Governmental Regulation and Legislative Assistance
- Consulting with and representing carriers in Department of Transportation (DOT) safety matters such as inspections, appeals and litigation; extensive experience in matters involving driver service and equipment rules; and hazardous materials regulation, including DOT hours of service rules
- Assisting with compliance related to DOT drug testing regulations, concentrating on preparing and implementing drug testing policies and representation of clients involved in drug testing disputes
- Advising on fuel tax and interstate carrier tax apportionment matters
- Lobbying before the North Carolina General Assembly involving transportation law and policy
- Interpreting tariffs and advising on tariff-related disputes, including ratings, misratings and commodity classifications
- Defending claims of wrongful death and serious bodily injury
- Coordinating accident response efforts and accident investigations
- Developing crisis management strategies, including response protocols
- Pursuing and defending cargo loss, damage and delay claims, including claims governed by international treaties
Management of Business Relationships
- Preparing and reviewing transportation documents, including contracts of carriage, schedules of rates and charges, rules for transportation, brokerage and freight forwarding agreements, bills of lading, FMC service contracts and other shipping papers
- Counseling on freight undercharge and overcharge matters including loss-of-discount claims, tariff mistakes and related disputes and litigation
- Representing brokers and freight forwarders, including structuring relationships to avoid unexpected liability
- Counseling on issues such as hiring, promoting and firing employees
- Assisting with employment contracts, restrictive covenants, employee handbooks and procedural manuals
- Defending against employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge and breach of contract lawsuits
A sample of our representative work includes:
- We represented an interstate passenger carrier in a comprehensive federal DOT safety audit. The inspection resulted in a number of alleged serious safety deficiencies and an initial reclassification of the carrier’s safety rating that would have required it to suspend operations. We successfully challenged a number of the claimed violations, and developed a comprehensive and expedited process for correcting the remaining violations, resulting in maintenance of the current safety rating and no interruption of business operations.
- We represented a multinational manufacturer in negotiation and completion of a transportation master services agreement covering a range of transportation modes and shipping “lanes.” The agreement included complex performance standards, and covered loss and damage claims, customs clearance, third-party logistics, and other provisions across a number of countries.
- We represented the owner of a landfill after a man was killed by a garbage truck that was unloading garbage at the facility. Our attorneys were actively involved in the OSHA investigation that followed the accident. We were able to resolve the OSHA citations in a manner that was favorable to our client and, through aggressive discovery, were able to settle the wrongful death claim prior to trial.
- An employee of one of our utility clients was involved in a motor vehicle accident when he failed to yield the right-of-way at a stop sign and "t-boned" a passenger vehicle at a high rate of speed. The plaintiff claimed that he sustained a traumatic brain injury and suffered from a significant cognitive impairment as a result of the accident. At trial, our attorneys were able to expose the weaknesses of plaintiff's brain injury claim. The case was settled in a favorable manner after a full week of trial.
- The driver for one of our trucking clients was involved in a fatal collision while pulling onto a highway. A sedan struck the rear tandem of the trailer, and the passenger in the vehicle was killed. Our attorneys were dispatched to the scene of the accident and coordinated the accident response effort. By inspecting the speed module on the sedan, we were able to prove that the sedan was traveling more than 100 miles per hour immediately prior to the impact. As a result, the wrongful death claim was resolved on terms that were very favorable to our client.
- We represented the employee of a utility company after he allegedly ran a red stop light and was involved in a "t-bone" collision with a passenger vehicle. The driver of the passenger vehicle was pregnant with twins, and she was killed as a result of the impact. The decedent's mother was following her daughter in a separate vehicle and witnessed the collision. Our attorneys were able to negotiate a favorable resolution to all claims prior to the filing of a lawsuit.
- One of our transportation clients faced significant liability after its driver lost control of a flatbed trailer while driving around a sharp curve in a rainstorm. The flatbed trailer swung around from behind the truck and struck an oncoming passenger vehicle, killing both the driver of the vehicle and the rear seat passenger. Our attorneys were called immediately after the accident and were in charge of the accident response. We were able to resolve both wrongful death claims prior to litigation.