Transportation


Overview

Transportation NewslettterThe Smith Moore Leatherwood Transportation Industry Group is a full-service business operations and risk management advisor to the transportation industry across the United States.  The team has developed a nationally  recognized presence in representing trucking companies of all sizes, trucking insurers, shippers, and brokers/intermediaries. Members of the team serve as national and regional counsel for several trucking insurers and national counsel for a number of trucking companies with headquarters in the Southeastern United States and beyond. 

We assist motor carriers and intermediaries with:

Defending Accident Claims
The largest part of the group's work is related to the investigation and defense of claims ranging from catastrophic injuries and fatalities to property damage and cargo losses and includes the work of the firm's emergency response team.  For more information on the emergency response team, please click here.  Our lawyers have tried hundreds of truck accident cases, with experience in claims relating to negligent hiring, supervision, retention, and training of drivers.

Broker Liability Claims
Another area of the group is defending "broker liability" claims.  These claims against brokers for the negligent contracting of motor carriers involve unique issues that are familiar to our team.  Our lawyers are the first known to have raised FAAAA preemption in the broker liability/tort context.

Insurance Coverage Issues
Our lawyers have handled a number of nationally publicized appeals on the MCS-90 and related filings for truck insurers.  Other coverage issues relating to trucking policies are the frequent subject of our case dockets.

Freight Claims
The firm also serves as national counsel on freight claims issues for several insurance companies and motor carriers, handling freight claims litigation in a number of states at any given time.  Our lawyers are frequent instructors at  freight claims seminars.

Transportation Contract Drafting and Review
Our lawyers write many of the transportation contracts in use around the country.  From Motor Carrier – Shipper Contracts, to Independent Contractor Agreements, to Lease Purchases, these are everyday work for our team.

Safety Rating Determination, Data Q Challenges and Civil Penalties
Motor Carriers are often targeted for enforcement by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  While these agents are doing their jobs in trying to keep our roads safe, our lawyers are trained to find hope in challenging regulatory decisions.  Whether it is a fine, an unfavorable safety rating, or a Data-Q, our trucking practice group is ready to evaluate and respond.

Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) Claims
The Safety Regulations may also be used by employees or former employees who assert "whistleblower" claims under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.  These highly specialized claims must be taken seriously by motor carriers and other transportation entities.  These statutory claims can be a nightmare if not handled by knowledgeable and competent counsel.  Our lawyers are familiar with these claims and are prepared to help you navigate the land mines.

Labor & Employment Services
Our team includes labor and employment lawyers ready to handle your day-to-day human resources issues or the most acute situations involving terminations, covenants not to compete, back solicitation clauses, and other issues that keep you from sleeping at night.  Our team drafts employee handbooks and  job descriptions from everyone from drivers to dispatchers.

Our worker's comp defense team defends employers in claims ranging from the routine back injury to catastrophic loss and knows the intricacies of unique state statutory laws, including the unique NC Statute § 97-19.1.  Additionally, our people have substantial experience when it comes to defending worker's comp claims asserted by independent contractors and the "uninsured" allegations of the state enforcement agencies.

Collection of Freight Charges
Finally, our team is versed in the trucking industry specific rules concerning the collection of motor carrier freight charges, including the "double payment" rule, when a freight broker becomes insolvent.

Members of the firm are also engaged in representing transportation companies and their owners in:

  • Employee Benefit plans (ERISA)
  • Wealth transfer management
  • Corporate planning and structuring, including mergers and acquisitions
  • Real estate purchase and finance

Emergency Response Team
As part of the array of transportation services provided to firm clients, our 24/7 emergency response team is standing by to serve clients with urgent needs following a catastrophic accident. The team has handled numerous night time and weekend emergencies for our clients.

Members of the emergency response team take responsibility for preserving physical and electronic evidence, taking driver and witness statements, making arrangements for cargo salvage, and managing relations with law enforcement. Additionally, firm clients benefit from the team’s knowledge of substantive experts and criminal defense counsel.

Click here for a full contact list of our Emergency Response Team.

Attorneys
NAME TITLE LOCATION CONTACT
Partner
(336) 378-5368
Partner in Charge
(843) 300-6633
Of Counsel
(404) 962-1023
Partner
(336) 378-5236
Partner
(336) 378-5471
Of Counsel
(843) 300-6653
Managing Partner
(336) 378-5256
Partner
(910) 815-7165
Of Counsel
(404) 962-1042
Associate
(864) 751-7652
Partner, Transportation and Logistics Industry Leader
(864) 751-7643
Associate
(864) 751-7753
Partner
(404) 962-1075
Associate
(843) 300-6659
Associate
(404) 962-1074
Partner
(704) 384-2692
Partner
(864) 751-7624
Partner
(864) 751-7610
Of Counsel
(404) 962-1057
Partner
(919) 755-8713
Partner
(704) 384-2635
Thought Leadership

Publications

Spring 2015
Transportation Industry Newsletter, The Transportation Newsletter
January, 2015
January, 2015
Large Cargo Losses = More Broker Claims, The Transportation Newsletter
January, 2015
October 1, 2014
October 1, 2014
October 1, 2014
July 10, 2014
June 26, 2014
Megatrux = Megaproblem for Carriers, The Transportation Newsletter
June 26, 2014
Proposed Rulemaking on Coercion of CMV Drivers, The Transportation Newsletter
June 26, 2014
June 26, 2014
Why You Need to Go to Electronic Logs Now, The Transportation Newsletter
April 1, 2014
National CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, The Transportation Newsletter
January 9, 2014
CSA 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014?, The Transportation Newsletter
January 9, 2014
January 9, 2014
Text Message Sender Liability, The Transportation Newsletter
January 9, 2014
September 20, 2013
September 20, 2013
September 20, 2013
September 20, 2013
September 20, 2013
June 18, 2013
March 27, 2013
Cargo Losses: Who Must Pay?, The Transportation Newsletter
March 27, 2013
July 3, 2012
July 3, 2012
FMCSA Announces Medical Examiner Registry, The Transportation Newsletter
July 3, 2012
Intrastate CMV Enforcement, The Transportation Newsletter
June 27, 2012
COGSA and the Elusive "Customary Freight Unit", The Transportation Newsletter
April 4, 2012
April 4,2012
Changes to Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure, The Transportation Newsletter
April 4, 2012
January 23, 2012
FMCSA Bans Handheld Mobile Devices, The Transportation Newsletter
January 23, 2012
How An MCS-150 Can Affect Your CSA Score, The Transportation Newsletter
January 23, 2012
Marso v. UPS, The Transportation Newsletter
January 23, 2012
Medicare News, The Transportation Newsletter
January 23, 2012
New Standards for Cargo Security, The Transportation Newsletter
January 23, 2012
Yes, You Need a Tariff, The Transportation Newsletter
October 18, 2011
Contracts: Look at the Big Picture, The Transportation Newsletter
July 1, 2011
Foreign Trade Zones, The Transportation Newsletter
July 1, 2011
July 1, 2011
July 1, 2011
July 1, 2011
The Importance of a Good Cargo Contract, The Transportation Newsletter
June 30, 2011
Doctors who Perform Truck Driver Physicals, The Transportation Newsletter
December 19, 2010
New North Carolina Heavy-Duty Truck Idling Law, The Transportation Newsletter
December 19, 2010

Events

August 16 2011
October 24 2010
July 09 2010
July 08 2010
November 10 2009
News

News

DISCLAIMER

Each of our lawyer's e-mail address is provided with his or her biography. If you are not a current client of our firm, you should not e-mail our lawyers with any confidential information or any information about a specific legal matter, given that our firm may presently represent persons or companies who have interests that are adverse to you. If you are not a current client and you e-mail any lawyer in our firm, you do so without any expectation of confidentiality. We will not establish a professional relationship with you via e-mail. Instead, you should contact our firm by telephone so that we can determine whether we are in a position to consult with you about any legal matters before you share any confidential or sensitive information with us.