Elizabeth McNellie

Partner

Columbus
T +1 614.462.2651  |  F +1 614.462.2616

Beth McNellie serves as counsel for foreign and domestic manufacturers and distributors that are subject to motor vehicle franchise statutes that regulate the manufacturers’ and distributors’ relationships with their dealers. She has extensive experience with the relevant statutes and case law and the motor vehicle industry. Beth is actively involved in client counseling aimed at preventing litigation, although she is often called upon to take matters to court when necessary. She uses her knowledge of the industry to approach problems with a practical, business-driven mindset.

Select Experience

  • Counsels clients on proposed transfer of dealership assets, exercises of rights of first refusal and relocations, and defends client actions.
  • Successfully terminated dealerships engaged in incentive and warranty fraud.
  • Drafted market representation policies and procedures.
  • Advised multiple clients regarding incentive programs and AOR changes.
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Experience

  • Counsels clients on proposed transfer of dealership assets, exercises of rights of first refusal and relocations, and defends client actions.
  • Successfully terminated dealerships engaged in incentive and warranty fraud.
  • Drafted market representation policies and procedures.
  • Advised multiple clients regarding incentive programs and AOR changes.
  • Drafted satellite service location agreements and dealer agreement addenda.
  • Successfully tried add point challenge of a cross-border appointment and unilateral change of primary market area. Used industry experience to make effective statutory and constitutional arguments.
  • Litigated multiple performance-based terminations of dealerships, including those involving claims of domestic bias in major metropolitan areas.
  • Obtained judgment as a matter of law in multiple cases regarding proposed transfers during and following termination, including affirmation by the 6th Circuit.
  • Defended at-will termination of a major automobile manufacturer’s franchise agreement with a dealership. Appeared before five different courts and the Ohio Motor Vehicle Dealers Board. Litigation concluded with a published opinion from the 6th Circuit establishing that franchises with agreements that predate the enactment of the motor vehicle franchise statute cannot retroactively apply that statute to termination actions.
  • Counsels clients with regard to changes in dealer agreements, post-termination benefits, allocation issues and warranty reimbursements.
  • Supervises a team of experienced staff attorneys and paralegals in warranty litigation in multiple jurisdictions; the team handles hundreds of cases per year and oversees a large contingent of local counsel.

Memberships

  • National Association of Motor Vehicle Boards and Commissions

Services

Industries

Prior Positions

  • Judge N. Carlton Tilley Jr. in the Middle District of North Carolina: Federal Clerkship

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 1996
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, 2000
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 1992
  • Ohio, 1990

Education

  • J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 1989
  • B.Phil., Miami University, 1986, summa cum laude