November 12, 2008

RV Lawyers Adapting to New Types of Legal Work

Baker & Daniels' RV Focus lawyers are adapting to new types of work in the recreational vehicle industry as a result of the struggling economy, reported Indiana Lawyer in "Tough Times Drive Change: Attorneys See Evolving Legal Work Caused by Economic Woes."

"This economy is a new variable, and when you have those variables, it ignites creativity among people," said Joe Tanner of Baker & Daniels. "When you have people thinking creatively, it creates better legal work for us."

Said colleague Steve Hazelrigg, "A huge premium on innovation has been born not just because of the economic malaise, but also because of a general concern about the price of fuel and availability." The industry is looking more closely at European manufacturing and improving relations with those RV makers overseas. The smallest RVs in the U.S. are twice the size of the largest ones produced in Europe, Hazelrigg told Indiana Lawyer.

Baker & Daniels' Ken Weaver, who has been doing RV work for four decades, told Indiana Lawyer that the RV industry has seen downturns in the past. "Each time, the volume of legal work doesn't change much or it does go up some, but the nature of the work changes."

RV companies continue to be proactive by re-examining warranty, dealer and supplier documents to prevent litigation. RV lawyers are counseling clients on federal notice laws on making sharp cutbacks and layoffs.

"There's no question in my mind that our industry will recover, and I'd be shocked if it looked like it does today," Jim Brotherson of Baker & Daniels told Indiana Lawyer. "I'm not sure what it may look like, but because of all this, the lawyers must be at the table and helping with whatever guidance our clients need."

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