Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive

Rob Cohen

Rob Cohen, Counsel at Arent Fox LLP
Rob Cohen
Los Angeles, CA

Rob is a senior automotive counsel in the firm’s Automotive Industry Group. Rob’s practice focuses on regulatory issues in the automotive industry, with a special emphasis on complex retail sales and finance regulatory requirements.

Client Work
Rob regularly advises some of the largest dealers and dealer groups in the country on a variety of operational matters including: sales, finance, and leasing compliance; titling issues; sales tax concerns; disclosures; consumer claims; class action avoidance; advertising compliance; identity theft prevention; and, privacy and information sharing practices. Rob has drafted many of the consumer disclosure forms used by thousands of auto dealers across the country. He provides high-level consulting related to California dealership licensing requirements and helps clients navigate the confusing array of federal and California-specific sales and finance requirements. Rob also helps national clients develop compliance programs and litigation defense strategies.
Rob is the president of Auto Advisory Services (AAS), a leading compliance consulting company specializing in compliance audits, and offering comprehensive sales, finance, advertising, and DMV compliance services. AAS has a client base of nearly 500 motor and recreational vehicle dealerships.

Previous Work
Rob has previously served as the general counsel for Motor Vehicle Software Corporation, the company that developed DMVdesk. Rob was one of the original designers of DMVdesk, the automotive industry’s first comprehensive vehicle registration management system.

Professional Activities
Rob is a founding director and past-president of the National Association of Dealer Counsel (NADC), former editor of The Defender (the NADC newsletter) and has been published inWard’s Dealer BusinessOrange County’s 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 is also a member of the American Bar Association.

Publications, Presentations and Recognitions
Rob’s published works include:

  • “Auto Dealer Law, The Definitive Legal Guide to the Purchase, Sale, and Operation of Vehicle Dealerships,”Auto Advisory Services, 2011
  • “Automotive Dealership Privacy, Information Safeguards & Identity Theft Red Flags Manual,” Auto Advisory Services, 2010
  • “Automotive Dealership Red Flags Guidebook,” Auto Advisory Services, 2008
  • “Vehicle Finance and Compliance Documents Guide,” Auto Advisory Services, 2006
  • “A Dealership’s Guide to the California Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights,” Auto Advisory Services, 2006
  • “Defender Article: Avoiding Hidden Finance Charges,” NADC, June 2008
  • “Transmission Article: Best Credit Application Practices,”Auto Advisory Services, July 2007
  • “The Truth About Trade Allowances,” F&I Management and Technology, November/December 2005
  • “Watch What You Say!,” Ward’s Dealer Business, January 2005
  • “FACTA: What it Means for California Dealerships,” Auto Advisory Services, December 2004

 Rob’s speaking engagements include:

  • "Session 8: Sales and Finance Litigation Update," 2013 NADC Fall Conference, Chicago, IL, October 2013
  • “Top Legal Trends for 2011,” NADA Conference, San Francisco, CA, February 2011
  • “Compliance Exposure That Can Crush Your Dealership,” NADA Conference, San Francisco, CA, February 2008
  • “Common But Potentially Dangerous F&I Practices,” NADA 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
  • “Negative Equity Disclosure,” NADC Member Conference, Atlanta, GA, April 2005 

Bar & Court Admissions
California Bar
US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
US District Court, Central District of California

Whittier College School of Law, JD, 1995
University of California, Irvine, MBA, 1992
University of California, Irvine, BA, 1990


Blog Posts by Rob Cohen

Industry Interests, Litigation & Investigations
Lawsuits Against Volkswagen

Volkswagen's recent emission problems are sparking a wave of lawsuits against the company. As of today, 13 have been filed.  A list is provided below.


LA Federal: (4)

Craig Temkin; Michael Bechauf; Thomas Barger; Victor And Jennifer Bonilla; Sarah Howard; Vikram Chabbra; Scott Bahr; Gerald Gottschalk; Robert Platner; Scott Coleman; James Saul; Gary Rizzato; Carol Hale Wilson
Volkswagen Group Of America Inc.
9/22/2015 2:15 cv 7432

(Western Division - Los Angeles)

Fraud. Class action over Defendants installation of "Defeat devices" into their Diesel vehicles. The Defeat devices ensure that only during government required emissions testing do the complete emissions control systems fully function. During normal driving the controls are not fully functional, emitting up to 40 times the amount of pollution allowed by law.

Continue Reading →
Did Honda’s consent order produce a ‘golden goose?’

While much of the industry is somewhat gnashing its collective teeth over the consent agreement American Honda Finance Corp. reached with federal regulators, Arent Fox senior automotive counsel Rob Cohen used descriptors such as “silver lining” and “golden goose” when analyzing the ramifications of the captive’s move with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Department of Justice.

[SubPrime Auto Finance News]

Continue Reading →
Industry Interests, Litigation & Investigations

In stark language, an appellate court opinion published September 17 (Stone v. Raceway Ford  (Stone)) criticizes and rejects the conclusions and reasoning of a sister court made four years ago in the landmark case of Nelson v. Pearson Ford Co. (2010) 186 Cal.App.4th 983 (Nelson).   Nelson, a class action case,  held that backdating a replacement retail installment sale contract (RISC) to the same date as the RISC it replaced led to violations of California’s Automobile Sales Finance Act (ASFA) that would allow the buyer to seek rescission of the purchase and a refund of all amounts paid by the buyer under the RISC. 

Continue Reading →


Add this blog to your RSS feed reader.

Arent Fox In Your Inbox
To subscribe to Arent Fox Alerts and other news, click here.


Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.