Representing Clients in Litigation & Arbitration
In addition to counseling and drafting agreements, we have deep and broad experience litigating and arbitrating disputes between manufacturers and their distributors, dealers and sales agents, including breach of contract claims and claims based on state franchise and dealer protection statutes. The following is a sample of our work in this area:
- An action against the state of New Hampshire seeking a declaratory judgment that 2013 amendments to its motor vehicle dealer law violate the Contracts Clause of the New Hampshire and U.S. Constitutions, along with the Equal Protection and dormant Commerce Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, when applied retroactively to our manufacturing client’s dealer agreements, Husqvarna Professional Products, Inc. v. State of New Hampshire, No. 217-2014-cv-00166 (Super. Ct., Merrimack County, N.H.).
- An action by our client’s North American sales representative alleging termination of the representation agreement in violation of Ohio law and raising issues under Italian law, which was specified in the agreement, Enquip Technologies Group Inc. v. Tycon Technoglass S.r.l., No. 2008-cv-1276 (Court of Common Pleas, Greene County, Ohio). The case was tried to a verdict in April 2011, and all claims against our client, a manufacturer of reactor vessels and related products used in pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing, were dismissed on appeal in an opinion reported at 986 N.E.2d 469 (Ohio Ct. App. 2012).
- An action by a wallpaper and wallcoverings manufacturer against our client, a distributor in Houston, Texas, alleging breach of contract, unfair competition and other wrongful conduct in connection with termination of the distributor agreement, RJF International Corp. v. Wallcoverings International, Inc., No. 12-cv-1348 (N.D. Ohio). The case was settled in 2012.
- An action alleging termination of a dealership in violation of the Minnesota Heavy and Utility Equipment Manufacturers and Dealers Act and the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law in which we defended a material handling equipment manufacturer, Minnesota Supply Co. v. Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc., No. 10-CV-4311(SRN/TNL) (D. Minn.). The court dismissed the claims against our client in a decision reported at 822 F.Supp. 2d 896 (D. Minn. 2011).
- An action alleging termination of a sales agency agreement in violation of the Texas equipment dealer statute (formerly Tex. Bus. & Com. Code §§ 55.001 et seq.) in which we defended an outdoor power and lawn and garden equipment manufacturer, Relco Military Sales, Inc. v. Husqvarna Outdoor Products, Inc., No. 3:09-cv-1350 (N.D. Tex.). The case was settled in 2010.
- An action alleging wrongful termination of a distributor agreement and price discrimination in violation of ch. 93A of the Massachusetts General Laws in which we defended a manufacturer of high pressure laminates, Prime Plywood & Panel, Inc. v. Formica Corp., No. 1:09-cv-30212 (D. Mass.). The case was settled in 2010.
- An action alleging termination of a distributor agreement in violation of the Arizona Equipment Dealer Statute in which we represented an industrial pump manufacturer, Phoenix Pumps, Inc. v. Moyno, Inc., No. CV 09-01158-PHX-MHM (D. Ariz.). The court dismissed the case on venue grounds in a decision reported at 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14591 (D. Ariz. 2010).
- An action against our client, a manufacturer of aircraft engine test stands, by its former sales representative in Turkey for unpaid commissions, Aydin Company Exchange, Inc. v. Avtron Manufacturing, Inc., No. CV 09 700081 (Ct. of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio). The case was settled in 2009.
- An action alleging constructive termination of a dealership in violation of the New Jersey Franchise Practices Act in which we defended a material handling equipment manufacturer, Maintainco, Inc. v. Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc., No. C-300-00 (Superior Court, Chancery Div., Bergen County, N.J.). The New Jersey Appellate Division’s opinion affirming judgment for the dealer is reported at 975 A.2d 510 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2009).
- An action filed on behalf of our client, a power transmission parts distributor, alleging termination in violation of the Wisconsin Fair Dealership Law and pursuant to a resale price maintenance conspiracy between the manufacturer and a competing distributor in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, Bearing Distributors, Inc. v. Rockwell Automation, Inc., No. 06-CV-831 (N.D. Ohio). The case was settled after the district court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss; the court’s opinion is reported at 2006 WL 2709779 (N.D. Ohio Sept. 20, 2006).