- Chair(s) John K. Fiorilla
- Office Locations Mt. Laurel, New Jersey
Every day we forge strong relationships built on trust, skill and client advocacy. Just as we have for more than 140 years and to continue to represent our clients with vigor and integrity.
Capehart Scatchard has been a leader in the field of representing and defending railroads in litigation, real estate, and commercial transactions. Capehart Scatchard represents international railroads, passenger and freight, as well as light rail and commuter transit agencies in aspects of their unique business including real estate, sales and management, zoning, condemnation, liability, environmental, and regulatory matter. Also, Capehart’s experienced railroad lawyers currently represent many railroads large and small in the defense of Federal Employers Liability Act (“FELA”) suits, grade crossing accidents, trespasser injuries, and premises liability.
While the U.S. rail industry is largely privately owned and maintained, and stimulates state and local economies by providing efficient, low-cost, and transportation services, the operation and maintenance of such an overwhelmingly massive transportation system involves many different corporate, legal, governmental, and manufacturing entities to keep it running. As a railroad owner or operator involved in the transportation industry, you frequently confront complex, and often tangled, challenges which must be delicately handled while business continues as usual. You need practical solutions, and quickly.
Whether you are building a new facility under ICCTA preemption, litigating land, environmental, personal injury, or commercial issues, you require efficient counsel who knows the ins and outs of working with the appropriate governmental and transportation agencies to address and resolve smoothly and quickly your pressing matters.
With railroads handling more than 40 percent of the nation’s intercity freight traffic, issues such as rail grade crossing accidents and demurrage claims are invariably going to arise. Whether a Class I, Class II or Short Line railroad, privately or publicly owned, there are many statutes and regulations, both state and federal, with which you must comply, and they sometimes slow the flow of business and your hectic schedules. Efficiently keeping abreast of changing rules and laws is imperative to averting troublesome fines and costly litigation.
Capehart Scatchard’s Transportation Department also specializes in the defense of commercial vehicle and tractor trailer liability defense in the busy Northeastern U.S. Capehart’s present clients include large self-insured fleet owners, third party administrators who handle trucking claims, and insurance companies who specialize in commercial vehicle liability insurance. The firm also offers business advice and commercial litigation services to the transportation brokerage industry. When a tractor trailer is involved in a large loss accident, Capehart is on your side.
As part of its commitment and broad understanding of the transportation industry, our Transportation Practice offers counsel and advice in a broad spectrum of issues from establishing new railroads, providing guidance in new facility development, to the development of management policy and engineering government affairs, real estate, and customer service positions for rail carriers.
Our Transportation Practice brings skill and experience to a full range of transportation law and litigation, real estate, environmental, and employment issues.
- Eminent domain issues and litigation
- Contract and licensing services
- Discrimination claims
- Establishing new railroads
- Environmental advice and related litigation
- Equipment lease and related document preparation
- Financing transactions
- Federal regulatory investigations
- Federal, state, municipal and administrative court representation
- Freight damage and loss claims
- Grade crossing claims
- Non-competition claims
- FELA and personal injury claims
- Personnel policies and handbooks
- New facility development – including preemption issues
- New Jersey Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Protection representation
- Real estate title issues
- Recovery of freight and demurrage charges
- Surface Transportation Board and Federal Railroad Administration applications and representation
Our proven track record is a result of years of litigation experience and keeping up to date on changes occurring within the industry. We endeavor to develop strategies to resolve disputes amicably to reduce the risk of litigation. However, once involved in litigation, our transportation lawyers work hard to minimize the disruption to our clients’ business and maximize the outcome in their favor.
Capehart Scatchard’s Transportation Practice lawyers remain aware of the importance of providing value to its clients by keeping abreast of changing laws, staying active in industry associations, and communicating emerging industry trends on a regular basis.
For over 40 years, Capehart Scatchard’s Transportation Practice lawyers have been providing comprehensive legal services to management at all levels of Class I, Class II and Short Line railroads across the United Stated and in Canada. From railroad real estate, environmental and commercial issues, railroad safety regulations, safety performance standards, prosecution of loss and damage claims, or highway-rail grade crossing safety issues, our Transportation team approaches each matter with an astute understanding of the issue at hand. Our lawyers’ broad understanding of the transportation industry increases their dedication to the quality and timely assistance on all transportation matters.
On February 22, 2017, Capehart Scatchard obtained a consent judgment from the USDC D N.J. granting title to the property sought for a price less than the amount previously offered in settlement to the defendants. Transportation Department Chair, John K. Fiorilla, Esq., along with shareholders Mary Ellen Rose, Esq. and Alan P. Fox, Esq., coordinated their efforts with client representatives from the law, real estate, operating, and engineering departments; as well as outside planning, appraisal and engineering experts, to obtain this result. Fiorilla and Malcolm Roop, Norfolk Southern’s lead real estate manager in the matter, will present an overview of how they obtained this success at the National Conference of the American Railroad Development Association when it meets in Memphis, Tennessee in June 2017.
In 2005, Capehart’s Transportation Section commenced the first eminent domain action by a railroad company in N.J. in fifty years. After redefining the law in this area and winning a decision from the Office of Administrative Law, the N.J. Commissioner of Transportation, the Superior Court, Appellate Division and the N.J. Supreme Court (see Norfolk Southern Railway Company v. Intermodal Properties, LLC, 215 N.J. 142 (2013)), obtaining the consent judgment from the USDC D N.J. is a favorable resolution.