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McDonald Clark was the marketing genius behind Alamo-Rent-a-Car’s glory days.    When Alamo was taken over by Republic Industries in 1996, Republic entered into a new employment contract with Clark which provided for certain payments to Clark for 10 years if his contract was not renewed.  Republic later changed its name to AutoNation and spun off Alamo into a separate company.  When Alamo went bankrupt, AutoNation refused to make the payments.

Clark hired the attorneys at Kelley / Uustal to fight to enforce the agreement.  After six years of litigation, the jury found that Clark was entitled to $1,098,800.  The jury deliberated for only a few minutes after the four-day trial, which included testimony from a host of former Republic executives, including Steve Berrard and Michael Karsner.

“McDonald had a contract which was negotiated by Republic, written by Republic on Republic letterhead, and signed by Republic’s CEO, Steve Berrard,” explained John Uustal, who tried the case with his partner, Todd Falzone.  “Republic tried to use Alamo’s bankruptcy as an excuse to avoid responsibility.  But the jury didn’t buy it.  A deal’s a deal.”

Clark’s five-year contract with Alamo included a 10-year, $100,000-a-year salary continuation benefit that would begin at the end of the contract.  One year into the contract, Alamo was sold and Republic, now AutoNation, renegotiated the contract.  In 2000, the contract was not renewed, and Clark began receiving his salary continuation payments.  By November of 2001, however, Alamo filed bankruptcy and the payments stopped.

“AutoNation’s CEO gave Mr. Clark his word that this contract would be fully honored.  But when it came time for them to make good on that promise, AutoNation turned its back,” said Falzone.  “Thanks to the Judge and Jury, we had a fair trial and a just verdict.”

Mr.  Clark’s claim for attorney’s fees is still pending.

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