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Michael Rosenthal is chair of Covington’s Transportation Practice Group.

He has more than 20 years of experience providing strategic advice to help railroads and other clients in the rail industry address their most significant regulatory challenges, and representing them in a broad range of matters before administrative agencies, in federal courts, and in arbitration proceedings.

  • Representing Union Pacific Railroad Company in industry-wide rulemakings regarding revenue adequacy, grain rate rules, and competitive access.
  • Represented TTX Company in obtaining reauthorization of its rail flatcar pooling authority and antitrust immunity before the Surface Transportation Board.
  • Represented the Association of American Railroads in the successful resolution of a challenge to industry practices involving charges for movements of empty tank cars.
  • Represented Union Pacific Railroad Company in defending railroad rules involving tank car loading practices.
  • Represented Union Pacific Railroad Company in preserving exclusive access to facilities in California, Missouri, and Texas.
  • Represented Union Pacific Railroad Company in obtaining the right to discontinue service over a rail line in Louisiana.
  • Served as special regulatory counsel to the Trustee of Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railroad in connection with the railroad’s bankruptcy filing.
  • Represented Union Pacific Railroad Company in defeating efforts by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to impose monetary penalties relating to illegal drugs hidden on Mexican trains arriving at the U.S. border.
  • Represented Union Pacific Railroad Company in obtaining authority to operate a new railroad line in Texas.
  • Represented Union Pacific Railroad Company in defeating an electric utility’s challenge to an interchange commitment with a short line railroad.
  • Represented Union Pacific Railroad Company in defending the use of a coal rate circular.
  • Represented Union Pacific Railroad in its merger with Southern Pacific Railroad.   

Pro Bono

  • Represented prisoners in appeals to the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, and Sixth Circuit.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Georgetown University Law Center, Adjunct Professor

Previous Experience

  • University of Nevada, William S. Boyd School of Law, Assistant Professor (2000-2001)
  • Legal 500 US, Transport - Rail and Road (2017)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Transportation Law (2007-2019)    
  • Chambers USA, Transportation (2009-2019)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Transportation/Maritime (2012-2019)