CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Factory Five Racing

Factory Five Racing was founded in 1995. Over the years they have grown from a start-up business in a small garage to become the world's largest manufacturer of "build-it-yourself" component car kits. They employ a full-time crew of about 40 people, and are located in Wareham, Massachusetts (about an hour south of Boston). They make their products right here in the USA, in the heart of New England where American manufacturing was born.
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Fred and Danny Magnanimi grew up watching their father create beautiful, handcrafted jewelry in the family's Cranston, RI jewelry manufacturing business. When the boys grew up, Fred moved to New York and began working on Wall Street as an investment banker, while younger brother Danny, still enamored by the family business, stayed home. Increased competition from overseas businesses created significant challenges for the business, but Danny was confident he could find a way for the family business to evolve and thrive. This was his mission, this was his passion.
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        Howard  Merten

        Howard is Managing Partner of the Firm.

        He represents businesses, financial services institutions and individuals in complex civil litigation. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, insurance, products liability, media, and intellectual property matters.

        Howard is a Past President of Defense Counsel of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island State Legal Defense Organization affiliated with Defense Research Institute. Howard is currently serving as President-Elect of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, whose membership is limited to select attorneys who have displayed achievement in their field and leadership in the practice of law. 


        • Boston University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
        • Princeton University, B.A., cum laude

        Bar Memberships & Admissions

        • Rhode Island
        • Massachusetts
        • U.S. District Court, Rhode Island
        • U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit

        Practice Areas


        • Named Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2017-2019, Providence, RI Litigation
        • Ranked as a leading attorney in commercial litigation in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business
        • The Best Lawyers in America
        • Rhode Island Super Lawyers
        • AV® Preeminent Rated from Martindale-Hubbell
        • Benchmark Litigation Star in Commercial Litigation

        Professional Affiliations

        • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
          • President-Elect
        • Defense Counsel of Rhode Island, Past President
        • Defense Research Institute
          • Product Liability, Insurance Law and Commercial Litigation Committees
        • Rhode Island Bar Association
          • Rhode Island Federal Bench Bar Committee
        • American Bar Association
          • Litigation Section


        • Roger Williams University School of Law
          • Board of Directors
        • Rhode Island Zoological Society
          • Board of Directors, Vice Chair

        Representative Cases

        • Obtained dismissal of multi-million dollar arbitration claim against the State of Rhode Island in dispute over Tobacco Manufacturers Settlement Agreement.
        • Successfully recovered real estate and personalty valued at several millions of dollars from fiduciary alleged to have had improperly transferred assets from his siblings to his children over many years.
        • Lead counsel for local beer distributor sued for sponsorship claims in multiple suits filed following The Station Nightclub fire.
        • Obtained dismissal on eve of trial of biotech company sued over removal of high-tech equipment that landlord claimed were “fixture”.
        • Defended National restaurant chain against dram shop claims brought by representatives of severely injured child.
        • Obtained judgment for a chemical manufacturer alleged to have supplied contaminated chemicals that destroyed a jewelry manufacturing business.
        • Successfully defended a gas detector manufacturer against claims that its equipment failed, causing an explosion which severely injured plaintiffs.
        • Obtained a multimillion dollar judgment against, and helped federal authorities convict, a group of conspirators who diverted millions of premium dollars collected from independent truckers.
        • Obtained a judgment declaring that the Rhode Island campaign finance statutes respecting referenda were unconstitutional.
        • Convinced a federal district court to withdraw an order against a local newspaper because it was an unconstitutional prior restraint.
        • Recovered clean-up costs and other damages for biotech company from designer of tank alarm system which failed, causing environmental contamination.
        • Acted as liaison for the Media Committee formed by the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court in Rhode Island during a high profile criminal trial.

        Representative Publications

        Representative Speaking Engagements