Leonard A. Bellavia, Esq.

LEONARD A. BELLAVIA, FOUNDING PARTNER

Founding partner of the law firm of Bellavia Blatt & Crossett, PC, Leonard A. Bellavia, Esq., is a nationally recognized authority in the field of automotive franchise law. Mr. Bellavia spent his life in the automobile business, as his family once owned one of the largest dealer groups in the New York area.

Mr. Bellavia represents thousands of automobile dealerships across the country in all aspects of commercial litigation and buy-sell transactions, and has been instrumental in negotiating the sales of hundreds of dealerships. He has achieved national recognition for advocating the mass action litigation model on behalf of franchised automobile dealers, and has successfully implemented this strategy in the following actions:

  • Launched a class action lawsuit vs. CDK and Reynolds and Reynolds
  • Co-lead counsel in the Chrysler Bankruptcy proceedings
  • Filed mass action lawsuits on behalf of hundreds of dealers against TRUECar alleging false advertising in violation of the Lanham Act, the primary federal “truth-in advertising” statute in the United States, seeking both money damages and injunctive relief
  • Launched a mass action lawsuit on behalf of over 1000 dealers against CARFAX seeking substantial damages due to alleged anticompetitive behavior under the antitrust laws
  • Representing almost all of the Saab dealers in the U.S. in the Saab Bankruptcy and recovered almost 80 of dealer receivables
  • Representing 300 rejected Chrysler dealers in the lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury alleging the unconstitutional “Taking” of Dealer Agreements under the 5th Amendment
  • Lead counsel for 75 dealers against the Tribune Company for anti-trust violations in selling print ads to dealers
  • Regarded as an industry pioneer in establishing the right of dealers to receive warranty parts reimbursement at a retail mark up

Mr. Bellavia also has commenced mass action lawsuits on behalf of hundreds of dealers in the United States District Courts against Daimler Chrysler, Ford, GM, Snap-On Tools, and the Tribune Company.

A regularly quoted source of comment for Automotive News and Auto Dealer Monthly, Mr. Bellavia is a regular speaker for national automotive and marine-related trade organizations. He serves as Chair of the Automotive Franchise Law Section of the Franchise Law Committee of the New York State Bar Association and is the former Chairperson of the Litigation Section of the National Association of Dealer Counsel (NADC) and was a member of its Board of Directors.

Mr. Bellavia has been endorsed by the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA) as its recommended franchise counsel to over 5,000 marine dealers nationwide.

Practice Areas

  • Automotive Franchise Law
  • Dealership Buy-Sell Transactions
  • Complex Federal and State Court Litigation
  • Dealership Corporate Matters

Education

  • St. John’s University School of Law (JD, 1982)
  • Boston College (BS, 1979)

Bar Admissions

  • New York State Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Southern, Northern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals
  • United States Supreme Court

Leadership Positions

  • Event Founder and Chair – Crusin’ for the Cure, Prostate Cancer Foundation
  • Former NADC Chair of Litigation
  • Chair of Automotive Franchise Law of State Bar Association
  • MRAA Endorsement as outside counsel to 10,000 Marine Dealers nationwide
  • Recipient of the Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award for providing free legal services to indigent New Yorkers