A member of the Business Litigation practice area, Teresa Cauwels focuses on commercial litigation and arbitration. The majority of her work centers around litigation issues for major franchisors.

Representing franchisors exclusively, Teresa prosecutes or defends the enforcement of franchise agreements, vicarious claims, injunctions and noncompetes. In state, federal and appeals courts, she handles disputes with franchisees, area developers, dealers, distributors, vendors and brokers.

Teresa has successfully counseled numerous domestic and international franchisors in high-profile litigation across the country. She is part of the national counsel team for two of the world’s largest franchisors serving more than 20 of the 100 most well-known brands.

Sensitive to the nuances of the franchise relationship, Teresa provides risk management through innovative guidance in an organization’s startup, expansion or daily operations. She also actively explores opportunities to resolve disputes through various means of alternative dispute resolution.


  • University of Iowa College of Law  (J.D., 2002)
    • Trial Advocacy Team (Member)
    • Moot Court Team (Captain)
    • Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity (President)
    • International Academy of Trial Lawyers Student Advocacy Award (Recipient)
    • Donald P. Lay Service Award (Recipient)
    • Best Advocate of the Baskerville Moot Court Competition (Recipient)
  • University of Northern Iowa  (B.A., magna cum laude, 1998)


  • Missouri
  • Kansas
  • South Dakota
  • Iowa
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota

Professional Activities

  • The Missouri Bar 
  • Kansas Bar Association 
  • Iowa State Bar Association 
  • State Bar of South Dakota