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Surface Transportation

Motor Carriage/Logistics/Vehicle Safety
Steptoe represents motor carriers of property and passengers, major shippers, transportation trade associations, and motor vehicle equipment manufacturers in a variety of regulatory and commercial contexts. Our attorneys regularly advise on motor carrier and related transportation contracts, commercial disputes, and regulatory and legislative issues. We practice extensively before the Department of Transportation and its constituent units, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Surface Transportation Board, and other regulatory bodies and courts.

The firm has been very active in counseling parties regarding contracts between motor carriers and shippers, preparing commercial agreements involving third-party logistics providers, and negotiating a variety of other commercial agreements arising from the transportation, warehousing, and distribution of freight. Steptoe attorneys also advise clients on issues pertaining to liability arising from domestic and international transportation services. The firm also represents clients in motor carrier merger and acquisition transactions, as well as in bankruptcy proceedings.

We are involved in a broad range of federal regulatory issues pertaining to the transportation of property and persons by motor carrier, including safety and security issues, as well as issues arising from the transportation of hazardous materials. The firm’s attorneys also advise clients with respect to cross-border transportation issues, including issues arising under NAFTA and customs/immigration issues. Steptoe attorneys also handle vehicle safety matters arising under regulations administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For example, the firm has been involved on behalf of motor vehicle equipment manufacturers in significant NHTSA recall investigations and rulemakings, and has advised motor vehicle industry participants on regulatory obligations arising under the TREAD Act and other applicable safety laws. 

In the area of passenger transportation, Steptoe represents a major owner of bus companies and is actively involved in a broad range of bus industry matters. These include regulatory matters arising from industry transactions, pooling and antitrust matters, Americans with Disabilities Act obligations, and security matters. Steptoe attorneys also represent clients in matters involving the Federal Transit Administration, including issues pertaining to competition between private bus companies and public transit agencies.

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