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With a long history in the United States, the railroad industry continues to play a vital role in transporting cargo across our nation. Our attorneys have an in-depth understanding of the railroad industry and are well-versed in navigating the special rules and regulations of the industry. Several of our attorneys have years of experience representing the railroad industry, including one with over 10 years of prior experience as a General Attorney with a Class 1 railroad.


We have represented major, regional, and short line railroads in state and federal courts and before administrative bodies in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New York and Oklahoma, in a wide variety of matters, including:

  • FELA matters (both traumatic incidents and occupational diseases)
  • Crossing closures
  • Grade crossing accidents
  • Labor & employment
  • OSHA violations
  • Personal injury claims
  • Property damage claims
  • Trackage rights disputes

Some of our attorneys have been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America publication as being among the best railroad litigators in the nation, and the firm has been recognized by the publication for its railroad work at both the national and local levels. Additionally, our attorneys are active members of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) and the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel (NARTC), with one of our attorneys serving as the current Chair of the ASLRRA General Counsel Committee, a committee consisting of in-house counsel for railroads throughout the country and the outside counsel representing them.

For more information about the services we provide to the Railroad industry contact John Patterson in Kansas City at 816.471.2121 or John Lord in St. Louis at 314.345.5000.

News & Events

John Lord Appointed ASLRRA General Counsel Committee Chair

05.15.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Member John Lord has been appointed as the 2019-2020 General Counsel Committee Chair by the Board of Directors of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA).

Baker Sterchi Cowden and Rice Welcomes Julie Simaytis in St. Louis

04.25.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Julie Simaytis to the firm's St. Louis office. Simaytis joins the firm as Of Counsel. Having practiced exclusively in litigation for over fifteen years, her practice is focused on...

Blog Posts

Jury Instructions in Railroad Employment Case Rejected Again by 8th Circuit

10.14.19 | The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has, for the second time, reversed and remanded a railroad employment case. Both reversals were based on jury instructions the Court deemed erroneous.

Arbitration Agreements 101: they require - you guessed it - agreement.

09.13.19 | Though seemingly obvious, the Eighth Circuit affirmed arbitration agreements are not immune to contract law basics when it denied an employer's motion to compel arbitration for lack of acceptance.

Taxation of Lost Wages Awards Under the FELA: the Illinois Appellate Court Applies Loos v. BNSF

08.21.19 | The U.S. Supreme Court recently resolved a split among state and federal courts on the issue of whether lost wages under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) are taxable under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA). The Illinois Appellate Court was one of the first in the nation to apply the Supreme Court's holding that awards of lost wages in FELA cases are taxable.

Second Update: Hopping On The Missouri Bandwagon? Not So Fast Out Of State Litigants.

07.16.19 | SECOND UPDATE: Missouri Governor Mike Parson signs Senate Bill 7, which amends venue and joinder laws, to prevent out of state plaintiffs from litigating their cases in an inappropriate venue.

Update: Hopping on the Missouri Bandwagon? Not so Fast Out-of-State Litigants.

05.20.19 | UPDATE: House Passes Senate Bill 7, in which the Missouri legislature seeks to amend venue and joinder laws, to prevent out of state plaintiffs from litigating their cases in an inappropriate venue.

Hopping on the Missouri Bandwagon? Not so Fast Out-of-State Litigants.

03.18.19 | In Senate Bill 7, the Missouri legislature seeks to amend venue and joinder laws, to prevent out of state plaintiffs from litigating their cases in an inappropriate venue.

Eighth Circuit Refuses to Punish Employer for History of Granting Special Treatment to Disabled Employee with Poor Attendance Record

01.08.19 | The Eighth Circuit affirms summary judgment in an employer's favor in a disability discrimination case, where the employee's excessive absenteeism was attributed to a disability and other family medical issues.

City of St. Louis - Still A Judicial Hellhole

12.26.18 | Defense attorneys beware. The 2018-2019 American Tort Reform Foundation's (ATRF) Judicial Hellholes Report is out, and the City of St. Louis landed fourth on this list because of its massive verdicts, forum shopping, and legislative failures.

Federal Preemption Doesn't Bar Railroad's Suit Against Locomotive Seat Manufacturer

08.24.18 | The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a railroad's products liability and breach of contract claims that were based on federally-imposed standards of care are not preempted. BNSF Railway Co. v. Seats, Inc., (No. 17-1399, 8th Cir. 2018).