Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell is nationally recognized as one of the premier trial firms representing manufacturers of automobiles, trucks, and automotive components in a wide range of litigation and regulatory matters throughout the nation.  Litigation matters have included national, regional and local representation, class action litigation, and the wide range of subject matters listed below.  We have tried or appeared as counsel in automotive industry cases in numerous states, briefed and argued appeals in federal and state appellate courts throughout the country, including the United States Supreme Court, and acted as coordinating counsel for cases filed not only in the United States, but in South America and Canada.  We have assisted in hearings, investigations, or negotiations with or by legislatures, agencies, and state attorneys general.

Attorneys in the firm have appeared on behalf of automotive industry clients regarding matters in litigation on numerous television shows, including 20/20, CNN's Burden of Proof, Dateline NBC, and 90 Minutes (a European news show), as well as nationally broadcast radio programs.

Name partner Malcolm Wheeler has defended automotive manufacturers at trial in several highly publicized cases, including the Ford Pinto criminal prosecution, the first "no airbag" case tried to verdict and the first defective airbag case tried to verdict.  Many attorneys in the Automotive Industry Group have engineering, science, or business degrees.

Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell attorneys have tried and arbitrated a wide range of claims involving virtually every aspect of the automotive industry, including disputes related to:

  • Antitrust
  • Consumer protection/consumer fraud
  • Contracts
  • Director/shareholder matters
  • Employment
  • Franchise distribution, including antitrust, bankruptcies, breach of contract, class actions, discriminatory practices, encroachment, factory ownership, fraud, intellectual property, licensing, manufacturer/dealer, marketing, negligent misrepresentation, ownership transfer, product allocation, RICO, sale, termination, warranty reimbursement
  • Insurance coverage
  • Intellectual property, including copyright infringement, discovery and protection of electronic data, licensing, patent infringement litigation and arbitration, trade secret misappropriation
  • Lemon law
  • Premises liability
  • Product liability, including class actions, design, development, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, manufacturing, pattern litigation such as rollover, air bag, fuel system integrity, seats, seat belts, door latches, side impact protection, crashworthiness, tire matters, recall, testing
  • Toxic torts
  • Unfair business practices
  • Warranties
  • Wrongful death and injury