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Upstart ‘Fun’ Utility Vehicle Maker Picks Up Top Lawyer

Oct. 16, 2020, 4:44 PM

Arcimoto Inc., an automotive company that’s developed a three-wheeled electric vehicle, has hired veteran transportation industry lawyer John Dorbin Jr.

Dorbin, 49, took over Oct. 12 as Arcimoto’s general counsel and corporate secretary, the company disclosed in a securities filing. Dorbin has spent the past two years as an independent business consultant, according to Arcimoto.

Before that he served for over six years as general counsel for Goshen, Ind.-based truck and bus maker Supreme Industries Inc., which was sold in 2017 to Wabash National Corp. Dorbin previously spent nearly seven years in-house at electronic components manufacturer CTS Corp.

Arcimoto didn’t respond to a request for comment about its hire of Dorbin or the outside law firms the Eugene, Ore.-based company has relied upon as it seeks to expand its business in an increasingly crowded market for electric vehicles.

Bloomberg TV recently interviewed Arcimoto’s founder and president, Mark Frohnmayer, about his company’s “fun utility vehicles,” which have been in development for over a decade.

Frohnmayer, who started Arcimoto in 2007 after selling a video game network that same year to billionaire Barry Diller’s media conglomerate IAC/InterActivCorp, is a son of late academic and former Oregon Attorney General David Frohnmayer.

Arcimoto raised $19.5 million in 2017 through an initial public offering on the Nasdaq. Securities filings show the company paid $136,000 in legal fees last year to Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough to advise on a follow-on offering that raised $8 million to pay down a loan. Dickinson Wright counseled underwriters on that matter.

Perkins Coie is advising Arcimoto in a patent infringement lawsuit it filed in March against Ayro Inc., a Round Rock, Texas-based electric vehicle maker. Akerman is representing Ayro in that dispute. Portland, Ore.-based Alleman Hall Creasman & Tuttle has handled trademark work for Arcimoto, according to public records.

Arcimoto disclosed in an Oct. 15 securities filing that “as soon as reasonably practical following the start of employment,” Dorbin will be paid roughly $3,850 per week, which works out to about $200,000 per year. Dorbin will also receive a grant of 20,000 incentive-based stock options, according to the company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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