Legal Grounds is a coffee shop located in a strip mall a block away from Anytown Law School. For 10 years Legal Grounds has done a booming business as the study spot of choice for law students, and during that time, the landlord (the property manager for the strip mall) had refrained from renting space in the strip mall to any other coffee shop, although there was no specific “non-compete” language in Legal Grounds’ lease agreement preventing the landlord from renting space to another coffee shop. Last week a “coming soon” sign appeared on the vacant space at the end of the strip mall, announcing the imminent arrival of a new Coffee-Up franchise store. Coffee-Up is known nationally for its tasty coffee beverages, comfortable seating, and convenient drive-through service, and the owner of Legal Grounds is worried about the impact that the Coffee-Up store will have on Legal Grounds‘ business.
In a 2 page paper address the following:
- What legal action, if any, can Legal Grounds take to protect itself?
- Would Legal Grounds be in a better position if their lease agreement contained a provision similar to the “non-compete” language described above?
- Please state reasons in support of each of your answers.