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A Better Partnership


Feb 2016
February 19, 2016

OESA and Warner Norcross Join Forces to Present "Legal Trends to Watch in 2016" to the Automotive Supply Industry

OESA and Warner Norcross & Judd came together to present “Legal Trends to Watch in 2016” on Tuesday, February 16. The executive breakfast briefing took place at the MSU Management Education Center in Troy, Michigan, and hosted nearly 100 guests from the automotive supply industry.

Jeena Patel’s “OEM Supply Chain Trends” presented a number of issues contributing to an increasingly risky automotive industry climate that suppliers should be prepared for – including volume fluctuations, continued warranty and recall claims and liability and the potential for distressed suppliers. She offered guidance on how suppliers can best address these concerns from a contractual and risk management perspective.

Greg DeGrazia led a discussion surrounding “Technology Trends,” and provided perspective on the joint development of diverse technologies and its impact on future intellectual property rights both in the U.S. and overseas. Greg also addressed the United States Supreme Court’s review of the constitutionality of Inter Party Review at the USPTO and the implications to patent infringement litigation.

Michael Brady’s “Antitrust Enforcement Trends” presentation explored the multi-year DOJ auto parts investigation and where it’s headed. Michael provided direction on how suppliers can protect themselves by implementing robust compliance programs and how to best prepare for an unannounced visit from government regulators.

Steve Palazzolo’s presentation “Employment – Independent Contractors” dove into the DOL’s recent Guidance in determining independent contractor status under the FLSA and how it will impact use of contingent labor. He also addressed ways to comply with the new guidance as painlessly as possible and how to make these changes without causing additional liability and headaches.

During Linda Paullin-Hebden’s “M&A Trends” presentation, she provided insight into current “market” terms in M&A agreements and M&A expectations, including the impact of the current market volatility.

For more information about this event and our automotive practice, please contact Warner Norcross & Judd at 248.784.5000 or visit and ask for any member of our Automotive Practice Group.

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