Manufacturer Representation and Product Liability Services

Conatus Counsel represents and works with a range of designers and manufacturers of products. Conatus Counsel not only works with product companies during research and development, but is well versed in working with a company who is already selling a product commercially and wishes to take the next step in business and legal growth. Services provided by Conatus Counsel to recreation and sport gear companies and manufacturers, includes, but is not limited to, initial product development legal analysis and input, testing of the product from a liability standpoint, and review and analysis of instructions and warnings with recommendations to strengthen and improve based upon legal precedence and strict product liability theories of recovery.

North Carolina, especially WNC, and Colorado have always been hubs of manufacturing and development, such as adventure and recreation gear, automotive aftermarket parts and fabrication, environmental and other green technologies, and building and construction products and materials.  The development, sale, and distribution of products can involve a number of different legal practices and liabilities from business development and consulting, to regulatory analysis and application, through distribution and a range of contracts, to potential litigation whether it need be a defense against a defect claim or pursuit of payment in a business matter.  Conatus Counsel provides services to cover that range of practice areas in an effort to promote an entrepreneurial or manufacturing business’s success and provide a solid defense, along with corporate responsibility and community involvement.

Conatus Counsel works with a range of companies and industries but does have certain niche industries within which it commonly consults and represents companies. Forrest is an avid outdoorsman who appreciates the development of gear for recreation, recreational activities, and utilization of the outdoors.  Additionally, Forrest has been involved in construction and green building for a great part of his life.  Conatus Counsel appreciates the development of new useful goods, gear, and tools for these uses, as well as the many other appeals and tastes of society and potential users.

Conatus Counsel works with businesses and manufacturers on the front end to educate the client about and decrease the many forms of potential liability.  Through its business consulting work it has also regularly assisted clients in trademark, copyright, and patent issues.  The Firm works with businesses to provide the most efficient creation and sale of their products and is available for any litigation defense in the future.

Initial Product Development:

Because of our interest and background in product liability litigation and business development work we have the necessary skills to consult and represent gear and manufacturing companies throughout their business and product development. We are available to work with such companies during business development, through contracts, liability analysis and risk management, to litigation and defense, no matter what claims and causes of action the matter may include. Because of our California licenses and experience we are familiar with California’s stringent strict product liability laws. As those laws and theories of recovery are the most consumer friendly in the Country, preparation for them allows our Clients to be best prepared for all jurisdictions, states, and countries.

Product Testing and Consultation:

Most companies looking to develop and/or release a product or piece of gear have involved in-house testing and development from an applicable use standpoint, but few have truly had some look at the product from a legal or liability position. Forrest has a background in complex commercial litigation product liability defense, which puts him in a position to evaluate products and innovations from this legal standpoint, with foreseeable and non-foreseeable use and application in mind. Conatus Counsel regularly works with companies developing or releasing new products to evaluate the product and make recommendations that can decrease potential future liability, in addition to providing a more comprehensive analysis for the strengthening of instructions and/or warnings.

Warnings and Instructions:

One of the main ways that product liability exposure occurs is through a failure in instructions and/or warnings that accompany a product or piece of gear. The three theories of product liability recovery in United States Courts are via design defect, manufacturing defect, and/or failure to warn (negligent instructions). The last of these is the most common method of litigation and recovery. The stronger the instructions and warnings that come with a product, the less likely accidents and resulting litigation will occur and even if it does, the more likely the Client will be able to defeat or exit litigation expeditiously, thereby saving time and money.

Conatus Counsel is able to evaluate the activity, the physics involved, regulatory matters, industry standards, and additional considerations based upon its experience with an eye toward strengthening any and all instructions. This potentially creates more and stronger affirmative defenses against a potential plaintiff, while improving the purchaser’s and user’s experience with product and Client.

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