Karyn is a partner and leader of the firm's Transportation practice group. Based upon interviews with clients and peers, Chambers USA has recognized Karyn as one of the leading lawyers nationwide who represent shippers in rail transportation matters, and she was also identified for her work in road transportation matters.

Karyn represents multinational corporations, trade associations, and transportation intermediaries, such as 3PLs, NVOCCs, freight forwarders and brokers, in domestic and international matters involving multimodal transportation and logistics services. Her practice covers the carriage of goods by rail, motor, vessel and air carriers. Karyn serves as the general counsel to The National Industrial Transportation League, the nation's oldest and largest shipper organization.

Karyn's practice includes a full range of services with a focus on regulatory compliance and counseling; proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board (STB), Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); transportation contracting; transportation security; legislation; and litigation/arbitration of transportation-related disputes.

Karyn is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia. She is also admitted before the United States Supreme Court; United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Eighth Circuit, and the Fourth Circuit; and the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

  • Counseling companies in oil and gas industry, or buyers and sellers of such commodities, regarding safety laws and regulations and mitigation of liability risks.
  • Filed large rate case and preliminary injunction against Class I railroad on behalf of a major electric utility and successfully settled the case.
  • Representing a trade association in STB proceeding to evaluate reform of competitive access rules related to competitive switching.
  • Represented a trade association in STB proceeding to reform the agency’s arbitration and mediation rules applicable to rail disputes.
  • Filed comments at STB on behalf of a chemical company concerning recordation of PTC costs.
  • Opposed rail abandonment of more than 200 miles of track in Northern Maine on behalf of a major forest products shipper.
  • Advise companies on compliance with federal transportation statutes and regulations, including without limitation the Shipping Act of 1984, as amended by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, Interstate Commerce Act, as amended by ICCTA, Trade Act of 2002, Maritime Transportation Security Act, Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), and regulations of FMC, STB, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and FAA, among others.
  • Represented a major chemicals producer in STB proceeding involving the shipment of TIH materials and the scope of railroads' common carrier obligation.
  • Represented a trade association and individual companies in STB proceeding involving the definition of a rail transportation contract.
  • Represent companies in agency investigations or enforcement proceedings, involving transportation safety and security violations, shipments of hazardous materials, and compliance with FMC tariff and service contract rules.
  • Developed a compliance program for automobile manufacturer regarding truck safety regulations applicable to its private fleet.
  • Represented shippers and utilities in railroad merger proceedings, including UP/SP and acquisition of Conrail by CSX and Norfolk Southern Railway.
  • Prepared comments in numerous rulemaking proceedings before federal transportation departments and agencies, including every rulemaking issued under OSRA, the new drivers' Hours of Service rules, 24-hour rule, and advance reporting of cargo data under the Trade Act, among others.
  • Represented an electric utility in railroad construction and crossing proceeding before the ICC (now STB).
  • Participated in a major railroad proceeding before the ICC involving "bottleneck" transportation rates.
  • Assist companies in obtaining federal authority (i.e. registration) from the FMCSA to operate as motor carriers and brokers.
  • Assist companies in obtaining FMC license to operate as an ocean transportation intermediary, i.e. NVOCC and/or ocean freight forwarder.
  • Counsel companies on the formation and operation of maritime and domestic shippers' associations.
  • Advising oil and gas companies, or buyers and sellers of oil and gas products on liability risks arising under rail transportation contracts, railcar leases, and other commercial arrangements, and liability mitigation measures related to rail shipments
  • Draft, review and negotiate a broad range of transportation contracts on behalf of shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries, including rail, ocean service contracts, motor, and air transportation agreements, NVOCC service arrangements, contracts of affreightment, charter parties, and bills of lading.
  • Advise a major automobile manufacturer on all of its transportation and logistics contracts involving the global distribution of automotive parts and finished vehicles.
  • Advise clients on transportation issues related to cross-border shipments with Canada and Mexico.
  • Advise clients on incoterms, terms of sale, and the UCP 500 and letters of credit.
  • Prepare articles of incorporation and by-laws governing the operations of maritime and domestic shippers' associations.
  • Prepared comments for a shipper-based trade association regarding the implementation of the 10+2 Rule adopted by CBP.
  • Advise clients on requirements of the Trade Act of 2002, the Maritime Transportation Security Act, the Customs and Trade Partnership Against Terrorism ("C-TPAT") program, TSA Known Shipper program, the 24-Hour Rule, FDA reporting requirements for food importers, and Hazmat security plans.
  • Advised a shipper-based trade association on proposed legislation and policy issues related to transportation security.
  • Advised industry trade associations regarding proposed legislation to eliminate collective-ratemaking by ocean carriers with antitrust immunity.
  • Advised industry trade associations regarding proposed legislation to enhance rail competition and reform railroad antitrust immunity.
  • Directly involved in efforts to reform the U.S. Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA), and served as an advisor to the State Department in negotiations before UNCITRAL to develop a new international maritime cargo liability treaty, known as the Rotterdam Rules.
  • Worked directly with Congressional staff and industry representatives to obtain passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998.
  • Worked on behalf of a trade association seeking adoption of the Intermodal Safe Container Transportation Amendments Act of 1996 and the ICC Termination Act of 1995.
  • Representing a shipper-based trade association as an amicus curiae in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in an action concerning whether proposed regulation of the truck drayage industry as part of the "Clean Truck Program" adopted by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is subject to federal preemption.
  • Successfully handled an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in a case involving delay damages awarded under the Carmack Amendment.
  • Successfully represented manufacturer in "reasonable dispatch" case brought against a class 1 railroad under the Carmack Amendment.
  • Arbitrated commercial dispute between shipper and its freight forwarder involving mis-payment of customs duties in Indonesia.
  • Assisted exporters in collecting more than $1 million in Harbor Maintenance Tax Refunds.
  • Represented an electric utility in appeal of ICC decision on bottleneck rail rates.
  • Prepared amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in maritime cargo liability case, Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. James N. Kirby, Pty Ltd.
  • Prepared amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in case involving constitutional challenge to the payment of the Harbor Maintenance Tax on export shipments, United States v. U.S. Shoe Corporation.
  • "Supply Chain Strategies - Policies and Practicalities to Address Transportation Challenges," Thompson Hine Webinar, November 2021
  • "Preparing for STB's Hearing on Rail Demurrage & Accessorial Charges," Thompson Hine Webinar, April 2019
  • "Crude By Rail," Webinar for the Leadership for Energy Automated Processing (LEAP)
  • “Update on Transportation Legislation and Regulation," American Forest & Paper Association Containerboard Meeting, April 2013
  • “NITL Competitive Switching Proposal,” ATLP Fall Forum, November 2012
  • "Rail Transportation Update," Ohio Chemistry Technology Council, April 2012
  • “NITL Competitive Switching Proposal,” Midwest Association of Rail Shippers Meeting, January 2012
  • “Update on Rail Legislative and Regulatory Issues,” Future Shock Seminar, October 2011
  • "Successful Strategies for Negotiating Ocean Service Contracts," The National Industrial Transportation Council League Webinar, April 2011
  • "Legal and Regulatory Developments Involving Rail Transportation," The Glass Producers Transportation Council Meeting, April 2011
  • "Successful Strategies to Ocean Contracting," The National Industrial Transportation League Annual Meeting, November 2010
  • "Multi-Modal Update," The National Industrial Transportation League Annual Meeting, November 2010
  • "STB Rail Rate Cases Rules and Considerations," Thompson Hine Webinar, October 2010
  • "H.R. 6167, The Shipping Act of 2010," The National Industrial Transportation League Webinar, September 2010
  • "H.R. 6167, The Shipping Act of 2010," NCBFAA Government Affairs Conference, September 2010
  • "Highway Transportation Update," The National Industrial Transportation League Annual Meeting, June 2010
  • "Overview of S. 2889, STB Reauthorization Act of 2009," Paper and Forest Industrial Transportation Committee, May 2010
  • “Successful Ocean Contracting Strategies," The National Industrial Transportation League Webinar, March 2010
  • “Overview of S. 2889, STB Reauthorization Act of 2009," Southwest Association of Rail Shippers, February 2010
  • "Impact of the Rotterdam Rules," 42nd Annual Conference of the Transportation Law Institute, November 2009
  • "Legislative and Regulatory Overview on Transportation and the Environment," panelist, Association of Transportation Law Professionals Annual Meeting, July 2009
  • "International Transportation and Security," Transportation Logistics Council, April 2006
  • "Doing Business Like A Big Ocean Shipper," The National Industrial Transportation League Annual Meeting, November 2005
  • "NVOCC Service Arrangements," Association for Transportation Law Practitioners Annual Meeting, June 2005
  • "Security Update," The National Industrial Transportation League Annual Meeting, November 2004
  • "Regulatory Outlook for 2004," JOC Trans-Atlantic Maritime Conference, May 2004
  • "COGSA Reform," Transportation Law Institute, October 2000
  • "Global Connectivity in Maritime Transport," JOC Newsmaker 2000 Series, August 2000
  • "Legislative Update and Prospects," NY County Lawyers Association, May 2000
  • "Reform of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act," Association for Transportation Law Logistics and Policy Annual Meeting, June 1999
  • Conducted a series of seminars on implementation of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, Spring 1999
  • "Reform of the Shipping Act of 1984," Annual Meeting of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, 1994
  • AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, in Transportation: Rail (for Shippers), Nationwide; Transportation: Road (Carriage/Commercial), Nationwide; and Transportation: Road (Carriage/Logistics), Nationwide
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2014 to 2022 for Railroad Law and Transportation Law; named the Best Lawyers® 2017 and 2022 Transportation Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Washington, D.C.
  • Selected to the Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers list, 2012 to 2021
  • Listed in The Legal 500 as a Leading Lawyer in Transportation: Rail & Road - Litigation & Regulations, 2022; listed in The Legal 500 2018-2022
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • Association for Transportation Law Professionals, President, 2014-2015; President-Elect, 2013-2014; Vice President, 2009-2013; Program Committee Chair, 2010-2011; D.C. Chapter President, 1999-2000
  • Maritime Administration Bar Association
  • Maritime Law Association
  • District of Columbia Bar