By ground, air, or sea, businesses involved in transportation and logistics require assistance to meet the demands of delivering commercial goods in a timely and cost-efficient manner. Clark Hill’s Transportation team serves a diverse base of clients in matters that spread across the globe with far-reaching implications on bottom lines and consumer satisfaction.
Clark Hill’s Transportation and Logistics attorneys go beyond the courtroom to contribute to the commercial transportation industry. We are thought leaders who educate our colleagues and evaluate emerging trends in the litigation and defense of transportation cases. As such, we serve in leadership positions for the American Bar Association Commercial Transportation Litigation Committee, the Transportation Lawyers Association, Conference of Freight Counsel, National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Trucking Industry Defense Association, North American Transportation Employee Relations Association, the American Trucking Associations, and the Defense Research Institute Trucking Law Committee. Our attorneys have vast experience working with a myriad of transportation and related companies including trucking rest stops, terminals, and intermodal facilities and with the Federal Highway Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation.
Transportation Liability Claims
Clark Hill attorneys frequently counsel commercial transportation clients in trucking liability matters. Commercial transportation is broadly regulated by a web of local, state, and federal regulatory and statutory schemes, which makes defending commercial transportation cases uniquely challenging. We consistently try a dozen commercial transportation cases to verdict each year. A broad spectrum of clients rely on our advice to defend wrongful death matters, catastrophic injuries, property damage, and subrogation cases.
We provide commercial transportation clients with 24/7/365 catastrophic emergency response assistance across the United States. Our immediate response teams secure evidence and obtain valuable witness testimony, all under the protection of the attorney work-product doctrine. This enables clients to rest easy knowing that a team of experienced Clark Hill attorneys and investigators are one phone call away, no matter the time of day, to respond to an emergency.
Curbing Claims Through Contract Management
Clark Hill transportation attorneys help clients head off claims, disputes, and regulatory pitfalls before litigation becomes necessary. We develop comprehensive and proactive contracts for trucking companies’ use with their customers, brokers, forwarders, and subcontractors.
We understand how accident liability is affected by insurance policies and regulatory standards. We know how cargo liability can be limited by statutes, international treaties, and carefully drafted shipping documents, and how pricing disputes can be leveraged by collection tools unique to the transportation industry. Importantly, we keep current on how the independent-contractor status of owner-operators can be protected under today’s evolving federal and state criteria for worker classification. Our experience includes direct involvement in groundbreaking disputes over preemption of state laws by federal transportation regulation.
Trucking clients receive from our team a systematic and periodical review of their standard templates for contract carriage agreements, broker-carrier agreements, and owner-operator agreements. Our attorneys track developing law and evolving regulatory guidance to keep our trucking contract recommendations current.
Depth and Breadth of Litigation Capabilities
Our Transportation and Logistics team is backed by our national Litigation practice. We have a diverse team of more than 200 litigators who provide high-quality legal services and help solve business problems by effective, economic case management, aggressive advocacy, and sensible, timely resolutions. Our practice and our attorneys are annually recognized among such rankings as Best Lawyers’ “Best Law Firms,” Best Lawyers in America, and Chambers USA’s “Leaders in their Field.”
Protecting Trucking Intellectual Property
Our Intellectual Property attorneys understand the legal, technological, and scientific aspects of the transportation industry to develop and protect valuable intangible assets in the United States and abroad. Knowing IP decisions are strategic business decisions, our attorneys consider the bigger picture of each matter and advise each client on a course of action that meets their distinct goals. Protecting our clients’ IP rights from infringement, misappropriation, dilution, and counterfeiting is our top priority.
We have represented trucking and logistics companies in obtaining utility patents, as well as in federal and common law trademark and unfair competition advice and litigation.
Bankruptcy & Restructuring
Our Bankruptcy & Restructuring attorneys assist businesses with reorganizations and insolvency-related matters. We represent parties in bankruptcy and other judicial proceedings, as well as in out-of-court workouts across the country, including business debtors and borrowers, unsecured creditors’ committees, lenders and other secured parties, bondholders, vendors and trade creditors, asset purchasers, insurance carriers, landlords, equipment lessors, liquidating agents, and individual stakeholders.
We regularly represent equipment lenders and lessors in bankruptcy cases involving the transportation and logistics industry. This includes obtaining adequate protection payments, seeking relief from the automatic stay to permit repossession and liquidation of collateral, filing proofs of claim, and negotiating terms in plans of reorganization to protect our clients’ rights and interests.
Trucking Accident Rapid Response
Clark Hill is among a limited number of law firms in North America that have made a major commitment to handling the multitude of legal matters regularly faced by transportation and logistics companies. This commitment is supported by the firm’s global network of industry advisors and subject matter experts in transportation and logistics. Our dedicated Transportation industry practice has enabled us to assemble a team of attorneys and experts who can be available when our clients need them—as soon as possible after an accident occurs.
We handle every surface transportation issue imaginable, including licensing, enforcement, and other administrative proceedings before governmental agencies; defense of worker and third-party personal injury and property damage claims arising out of accidents; claims and litigation involving cargo loss or damage; disputes over freight charges; and controversies over federal preemption of state laws affecting transportation. We also advise about laws and regulations concerning operational safety and hazardous materials.
Government and Regulatory Affairs
Transportation, trucking, and logistics are the bedrock of the nation’s economic infrastructure. People, goods, and services move across highways, airports, seaports, rail, and public transit every day, with each segment being highly regulated and funded by local, state, and federal authorities. Clark Hill’s Government and Regulatory Affairs team provides transportation, trucking, and logistics clients with guidance and insights to manage risk, understand policy implications, and implement effective strategies to produce desired outcomes associated with local, state, and federal regulation of those industries. Our professionals serve as a bridge between the federal government and transportation, trucking, and logistics businesses interested in selling goods and services to governmental entities and municipalities and working with large, established players as well as small, emerging companies and organizations across a variety of industries providing counsel in every aspect of the government procurement process and at every phase of the federal acquisition life cycle. As federal funding of critical infrastructure projects expands into electric and green energy, our expertise and work with the Department of Transportation and related authorities provides our clients unique insight and opportunity to leverage funding opportunities.