AUTOMOTIVE RETAILER PRACTICE

Montgomery Chapin & Fetten has developed a refined set of skills in assisting its’ franchised automotive retail clients in addressing claims by customers affecting sales, service, finance, manufacturer, insurance and employment related matters. The issues confronting automotive retailer clients can take many forms from a minor dispute at work requiring immediate assistance to the most complex class action requiring refined litigation strategies. These can expand to include ancillary issues impacting the franchise relationship, the Dealer Agreement, defense and indemnification, dealer licensing and suspensions, litigation, trial, arbitration and mediation.

The automotive retail industry is one of the most highly regulated industries with a minefield of Federal and State laws and regulations requiring constant education and compliance. From individual claims involving finance matters under the Consumer Protection Leasing Act, Retail Installment Sales Act, Truth-in-Lending Act or regulations thereunder to class action issues brought under the Consumer Fraud Act involving sales practices or regulatory issues such a documentary fees and pre-delivery service fees, the attorneys at MC&F are able to help you navigate the difficult flood of litigation that so often can overwhelm and destroy a thriving business. Many times this may include providing advice and counsel in an individual matter on the telephone in a matter of minutes or identification of and addressing ongoing and systematic practices requiring more extensive investigation, analysis, adjustment and monitoring.

The MC&F employment group lawyers are experienced in all aspects of employment law and have also assisted its automotive retailer clients with issues affecting its employees including discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge claims, wage and hour, equal employment, disability leave, family leave, unemployment and severance agreements. Often times we are called upon to assist or lead appropriate investigations once a complaint is lodged against the employer. We provide advice and counsel on employment handbooks, policies and procedures. This includes advice on day-to-day matters up to and including complex employment litigation.

The employment group practice includes a familiarity with many laws governing the automotive retailer and in the workplace, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the WARN Act, the Law Against Discrimination, CEPA and many other federal and state laws.

The firm assists with manufacturer interaction addressing product issues, policies, procedures including sales and service related systems in the litigation arena. Guidance and collaboration with the manufacturer finance captives results in smooth transitions and joint advancement of strategies designed to quickly resolve and dispose of issues and litigation addressed to such matters. The knowledge of the insurance industry and policy language normally found in Garage Operations and EPLI type coverages greatly assists the attorneys at Montgomery Chapin & Fetten in achieving superior results for the automotive retailer client.

MC&F has assisted all levels of dealership management with identification of issues confronting the business that pose a potential threat of exposure, lost productivity and financial ramifications. The firm is capable of providing educational and training services to the client targeting different segments of the dealership team. Programs can be tailored to address sales, service, harrassment and discrimination at different levels within the dealership structure.