Focus areas

Over the 95 years of its existence, the law practice of Manning Leaver has evolved to focus on certain key areas. These include automobile, truck and bus, RV, motorcycle and motorsport dealer matters, franchisor relations, banking and finance, commercial real estate and construction, intellectual property and trade secrets, insurance and advertising. With a strong understanding of the way businesses operate, Manning Leaver provides quality legal services in these areas.

Vehicle dealers

Manning Leaver knows the automobile business. Having represented automobile dealers for many years, the firm understands the intricate operations of a dealership’s sales department, F&I department, service department, parts department, and body shop. As a result, the firm can provide legal advice to dealers on issues ranging from: creating a compliant consumer privacy policy; properly exercising the right to rescind a conditional sale contract when financing cannot be approved; advising when to provide a foreign language translation of a contract; advising how to disclose optional equipment on a lease; advising how to properly repossess a vehicle; advising how to provide a legally compliant written repair estimate to a customer; advising how to avoid single document rule violations; and covering the key aspects of a buy-sell agreement. The firm’s strong practical knowledge of dealership operations enhances its ability to provide quality legal advice to automobile dealers. 

Truck and Bus

Although they face legal issues similar to those encountered by automobile dealers, truck and bus dealers have their own unique legal challenges. These can range from special compliance issues to the structuring of a buy-sell agreement. Again, Manning Leaver’s practical knowledge of that business puts it in a position to provide quality legal guidance to truck and bus dealers.

RV, motorcycle and motorsport

RV, motorcycle, and motorsport dealers must confront legal issues that are unique to their business. Manning Leaver has the special expertise to handle these issues. For many years the firm has represented individual dealers in the RV, motorcycle or motorsport business as well as the Harley-Davidson Dealers Association of Southern California and the California Motorcycle Dealers Association.  Providing legal guidance regarding buy-sell agreements, advertising compliance, and franchise issues is part of the firm’s representation of these dealers.


Because of its heavy emphasis in representing franchised automobile, truck, bus, RV, motorcycle, and motorsport dealers, Manning Leaver has a strong background in handling franchisor issues. The firm’s practice in this area includes reviewing franchise agreements, negotiating and drafting letters of understanding, seeking franchisor approval in connection with buy-sell agreements and transfers of ownership interests, as well as litigating matters before the California New Motor Vehicle Board.

Banking and finance

Manning Leaver knows the world of banking and finance. We have the experience and insight to provide the necessary legal guidance, whether it be handling an account dispute or negotiating and documenting a capital loan, flooring arrangement, letter of credit, or guaranty.

Commercial real estate and construction

We have many clients with businesses involved in commercial real estate and construction. Manning Leaver has the expertise to handle the legal issues that can arise from such projects. Whether it relates to negotiating and documenting the transaction, securing the financing, dealing with environmental issues, or monitoring the project, we know how to get the job done.

Technology and intellectual property

With clients operating businesses that depend on intellectual property rights, Manning Leaver has the ability to address the legal issues involved. The firm has reviewed and drafted agreements relating to intellectual property rights as well as handled disputes over trade secrets and customer lists. 


With its heavy focus on representing businesses that have many insurance needs, Manning Leaver has the understanding of insurance matters that allows it to provide needed legal guidance. Reviewing insurance policies, asserting client’s coverage rights and dealing with insurance carriers in the role of defense counsel are a significant part of the firm’s practice.


Because many of the firm’s clients are involved in retail sales and leasing, Manning Leaver is well versed in the specialized area of advertising law. From reviewing advertising for compliance purposes to handling disputes with consumers or regulatory agencies arising from advertising, the firm knows how to provide effective legal assistance to clients in this area.