Rich is the Managing Shareholder of the Firm. In that role, he oversees all aspects of the Firm’s representation of its motor vehicle dealer and dealer association clients.
During his time at the Firm, Rich has advised clients in the areas of manufacturer facility programs, manufacturer incentive programs, manufacturer alleged performance deficiencies, add points/relocations, changes to areas of responsibility, franchise terminations/modifications, manufacturer direct sale activity, manufacturer audits/chargebacks, warranty reimbursement, succession planning and dealership buy-sell transactions. He has litigated numerous franchise dealership disputes to conclusion in arbitration, administrative forums, state and federal courts related to the above issues as well as constitutional challenges to state franchise statutes. Rich has obtained numerous favorable decisions on behalf of his clients at the trial and appellate level along with many favorable settlements for the Firm’s dealer clients.
Rich leads the Firm’s work with state and metro dealer associations which involves keeping the association and its members abreast of the latest legal and regulatory developments in the industry and assisting with updating motor vehicle franchise protections.
Of note, Rich undertook the lead role in obtaining a $1.2 billion diesel-gate settlement against Volkswagen of America on behalf of all Volkswagen dealers in the United States. The Firm has previously represented hundreds of General Motors and Chrysler dealers following the attempted bankruptcy terminations of their franchises and, most recently, is representing Ford dealers and their dealer associations in litigation challenging Ford’s EV Program.
Rich speaks before various dealer associations and groups concerning issues important to our dealer clients as well as contributing to industry periodicals and newsletters.
Rich graduated from the Florida State University College of Law in 1993.
- Premier Ford NY, Inc., et al. v. Ford Motor Company, Case No. 2022-206893, Supreme Court of the State of New York, Suffolk County. Challenging Ford EV program as violative of various provisions of State law. Obtained enforcement of statutory stay preventing Ford from enforcing provisions of the EV Program against the plaintiffs. Case is in the discovery phase.
- Ginn Motor Company v. General Motors, LLC, Case No. 1:22-cv-03773-WMR, United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia. Seeking class action status on behalf of GM dealers in numerous states to enforce warranty reimbursement provisions related to parts markup. Case is in the discovery phase.
- Alliance of Auto. Mfrs., Inc. v. Currey, 984 F.Supp.2d 32 (D. Conn. 2013), motion to reopen denied 2014 WL 2219219, affirmed 610 Fed.Appx. 10, 2015 WL 1529018, certiorari denied 136 S.Ct. 1374, 577 U.S. 1193, 194 L.Ed.2d 359. Obtained dismissal of claims brought by Manufacturer trade association that sought to invalidate state warranty reimbursement statute. Argued case on appeal at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed district court decision. Briefed opposition to trade association Petition for Certiorari to U.S. Supreme Court.
- Napleton Orlando Imports, LLC et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. et al., MDL No. 02672-CRB (JSC), United States District Court, Northern District of California. Represented all U.S. Volkswagen dealers in class action against Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., claiming loss of revenue as a result of Diesel-gate. Settled case for in excess of $1 billion.
- Filed suit on behalf of state dealer association against major domestic manufacturer alleging manufacturer violated state warranty reimbursement statutes. Obtained favorable outcome prior to manufacturer responding to Complaint.
- Action Nissan, Inc. d/b/a Universal Hyundai, et al. v. Hyundai Motor America, et al., Case No. 6:15-cv-380-Orl-78EJK, United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. Represented Hyundai dealer in breach of contract action against Hyundai Motor America that resulted in a jury verdict in favor of the dealer for $16,000,000.00.
- Foulke Management Corp. d/b/a Atlantic Audi v. Audi of America, Inc., Docket No. CAM-L-277-12, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County. Represented franchise dealership in multi-week jury trial regarding manufacturer incentive program and attempt to terminate dealership. The case settled favorably prior to being submitted to the jury.
- Litigated numerous disputes over manufacturer attempts to terminate franchised dealerships, which include disputes with GM, Nissan, Hyundai, Audi, FCA, Rolls-Royce, Kia, and Volvo.
- Litigated numerous disputes over manufacturer attempts to add and/or relocate franchised dealerships into existing dealership territory, which include disputes with GM, FCA, Ford, Honda, and Hyundai.
Professional Associations and Memberships
- The Florida Bar
- National Association of Dealer Counsel
Florida State University, B.S. Finance
Florida State University College of Law, J.D.
U.S. District Courts:
- Southern District of Florida
- Middle District of Florida
- Northern District of Florida
- Northern District of Illinois
- Central District of Illinois
- District Court of Colorado
- Western District of Michigan
U.S. Appellate Court:
- 1st Circuit Court of Appeals
- 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
- 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals
- 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
- 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
- 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
Supreme Court of the United States