Overview

Jason helps businesses develop and maintain safe, competitive, and efficient transportation capabilities by providing guidance on freight-transportation and aircraft transactions, compliance with transportation regulations, regulatory solutions to transportation challenges, and resolution of transportation-related disputes.

Jason’s practice is multimodal, involving air, ocean, rail, and truck transportation, and covers domestic (U.S.) and international transportation. His clients are shippers, including chemical manufacturers, fertilizer manufacturers, retailers, automotive manufacturers, and food producers; trade associations representing shippers; transportation intermediaries; aircraft owners and purchasers; and businesses that use or are affected by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Jason’s practice is at the forefront of federal transportation regulation addressing service and rate issues affecting freight transportation. In addition to representing shippers and trade associations in high-profile rulemaking proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board and Federal Maritime Commission, his practice covers a wide range of regulatory matters, including:

  • Rail regulation before the Surface Transportation Board (STB)
  • Ocean regulation before the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)
  • Trucking safety and economic regulation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Rail safety regulation by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
  • Aviation safety regulation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Hazardous-materials transportation rules, including the regulations of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), U.S. Coast Guard regulation, the ICAO Technical Instructions, and the IMDG Code
  • Automotive regulation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Air carrier regulation by the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Transportation security regulation by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Jason’s transactional work involves drafting, negotiating, and providing insight on contracts related to various logistics services, including:

  • Air, ocean, barge, rail, truck, and intermodal transportation agreements with carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders
  • Aircraft and vessel charters
  • Logistics management agreements with third-party logistics providers (3PLs) and fourth-party logistics providers (4PLs)
  • Warehousing, cross-docking, terminal facilities, and fulfillment center agreements
  • Leases and interchange agreements involving transportation assets, including railcars, trailers, and chassis
  • Sidetrack agreements and track leases

Jason has assisted in the resolution of various transportation-related disputes, including enforcement actions before federal regulatory agencies, derailment claims, cargo loss and damage claims, less-than-truckload freight classification disputes, and freight collection claims.

Jason is recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as an associate to watch nationwide for representing shippers in rail matters and for road transportation (carriage/logistics). He is also ranked by The Legal 500 for shipping litigation and regulation. Additionally, Jason serves as the 2020-2021 president of the Association of Transportation Law Professionals and is a member of Law360’s 2021 Transportation Editorial Board.

Prior to joining Thompson Hine, Jason was a law clerk in the general counsel’s office of a global maritime freight carrier and at an enforcement office of the DOT. Jason also was an airline pilot and holds aircraft dispatcher, commercial pilot, and certified flight instructor certificates.

Experience
Aviation

Jason provides guidance on various aviation issues, including aircraft transactions and leases, regulation of commercial operators, UAS (drone) regulation, aircraft certification and maintenance rules, airport regulation and grant assurances, certificates of authorization or waiver, truth-in-leasing rules, passenger facility charges, the application of part 91 to large and turbine-powered aircraft, route authority proceedings, aircraft charter rules, regulation of air charter brokers, cargo transportation exemptions, and cargo liability under the Montreal Convention and Warsaw Convention. Specific examples of his work include:

  • Provided guidance on letters of intent, aircraft purchase agreements, and aircraft closings to multiple sellers and purchasers of various aircraft types, including corporate jets, airliners, and small aircraft.
  • Provided strategic advice on the use of aircraft holding companies along with dry leases and other mechanisms to avoid commercial operator status
  • Counseled U.S. air carrier on impact of preferential access on application for passenger facility charge
  • Assisted a large electric utility with obtaining one of the first waivers allowing commercial UAS (drone) operations
  • Advised parts manufacturer on part-marking and authority requirements
  • Advised repair station on scope of repair authority, including use of subcontractors to fabricate parts
  • Developed strategy for challenging foreign air carrier schedules under 14 CFR Part 213
  • Represented U.S. flag carrier in route proceedings before the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Provided guidance on airman licenses required to pilot aircraft in the course of non-aviation-related employment, receive reimbursement for aircraft operations, and carry multiple employees on business travel
Hazardous Materials

Jason advises on a wide array of issues involving the shipments of hazardous materials and waste, including compliance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), IMDG Code, and ICAO Technical Instructions as they apply to international and domestic air, truck, rail, and ocean vessel shipments and the manufacturing and maintenance of packagings for hazardous-material shipments. Examples of his work include:

  • Represented retailers and chemical manufacturers in enforcement actions by various U.S. DOT agencies regarding non-compliance with rules for shipments of aerosols, paint, and chemicals and for securement of tank cars
  • Advised automotive parts manufacturer and retailer of ammunition and explosives on strategies for shipping hazardous materials that reduce compliance burdens under HMR
  • Advised manufacturer of motorized warehousing equipment, e-commerce fulfillment company, and large manufacturer of power tools on requirements for shipments of lithium batteries
  • Represented seller of lithium-battery-operated reefer containers in obtaining unique Special Permit from PHMSA that provides various exemptions from lithium-battery shipping requirements
  • Supported manufacturer of tank car components in successfully appealing a decision by the Association of American Railroads to revoke the manufacturer’s certification to assemble and manufacture equipment
  • Obtained PHMSA approvals for shipments of explosives and certain chemicals
Ocean Transportation

Jason’s advice on ocean transportation matters has covered ocean transportation contracts, including service contracts for containerized shipments, NVOCC negotiated rate arrangements, NVOCC service arrangements, voyage charters, project cargo agreements, and tow agreements; unreasonable practices of ocean carriers and ocean transportation intermediaries; and cargo liability under the U.S. Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, the Harter Act, the Hague-Visby Rules, and the Rotterdam Rules. Representative examples of Jason's work include:

  • Petitioned the FMC on behalf of a coalition of shippers, dray carriers, and ocean transportation intermediaries for an interpretive rule addressing unreasonable demurrage and detention practices of ocean carriers when port congestion or other disruptions prevent the timely pick up of cargo or return of containers, which led to the FMC issuing a ground-breaking interpretive rule providing guidance on this issue
  • Prepared comments on behalf of the shipper trade associations on various FMC regulatory activities, including reforms to contracting rules, changes to requirements of ocean transportation intermediaries, and an inquiry into the impacts of slow steaming
  • Conducted due diligence reviews on behalf of purchasers of ocean transportation intermediaries and marine terminal operators for compliance with FMC regulations
  • Advised beneficial cargo owners on ocean carrier’s right to withhold delivery of their cargo due to a lien for freight charges or general average and salvage or pending a letter of indemnity where the bill of lading or sea waybill was lost
  • Advised importer and auto manufacturer on its full portfolio of ocean transportation contracts, including providing negotiation support during annual contracting process and recommending template modifications to reflect market changes and commercial needs
Rail Transportation

Jason’s rail practice involves rail economic and safety matters, including competitive access; railroad common-carrier obligation; rate reasonableness; unreasonable practices; carrier duties to provide railcars; construction, abandonment, and change in control of rail lines; railbanking and trail use; preemption of state law; the plant railroad exception to safety regulation; track standards; grade-crossing safety; positive train control; railcar safety standards, and cargo liability under the Carmack Amendment. Examples of his work include:

  • Represented plastic and chemical manufacturers in some of the largest and most complex rate cases before the Surface Transportation Board
  • Represented shippers who use tank cars in challenging railroad charges for empty tank-car movements
  • Advocated on behalf of shippers and trade associations representing the chemical, fertilizer, and agricultural industries for changes to STB rules or guidance related to railroad reporting of service performance, demurrage and storage rules and practices, and access to rate review
  • Advised plastics manufacturer on strategy for accessing service from a rail carrier that does not have track directly serving its facility
  • Advised waste disposal company on federal preemption of local zoning and siting permit requirements for a facility that would handle transfers of waste containers from rail to truck
  • Advised chemical manufacturer on rail-regulatory issues involved in a $310 million deal to transfer its rail infrastructure to a rail operator
  • Advised large auto manufacturer on its full portfolio of rail contracts, which included contracts with all Class I railroads, railcar pooling matters, volume commitments, and cross-border transportation involving Canada, Mexico, and the United States
Truck Transportation

Jason advises clients on various trucking matters, including contracts with brokers and motor carriers, authority requirements for brokers and motor carriers, financial responsibility requirements, safety fitness and ratings, hours of service of drivers, driver qualification, truth-in-leasing requirements, cargo loss and damage issues under the Carmack Amendment, and federal preemption. Examples of his work include:

  • Acted as a direct advisor to an auto manufacturer’s global logistics purchasing team on its full portfolio of logistics contracts, including less-than-truckload (LTL), truckload, dedicated, haulaway, heavy-haul, and expedited trucking agreements, broker agreements, and cross-docking agreements
  • Advised 3PLs on compliance obligations under MAP-21 and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, including operating authority and financial responsibility requirements
  • Provided guidance to shippers on selecting motor carriers with reference to their CSA Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) performance
  • Represented shippers in responding to collections claims where the carrier alleges it was not paid by an intermediary
  • Counseled businesses on rules pertaining to their commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operations, including driver licensing requirements, hours of service rules, drug and alcohol testing, and recordkeeping requirements
Automotive Safety

Jason advises clients on NHTSA’s defect reporting and remediation requirements, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs), and exemptions from FMVSSs. Examples of his work include:

  • Advised equipment manufacturers on identifying safety defects and conducting recalls of products containing safety defects
  • Petitioned NHTSA on behalf of auto manufacturer for exemption from various FMVSSs for a low-speed, all-electric vehicle that is fully homologated in foreign jurisdictions
  • Advised auto manufacturer on potential criteria for obtaining FMVSS exemptions for fully autonomous vehicle without traditional driving controls and obtaining state permits to operate these vehicles
Publications
Presentations
  • “Managing Supply Chain Risks in 2021,” Strafford Webinar, June 2021
  • “Negotiating Third-Party Logistics Provider Agreements,” Strafford Webinar, October 2020
  • “COVID-19: Supply Chain Risks and Contractual Obligations in the Face of the Novel Coronavirus,” Strafford Webinar, April 2020
  • “Meeting Autonomous Vehicle Safety Oversight Challenges Today and Tomorrow,” 2019 Future of Transportation World Conference, December 2019
  • “Preparing for STB’s Hearing on Rail Demurrage & Accessorial Charges,” Thompson Hine Webinar, April 2019
  • Presentation on Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act Preemption, Annual Conference of the Transportation and Logistics Council, March 2018 
Distinctions
  • Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Transportation: Rail (for Shippers), Nationwide, 2021; Transportation: Road (Carriage/Logistics), Nationwide, 2021
  • Selected to Law360’s Transportation Editorial Advisory Board, 2021
  • Listed in The Legal 500, 2019, 2020 and 2021