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Lou is a commercial litigator and counselor who assists motor vehicle manufacturers and franchisors navigate a complex set of laws governing how they interact with their franchisees, dealers, or distributors. For more than 20 years, Lou has represented clients in manufacturer dealer franchisor-franchisee, real estate, construction, intellectual property, business torts, complex contract, trade secret, and restrictive covenant disputes. His practice includes all aspects of pre-litigation counseling and litigation. Having tried many matters before federal, state, and administrative bodies to verdict or judgment, Lou has extensive knowledge on how to resolve seemingly impossible hardships facing his clients as a result of the legal and regulatory environment they operate in, notably in the era of COVID-19. He provides pragmatic, economical advice and advocacy to his clients.

Lou also consistently monitors and analyzes advancements facing the automotive and franchise industries, including electric vehicle technology and infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, and distribution models. He uses this insight and his experience to serve on the national Recreational Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Lawyers Committee, and he has been invited to speak on industry-related topics at the annual Global Automakers Franchise Law Summit (Global Automakers is now part of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation). Before practicing law, Lou spent nine years working for NCR Corporation selling financial computer systems to major financial institutions in the Midwest.

When he is out of the office, Lou enjoys spending time with his wife and adult twin daughters.

Representative Experience

Motor Vehicle

  • Motor Vehicle Manufacturer v. Motor Vehicle Dealer, U.S.D.C District of New Jersey, March 2021 (right of first refusal dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, Illinois Motor Vehicle Review Board, November 2020 (dealer buy-sell approval dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission, November 2020 (dealer succession plan dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission, March 2020 (dealer buy-sell/relocation approval dispute).
  • RV Dealer v. RV Manufacturer, U.S.D.C., Northern District of Georgia, August 2018 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Roadtrek Motorhomes, Inc. v. Mega RV, Cal. Court of Appeals, July 2016 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Former Motor Vehicle Dealer President v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, Tennessee, Davidson County, September 2011 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer and Motor Vehicle Dealer, Minnesota, Hennepin County, January 2011 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Manteca Trailer and Camper Sales v. Roadtrek Motorhomes, Inc. California New Motor Vehicle Board, July 2009 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Manteca Trailer and Camper Sales v. Roadtrek Motorhomes, Inc. S.D.C. Eastern District of California, July 2009 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, CA-07-159-T-LDA, U.S.D.C., District of Rhode Island, February 2008 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, 07-0655 FV, Administrative Hearing Commission, State of Missouri, February 2008 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, 03-C-5011, Superior Court of the State of Delaware, Kent County, January 2007 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Manufacturer v. Motor Vehicle Dealer, 02-C-3460, U.S.D.C., Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division; U.S.D.C. Eastern District of California and California New Motor Vehicle Board, January 2003 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer., 06-3850, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2007 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, 04-L-580, Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, DuPage County, September 2006 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, U.S.D.C., Middle District of Tennessee, 2005 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, Tennessee Motor Vehicle Board, 2004-2006 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, 07-CV-441, U.S.D.C., District of New Jersey, September 2007 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, CV 08-284, Circuit Court of Faulkner County, Arkansas, Second Division, pending (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, 07-7020, U.S.D.C., Central District of California, Eastern Division; State of California, New Motor Vehicle Board, PR 2089-07, December 2007 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).
  • Motor Vehicle Dealer v. Motor Vehicle Manufacturer, TR-03-0019, Wisconsin Division of Hearings, December 2003 (motor vehicle manufacturer/dealer dispute).

Franchising

  • Franchisee v. Clothing Retailer/Franchisor, C 08-485, U.S.D.C., Western District of Washington, Seattle, September 2011 (franchisor/franchisee dispute).
  • Contract Labor Franchisor v. Former Franchisee, et al. U.S.D.C. Northern District of Illinois, June 2011 (franchisor/franchisee dispute).
  • Franchisee v. Home Repair Franchisor, 06-CV-0235, U.S.D.C., Northern District of Illinois, September 2006 (franchisor/franchisee dispute).

General Litigation

  • Food Broker v. Major Retailer, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, May 2019 (broker distribution dispute).
  • Bakery Ingredient Maker v. Commercial Bakery, U.S.D.C. Northern District of Illinois, May 2019 (breach of contract/warranty dispute).
  • Insurance Agent v. Insurance Company, Circuit Court of St. Charles County, Missouri, April 2019 (agency dispute).
  • Commercial/Consumer Product Manufacturer v. Consumer Product Manufacturer, U.S.D.C., Eastern District of Missouri, January 2019 (environmental allocation dispute).
  • Mortgage Bank v. Mortgage Broker, 03-M1-105020, Circuit Court of Cook County, January 2007 (mortgage broker dispute).
  • Mortgage Bank v. Mortgage Broker, 03-M1-105022, Circuit Court of Cook County, December 2005 (mortgage broker dispute).
  • Theater Company v. Municipality and Real Estate Developer, Waukesha County Circuit Court, Wisconsin, February 2021 (real estate dispute).
  • Financial Markets Information Company v. Former Employee, U.S.D.C., Northern District of Illinois, February 2017 (restrictive covenant).

Intellectual Property 

  • Medical Products Manufacturer v. Medical Products Manufacturer,. U.S.D.C., Northern District of Illinois, August 2018 (trademark/contract dispute).
  • Product Designer v. Consumer Products Manufacturer, U.S.D.C., Middle District of Tennessee, November 2008 (copyright infringement).
  • Sporting Goods Manufacturer v. Sporting Goods Manufacturer, 05-1103, U.S.C.A., Federal Circuit, April 2006 (patent infringement).
  • Golfer v. Sporting Goods Manufacturer, C2-03-338, U.S.D.C., Southern District of Ohio, May 2004 (trademark infringement).
  • Medical Products Company v. Diversified Manufacturer, 02-CV-5196, U.S.D.C., Northern District of Illinois, October 2002 (patent infringement).
  • Sporting Goods Manufacturer v. Sporting Goods Manufacturer, 94-1726 (GEB), U.S.D.C., District of New Jersey, September 2000 (patent infringement).

Activities & Honors

  • Selected, The Best Lawyers in America© (2018-2023)
    • Franchise Law
  • Recipient, Pro Bono Partner of the Year, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (2017)
  • Member, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Mentoring Program (2017-2020)
  • Member, American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising
  • Member, Recreation Vehicle Industry Association Lawyers Committee (2009-Present)
  • Member, International Franchise Association, Legal Symposium Planning Task Force (2014-2015)
  • Member & Marketing Committee Chair, Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana (2008-2014)

News

Education

Chicago-Kent College of Law, IIT, J.D., with honors, Order of the Coif, 1999

DePaul University, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, M.B.A., with high honors, 1995

Purdue University, Krannert School of Management, B.S., with distinction, 1990

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State of Illinois
  • State of Indiana
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court - Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court - Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court - Western District of Michigan
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