The firm represents clients in all facets of the rail transit and freight rail industries. The increasing demand for both freight and passenger service over the nation's rail network demands the careful negotiation of agreements for access to and use of rail corridors, vigorous representation of our clients' interests in the allocation of limited rail resources, and meticulous pursuit of any necessary regulatory approvals. Our practice reflects a particular focus on representation of state and local governments facing issues involving interaction with the railroads that serve their communities. This includes developing plans for new, continuing or expanding commuter rail and transit service, the establishment of railbanking arrangements, and other issues related to the presence of the railroads in the community. For commuter rail and transit operators, this work includes assessing how to identify and then secure rights of way, negotiating with and selecting operators of the commuter service, and addressing regulatory, labor, and other issues that arise in the development and operation of urban rail systems. The firm's attorneys have negotiated with freight railroads and Amtrak on the acquisition of ownership or other rights to use rights-of-way as well as on arrangements for shared use of the corridors or tracks by freight, intercity passenger, regional/commuter passenger and light rail/transit operations. In addition, we have assisted state and local governments in addressing environmental, competitive, service quality and other issues. Among other clients, the firm has represented or advised state, regional or local governments, including transit and rail authorities, in Delaware, North Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Southern California, the Baltimore-Washington region, South Florida, New York City, Atlanta, Denver and Cleveland
The firm's lawyers have experience and expertise regarding a variety of regulatory and compliance issues relating to surface transportation law, including hazardous materials transportation, driver drug testing, transportation finance and grants, transit issues and the regulation of freight rail operations. At the federal level, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell lawyers regularly practice before the Surface Transportation Board, Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Railroad Retirement Board and Department of Transportation. The firm's attorneys are well-versed in the specialized areas of law, policy and practice governing these agencies. Because litigation may be necessary at times to assert or defend our clients' interests, our attorneys have litigated in many federal district courts, most federal courts of appeals as well as many state courts.