- Rights and Obligations In a Distributor Termination Case
If the supplier-distributor relationship is in jeopardy, each party should assess its rights and obligations. If termination is inevitable, an agreed-to separation is the preferred alternative to protracted, expensive and disruptive litigation.
- Cost Savings Through Purchasing Alliances
Businesses are pooling orders to reduce costs. For some industries the savings can be substantial. Alliance operations involve collective action by competitors, so proper legal guidance is essential.
Employee Raiding: What are a Company's Rights?
Absent an enforceable post-employment contractual restriction, a company is generally free to recruit an employee away from a competitor. This right is not absolute, where the disclosure of trade secrets may be involved or where recruiting multiple employees away from the competitor constitutes unfair competition.
- Linking Coop Advertising Funds to Minimum Advertised Prices May Be Illegal
The FTC has prohibited major recording companies from enforcing similar policies which conditioned coop advertising funds on the customer's promise to observe the recording company's minimum resale prices in all media advertising, even advertising funded by the retailer.
- Association Liable For Negligence When Publishing Safety Standards
A trade association faces potential liability for its negligence when publishing or updating its safety standards.
- Proof to Establish Age Bias Clarified by Supreme Court
The Supreme Court's decision reinforces the importance for employers to have credible and convincing evidence to prove a nondiscriminatory reason for job actions.
- Toys "R" Us Distribution Policies Rules Illegal
The court of appeals has affirmed an FTC decision against a dominant buyer who imposed unreasonable distribution policies on toy manufacturers and orchestrated a group boycott of competing warehouse clubs.
- Limits on State Taxation of Internet Sales
When can a state impose sales tax collection liability on an e-tailer or other remote seller. The Supreme Court has placed some limits on a State's right to reach an out of state seller.
- Negligent Manager Imprisoned For Environmental Spill
A federal court of appeals has upheld the felony conviction of a company's manager of operations, ruling that ordinary negligence which caused environmental harm is a sufficient basis to find criminal liability under the federal Clean Water Act. (U.S. v. Hanousek, 9th Cir., No. 97-30185).
- When is a Distributor Protected From Termination As a "Franchisee"?
Most manufacturers would be surprised to learn that a typical independent distributor, who buys and resells the manufacturer's products, may be protected from termination under state law as a franchisee. Twenty-two states have some sort of franchise law on the books, the terms of which do vary considerably. Recently an Illinois forklift dealer recovered $1.5 million when an exclusive manufacturer terminated the distributorship without good cause. The jury ruled the dealer was a franchisee protected under state law.
- Distributor a Franchisee Under Connecticut Franchise Act
A Connecticut-based electrical distributor was protected under the state franchise law from a crucial supplier's termination without good cause.
- Wholesaler-Distributors and Retailers May Be Liable for Product Recall
Product recalls ordered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission can be a substantial financial liability. Recalls can affect any sellers of the product, not just its manufacturer.
- Justice Department Wins Challenge to a Manufacturer's Exclusive Dealership Network
A dominant manufacturer's network of exclusive distributors is being challenged by the Justice Department on antitrust grounds. Other competing manufacturers are deprived of access to effective distribution, which harms competition.
- Are Exclusive Distribution Agreements Lawful?
Distributorship agreements where the distributor agrees to deal exclusively with a particular supplier are generally viewed as lawful under the antitrust laws. There are some exceptions.
- Vertical Resale Price Ceilings May Be Lawful
Overturning years of antitrust law, the Supreme Court now says a seller and buyer may agree on the maximum resale price to be charged by the buyer.
- Employee's Receipt of Social Security Disability Benefits
Does Not Foreclose ADA Suit Against Employer
The Supreme Court has ruled that an employee may claim to be totally disabled in order to receive Social Security benefits, and at the same time claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act to have the ability to perform his essential job functions.
- Manufacturer's Refusal to Sell Patented Parts and
Copyrighted Service Manuals Not an Antitrust Violation
A manufacturer may usually refuse to sell patented parts or copyrighted documents without violating the antitrust laws, unless some exceptional circumstances are present.
- Commercial Driver Repeatedly Too Ill to Drive Protected from Discipline
Every operator of a commercial motor vehicle has a federal right to refuse to drive if the person's condition (through fatigue, illness or other cause) is likely to make it unsafe to operate the vehicle.
- FTC May Regulate Certain Non-Profit Trade Associations
Trade associations are not beyond the regulatory reach of the Federal Trade Commission. Association programs and policies in restraint of trade - - such as restrictions on members' advertising - - may be reviewed by the FTC.
- Doing Business with a Financially Troubled Company
To survive and be successful, a company must not only sell its goods, it must also receive timely payment from its customers. There are a variety of legal tools available to the unsecured seller which facilitate payment on open account sales. So its caveat venditor or let the seller beware.
- Non-Compete Agreements: Are They Enforceable?
State laws vary considerably when it comes to judging the validity of post-employment non-compete agreements. There are several key factors that courts evaluate when determining a restriction's reasonableness and thus its enforceability.
- Strategic Alliances
Strategic alliances have become an integral part of a company's success and competitive survival. Read about the key legal steps to the formation and operation of a strategic alliance.
- Antitrust Compliance is a Good Business Move
Any company ever involved in an antitrust investigation will attest that full compliance with the law is a good business move. Avoiding business interruption and potential criminal sanctions provides ample incentive.
- Copyright Law Basics
Provides an overview of the federal copyright law, including what intellectual property may be protected, how to secure protection and the extent to which that protection applies.
Booklet Content (323 KB PDF file)
- What Every Business Should Know About Employment Law
A valuable guide for any business executive trying to keep abreast of the ever-changing employment law landscape. The booklet covers employee hiring, employment discrimination law, sexual harassment, employee privacy issues, handbooks and employee termination decisions.
Booklet content (1.4 MB PDF file)
- What Every Business Should Know About the Antitrust Laws
Provides a general overview of the four basic federal antitrust laws, enforcement actions and sanctions. When interacting with competitors, caution is advised on topics such as pricing, terms of sale, future price movements, relations with a supplier or customer, production plans and bidding practices. When dealing with customers, sensitive topics include resale price arrangements, non-price resale restrictions, price discrimination, termination and other arrangements. General antitrust guidelines in each area are offered.
Booklet content (61 KB PDF file)
- What Every Business Should Know about Price Discrimination
Describes the federal Robinson-Patman Act rules governing price discrimination. More business decisions and commercial transactions are affected by this law than by any other antitrust statute. The elements of an unlawful price discrimination are described, as are the statutory defenses, such as meeting competition and cost justification, that are available to a seller.
Booklet content (53 KB PDF file)