Watch: Haute Lawyer Presents Exclusive Webinar With Robert Zarco

For the second installment of the Haute Lawyer Network’s webinar series, Robert Zarco was the guest Lawyer expert.

Attorney Robert Zarco, Founder of the law firm Zarco, Einhorn, Salkowski, & Brito, P.A., has been at the forefront of protecting the legal rights and interests of business clients in the USA and overseas for over 35 years, handling complex Franchise, Commercial, and Business legal matters and trials in Federal and State Courts, as well as Arbitration and Mediation.

Haute Media Group co-founder, Seth Semilof, sat down with Robert Zarco to discuss a range of topics including how Robert Zarco decided to become a Lawyer, his upbringing and overcoming obstacles. Here are some highlights from the conversation:

Seth Semilof: Tell us a little bit about your upbringing and your story.

Robert Zarco: From a very early age, being the son of Cuban Immigrant parents, all I ever knew was an extraordinary amount of hard work. I realized that if I was to enjoy the finer things in life, which I seemed to have had a flair for at a very early age, it would be very unfair for me to impose that on my parents to provide for me when they were having difficulties providing for the family itself. So, I decided I would start a small landscaping business at the age of seven. Believe it or not, it was an overwhelming success for a kid at the age of seven.

SS: Your first landmark case, that Burger King case, which your former bosses told you would not amount to anything more than $50,000, could you tell us the outcome of that case? Because, after all, that was the case that resulted in how you started your own business. 

RZ: I was told there was no chance I would win the case on the principles I was pursuing. Within four to six months after I started the law firm, I won a defensive motion for summary judgement on the issue of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, which was the only way I was going to be able to get substantial value for that case. The case eventually settled. I can say what the amount was because it was all over the press, it was not a confidential settlement and it was actually a mutual decision made by all parties to do so because it was beneficial to show that Burger Kind did the right thing when a franchise was in trouble. I always praise Burger King for that. They ended up paying my client over $4M, with other aspects that were part of the deal S well which were significantly higher.

SS: It’s important to point out, it’s not like you did the case and got paid a month later. You had to put in all the work and probably only collected a year later.

RZ: Listen, this took a lot of courage. I put all my cards on the table. When I left, the associate of my former law firm was fired, so I brought him on to work with me. The legal assistant that was working with me also left to come to work with me. My secretary at my former firm also joined us so it was just the four of us and it was a lot of hard work. I was the only one who took a pay cut as I kept the rest of them on the same salary they earned previously and I appreciate what they did for me very much. We had a nice group of people that wanted to make sure we overcame the odds. Eventually, when we won that case, I was smart to send out a press release and fax it to every media outlet I could think of. Several outlets ended up using the story and that’s when the flood gates opened. After that, a McDonald’s case came in, then a Taco Bell case came in, then a Dunkin’ Donuts case came in. So, within a a year, I went from representing franchisees from about half a dozen franchises as opposed to just Burger King. This was about 30 years ago. Today, I represent franchisees from over 550 franchise brands in 23 different countries and 44 states, which I believe makes us one of the largest, if not the largest practice in the world.

Watch the entire fascinating conversation below: