Stockamp & Brown can advise your dealership in the following areas:

Franchise Law
Stockamp & Brown has helped protect the interests of dealerships in a vast array of franchise actions, including manufacturer terminations, relocations, add points, factory denial of buy/sell agreements and dealer successor addendums, allocation inequities, unreasonable sales expectations, unreasonable sales area responsibility assignments, unreasonable facility upgrade requirements, and manufacturers' failure to comply with dealer franchise agreements and Ohio dealer franchise laws. A franchise is a dealership's most valuable asset, and a manufacturer's attempt to dilute a dealership's franchise rights should not be withstood by a dealer.
Dealer Compliance Programs
Proper and routine compliance evaluations can help a dealership avoid costly consumer
litigation. Just as the dealership's service department advocates the value of preventive and routine car and truck maintenance, we advocate the need for dealers to practice routine legal and regulatory maintenance in the form of audits of the dealership's paperwork, policies and procedures, and in advertisement reviews. Being proactive with respect to legal compliance can help the dealership avoid expensive litigation and regulatory enforcement actions and reduce potential liability in the event that an error does occur.
Merger and Acquisition Counsel/Real Estate Transactions
If a dealer is engaged in the buy/sell process, expert counsel is critical. Stockamp & Brown
has vast experience in dealership transfers, including negotiating and coordinating complex
buy/sell arrangements, stock and asset transfers and redemptions, consolidations, dealership real estate transactions, dealer management agreements, non-compete agreements, and dealer consulting agreements. Stockamp & Brown can provide expert guidance for the integral issues that shape these transactions.
Consumer Law and Litigation
Despite a dealership's best attempts to comply with federal and state laws and governmental regulations, there exists a cottage industry of consumer attorneys that prey on dealerships because of liberal statutory attorney fee provisions. Stockamp & Brown is experienced in representing dealerships in the defense of consumer lawsuits alleging violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and Administrative Rules, Federal Unfair and Deceptive Practices Acts, the Federal Trade Commission Rules, Federal Truth-in-Lending and Truth-in-Leasing Acts and Implementing Regulations, the Credit Services Organization Act, Federal and State Debt Collection Acts, the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, the Fair Credit Reporting and Equal Credit Opportunity Acts, Ohio's Retail Installment Sales Act, the Uniform Commercial Code, and common law claims of fraud, breach of contract and negligence, and numerous other laws, rules and regulations among numerous others. Experienced dealership counsel is a vital component to successfully defending against consumer litigation.
Buy Here – Pay Here Operations and Related Finance Companies
As financial institutions place ever increasing control on consumer financing, many dealers
have discovered that Buy Here-Pay Here (BHPH) operations and Related Finance Company
(RFC) operations can provide a very important alternative source of funding for consumer
transactions. Both BHPH dealerships and RFCs provide financing alternatives for consumers
that may have difficulty obtaining financing from more traditional lending sources. Legal
considerations for the establishment of BHPH and RFC operations are important, and
Stockamp & Brown can provide your dealership with the proper legal guidance.
Corporate Compliance and Governance
Strict compliance with corporate by-laws is important to ensure proper corporate tax
treatment, proper continued corporate existence, and the legal protection that corporate entity status affords the dealership. Proper structure and documentation of corporate events, such as shareholder, director, and member meetings, is likewise important. Failure to comply with relevant state laws may result in unintended liability for the dealership and the dealership's owners. Let Stockamp & Brown help ensure that your dealership is conducting its business operations in compliance with appropriate corporate requirements.
Regulatory and Licensing Counsel
Despite a dealership's best attempts to comply with all applicable laws, state and federal
government agencies add yet another layer of rules and regulations with which a dealership must comply. Regulatory bodies, such as the Office of the Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio Department of Taxation, the Ohio Department of Insurance, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and the Federal Trade Commission, play an active role in monitoring dealership compliance with various laws. If your dealership is identified by an agency for potential rule or law violations, rely upon Stockamp & Brown's experience representing dealers before governmental agencies.
Manufacturer Audits
Manufacturers routinely conduct audits of sales incentive program practices and service
warranty practices. While a franchisor may have a contractual right to conduct such audits,
a dealer has the right to have legal counsel participate in them as well. As audits regularly
conclude with dealers being charged-back enormous amounts of money - six figure audit
charge-backs are becoming common – Stockamp & Brown can assist in defending dealer
practices and challenging questionable and unreasonable audit results.
Dealer Insolvency, Forebearance, and Workout Issues
With the significant challenges that the retail automobile industry is faced with today, a
dealership may experience potentially threatening economic conditions and financial hardships. Whether a dealership is in jeopardy of failing to meet its continuing financial obligations or has engaged in conduct that has triggered financial covenant defaults, Stockamp & Brown can advise dealers on strategies related to protecting dealership assets and property.
Arbitration, Mediation, and Dispute Resolution
Many franchise agreements, retail purchase agreements, and vendor agreements require
that dealers participate in informal dispute resolution processes prior to litigation being
initiated. While understood to be "informal," a dealership should only participate in these
alternative dispute resolution processes with the guidance of experienced dealership counsel, as they affect your dealership's legal rights and defenses. Stockamp & Brown has significant experience in the arbitration and mediation of legal disputes.
Dealer Agreements
Critical terms in floor-plan, retail finance, service provider, and insurance agreements must be negotiated to protect the dealership. Many dealerships have multiple agreements regarding these services and, and in our experience, too many dealers simply sign these agreements without reviewing them or trying to negotiate revisions. It is typically much more costly to seek the advice of counsel after a bank demands that you repurchase a deal (or an entire portfolio), or after an insurance company informs the dealership that it is not covered for a specific occurrence. We have negotiated revisions to hundreds of these agreements and have formed relationships with many of the manufactures, lenders, and vendor's counsel, which allows us to expedite the review and negotiation processes in many cases.