Roberta F. Howell is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Roberta’s practice focuses on distribution-related matters, including litigation and counseling in connection with dealership terminations, drafting dealer, distributor, franchise and agency agreements, compliance with state and federal dealer protection statutes, antitrust and pricing matters, trade secret misappropriation and non-competition contracts, and automobile dealer/manufacturer relationships.
She is the immediate past co-chair of the Distribution & Franchise Practice. She is also a member of the Antitrust Practice and the Manufacturing and Automotive Industry Teams as well as the Trade Secret/Noncompete Specialty Practice.
Roberta’s experience also includes general business litigation, closely-held corporation/limited liability company shareholder disputes, eminent domain actions, constitutional litigation and class action defense.
Roberta earned her B.A., with honors, from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and graduated, with high honors, from the University of Wisconsin Law School. While studying law, she was elected to the scholastic honorary societies, Phi Beta Kappa and the Order of the Coif, and served on the Wisconsin Law Review as a member of the editorial board and as note and comment editor.
Admissions and Professional Memberships :
Roberta is admitted to practice in Wisconsin and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, the Eastern District of Michigan, the District of Minnesota and the District of Colorado.
She belongs to the Dane County, Western District of Wisconsin, State of Wisconsin, and American Bar Associations, and is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Roberta is also a Fellow of the Wisconsin Bar Foundation.
Representative Matters :
- Provided counseling and advice to a leading manufacturer on its relationships with its dealers and sales representatives across and country. Foley also assisted the client in successfully rationalizing its distribution channel after the acquisition of several complementary lines and in successfully consolidating territories.
- Provided counseling on all aspects of relationships between an automotive specialty manufacturer and its dealers, including terms and conditions of sale, distribution contracts, advertising and pricing policies, and relationship termination.
- Provided comprehensive counseling on all aspects of a major motor vehicle manufacturer’s relationships with its dealers nationwide, including administrative protest defense and litigation.
- Provide ongoing counseling to a leading manufacturer and distributor of consumer products with respect to its relationships with the various sales representatives, dealers, distributors and suppliers of its products.
- Represented an international manufacturer in successful resolution of wrongful termination, Wisconsin Fair Dealership, and breach of contract claims by alleged exclusive U.S. distributor.
- Foley has successfully defended its client since 1988, in a series of constitutional challenges. In the most recent – a claim for damages – the case was resolved in arbitration in favor of the client on motion and upheld on appeal.
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