What do transportation attorneys do when they retire? Some play golf. Others travel. Many sleep late and rediscover their spouses.
But a quartet of high-powered lawyers are taking another tack. They have launched what may emerge as a cottage industry in the often litigious world of transportation: a mediation and arbitration firm.
Transportation Dispute Resolution, LLC,based in Fort Worth, Texas, began operations on June 3 with the goal of getting shippers and providers to resolve their differences away from the courtroom and without the high expenses and ill feelings that often arise out of litigation.
The members include Nicholas DiMichael, formerly general counsel of the shippers group National Industrial Transportation League; William McCurdy, a former judge and logistics and commerce counsel with the DuPont Co.; Michael Roper, former attorney with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway; and Ann Pougiales, an attorney formerly in private practice.
To some extent, the company is following an informal mandate from the federal regulatory agencies that deal with transportation issues. The heads of various agencies have encouraged the use of mediation and arbitration to settle disputes.
"The depth of experience of our panel will bring needed credibility to the resolution of transportation disputes that have too often been ineffective because the mediator or arbitrator lacked knowledge of the transportation industry," Pougiales said in a statement.