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James Alfred Meaney

Franchising Attorney at Dublin, OH

5.0   6 reviews
  • Licensed for 46 years
    State OH
    Acquired 1977
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About James

Learn James’s areas of practice.

Practice areas

Jim’s experience includes:

  • Commercial law/litigation practice for over 30 years
  • Franchise Disclosure Document preparation and development
  • Franchise Dispute Resolution - mediation, arbitration and litigation
  • Franchise experience as government regulator, General Counsel and in private practice
  • General Counsel and Vice President of Franchise Development for Damon’s Grill®
  • General Counsel of the Ohio Petroleum Retailers and Repair Association
  • Section Chief of the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section (responsible for enforcement of Ohio’s Business Opportunity Law)
  • Chair of the Columbus Bar Association’s Franchise and Distribution Law Committee
  • General/ongoing representation of franchise systems
  • Member of The American Bar Association Forum on Franchising since 1989 (service on Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (2012-15) and Chair of Small and Solo Practice Group (2014-15))
  • Representation of franchise purchasers/FDD Review/Negotiation
  • Author of How to Buy a Franchise and numerous franchise articles and presentations
  • Mediation Services - for franchise and general commercial matters


Zaino Law Group LPA
5775 Perimeter Drive, Suite 275
Dublin, OH, 43017
Zaino Law Group, LPA
7507 Ravens Nest Ct.
Columbus, OH, 43235
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5.0 / 5.0
  6 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by Matt | September 7, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Attorney!
Jim helped my wife and I navigate a franchise in Ohio. Along with assisting us with the purchase of our building. Jim has extensive knowledge in Franchising and was spot on throughout the whole process. We would recommend Jim for any of your needs as he had a network of resources in addition to his knowledge and experience.
Posted by Laurie` | March 20, 2015
Feedback for James Meaney on FDD review process
My husband and I reached out to Mr Meaney as we were going through the process of researching franchise opportunities a little over a year ago. Having never owned a business before, we were looking for all the expert advice we could get and Jim had plenty to share. We were very excited about an opportunity we found and asked Jim to review the FDD. He was not only quick getting back to us but very honest. He called me and explained that he was only an hour or so into the review but didn't feel comfortable with what he was seeing. He wanted to check on my commitment level to this particular franchise before he spent more time (and money) on the review. I asked him to continue, in my eyes this was a perfect fit for me and my family. Jim continued the review. He called me a short time later with a lot of feedback, most of it concerning. He was very honest and made sure that I understood why he was extremely hesitant for us to continue discussions with that company. He knew he was bursting my bubble, but he was pretty sure that it would be a bad decision to purchase that franchise. After getting over the disappointment and reminding myself that we were relying on him as an expert and therefor should probably follow his advice, we resumed the hunt. In the end we found something even better, Jim agreed after his review, and we couldn't be happier with our decision. Without his honest feedback we would have made a bad investment and who knows what we would be going through right now. I would highly recommend Jim to anyone considering a franchise opportunity.
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Posted by Tom | December 22, 2014
Great attorney
Jim's knowledge and handling of franchise law is second to none. He may be the best attorney I have worked with in any capacity not just franchise law. Actually, this may be the first review I have posted regarding anything, I simply think it should be known how good he actually is.
Posted by anonymous | January 21, 2014
Recommendation for James Meaney
I consulted with Jim when I, as a franchisee, had a dispute with a large international franchisor that was rumored to strenuously fight claims against them. Thanks to Jim's good work, especially the protections for franchisees in Ohio R.C. Chapter 1334 that he helped get enacted, the franchisor was convinced to come to the table and agree to an equitable resolution.
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Posted by anonymous | May 20, 2012
GREAT Franchise Attorney
I would highly recommend Mr. Meaney for any prospective franchisees considering investing in a franchise or a new or existing franchisor. Jim has been involved with the franchise industry for over thirty years and also has experience "in the trenches" as former General Counsel and VP of Franchise Sales for a large franchisor. Working for a smaller, boutique law firm, Jim does most of his own work and the value provided is tremendous. I've worked with big law firms in the past and generally have the partner sell me on the firm with a junior associate with little experience or a paralegal do most of the legal work with very little oversight by the attorney who attracted me to the firm to begin with. The billing is 100% transparent and Mr. Meaney's fees are a bargain at around 50-60% of what franchise attorneys at the big name law firms charge with much less experience in franchising. Also, he is the most responsive attorney I've ever worked with, he always returns phone calls the same day, which I can't say for most law firms I've worked with. And finally, he really tries to add value to his clients through his vast network of franchise industry contacts. I am the founder and CEO of an emerging franchise network and looked for a great franchise attorney for almost two years before I engaged Mr. Meaney's service and wish I would have met him sooner.
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Posted by Greg | May 16, 2012
Recommendation for James Meaney
For the past two years Jim has helped us prepare updates to our Federal Disclosure Document, Franchise Agreement and filed the necessary State Registrations for our two franchise concepts. His work is excellent, timely and reasonably priced. I would not hesitate to recommend Jim for your legal needs.
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  • Hourly Rates $ 350-350 per hour
Payment methods
Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.3 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Shareholder
  • Zaino Law Group LPA
  • 2009 - Present
  • General Counsel & VP of Franchise Development
  • Damon's International, Inc.
  • 2005 - 2008


  • University
  • Basic Mediation Training
  • 2015
  • University of Dayton School of Law
  • Juris Doctor
  • 1977
  • University of Dayton
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • 1974


  • American Bar Association
  • 1987 - Present
  • Columbus Ohio Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1984 - Present
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1977 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
  • 2015 Columbus CEO Top Lawyers
  • Columbus C.E.O. Magazine
  • 2015
  • Franchise 2015
  • Who's Who Legal
  • 2015
  • International Who’s Who of Franchising Lawyers
  • Named in the 2014 International Who’s Who of Franchising Lawyers
  • 2004
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Named in Franchise Law Section of The Best Lawyers in America (1994-1997 and 2005-2014)
  • 1994
View all awards


  • American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2014 Annual Forum
  • Views from the Bench
  • 2014
  • ABA Forum on Franchising - Book Chapter
  • Covenants Against Competition in Franchising (2nd Ed.), (Chapter Author: U.S. Virgin Islands), June 3, 2003; 3rd Edition, due 2012
  • 2012
  • 2010 Annual Forum on Franchisng
  • “Starting A Franchise System: Practical Considerations, Planning and Development,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2010 Annual Forum (Co-author - October 2010)
  • 2010
  • 2006 Annual Forum on Franchsing
  • “Embracing Diversity in Franchise Systems and Managing Associated Legal Risks,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2006 Annual Forum (Co-author - October 2006)
  • 2006
  • American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2003 Annual Forum (Co-author - October 2003)
  • “Twelve O’clock High: Litigating under Statutes Beyond Traditional Franchise Laws,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2003 Annual Forum (Co-author - October 2003)
  • 2003
  • American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 1996 Annual Forum (Comprehensive Mini-Program
  • “Representing Franchisees,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 1996 Annual Forum (Comprehensive Mini-Program) (Co-author - October 1996)
  • 1996
  • Pilot Books
  • Evaluating and Buying a Franchise
  • 1987
  • 1 Franchise Law Journal 169
  • "Ohio's Business Opportunity Law: A Practical Guide," 11 Ohio Northern Law Review 651 (1984); Republished, (1986).
  • 1984
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising, Webinar
  • Disputes during the Three Phases of a Franchise Relationship
  • 2014
  • American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2014 Annual Forum
  • Forum Selection Clauses After Atlantic Marine
  • 2014
  • 2012 Annual Forum on Franchising (Upcoming)
  • “Representing the Franchisor—A Primer on Designing the System, Drafting and Registering Documents and Providing On-going Counseling,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2012 Annual Forum (Co-presenter - October 2012)
  • 2012
  • Seminar
  • “Franchising in Ohio: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know,” Ohio State Bar Association, (Co-author -September 23, 2011)
  • 2011
  • Columbus Accounting Show
  • Franchising: Ohio & Beyond
  • 2011
  • Columbus Accounting Show
  • Franchising - Still Hot After All These Years!
  • 2010
  • 2010 Annual Forum on Franchising
  • “Starting A Franchise System: Practical Considerations, Planning and Development,” American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, 2010 Annual Forum (Co-author - October 2010)
  • 2010
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (3)
Given (1)
Endorse James
Employment and labor Attorney | Mar 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jim Meaney has a well-deserved reputation for his work in the area of franchising. He is also highly skilled as a trial lawyer. I worked with him on an employment matter that several lawyers had turned down. He tried the case and won a great result for the client. I highly endorse him for any civil litigation matter."
Computer fraud Attorney | Sep 08
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer."
Franchising Attorney | Sep 08
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Jim is at the top of his field in franchising. He wrote the key article on Ohio's Business Opportunity Act, which has been cited numerous times by courts. I used him as an expert witness on franchising to testify on numerous issues, and he regularly impressed me with the breadth and depth of his knowledge on franchising."
Dublin Franchising Lawyer James Alfred Meaney
James Alfred Meaney
Franchising Attorney
Dublin, OH
Licensed for 46 years