Goldberg Segalla LLP

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Trucking

Goldberg Segalla’s Trucking Practice Group offers a one-stop-shop for companies to turn to with any legal need.


Our experienced, full-service team is dedicated to providing trucking and transportation-focused companies with all the counsel and representation they need to keep their businesses rolling, from proactive advice on business transactions or handling employment concerns to a staunch defense in a workers’ compensation claim, a discrimination lawsuit, a multimillion-dollar catastrophic injury, or any type of legal action. Backed by a nationwide office network plus a 24/7 Emergency Response Team and an investigations counsel always on call, we are equipped to handle issues or claims wherever and whenever they arise.


Trucking companies no longer need to wrangle a discordant array of lawyers and law firms to handle every discrete matter or question that comes up. We offer greater efficiency, seamless service, and streamlined communications through a multidisciplinary team optimized to help trucking clients minimize risk, maximize results, and reduce legal spend — all accessible via one call to a trusted point of contact who knows and understands your operations, your goals, your people, and your philosophy.


We Speak Your Language

Our full-service team of transportation lawyers knows your industry from real-world experience in the trucking business, decades spent representing transportation clients, and active involvement and leadership in prominent industry groups. We know the federal and state regulations you operate under, understand the practical impacts of legal outcomes on logistics and the bottom line, and can explain the difference between a cylinder head and a spring brake valve.


Our team includes, for example:


  • A steering committee member of the national DRI Trucking Law Committee
  • Regional coordinating counsel for a major, national trucking company
  • A member of the North Carolina Trucking Association Board of Directors
  • Lawyers who have walked in their clients’ shoes, with hands-on experience in trucking and logistics companies ranging from monitoring parts and inventory to handling operations and sales
  • Members of the Trucking Industry Defense Association, the Truckload Carriers Association, Women in Trucking, the New Jersey Motor Truck Association, and other major organizations

Comprehensive Services

Catastrophic Injury, Property Damage, and Other Liability Claims — We offer our clients trial-tested litigators in each of our offices, ready to defend against the liability and damages claims that can result from accidents. We have strong relationships with leading national experts in accident reconstruction, trauma medicine, vocational rehabilitation, and other disciplines, which helps us build a successful defense. Our strategic courtroom use of on-board electronic data recording systems, global positioning, and other technologies employed by our clients can make the difference in helping a jury understand how an accident developed and occurred.


Robert M. Hanlon Jr., chair of our Trucking Practice Group, is an American College of Trial Lawyers Fellow and an American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) National Board of Directors member who has tried more than 30 cases to verdict in nine states. He is a Trucking Industry Defense Association member and serves as regional coordinating counsel for a multinational trucking and logistics company, responsible for overseeing and trying its catastrophic personal injury cases throughout the eastern United States.


Corporate Services and Commercial Litigation — With attorneys who are well-versed in sophisticated commercial and realty transactional law, and experienced in handling complex, multimillion-dollar commercial disputes, we act as a trusted partner to trucking companies in every facet of their ownership or leasing of land or equipment for the operation of their fleet. We can guide trucking companies through any business decision, commercial interaction, transaction, legal dispute, or government investigation they may face.


Employment and Labor — We help trucking clients with every aspect of their relationships with their employees, including hiring and termination practices, policy manuals, background checks, employee benefits, disability, FMLA policy, union grievances, and collective bargaining negotiations. Through proactive counsel and interactive training sessions, we help companies minimize their risk for being sued, but when claims cannot be avoided or mediated, we defend employers against discrimination, wrongful termination, ADA, and other claims in state and federal courts as well as before government agencies.


Carianne P. Torrissi, who leads our trucking employment services, brings to every engagement the extensive knowledge she gained working for years in her family’s trucking business, and then devoting much of her legal practice to serving the needs of the trucking industry. She is a member of Women in Trucking and the New Jersey Motor Truck Association.


Insurance Coverage — Trucking industry clients benefit from our having some of the leading insurance coverage attorneys in the country, ready to advise on whether an insurer of a company must provide coverage for a particular vehicle, use, or load. Few areas of insurance law are as challenging as the interplay of insuring documents on tractors, the trailers they tow, and the loads they carry. Additionally, we have extensive experience with the complex issues that may arise in cases involving uninsured or underinsured motorists.


Christian A. Cavallo, leader of our firm’s Transportation Coverage team, has extensive experience in insurance coverage litigation involving underlying lawsuits with multimillion-dollar motor vehicle accident claims.


Risk Mitigation and Litigation Avoidance — We proudly see our role as attorneys and advisers akin to being a critical member of our clients’ teams. Accordingly, we regularly provide our trucking clients with proactive advice on reducing exposure and avoiding litigation, provide resources to help clients make sense of the federal regulations applicable to various commercial motor vehicle documents, and conduct in-house educational presentations on topics that include:


  • Safety training
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations compliance and the consequence of non-compliance
  • Truck accident investigation and crash scene management
  • Potential conflicts of interest created by multi-party trucking disputes
  • The interplay of workers’ compensation, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues
  • Approaches to maintaining a positive work environment while minimizing risk or the threat of a lawsuit

Workers’ Compensation — Our Workers’ Compensation Practice Group attorneys have successfully defended trucking clients against meritless medical and injury claims, and with teams on the ground in every state across our footprint, we know the intricacies involved in navigating each state’s Workers’ Compensation Board claims and unique hearing systems.


Ben S. Greenberg, vice chair of our Trucking Practice Group, focuses his practice on advising and defending transportation industry clients in all types of workers’ compensation claims. He is a member of the North Carolina Trucking Association’s Board of Directors and a member of the Truckload Carriers Association.


24/7 Emergency Response Team and Investigations Counsel

When there is an accident, time is of the essence in getting investigators to the scene in order to start building the best possible defense. That is why we provide our clients with contact information to reach partners in each of our offices — day or night, any day of the year. This team is ready to take action immediately and manage the first response to an accident, including:


  • Developing contacts with the police agencies involved
  • Getting photographers and accident reconstruction experts to the scene
  • Obtaining witness statements before they can be corrupted by the passage of time or the influence of other investigators
  • Securing the client’s vehicle as soon as it is released from police impound
  • Beginning the process of building a defense to a potential claim right away, before skid marks fade, evidence is moved, or witnesses cannot be located

Albert Joseph Holl, our firm’s investigations counsel, acts as the primary coordinator for rapid response, utilizing the comprehensive accident response protocols developed by our Trucking team. A 17-year veteran of the FBI with 25 years of combined investigative and legal experience, he deploys to critical incidents and catastrophic accident scenes to provide timely and crucial information to key stakeholders. A.J. ensures the necessary investigative and expert resources are being engaged, that key witnesses are identified, that critical evidence and documents are preserved, and that the right steps are taken at the right time — when every second counts. Then, when continued investigative action is required through the aftermath, he provides guidance and regular updates to the client, allowing the trial team to focus on strategy and defense.


This innovative role adds exceptional value for clients in the trucking industry and further sets Goldberg Segalla apart from other firms.

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4.7/5.0 (1253 reviews)
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  • 5.0/5.0 Review for John M. Allen by a Associate on 05/04/16 in General Liability

    John is an excellent civil defense attorney. Most importantly, he seeks resolutions that are fair to the parties. This is a trait not often found in litigation matters. Given that John and I were on opposite sides of the fence in a recent case, my... Read more

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    John is an excellent civil defense attorney. Most importantly, he seeks resolutions that are fair to the parties. This is a trait not often found in litigation matters. Given that John and I were on opposite sides of the fence in a recent case, my comments stem from personal knowledge of this gentleman. Read less

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  • 5.0/5.0 Review for Michael Rubin by a Partner on 05/28/15 in Civil Litigation

    Mike is an excellent attorney, a strong client advocate and worthy adversary.

    Mike is an excellent attorney, a strong client advocate and worthy adversary. Read less

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Diversity

Both within our own firm and across the wider business and legal communities, Goldberg Segalla’s commitment to diversity is strong, sincere, and a critical component of our firm’s mission and culture. Our philosophy has always been that we hire people who are excellent at what they do, and even better human beings. Period. We feel we would be doing a disservice to our firm and to our clients if we didn’t include contributions from every available resource.


We are extremely proud that our commitment has received regional and national recognition for the innovative programs we have developed and the results we have been able to achieve. The following is a sampling of the firm-wide or individual honors we have received for implementing initiatives that make a difference:


  • George B. Vashon Innovator Award, Minority Corporate Counsel Association
  • MCCA Firm Affiliate Network
  • Vault/MCCA Commitment to Diversity
  • Community Service Award, Defense Research Institute
  • Good Works Award, American Bar Association Section of Litigation
  • Outstanding Committee Chair, ABA Section of Litigation
  • Diversity Trailblazer Award, New York State Bar Association
  • Legal Service Award, Minority Bar Association of Western New York
  • Lawyer of the Year, Bar Association of Erie County
  • Legal Community Leader Award, National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York
  • Diversity Excellence Award, Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association
  • Value Award for Diversity, Leadership Buffalo
  • Western New York Game Changers, Buffalo Spree magazine

What we are most proud of, though, is that our efforts have shown significant results and continue to make a lasting impact on the lives of many.

Leadership and Action

To put our philosophy and commitment into practice, we have a Diversity Task Force, which includes our managing partner, in place to conceptualize and implement diversity-focused programs as well as give diversity a voice in our decision-making at the highest level. The individuals on this task force share the firm’s strong commitment to increasing diversity, and they use their unique experiences and backgrounds to support and advance that goal. The team meets regularly to create programs, schedule events, establish diversity initiatives both inside and outside of the firm, set long-term goals, and develop the strategy to recruit and retain people from diverse backgrounds.


The chair of our Diversity Task Force, Joseph M. Hanna, has spearheaded numerous diversity initiatives in various organizations and outreach programs, serves on several diversity-related committees, and is a frequent author and speaker on diversity. Among other positions, he is co-chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyer Leadership Program, former chair of the association’s Minority Trial Lawyer Committee and its Special Committee on Human Rights, and former editor-in-chief of the ABA’s Minority Trial Lawyer; a 2014 fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD); a past president of the Minority Bar Association of Western New York (MBAWNY) and the MBAWNY Foundation; and the Diversity Liaison for several committees at the 22,000-member DRI.


For more than a decade, Goldberg Segalla has proudly supported the ABA’s Judicial Internship Opportunity Program, which provides racial and ethnic minority law students, along with members of other groups underrepresented in the legal profession, opportunities to serve as an intern with a judge during the summer after their first or second year of law school. Joe Hanna — an alumni of the program himself — acts as a mentor and leader in the program, through which he has conducted more than 100 interviews for students across the country.

In 2017, Goldberg Segalla participated in the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program, the New York City Bar Association’s flagship pipeline program for high school students. As a participating legal employer, we hosted high-achieving inner-city students for the summer and collaborate with the NYC Bar to provide them with additional programming before, during, and after the summer designed to help them prepare for a legal career.

Each summer, Goldberg Segalla proudly welcomes interns through a formal Diversity Clerkship Program that was conceived by Joe while he served as president of the MBAWNY. The program was developed in collaboration with the MBAWNY and the SUNY Buffalo Law School to provide opportunities for minority UB Law students to gain firsthand experience in the legal system. Since it was launched in 2011, the program has placed more than 100 students in clerkships in area courts as well as in several area law firms, with more judges and law firms asking to participate every day. It provides participants with an in-depth look at the legal process and the interaction between the bench and the bar that they would not otherwise get. At our firm, a dedicated team of partners monitors the work of these law clerks and ensures they obtain valuable experience to help develop important legal research, writing, case management, and client service skills critical to their long-term success. Our program earned the firm the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s 2012 George B. Vashon Innovator Award.


We also have sponsored Success in the City, an annual diversity networking and mentoring event developed by Joe that brought together students, legal and business professionals, educators, nonprofits, and political leaders to make lasting partnerships. Many employment, business, and mentoring relationships resulted from this event. Past events have drawn more than 500 political and business leaders, legal professionals, and students. Success in the City has influenced the development of similar programs in Baltimore, Cleveland, Birmingham, Dallas, and elsewhere.


Our firm is committed to spreading the message throughout the broad legal and business communities that embracing diversity contributes to greater overall success. We conduct training sessions for in-house counsel at Fortune 500 corporations on increasing and promoting diversity. Our attorneys have authored articles and delivered presentations on diversity for various legal organizations, including DRI and the ABA, and our efforts and accomplishments in this area have been profiled in publications such as Law360, the New York State Bar Association’s State Bar News, Business First of Buffalo, the Buffalo Law Journal, and others.


In one example of our work to provide inspiration and raise awareness of diversity and women’s issues in the legal community, Caroline Berdzik, chair of our Employer and Labor Practice Group, spoke to Law360 for the publication’s “Female Powerbrokers” series. In the interview, Caroline discussed her career, the challenges of being a woman at a senior level at a law firm, the work-family life balance, and the importance of taking risks. She also offered guidance to female attorneys on moving their careers forward and advice to law firms on both increasing the number of women partners and retaining top female talent. Her longtime advocacy for women (at her previous firm, she served on the Women’s Business Development Committee and was a member of what became the national Women’s Presidents Organization) helped earn her a spot on the 2015 NJBIZ list of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business.


Joe Hanna also was featured by Law360 in its “Minority Powerbrokers” series, in which he shared his perspective on breaking the glass ceiling in the legal industry, the challenges of being a lawyer of color at a senior level, how law firms can increase diversity in their partner ranks, and Goldberg Segalla’s core commitment to diversity.

Partnerships

Goldberg Segalla is proud to be a member of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association Firm Affiliate Network, which was created by the MCCA to assist and acknowledge law firms that are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.


We are also a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a national organization of leaders in law firms and corporate legal departments dedicated to creating a truly diverse legal profession. As noted earlier, Joe Hanna was a fellow of the LCLD in 2014. In this position, he played a critical role in organizing the first-ever New York City LCLD Fellows Roundtable event, and he was instrumental in establishing a mentorship program in Hartford for local diverse first-year law students.


We support the diversity efforts of numerous organizations, including:

  • American Bar Association
  • Asian American Bar Association of New York
  • Columbian Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Korean American Association of Greater New York
  • League of First Nations
  • Minority Bar Association of Western New York
  • National Bar Association
  • Native American Rights Fund
  • National Association of Asian American Professionals
  • National Congress of American Indians
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Seneca Free Trade Association
  • SUNY Buffalo Law School
  • Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York

Our outreach efforts led to the creation of a comprehensive database of more than 500 minority law organizations throughout the United States. Contact between these organizations takes place in anticipation of bringing CLE and legal programs together. This group of minority bar associations includes both local and national organizations, such as:

  • National Association of Women Lawyers
  • National Association of Muslim Lawyers
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar
  • Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
  • South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia
  • Vietnamese American Bar Association of North Carolina

A Talented and Diverse Team

Diversity is further evident within our firm through the many languages and dialects spoken by members of our team, including Albanian, Arabic, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Malayalam, Mandarin, Marathi, Norwegian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, and Urdu.


Goldberg Segalla’s culture is one that values team-spiritedness, collegiality, and interpersonal harmony within our working community. We are a firm that believes in diversity in the workplace, and we are proud to offer a professional and positive work environment for each and every member of our team.


On these values, and on our commitment to diversity, we will never waver. We are proud of what we have accomplished thus far, but we also realize that this is a long-term mission. We will continue to innovate and to improve diversity in law and business — both within Goldberg Segalla and across the communities in which we live and work.

Diversity Matters — Join the Conversation

If you have questions regarding any of the firm’s diversity initiatives or would like to discuss ideas regarding increasing diversity in the legal profession, please contact Joe Hanna (716.566.5447; [email protected]) or another member of our Diversity Task Force:

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