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  1. Transport: rail and road - litigation
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Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has a formidable all-round land transport litigation team, which is characterized by its work in business-critical disputes for well-known corporates and industry associations in the automotive industry, and its representation of major railroad groups in litigation affecting the entire industry. In the Washington DC office, Thomas Dupree Jr acted for the Association of American Railroads in relation to a challenge of an allegedly discriminatory tax imposed by the State of Tennessee on railroads’ purchase of diesel fuel. In the auto sector, Dupree defended Daimler and Mercedes-Benz USA in a putative class action suit regarding an alleged misrepresentation of diesel emissions. Based in Los Angeles, Theodore Boutrous has acted for Uber Technologies in a series employment-related disputes, recently securing the enforcement of Uber’s arbitration agreements by the US Eleventh Circuit to defeat a pending class action. In the rail space, Boutrous represented BNSF Railway before the California Supreme Court concerning the limits of "take-home" liability in asbestos cases.

McGuireWoods LLP acts for large trucking companies, well-known auto manufacturers, railroad companies and insurers. In 2017, the transport litigation team handled environmental lawsuits, damages claims arising from collisions, and product liability and pre-emption cases, among other. Mitchell Morris in Richmond and Eric Bilik in Jacksonville act for CSX Transportation in relation to a wide variety of disputes in state and federal court. Scott Cairns leads the rail group from the Jacksonville office. The department’s automotive and trucking practice is impressively broad. Richmond-based Tracy Walker leads a team that acts for Ford Motor Company in class actions, product liability cases and asbestos claims. Charlottesville-based group head Brian Jackson acts for a major package transportation company and large insurance brokers. The Richmond-based Terry Bagley has a track record handling high-stakes litigation for clients such as Volkswagen.

The team at Hogan Lovells US LLP has considerable strength in auto franchise disputes and regularly defends auto manufacturers and trucking companies in major class actions, including product liability and antitrust claims. New York-based Carl Chiappa is defending Kia Motors America in multiple actions filed by terminated auto dealers. In the Los Angeles office, Colm Moran is defending Jaguar Land Rover North America (JLRNA) in a claim brought by California New Car Dealer Association concerning JLRNA’s export policy. In the rail space, Washington DC-based Adam Kushner and Cate Stetson represent American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers in litigation against Union Pacific. Michael Kidney focuses on consumer class actions and product liability. Justin Savage joined Sidley Austin LLP.

Atlanta-based Philip Holladay heads the department at King & Spalding LLP, which handles a range of automotive-related disputes, including headline class action product liability claims, environmental litigation and personal injury cases. Holladay represented General Motors of Canada in a catastrophic personal injury case, while John Hooper, Eric Gladbach and Jacqueline Seidel recently settled an economic loss class action suit for Toyota Motor Company concerning the recall of airbags produced by parts supplier Takata. Also recommended are Washington DC-based Granta Nakayama, who has been involved in major environmental investigations; Randall Bassett in Atlanta, who represents UPS in its catastrophic trucking injury cases; and Alexander Calfo, who is a key contact in the Los Angeles office.

The Washington DC-based team at Mayer Brown specializes in appellate work for major railroad companies and has played a major role in the development of precedent concerning railroad tort liability. Indeed, Evan Tager is leading a team defending CSX Transportation in more than 25 environmental tort claims arising from the derailment of a train carrying chemical cargo. Senior counsel Adrian Steel and counsel Peter Denton are representing BNSF Railway Company in a high-value dispute with Union Pacific Railroad Corporation concerning the allocation of costs associated with certain tracking rights agreements between the two parties. Andrew Tauber is involved in an environment-related claim concerning federal pre-emption.

Baker & Hostetler LLP’s trucking litigation practice is characterized by ‘fast responses and a high success rate’. Based in the Houston office, Billy Donley and David Jarrett (who are noted for their ‘strong business acumen’) are acting for longstanding client Volvo Trucks North America in several disputes with dealer franchises nationwide. The Columbus-based Elizabeth McNellie and Michael Mortenson in Costa Mesa are leading a team acting for Ford Motor Company in connection with consumer warranty litigation spanning 29 states and the Virgin Islands.

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Dykema Gossett PLLC regularly acts for major foreign and domestic auto manufacturers in headline class actions, personal injury disputes and product liability claims. Indeed, Terri Reiskin and Los Angeles-based Derek Whitefield defended Toyota Motor Corporation in a class action suit in Florida regarding the Takata airbag recall. In the Ann Arbor office, Jill Wheaton successfully represented Ford Motor Company on appeal of an asbestos-related liability claim. Detroit-based Michael Cooney heads the litigation department, while John Thomas, who focuses on automotive product liability cases, is a key contact in the Ann Arbor office.

Based in Washington DC, Thompson Hine LLP acts for freight shippers, rail industry associations and leasing companies in litigation and ADR, and has particular expertise in rail rate cases. Jeffrey Moreno represented a group of plaintiffs led by North American Freight Car Association in a challenge to Union Pacific’s transportation rate applied to empty tank cars. Sandra Brown has experience in antitrust litigation in the rail sector, and department head Karyn Booth has been involved in rail rate cases and contract litigation.

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