The firm maintains an extensive transportation and logistics practice, with experience during the era of regulation, as well as today’s deregulated climate. This continuum of experience lends itself to a unique knowledge of how older statutes and regulations impact present-day operations. It also promotes a better understanding within the firm of the more recent issues, legislation, and regulations currently shaping the transportation industry. Having this knowledge in hand enhances the firm’s ability to analyze and address the specific and sometimes complex issues affecting clients in the business of transportation and logistics. The firm represents clients of all types, including carriers and shippers of general commodities and hazardous materials, towing operators, and third-party logistics companies. Our attorneys assist clients in all aspects of transportation and logistics law, including the following:
Cargo Claims and Litigation
Attorneys at the firm are experienced in representing clients during all stages of claims for lost, damaged, and delayed freight. Their knowledge of the Carmack Amendment and legal processes surrounding these types of claims have made the firm an attractive option for shippers and carriers seeking seasoned and affordable representation. They have successfully litigated, mediated and negotiated to favorable resolution claims involving various types of freight, including, among other things, heavy machinery, non-exempt produce, building supplies, and bulk paper. Representation has spanned truck and rail transportation and ocean carriage.
Heavy Equipment Rigging and Hauling
This practice area overlaps with the firm’s transportation and logistics area of practice. The firm is experienced in the various aspects of heavy equipment dismantling, loading, securing, transporting (highway, rail and ocean), and rigging at destination. Our attorneys have represented clients in transactional matters, as well as regulatory matters before the Ohio Department of Transportation, OSHA, and various state courts.
Regulatory, DOT, and Hazardous Materials
Attorneys maintain an extensive knowledge and understanding of regulatory and administrative requirements facing motor carriers and shippers. The firm is experienced in representing clients before the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in all aspects of regulation, including applications for authority, safety and compliance audits, civil forfeiture notices and claims, roadside inspections and citations, and overweight/over dimensional shipments. Attorneys maintain regularly assist clients with monitoring and application for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and state regulations affecting motor carriers and shippers. The firm follows and advises on various regulations, including, among others, hours of service requirements, driver and vehicle regulations, and hazardous materials handling, packaging, placarding and shipping.
Independent Contractor and Employment Issues
The firm routinely assists motor carrier clients in employment and independent contractor matters. With respect to independent contractors, attorneys are experienced in drafting and negotiating owner-operator agreements, commercial vehicle leases and lease-back arrangements, and driver compensation plans. Attorneys have represented clients in all aspects of the negotiation and implementation of owner-operator programs, as well as complex litigation involving compensation structure, exemption from regulatory requirements, and independent contractor disputes. From an employment standpoint, the firm is experienced in defending claims against the employer, both from administrative agencies and the employees themselves. Clients of the firm realize the added benefits of the firm maintaining practice concentrations in transportation and health care, which is having a greater impact on employers over time.
Attorneys with the firm are experienced in the towing industry and dealing with the state statutes and local ordinances that sometimes have a dramatic impact on operations and profitability. Over the years, attorneys have represented tow truck companies in matters against municipalities in various venues, including the Supreme Court of the United States, federal district courts, and state courts. The firm has negotiated and litigated issues involving participation on tow rotation lists, recovery of towing and storage charges, and transfer of title to abandoned vehicles. It has an in-depth understanding of the challenges and shrinking margins threatening tow truck operators in today’s industry, and it continues to assist its clients at rates that fit within their budget.
Freight Charges and Contract Issues
In many instances, the firm assists clients proactively in negotiating and signing contracts to avoid future misunderstandings and disputes. Attorneys are experienced in multiple areas, including transportation agreements, brokerage and freight forwarding agreements, and provisions for payment of freight charges and fuel surcharges. In many instances, litigation and future costs can be avoided by spending a little time, and far fewer resources, negotiating clear and fair terms early on in the relationship between carrier and shipper, carrier and broker, or broker and shipper. In the event that a dispute should arise, attorneys are experienced in litigating, arbitrating, and mediating, from start to finish, disputes involving freight charges, cargo claims, demurrage and other ancillary charges, and other issues relating to the transportation and logistics industries.
Heavy Equipment Rigging and Hauling
This practice area overlaps with the firm’s real estate and construction area of practice. The firm is experienced in the various aspects of heavy equipment dismantling, loading, securing, transporting (highway, rail and ocean), and rigging at destination. Our attorneys have represented clients in transactional matters, as well as regulatory matters before the Ohio Department of Transportation, OSHA, and various state courts.
Attorneys regularly follow and research industry topics, and the firm maintains active memberships in the Transportation Lawyers of America and Ohio Trucking Association.