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Manufacturing Outlook: The Exclusion Process for The Steel/Aluminum Tariffs

Earlier this week, our firm sponsored a panel discussion entitled “Export Compliance for Aerospace & Defense Firms – What the OEMs Expect from Their Supply Chain” as part of Connecticut Export Week 2018.  Joanne Rapuano, Counsel in Robinson & Cole’s Trade Compliance practice, moderated the discussion.  The panel included Matthew Borman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of … Continue Reading

N.L.R.B. “Joint” Disarray – Why That Matters to Manufacturers

Winston Churchill allegedly once said, “lovers of sausage and public policy should not watch either be made.”  Recent events at the National Labor Relations Board call that apt quote to mind. In its zeal to overturn Obama-era precedent, the Trump N.L.R.B. seems to have stepped right into it – creating confusion and uncertainty for manufacturers … Continue Reading

2018 Corporation Compliance & Litigation Outlook for Manufacturers

As we mark the Manufacturing Law Blog’s 5th anniversary, I am also pleased to announce the launch of our new manufacturing law website.  To access it, please click here. Last week, Megan provided our thoughts and predictions for environmental, health & safety.  This week, I am providing our outlook for corporate compliance and litigation. GDPR … Continue Reading

The Trump N.L.R.B. Gift Giving Season

Acting just days before the term of Chairman Phillip Miscimarra ended on December 16, the National Labor Relations Board issued four decisions overturning landmark cases that expanded employee and labor union protections.  In a single week, the NLRB returns to pre-Obama-Board standards and upends the apple cart.  Each case was decided on a strict, party-line … Continue Reading

Trap for the Unwary: How A Manufacturer Can Assure Itself That New York Law Will Apply To Its Contracts

We review a lot of manufacturing contracts for our clients.  As most people know, there are often clauses that dictate what law will apply if there is a dispute (a.k.a. “choice of law” clauses) and where that dispute will be litigated (a.k.a. “forum selection” clauses).  Under most circumstances, the party with the most leverage will … Continue Reading

Supply Chain Problems After The Hurricanes: What Manufacturers Should Be Aware Of

As the recovery effort continues after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, some manufacturers are starting to deal with supply chain slowdowns or shortages.  The most widely reported issue that impacts both manufacturers and consumers is the shortage of fuel.  However, these natural disasters have also impacted suppliers that operate in these areas. For those manufacturers … Continue Reading

No “Summer Slow-Down” for Manufacturers – Regulatory Changes Continue

  Readers of this space may recall my recent posts highlighting court and legislative changes to employment laws, regulations and policies affecting manufacturers.  See e.g. “‘Manufacturing’ Law: Courts Also Move to Fill the Void,” “INTERESTING UPDATE: ‘Manufacturing’ Law: Courts Join the States to Fill the Void,” and “The DOL Seeks to Change the Tide.”  While … Continue Reading

The DOL Seeks to Change the Tide

While local state and city governments have been working to expand the scope of workplace protections, the Federal government has begun “undoing” some of the aggressive advancements of the Obama Administration. On June 7, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced in a brief statement that it was withdrawing two significant guidance documents – one with … Continue Reading

Things Manufacturers Should Be Watching In 2017 In The Areas of Corporate Compliance / Litigation

As is our annual tradition, this is the first in a series of posts that provide industry and legal outlooks for manufacturers as we head into 2017.  I will start with corporate compliance and litigation.  Matt will follow with labor/employment.  And, Megan will conclude the series with Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). Here are issues … Continue Reading

The 2017 “Manufacturers’ Lawyer’s Shrug”

I am a really big fan of the NPR radio show, “Car Talk,” where two Boston auto mechanics took callers’ questions and tried to answer them.  Since the November 8 election, I have freely adapted one of their signature phrases – I call it the “Manufacturers’ Lawyers’ Shrug.”  Basically, when I attend any event and … Continue Reading

Key Considerations For Foreign Manufacturers That Wish To Sell Products In The United States

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section Annual Meeting in Boston.  The title of my presentation was:  “Key Considerations for Foreign Manufacturers That Wish to Sell Products to the United States” which was presented at the meeting of the International Expansion and Cross-Border Transactions Subcommittee. Here are … Continue Reading

How These Contract Provisions Can Reduce A Manufacturer’s Margins

One of the key aspects of any supply chain contract is the section regarding pricing.  Nothing is more important in a business deal than determining how much one manufacturer might pay another in a B2B transaction. In situations where one party has more leverage, that party often includes pricing language that can really impact the … Continue Reading

Your Customer Just Declared Bankruptcy: Recent Decision That All Suppliers/Vendors Should Be Aware Of

This week, we thank members of Robinson+Cole’s Business Reorganizations and Bankruptcy Group (Patrick Birney, Steve Boyajian and Mike Enright) for this post: Suppliers and vendors sometimes find themselves unpleasantly surprised by the bankruptcy of a customer, leaving a trail of unpaid invoices and little hope of recovery. To make matters worse, after licking their wounds … Continue Reading

Considerations For Manufacturers/Distributors Who Are Negotiating Contracts Without Any Leverage

Negotiating contracts in the supply chain are certainly challenging.  As a lawyer, there is a temptation to want to change every term that is not to your liking.  And, for that reason, a lot of lawyers will receive a contract to review from their client and immediately red-line every provision.  Now, if your client is … Continue Reading

Legal Issues for Manufacturers To Consider When Selling Into New Markets

Manufacturers continue to look for ways to increase sales revenue without a massive infusion of capital.  Many companies have been successful in adapting current products for new uses and markets.  For instance, a company that makes aerospace components might use certain core competencies to develop products that can be sold in other markets without investing … Continue Reading

Never too Late for Some 2016 Employment Predictions!

  While we are still saying “Happy New Year” (I checked and was told that January 21 was still “not too late” to wish good tidings for 2016), and as we get ready for the Great East Coast Blizzard of 2016, I thought it would be a good time to add my own predictions for … Continue Reading

Breaking News: UAW Wins VW Manufacturing Plant Vote in Tennessee

On Friday, the United Auto Workers claimed victory in its long-running efforts to organize the VW plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Reportedly capturing 71 percent of the vote (108 in favor to 44 against), the election victory represents the first successful organizing campaign of this troubled German car manufacturer in the United States.  The victory comes … Continue Reading

Manufacturing a Troubling Future Part Two:  Recent Decision

This is the second of two posts regarding the “troubling” state of multi-employer pension plans.  My October post provided an overview of the recently published Teamsters’ Central States Pension “Rescue Plan” and discussed some of its implications.  This post will review the recent  decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Resilient Floor Covering … Continue Reading

Three Issues That Manufacturers/Distributors Should Consider When Drafting Terms and Conditions (T&Cs)

Over the last few years, our team has worked with several manufacturers and distributors on their terms and conditions of sale and/or purchase.  We have even developed a questionaire that we typically use when we speak to a client for the first time. Readers of this blog may recall posts regarding indemnification clauses, anti-assignment clauses, non-compete … Continue Reading

A Troubling Future Part One:  Teamsters’ Pension Rescue Plan

  Two significant developments in the multi-employer pension world emerged in September, developments which could give manufacturers concern.  While this is not the time to panic (we have plenty of time to panic), readers should take notice. Development number one was the filing on September 25 of the Teamsters’ Central States Pension “Rescue Plan” to … Continue Reading

The Hidden Assassin: How This Contractual Provision Can Derail A Manufacturer’s Acquisition Plans

An”anti-assignment” clause can be the death knell of any deal involving the sale or purchase of a manufacturing company.  You might ask:  what is an anti-assignment clause?  Here is the typical language that is often buried at the end of many types of contracts, including those with your suppliers and customers: Seller shall not assign … Continue Reading

Heralding Wholesale Changes for Manufacturers, Labor Board Revamps “Joint Employer” Test

Just in time for Labor Day, the National Labor Relations Board handed organized labor a great gift and potentially disrupted the business and labor relationships of thousands of American manufacturers. On August 27, 2015, a divided Labor Board ruled 3-2 that Browning-Ferris Industries was the “joint employer” of workers supplied by a third-party.  Browning-Ferris Industries, … Continue Reading
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