In early September, Dykema’s Jeff Cox and Dommond Lonnie served as moderators for the DRI’s Strictly Automotive seminar, joining fellow automotive in-house and outside counsel to discuss trending topics in the industry. Jeff’s session, “The Future of Alternative Fuel Vehicles is Already Here,” included a high-level discussion of alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrid, fully electric and hydrogen fuel cell designs, with an update from manufacturers on their short-term and future development, new technology, EV recalls, and a discussion of ways to best defend an EV case at trial. Dommond’s session, “The Future is Electric,” discussed how the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Plan and other developments in the legal landscape are poised to drive widespread acceptance of EV technology.

Some key takeaways from the seminar include:

  • The U.S. state, European and now Chinese data privacy and cybersecurity protection laws permeates almost all aspects of electric vehicle production and operation, such as procurement contract risk allocation, product liability litigation defense strategies, and breach reporting obligations after the vehicle is on the road, among others.
  • The importance for counsel and experts to understand the technical differences applicable to electric vehicles when developing product liability defense strategies.
  • The Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Plan’s impact on driving the expansion of electric vehicle production, as well as the underlying infrastructure required (battery charging stations).

To view Dommond’s seminar manuscript, click here. To view slides from Jeff’s recent presentation addressing “How Going All Electric May Impact the Future of Fire Litigation,” click here (starting on Slide 21).

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Photo of Dommond E. Lonnie Dommond E. Lonnie

Dommond E. Lonnie is a seasoned trial attorney who provides aggressive and innovative legal representation and advice for his clients in product liability, class action, commercial and toxic tort litigation. Mr. Lonnie has represented numerous domestic and foreign businesses and has substantial product…

Dommond E. Lonnie is a seasoned trial attorney who provides aggressive and innovative legal representation and advice for his clients in product liability, class action, commercial and toxic tort litigation. Mr. Lonnie has represented numerous domestic and foreign businesses and has substantial product liability expertise in crashworthiness, airbags/restraints, fires and  suspensions/tires/rollovers, airbags/restraints, fires, brakes, and fuel systems cases. An experienced litigator and legal strategist, Mr. Lonnie implements litigation and investigation plans and manages all aspects of litigation and pre-suit claims to successful resolution. He has earned recognition in providing high level client service through timely and effective communication. Mr. Lonnie is a member of the Products, Class Action & Professional Liability practice group and the Director of Dykema’s Automotive Industry Group, a multidisciplinary practice group focused on providing high quality legal service to automotive and mobility manufacturers.

Photo of Jeffrey J. Cox Jeffrey J. Cox

Jeff Cox is a trial lawyer and a member in Dykema’s Products, Class Actions, and Professional Liability Group. Jeff has served as lead counsel in cases from Montana to Florida and has spent most of his career defending manufacturers and retailers in general…

Jeff Cox is a trial lawyer and a member in Dykema’s Products, Class Actions, and Professional Liability Group. Jeff has served as lead counsel in cases from Montana to Florida and has spent most of his career defending manufacturers and retailers in general commercial, product liability, mass tort, class action and patent litigation. Jeff’s clients include several Fortune 500 companies and several international manufacturers.

The vast majority of Jeff’s product liability cases are high risk matters involving death or serious injury. Jeff has been one of only a handful of trial lawyers in the nation chosen to investigate, analyze and, if litigation ensues, defend one of the world’s largest automakers when fires and explosions have occurred involving their products or facilities. Throughout his career, Jeff has worked hand-in-hand with engineering experts to defend defect claims involving vehicles, machinery, appliances and consumer electronics.