Conkle, Kremer & Engel attorney Eric S. Engel has extensive experience in matters affecting manufacturers, distributors and sales representatives. From drafting and negotiating contracts between principals and agents to litigating disputes over such matters as commissions and trade secrets, Eric brings deep knowledge of the dynamics of the independent commissioned sales relationships to the benefit of clients across a wide range of industries. Among his achievements is leading the trial team to a jury trial verdict and judgment of $6.2 million in treble damages against a manufacturer who cheated a commissioned sales representative. The judgment was fully upheld on appeal in the precedent-setting decision of Reilly v. Inquest Technology, Inc., 218 Cal. App. 4th 536 (2013).
Eric has been recognized as a “Rep Savvy Attorney” by the Manufacturers & Agents National Association (MANA). Rep Savvy Attorneys are acknowledged for their acumen in handling disputes involving principals and agents concerning independent commissioned sales relationships. In that role, Eric is pleased to offer his legal insight through legal articles published in MANA’s monthly magazine, Agency Sales, which receives national distribution. Most recently, Eric wrote an article on preserving evidence to support your claims and defenses when a dispute arises: Prove It! Why Reps and Principals Need to Keep the Evidence, Agency Sales Magazine, May 2015
The Prove It! article focuses on the need to document the significant events that arise in parties’ commercial relationships, starting with a signed written contract that correctly states the terms of the parties’ agreement in a straightforward manner. Then, events during performance, such as exceptions to the contractual terms and issues in obtaining performance by the other party, should be documented in plain and clear English by email or even by good old letters or faxes. Documents that were created during the relationship should be carefully saved – a document that once existed but cannot be located can be as bad or worse than a document that never existed in the first place, as it raises the potential for spoliation of evidence penalties that can be very serious. The Prove It! article is written for agents and principals, but the information contained in the article can be applied to almost any commercial situation.
CK&E attorneys are well versed in commercial disputes of all types and are ready to help you document your position and maintain good records of what you documented, so that you can position yourself as strongly as possible if a dispute arises.