500 million in controversy to run of the mill contract disputes.

Representative Matters:

  • Lead counsel for national franchisor in numerous lawsuits around the United States in claims ranging from a few thousand dollars to more than $500 million.
  • Represented one of the largest multi-unit franchisees in the United States against a multinational franchisor in a franchise dispute resulting in favorable settlement for the franchisee in excess of $10 million.
  • Represented North Carolina-based franchisee against international franchisor in dispute over area development agreement resulting in favorable settlement for franchisee.
  • Represented North Carolina-based franchisor in numerous construction and development-related litigation matters across the United States.
  • Represented franchisors and franchisees in numerous eminent domain actions across North Carolina.
  • Lead trial counsel for an out of state financial institution in a $15 million lender liability lawsuit that was tried to jury verdict in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina resulting in a finding of no liability on any of the counts asserted against the financial institution.
  • Lead counsel for former executive in a breach of fiduciary duty and unfair and deceptive trade practices claim in which former business partner sought damages in excess of $50 million which resulted in summary judgment in favor of the former executive.
  • Lead counsel for an out of state financial institution in a $4 million lender liability lawsuit resulting in a dismissal of claims asserted against the financial institution, which was affirmed by the North Carolina Court of Appeals and North Carolina Supreme Court.
  • North Carolina counsel for the largest tobacco company in the United States in a dispute with State of North Carolina over “non-participating manufacturer” adjustments to payment obligations under the Master Settlement Agreement between tobacco companies and 46 states.
  • Lead counsel for former owners of gas station property in eastern North Carolina in breach of contract, environmental and other various tort claims arising from the sale of the gas station which resulted in summary judgment in favor of the former owners.
  • Lead counsel for investor group in claims against investors alleging, among other things, wrongful foreclosure of property, fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices which resulted in summary judgment in favor of the investor group.

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