Rev. Bonaventure Curtis O.S.B.

Assistant Professor, Business Law
About Rev. Bonaventure Curtis O.S.B.
I was trained originally as a secondary English teacher. After two years of teaching composition and British literature to seniors at a suburban Minneapolis high school, to avoid a lifetime in severe weather, I migrated to southern California. I wanted to teach, but no attractive job was available. So, I accepted a job as a life and health insurance salesman, through which I received the most important education and experience in business-- an immersion in the critical skills of sales. After one year, an insurance client persuaded me to purchase from him a large, established donut shop near Los Angeles. Without any experience, I purchased the business. Even my wife quit her job as an auditor at the Harford Insurance Company and together we operated the 24/7 business.
Beyond the normal walk-in clientele of a donut shop, I used my sales skills to secure large, lucrative accounts, including the regional juvenile retention facility and a nearby major naval base. Further, I decided to open additional shops and sought a bank loan to underwrite my expansion plan. As I opened the second shop, however, a critical problem surfaced:hiring, training and retaining a reliable manager was unrealistic. I found that, as soon as a manager was trained, he/she would quit and I'd have to retrain another person. Apparently, the manager's job was too demanding for the low compensation related to the job and the job had no interesting path for future personal success.
In response to the reality, I established a "partnership program": following one year of successful service as a shop manager, the employee would receive a salary and 50% of the store's profit (if any). The simple program worked to attract reliable personnel and so I quickly expanded to more than a dozen stores.

However, the program created an unexpected run-in with the California Department of Corporations. An inspector from the Department determined that I was operating an illegal franchising operation without lawful registration and issued to my little company a Cease and Desist Order. So, I hired an expensive lawyer to fight. My experience led to overturning the Department's Order and learning about the franchising business inside and out. Following this, I was offered more money than I thought I'd ever accumulate for my chain, and I decided to enter law school, with the hope that I could avoid again the powerful intimidation of the government or a competitor.

Given that experience, following law school, I began a full-service travel agency that I intended to franchise, which opened more than 120 agencies across the nation. I assisted another law school comrade with his franchising of a pizza shop, NYPD (New York Pizza Department). I was also the attorney for the founder of Pier One Imports and for the regional subfranchisors of Budget Rent-a-Car.

As a founding partner in a Los Angeles law firm, we served unique clients, such as serving as defense counsel for the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles County and as defense counsel for the owner (Mrs. Buckey) in the McMartin Preschool precedent-setting child molestation case, which was the longest, most expensive criminal trial in American history at that time. We also represented technology companies, manufacturing entities, franchisors, television and movie producers, recording labels and entrepreneurs of every ilk, including real estate and mortgage, publishing, restaurants and bars, even a major Beverly Hills plastic surgeon.

So, in my professional career, I have served as a senior high school English teacher, insurance salesman, entrepreneur, business litigation attorney and counselor-at-law to small business concerns and national public companies, corporate executive, college instructor, monk and priest. Regarding business, I am experienced in all types of strategic business transactions, including state and federal securities and franchise laws, as well as everyday business management, development and expansion.
Phone 724-537-4597
Office Location
Courses Taught
  • Franchising
  • Principles of Marketing