Chuck Spitulnik has spent his entire legal career representing both public and private sector clients on issues relating, in one way or another, to the rail industry. For the past 35 years, his practice has focused on representation of state and local governments in addressing issues related to the rail companies that serve their communities or to the issues that arise when those communities develop and implement plans for operation of rail transit systems, whether commuter rail, light rail, or heavy rail systems.
Chuck regularly advises clients on issues related to negotiation of agreements with both freight railroads and Amtrak for acquisition or use of their lines; developing arrangements (including the procurement documents when required) with those railroads and with third-party operators for the operation of the rail transit systems in that right-of-way; compliance with the complex web of federal legislation and regulation of the rail industry as well as with state laws and other requirements; and understanding and addressing the unique features of the rail and transit-related labor laws and the protections available to workers in the industry.
We also advise private industries regarding their relationships with rail carriers and has assisted companies in the formation of their own proprietary industry or switching carriers to enable them to have better control over their own transportation needs. Before shifting his focus to representation of the public sector, Chuck gained extensive experience representing freight carriers in the planning and submission of transactions that require governmental approval.
Additionally, Chuck has expertise in the acquisition, leasing, and financing of rail equipment and other issues related to rail equipment ownership, including the regulation of rail equipment pools. He practices regularly before the Surface Transportation Board and interacts frequently with regulators from the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration, assisting clients in ensuring compliance with—and, when appropriate, seeking waivers from—those agencies’ rules.