Authors

 

Michael Charapp, Esq.

Michael G. Charapp, a partner in the law firm of Charapp & Weiss, LLP, has spent his life in and around the automobile business.

Mr. Charapp, the son of a Dodge dealer in western Pennsylvania, spent his teenage years working in all departments of the family dealership. Following graduation from the University of Pittsburgh (B.A. 1971), Mr. Charapp enrolled in Georgetown University Law Center where he received his J.D. Degree in 1974.

As an associate and later a partner with the law firm of Stein, Mitchell & Mezines, Mr. Charapp did extensive business trial work and representation of businesses, including numerous automobile dealerships. In 1984, Mr. Charapp joined the Rosenthal Automotive Organization, then one of the ten largest auto dealer groups in the country, where he later became Executive Vice President and General Counsel. In his position, Mr. Charapp was in charge of operations of Geneva Management, the company that oversaw management of all Rosenthal Automotive businesses including franchised auto dealerships, independent auto dealerships, real estate partnerships, advertising agency, supply company, cellular telephone operations, air charter, and ground operations for air charter. Mr. Charapp was in charge of starting, operating, buying and selling businesses for the Rosenthal Automotive Organization. In 1996, Mr. Charapp left that position to found his present law firm specializing in the representation of businesses, particularly auto dealers and auto dealer associations.

Mr. Charapp is a member of the Bars of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia. Today, he represents and advises numerous business clients, including over 200 automobile dealers and several automobile dealer trade associations, including the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, the Maryland Automobile Dealers Association, the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association, the Richmond Automobile Dealers Association, and the Hampton Roads Automobile Dealers Association.

Mr. Charapp is a founding director and past-president of the National Association of Dealers Counsel. He specializes in representation of auto dealers in all aspects of their businesses.

 

Rob Cohen, Esq.

Rob Cohen started with Auto Advisory Services (AAS) in 1994 and he became president in 2006. In 2007, Rob helped develop and launch DMVdesk, the industry’s first comprehensive vehicle registration management system. In 2011, Rob joined Arent Fox’s Automotive Industry Practice as Senior Automotive Counsel. Rob worked as a car salesman and did F&I during law school. He received his B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of California, Irvine and then went on to earn his J.D. from Whittier College, School of Law.

Rob is a founding director and past-president of the National Association of Dealer Counsel (NADC), is editor of Transmission (Auto Advisory Services’ monthly newsletter), former editor of The Defender (the NADC newsletter), and has been published in Ward’s Dealer Business, Orange County Business Journal and F&I Management and Technology. He is a frequent speaker and trainer on a wide range of subjects pertaining to dealership sales and finance compliance. Rob co-authored and published the top-selling Automotive Dealership Information Safeguards Manual, the Automotive Dealership Identity Theft Guide, the Automotive Dealership Red Flags Rule Guidebook, as well as the recently published Auto Dealer Law, First Ed.

Some of Rob’s key seminars include: Top Legal Trends for 2011, NADA Conference, San Francisco, CA, February, 2011; Cash for Clunkers Hangover, NADC Fall Workshop, October 5, 2009; Cash for Clunkers: The Essential Details for Your Dealership/Making it Work, Complí (National Webinar), August 4, 2009; Dealership Information Sharing, NADC Member Conference, April 1, 2009; Red Flags Rule, Identity Theft Prevention Program Workshops, California, Colorado (multiple sessions), August – September, 2008; Compliance Exposure That Can Crush Your Dealership, NADA Conference, San Francisco, CA, February, 2008; Common But Potentially Dangerous F&I Practices, NADC F&I Workshop, Baltimore, MD, November, 2006; Changes for 2007, Reynolds and Reynolds University Online, November, 2006; F&I Matters, NADC Member Conference, Chicago, IL, April, 2006; Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights Training, California (multiple sessions), May-June, 2005; and Negative Equity Disclosure, NADC Member Conference, Atlanta, GA, April, 2005

Auto Advisory Services® is a leading compliance consulting company. With a client base of over 500 dealerships, Auto Advisory Services offers comprehensive sales, finance, advertising, and DMV compliance services.  AAS performs dealership compliance audits all across the country and has developed state-specific audit protocols for California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New York, and New Jersey. Auto Advisory Services performs over 100 on-site compliance audits each month and the compliance hotline receives approximately 200 calls per week.  Auto Advisory Services conducts industry workshops, publishes informative compliance publications and is a contracted second line partner in conjunction with the California DMV’s Business Partner Automation program.

Motor Vehicle Software Corporation was founded in 2005 for the purpose of providing a comprehensive registration management system to a market that had few technology options. MVSC’s flagship product, DMVdesk,® represents the first solution that completely integrates and automates California dealerships’ paper and electronic registration processes. The company was founded by Don Armstrong, who created the nation’s first online vehicle and watercraft registration renewal system for the state of Michigan and Kelly Kimball, who is widely recognized as an early innovator of eGovernment, consulting with governments worldwide. In 2006, Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Kimball joined forces with Rob and shortly thereafter launched DMVdesk.  Today, over 400 dealerships rely on DMVdesk and MVSC expertly processes thousands of transactions every day.

Arent Fox, LLP, with offices in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and New York, is a recognized leader in areas including automotive, sports, white collar, intellectual property, real estate, telecommunications, health care, international trade, bankruptcy, and complex litigation. With more than 350 lawyers nationwide, Arent Fox has extensive experience in corporate securities, financial restructuring, government relations, labor and employment, finance, tax, corporate compliance, and the global business market. The firm represents Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, trade associations, foreign governments and other entities. In February 2011, Arent Fox’s automotive practice group was named one of the Top Five Practice Groups of the year by the Daily Journal, California’s leading legal publication.