James Rubinger



T (703) 774-1208
F (703) 774-1201

12005 Sunrise Valley Drive
Suite 200
Reston, VA 20191



Jim brings over three decades of franchise litigation, arbitration, and mediation experience to Plave Koch. Jim’s resume includes some of the most significant cases in franchising, particularly in post-merger disputes.

Jim specializes in franchise and trademark litigation. He has litigated, and won, cases in trial and appellate courts, as well as arbitration, across the country and internationally. He has represented franchisors and manufacturers in a wide variety of contract, business torts, antitrust, and state statutory cases. He also counsels franchisors on the operation of multiple and competing brands, anti-trust issues, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, extraterritorial application of U.S. trademark law, and franchise termination disputes and distribution issues.


  • George Washington University Law School (J.D., with highest honors); Editor-in-Chief, The George Washington Law Review
  • Brown University (B.A.)
  • Law clerk, Hon. J. Clifford Wallace, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


  • American Bar Association (Forum on Franchising, Litigation, Antitrust, and IP sections)
  • Virginia State Bar
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Bar Association of the District of Columbia

Admitted to Practice

  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • Virginia


  • Best Lawyers in America
  • International Who’s Who
  • Who’s Who Legal 2019
  • Washington Post, Top Rated Lawyers
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Presenter, Moderator, or Co-Presenter:

Legal Ethics in Counseling Franchise Systems in Crisis
52nd Annual IFA Legal Symposium
May, 2019| Washington D.C

Operating a Franchise System With Multiple Brands: Issues and Best Practices
November 2014| American Bar Association Webinar

Expansion, Encroachment, Impact and Cannibalization
41st International Franchise Association Legal Symposium
May 2008| Washington, D.C.

Representing Franchise Clients in the Post-Enron World
American Bar Association – 27th Annual Forum on Franchising
October 7, 2004| Vancouver, BC

Using the Lanham Act to Combat Foreign Trademark Piracy
34th International Franchise Association Legal Symposium
May 2001| Washington, D.C.

The Role of Technology in Tactical Execution
International Franchise Association Annual Convention
February 2001| Las Vegas, NV

Mergers and Acquisitions of Franchise Companies
32nd International Franchise Association Legal Symposium
May 1999| Washington, D.C.

Acquiring and Operating Multiple Franchise Systems
International Franchise Association Annual Convention
March 1999| Miami Beach, FL

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Author or Co-Author:

Legal Aspects of Selling and Buying: May Seller Restrict the Prices at Which Buyer Resells? (Third Edition)
2014| Thomson Reuters

Prevailing Franchisor Awarded Attorneys’ Fees
Franchise Alert
July 30, 2007

Operation of Competing Brands Upheld Again
The Franchise Lawyer, Vol. 9, No. 1
September 2005

Using the Lanham Act to Combat Foreign Trademark Piracy
Franchise Alert
May 18, 2001

Operation of Competing Franchise Systems
Franchise Alert
May 28, 2000

Covenants Against Competition in Franchise Agreements (First Edition)
Monograph, Co-Editor
1992| American Bar Association

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