DETROIT -- Law firms representing auto dealers report many of their cases are reaching 11th hour agreements and canceling their arbitration hearings -- but not all are getting reinstatement for their clients.
David Einstandig, shareholder at Thav Gross Steinway & Bennett PC in suburban Detroit, confirmed that he has resolved two of his GM arbitration cases in the last few weeks for Mark Chevrolet Inc. and Bill Wink Chevrolet.
He declined to discuss details of those two suburban Detroit dealership cases, except to say Mark Chevrolet was reinstated after negotiating with the automaker and Wink Chevrolet was not.
Wink said he is barred by a confidentiality agreement from discussing the outcome, but added he is “not really sure yet” what the company will do next after losing its franchise agreement.
Einstandig's two Chrysler arbitration clients -- Century Dodge Inc. and Livonia Chrysler Jeep Inc. -- are still awaiting a hearing date before an arbitrator the last week in June.
“GM has been dealing directly with the principals, and obviously those cases are resolved in a way agreeable to the parties,” he said. “In terms of Chrysler, at the moment the only discussions we are having with the other side are about completing all the discovery in advance of the hearing.”
John Youngblood, Leader of the auto dealer section at Abbot Nicholson, Quilter, Esshaki & Youngblood PC in Detroit, said that firm has resolved both of its GM dealership arbitration cases in Michigan, one by reinstatement and one by settlement agreement to wind down operations. He declined to name them.
Clarkston Motors Inc., represented by attorney Neil Wallace in its arbitration appeal, will not reopen Clarkston Chrysler-Jeep after reaching its own recent settlement with Chrysler, owner Charles Fortinberry confirmed.
Fortinberry could not elaborate on the case except to say it was settled. The dealership closed last October.