Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Thompson Coburn law firm ranked best in country in railroad law, copyright law by U.S. News

By Dee Thompson | Jan 30, 2018

BELLEVILLE – U.S. News & World Report has named the firm of Thompson Coburn as the best firm in the nation for railroad law. Best Lawyers also gave the firm the highest ranking in railroad law.

The rankings are based on interviews with clients and other attorneys. The firm has 26 attorneys and 10 paralegals working on railroad cases, one of the largest practices in the United States.

In a press release, the firm said “We count some of the biggest names in the industry as our clients, including BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Illinois Central Railroad Co. (CN), Kansas City Southern Railway and Norfolk Southern.”

The firm also announced recently that U.S. News & World Report had named the Thompson Coburn copyright law practice as the best in the nation.

Thompson Coburn is one of only 10 law firms in the United States to receive two best-in-the-nation rankings.

Kurt Reitz is a partner in the Belleville office of Thompson Coburn. He told the Record that the awards are important to the firm for several reasons. 

“These are honors that we hold in high regard. Since the publications only select one firm for each ranked practice area, we are pleased to have two of our practice areas distinguished, making Thompson Coburn one of only 10 law firms in the U.S. to receive two best-in-the-nation rankings. U.S. News is highly respected nationally, so it’s a distinction that speaks for itself, particularly because the honors are based on interviews with clients and other attorneys,” Reitz said.

Railroad law is an important area of practice for the firm. Reitz believes the many victories they’ve achieved played a role in being named best in that area. 

“In years before, but particularly in 2017, we have been fortunate to win a number of appeals, jury verdicts, summary judgments and other dismissals for our railroad clients, results that are often few and far between in this area of law," he said. "We have also been in the forefront of challenging venue and jurisdictional issues in courts where our clients do not belong, and have been successful in securing dismissals or moving cases to more preferable jurisdictions.”

He also said that the firm represents railroads in many different areas. 

“The scope of service we provide to the industry is all-encompassing. Thompson Coburn defends FELA (Federal Employers Liability Act) traumatic and occupational claims, third-party tort claims, labor cases, environmental matters, freight disputes and disputes about side track agreements. We also provide real estate, regulatory and corporate assistance to major railroads,” Reitz explained.

When it comes to copyright law, Thompson Coburn offers a variety of services. 

“In addition to providing counseling, litigation and lobbying services to authors, publishers and businesses in various textual claims, and representing photographers, composers, software developers and hardware manufacturers on copyright issues, we also are a respected source for thought leadership on copyright matters,” Reitz said.

He added, “Our ‘In Focus’ blog provides legal insights on a variety of interesting copyright issues and serves as a tool for clients and other legal professionals to gain insights surrounding different topics. Additionally, several of our copyright attorneys are prolific speakers and appear at major industry conferences including the Hollywood Professional Association’s Tech Retreat and the Midwest Digital Marketing convention.”

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Thompson Coburn LLP