Hinshaw represents clients on a national, regional and local level in the transportation, trucking, shipping, cargo, property broker, freight forwarder, third-party logistics (3PL), intermodal, bus, taxi, private fleet, commuter railroad, aviation and airport businesses, including insurers of transportation companies. The firm's attorneys have successfully completed hundreds of jury trials in the transportation field. Several of our trial lawyers are members of esteemed organizations such as the American College of Trial Lawyers and American Board of Trial Advocates.
Our transportation practice lawyers have helped create and continue to support such key industry organizations as the Commercial Transportation Litigation, Aviation and Aviation/Space Committees of the American Bar Association’s Tort and Insurance Practice and Litigation Sections, the Defense Research Institute’s Trucking Law Committee, Trucking Industry Defense Association, Transportation Lawyers Association, Aviation Insurance Association, Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and National Business Aviation Association.
Frequent contributors to professional and industry journals and conferences on transportation issues, Hinshaw’s attorneys have special expertise in the following areas: legal analysis of and drafting dispositive motions involving complex issues such as federal preemption and conflicts of laws; creative ways to manage and settle cases; alternative dispute resolution, mediations and arbitrations; jury selection and trial advocacy; combatting hindsight bias in the evaluation and resolution of disputes; regional and national litigation programs; and recent trends in the regulation of transportation services.
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Property Damage and Cargo Claims
Hinshaw's leading trial attorneys defend their transportation clients in catastrophic injury, personal injury, wrongful death, and property loss claims and lawsuits on a local, regional and national basis. Their experience includes handling all types of cases, from the multiple party catastrophic case that demands a seasoned trial lawyer with decades of experience to the more routine case involving smaller or moderate exposure that can be handled by a younger lawyer at lower rates. We handle the defense of cargo claims involving the Carmack Amendment and other theories of recovery under state law, often asserting applicable limitations of liability on behalf of motor carrier clients. Hinshaw's attorneys also assist their clients with their own claims in the shipping and warehousing industries.
Our transportation law representation draws on our collective familiarity with the key experts in accident investigation and reconstruction, transportation regulation, biomechanics, human factors, and other areas of expertise. We can assist our clients in the formation and interpretation of transportation contracts, especially where the issues include indemnification clauses, tenders of defense, insurance coverage, contract law, principal-agency, liability of brokers and shippers, and punitive damages.
Because lawsuits typically involve post-accident judgments about the conduct of drivers or other transportation actors, our knowledge and expertise in preventability issues, safety policies, product issues, and the use of de-biasing techniques to combat hindsight bias are invaluable in making the difference between an adverse result and a successful outcome.
Coordination of Accident Investigation
Hinshaw assists transportation clients in the investigation of catastrophic accidents. The firm's attorneys are highly skilled in assembling requisite teams of engineers, investigators and technicians. As trial attorneys, we have successfully protected the results of investigations from discovery utilizing available privileges and quickly addressing the areas of inquiry necessary to promptly evaluate an exposure following an accident.
Insurance Coverage Disputes
Nationally recognized in the insurance industry, Hinshaw's attorneys possess significant expertise in representing transportation insurers in coverage issues. Typical issues include the priority between insurance contracts issued to a carrier as opposed to an owner/operator of a leased vehicle, the interpretation and construction of the MCS 90 endorsement and related federal regulations. Hinshaw's attorneys routinely negotiate the complicated issues regarding the use of self-insurance and the relationship between the self-insured and the insurance carrier.
Employment Practice and Workers Compensation Claims
Hinshaw's attorneys represent transportation clients in all aspects of employment law disputes, defending discrimination claims as well as wage and salary disputes. We also represent employers in their workers' compensation cases and provide defense to those transportation employers who are sued as third-party defendants in those states where contribution or indemnity claims are allowed against employers.
The firm’s transportation and environmental litigators have defended transportation clients in matters alleging damage to property due to violations of environmental laws or regulations. This integrated team of environmental and transportation attorneys also advises clients in the event of hazardous material spills or releases, claims of water and soil contamination, clean-up obligations, and various environmental compliance matters.
Governmental Investigations and Regulatory Issues
Hinshaw assists motor carriers and other transportation clients which maintain their own fleet of motor vehicles in complying with the numerous U.S. Department of Transportation and state regulations. Hinshaw also represents aviation businesses concerning regulatory matters and FAA/NTSB enforcement cases. This practice includes help with and/or investigations of pilot, mechanic, airline, airport, flight school and charter certification matters.
- Joseph D. Ackerman
- Albert C. Angelo
- Randy J. Aoyama
- Steven R. Bonanno
- Peter H. Carlson
- Anthony J. Debre
- Terese A. Drew
- Robert J. Finley
- Carlton D. Fisher
- Paul J. Gamm
- Melissa A. Gillinov
- Tomislav Z. Kuzmanovic
- Arthur J. Laplante
- David H. Levitt
- Burke G. Lopez
- Mitchell A. Martin
- Clinton S. Payne
- Mellissa A. Schafer
- Esther J. Seitz
- John R. Suermann Jr.
- Jonathan W. Thames
- Chad M. Vacarella
- Peter A. Walsh