Partner at Mulcahy LLP

Filemon “Phil” Carrillo

By on January 16, 2017


Filemon “Phil” Carrillo litigates state and federal franchise laws, intellectual property rights, unfair competition, and other complex business issues.

Phil is a commercial litigator and concentrates his practice on representing franchisors, distributors and manufacturers in state and federal courts and arbitration. He represents a broad range of clients from established multinational franchisors to emerging franchise systems, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and individuals in complex business disputes. In his practice, he has handled contract disputes, domestic and international trademark infringement issues, franchise development disputes, defamation claims, wage and employment cases, fraud claims, and commercial lease disputes.

Phil has counselled clients in various industries including quick service restaurants, pet care, fitness, child care, furniture, janitorial, equipment manufacturing, among others. He also provides ongoing guidance to his clients, acting as outside general counsel, to assist them through day to day issues that they encounter.

His years of experience as a litigator include a full range of strategies, from the pursuit of or defense from emergency relief through jury trial and appeal. Phil leverages his expertise in franchise and vertical distribution throughout every dispute, from prefiling through trial and appellate strategy.

Phil earned his BA from University of California, Riverside in Philosophy and his JD from The George Washington University Law School. While at GW Law, he served as Editor-in-Chief of The Federal Circuit Bar Journal, a Dean’s Fellow teaching first year law students in the legal research and writing program, and a student attorney in the Public Justice Advocacy Clinic representing clients in the District of Columbia.

Representative Matters

Franchise and Distribution

  • Obtained default judgment in favor of franchisor including lost future royalties;
  • Obtained TRO that successfully stopped licensor from violating licensees’ territorial rights;
  • Convinced plaintiff-manufacturer to voluntarily dismiss entire lawsuit against regional distributor in response to a meet and confer letter;
  • Litigate numerous disputes, involving claims predicated upon statutory violations, business torts, and contractual breaches.

Employment Law

  • Obtain defense verdict after five-day bench trial of sexual harassment (and derivative claims), after successfully disposing of claims following summary judgment motion on disability discrimination claims, and obtain significant costs award against plaintiff;
  • Successfully dispose of disability discrimination claim on demurrer; plaintiff’s application for writ of mandate was summarily denied;
  • Successfully dispose of complaint in intervention (alleging product defect and other claims) by way of procedural challenge;
  • Defend against numerous claims for violations of the FEHA, wage and hour claims, tort and other statutory claims.

Intellectual Property

  • Litigate trademark infringement dispute between direct competitors, including second chair in 12-hour mediation arriving at settlement.


  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D., 2016
  • Editor-in-Chief, The Federal Circuit Bar Journal, Volume 25
  • Student Attorney, Public Justice Advocacy Clinic
  • Dean’s Fellow
  • Member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Board
  • Research Assistant to Global Competition Professor of Law and Policy, William E. Kovacic
  • University of California, Riverside, B.A. Philosophy, 2013
  • President, Pre-law chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court (Central District of California, Southern District of California)
  • Supreme Court of California

Publications & Awards

  • What You See Isn't What You Get: How the Colgate Doctrine May Apply to the Disposable Contact Lens Antitrust Litigation (2015) 24 Competition: J. Anti. & Unfair Comp. L. Sec. St. B. Cal. 60
  • But We Agreed to Arbitrate! – The Enforceability of an Arbitration Clause after the Termination or Expiration of the Written Agreement – Mulcahy LLP Blog (June 2017)
  • California Courts Narrow the New Motor Vehicle Board’s Jurisdiction to Hear Dealer Protests – Mulcahy LLP Blog (March 2018)
  • Leegin, Ten Years Later: Did Vertical Agreements Remain Unlawful Per Se Where Adopted To Facilitate A Price-Fixing Horizontal Scheme? Franchise Law Journal, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Summer 2018) (co-authored with James Mulcahy)
  • Don’t Let Your Marketing and Event Sponsorship Activities Run Afoul of California’s Tied-House Prohibitions – Mulcahy LLP Blog (March 2018)
  • Ninth Circuit Upholds Finding That Franchisor Is Not A Joint Employer In Wage-And-Hour Class Action, Affirming Summary Judgment – Mulcahy LLP Blog (October 2019)
  • California Court Of Appeal Holds That The ABC Test From Dynamex Does Not Apply To The Joint Employer Context – Mulcahy LLP Blog (November 2020)
  • Franchisors Beware: Landlord as Unintended Franchisee (January 2020)
  • Southern California Super Lawyers, Rising Star, Franchise/Dealership (2019, 2020)




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