Trucking and Automotive
Goldberg Segalla’s nationwide Trucking Practice Group is a full-service legal team focused on all aspects of the trucking, transportation, and logistics industries—but we aren’t offering our clients a one-stop-shop.
We’re offering a partnership.
Our experienced, collaborative team is dedicated to working across offices and legal disciplines to provide trucking and transportation-focused companies with all the counsel and representation they need to keep their businesses rolling—from prompt investigation and aggressive defense of a catastrophic injury case, worker’s compensation claim, or discrimination lawsuit, to proactive advice on business transactions, employment concerns, insurance coverage, or regulatory issues.
Trucking companies no longer need to wrangle a discordant array of lawyers and law firms to handle every discrete matter or question that comes up. We offer greater efficiency, seamless service, and streamlined communications through a multidisciplinary team optimized to help trucking clients minimize risk, maximize results, and reduce legal spending—all accessible via one call to a trusted point of contact who knows and understands your operations, your goals, your people, and your philosophy.
With a nationwide office network and strategic coverage along the I-95 corridor, in the Midwest in Illinois and Missouri, and most recently in southern California—plus a 24/7 Emergency Response team and Investigations Counsel always on call—we are equipped to handle issues and claims wherever and whenever they arise.
We Speak Your Language
Real-world experience in the trucking business, decades spent representing transportation clients, and active involvement and leadership in prominent industry groups: Our transportation lawyers know your industry. We know the federal and state regulations you operate under, understand the practical impacts of legal outcomes on logistics and the bottom line, and can explain the difference between a cylinder head and a spring brake valve.
Our team includes, for example:
- A steering committee member of the national DRI Trucking Law Committee
- Regional coordinating counsel for a major, national trucking company
- Lawyers who have walked in their clients’ shoes, with hands-on experience in trucking and logistics companies ranging from monitoring parts and inventory to handling operations and sales
- Members of the Trucking Industry Defense Association, the Truckload Carriers Association, Women in Trucking, the New Jersey Motor Truck Association, and other major organizations, including a member of the North Carolina Trucking Association Board of Directors
Robert M. Hanlon Jr., Chair of the Trucking Practice Group, is an American College of Trial Lawyers Fellow and an American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) National Board of Directors member who has tried more than 30 cases to verdict in nine states. He is a Trucking Industry Defense Association member and serves as regional coordinating counsel for a multinational trucking and logistics company, responsible for overseeing and trying its catastrophic personal injury cases throughout the eastern United States.
We offer our clients trial-tested litigators in each of our offices, ready to defend against the liability and damages claims that can result from accidents. We have experience trying and winning multimillion-dollar cases involving accidents and all common causes, including alleged negligent driver operations and negligent maintenance of a fleet. We have strong relationships with leading national experts in accident reconstruction, trauma medicine, vocational rehabilitation, and other disciplines, which helps us build a successful defense. Our strategic courtroom use of onboard electronic data recording systems, global positioning, and other technologies employed by our clients can make the difference in helping a jury understand how an accident developed and occurred.
Rapid Response and Accident Investigations
When there is an accident, time is of the essence in getting investigators to the scene in order to start building the best possible defense. That is why we provide our clients with contact information to reach partners in each of our offices—at any hour, any day of the year. When we arrive, we’re prepared with the experience and resources to handle any issue that arises—not following a one- or two-page checklist, but our comprehensive and meticulously prepared Truck Trauma Kit, an investigations manual with protocols for every aspect of the effort. It makes a difference.
This team is ready to take action immediately and manage the first response to any accident, including:
- Developing contacts with the police agencies involved
- Getting photographers and accident reconstruction experts to the scene
- Obtaining witness statements before they can be corrupted by the passage of time or the influence of other investigators
- Securing the client’s vehicle as soon as it is released from police impound
- Beginning the process of building a defense to a potential claim right away, before skid marks fade, evidence is moved, or witnesses cannot be located
Our coast-to-coast rapid response efforts are led and coordinated by Goldberg Segalla’s National Investigations Counsel A.J. Holl, utilizing the comprehensive accident response protocols developed by our Trucking team. A 17-year veteran of the FBI with 25 years of combined investigative and legal experience, he deploys to critical incidents and catastrophic accident scenes to provide timely and crucial information to key stakeholders. A.J. ensures that the necessary investigative and expert resources are being engaged, that key witnesses are identified, that critical evidence and documents are preserved, and that the right steps are taken at the right time—when every second counts. Then, when continued investigative action is required through the aftermath, he provides guidance and regular updates to the client, allowing the trial team to focus on strategy and defense.
The High-Stakes Trial Team You Can Trust
Goldberg Segalla has an unmatched reputation for trial attorney bench strength: Over 40 of our lawyers have tried at least 50 cases each, and we have trial lawyers with decades of experience in each of our U.S. offices. Multiple attorneys are fellows of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and have served as faculty members (and in one case, a dean) of its Trial College; multiple attorneys are graduates and former faculty of the prestigious Trial Academy run by the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC); and still others are recognized by the American Academy of Trial Attorneys as among the best and most experienced practitioners in the jurisdictions where they practice.
We recognize that other law firms suffer from a dearth of trial experience, trusting only a handful of senior attorneys to try their clients’ most important cases, and thereby limiting opportunities for younger partners to learn. Because of this—and because of our immense human resources in the form of experienced trial attorneys—we created the GS Trial Academy, an innovative program to educate and train associates and younger partners in effective trial techniques, and provide continuous opportunities for improving trial skills and practice. This has cemented our recognition as a top trial firm, with a track record of providing greater cost-efficiency, and for parachuting in to win or favorably resolve late-stage matters when the stakes are highest. Most importantly, putting our own people first has made a bottom-line difference for our clients.
With an Employment and Labor practice recognized as among the top and best-rounded in the nation, we help trucking clients with every aspect of their relationships with their employees, including:
- Hiring and termination practices
- Policy manuals
- Background checks
- Employee benefits
- FMLA policy
- Union grievances
- Collective bargaining negotiations
Through proactive counsel and interactive training sessions, we help companies minimize their risk for being sued. When claims cannot be avoided or mediated, we defend employers against discrimination, wrongful termination, ADA, and other claims in state and federal courts as well as before government agencies.
Because of the combination of our experience in trucking and in employment law, our lawyers have published and are widely sought after to speak on topics concerning many of the unique employment and labor issues affecting the industry, including the use of prescription medications as well as illegal drugs on the job; the intersection of the ADA, the FMCSR, and Workers’ Compensation; sexual harassment and abuse investigations; and workforce issues. In addition, we provide CE/CLE courses and educational webinars for clients, as well as timely alerts with news and analysis on recent caselaw, statutory changes, regulatory guidance, and more.
Carianne P. Torrissi, who leads our trucking employment services, brings to every engagement the extensive knowledge she gained working for years in her family’s trucking business, and then devoting much of her legal practice to serving the needs of the trucking industry. She is a member of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association as well as Women in Trucking, which named Carianne to the Top Women to Watch in Transportation list for 2019.
Fully integrated with the firm’s 100-plus-attorney Workers’ Compensation Practice Group, the dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys in our Trucking team have successfully defended clients against meritless medical and injury claims, and have worked collaboratively to improve clients’ overall workers’ compensation programs. With teams on the ground in every state across our footprint, we know the intricacies involved in navigating each state’s Workers’ Compensation Board claims and unique hearing systems.
We have developed and deployed a workers’ compensation claims-handling model and global closure strategy built on:
- Keeping one attorney with each file for the full life-cycle of a claim
- Early and consistent reporting to keep clients informed
- Quick closure to increase client certainty and cost-efficiency
Everything we do is tailored to avoid unnecessary legal spending. To that end, we offer additional value-added programs targeted at alleviating pressure points affecting trucking workers’ compensation claims. These include:
- Light-duty return-to-work program
- Medicare Compliance and Medicare Set-Asides (MSAs) team
- Opioid Impact Program
- Integrated Disability and Workforce Management Program
Ben S. Greenberg, vice chair of our Trucking Practice Group, focuses his practice on advising and defending transportation industry clients in all types of workers’ compensation claims, as well as employment discrimination claims. In addition to his defense practice, he is a regular presenter on the interplay of workers’ compensation, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues as well as claims mitigation strategies for employers. He is a member of the North Carolina Trucking Association’s Board of Directors and a member of the Truckload Carriers Association.
Trucking industry clients benefit from our having likely the largest collection of dedicated insurance coverage attorneys in the country, including some of the leading practitioners in trucking and transportation insurance coverage. Few areas of insurance law are as challenging as the interplay of insuring documents on tractors, the trailers they tow, and the loads they carry—but we are ready to advise on whether an insurer of a company must provide coverage for virtually any particular vehicle, use, or load. We have extensive experience with the complex coverage and regulatory issues that may arise in cases involving the contractual relationship and additional insured status of various parties, property damage, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, excess/primary insurance obligations, workers’ compensation, permissive use, scope of employment, and the federally regulated MCS-90 endorsement.
Christian A. Cavallo, a leader of our Global Insurance Services group’s Transportation Coverage team and a key partner in the Trucking practice, has extensive experience in insurance coverage litigation involving underlying lawsuits with multimillion-dollar motor vehicle accident claims. Chris has handled claims presented under first-party products, such as personal and commercial property and automobile policies, and under third-party insurance products, such as personal, commercial, and professional liability policies.
Sarah J. Delaney, also a leader of the Transportation Coverage team, is highly regarded for her knowledge of transportation law and coverage, and her track record of advising on complex coverage and regulatory matters that have never before been considered by insurers, policyholders and their in-house counsel, or the courts. With particularly deep experience handling complex matters involving the MCS-90 endorsement, she also assists policyholders and self-insured entities in analyzing risks and exposures, the procurement and placement of insurance coverage, and selecting and implementing proactive risk management programs.
With attorneys who are well-versed in sophisticated commercial and realty transactional law, and experienced in handling complex, multimillion-dollar commercial disputes, we can guide trucking companies through any business decision, commercial interaction, transaction, legal dispute, or government investigation they may face, and we frequently act as a trusted partner to trucking companies in every facet of their ownership or leasing of land or equipment for the operation of their fleet.
Christopher J. Belter, Chair of the Corporate Services and Commercial Litigation Practice, leads a team of over 50 attorneys nationwide that has achieved successful outcomes for a broad range of companies in complex disputes involving contractual relationships, misappropriation and fraudulent conveyance, commercial leases, licensing, claims of tortious interference, and other issues.
As part of that team, Michael J. Gallagher heads up the firm’s Business and Commercial Transactions practice. A former assistant general counsel of a multibillion-dollar global food service and hospitality company with over 20 years of experience in the industry, Mike leads a group of veteran transactional and corporate attorneys that advise our trucking clients on matters ranging from mergers and acquisitions to contracts, joint ventures and strategic alliances, private financing, corporate formation and dissolution, commercial leasing and purchases, and more.
We counsel, train, and defend clients in numerous industries facing all conceivable cybersecurity and data-related matters. Our Trucking attorneys include members of the firm’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Practice Group, a team of verdict-tested trial lawyers, preeminent intellectual property litigators, and leading regulatory attorneys collaborating to provide 360-degree cyber counsel.
Electronic data plays and enormous role in the trucking industry, and especially in collisions and catastrophic accidents. GPS, cell phones, onboard electronic data recording systems, dashboard and other vehicular cameras, as well as the health records and Social Security Numbers of parties involved, and much more—we know what data there is to be collected at an incident scene and in the aftermath, and we know how to accomplish that collection and preserve the data for litigation and, if necessary, trial.
Aside from integrating with rapid response efforts and investigations, we help industry-leading trucking companies, their executives and IT professionals, and their insurers with matters including:
- Breach response and crisis management, post-breach regulatory compliance, policy reassessment, and breach-related public relations
- Breach-related litigation, including class action defense
- Comprehensive national and state-specific regulatory counsel and risk management
- Developing and training computer security incident response teams (CSIRTs)
- Drafting data breach protocols and training management and employees
- Drafting and reviewing security policies and contracts
- Social media counseling
- Technology liability audits
Goldberg Segalla is recognized as a leader in product liability litigation and risk avoidance, and as a trusted defender of Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies across the U.S. and U.K., including leading manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of countless industrial, commercial, and consumer products. Our experience defending clients in the transportation industry includes winning cases involving airplanes, all-terrain vehicles, automobiles, boats and personal watercraft, buses, heavy trucks, motorcycles, and forklifts and other materials-handling machinery—and their countless components.
Our team includes a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI); leaders in organizations including the Product Liability Advisory Council, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Lawyers for Civil Justice, and DRI; and a deep bench of attorneys with experience handling asbestos matters related to the trucking industry, including representing “friction defendants” in matters involving chrysotile and other products.
We proudly see our role as attorneys and advisers as being a critical, integrated member of our clients’ teams. We regularly provide our trucking clients with proactive advice on reducing exposure and avoiding litigation, and help trucking companies navigate the complex interplay of state and federal regulations pertaining to all aspects of the business, from employment and workers’ compensation to business structure, commercial motor vehicle documents, claims, and insurance coverage. We also conduct in-house educational presentations on topics that include:
- Safety training
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations compliance and the consequences of non-compliance
- Truck accident investigation and crash-scene management
- Potential conflicts of interest created by multi-party trucking disputes
- The interplay of workers’ compensation, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues
- Approaches to maintaining a positive work environment while minimizing risk or the threat of a lawsuit
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