keenan

Practice Areas:
Commercial Transportation Litigation; Transportation and Logistics Contracts; Surface Transportation Issues.

Education:

  • Villanova University, J.D., 1979
  • Cornell University, B.A., 1976

Contact Information
Direct Line: 215.609.1112
E-Mail: pkeenan@freightlaw.net

Paul D. Keenan

Background

Of Counsel

Paul David Keenan is one of the founders and now serves as Of Counsel to Keenan Cohen & Merrick P.C. Prior to starting the firm, Mr. Keenan was a shareholder with one of the largest law firms in the country, and has over 35 years of experience in addressing a wide range of interstate commerce and commercial transportation litigation issues. Mr. Keenan has written numerous published articles on transportation matters, has served as lead trial counsel on cases addressing a number of substantive issues of first impression, and has successfully argued over 25 appeals before seven different U.S. Circuits addressing issues of interstate commerce, transportation logistics, federal preemption and transportation contracts.

Mr. Keenan has given presentations to transportation industry groups, professional organizations, and various rail and motor carrier industry groups. He is the former chairman of The National Conference of Freight Counsel, and has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Transportation Lawyers Association.  He has been repeatedly named as a Super Lawyer in Transportation by Super Lawyers Magazine for the past several years.

Admissions

  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Federal Claims
  • United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana

Representative Engagements

CNA Insurance Company v. Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. Ltd., Norfolk Southern Railway Co., and BNSF Railway Company, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, No. 12-6118 (March 26, 2014), successful in convincing the U.S. Court of Appeals in an appellate case of first impression to hold that the Carmack Amendment does not apply to rail carriers on intermodal export moves under one through bill of lading.

Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Basell USA, Inc., 512 F.3d 86 (3d Cir. 2008), successful in convincing the U.S. Court of Appeals to vacate a ruling by the U.S. District Court and expand criteria necessary for finding a material breach of contract, allowing recovery of full tariff rates instead of discounted contract rates for the movements of chemicals by rail.

CSX Transportation v. Novolog Buck County, 502 F.3d 247 (3d Cir, 2007), cert. den.,128 S. Ct. 1240 (US 2008), successful in convincing the U.S. Court of Appeals to vacate the District Court’s ruling and hold in a precedential ruling that consignees are liable for rail car demurrage charges, even though the consignee does not have a separate written agreement with the railroad.

Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co., 557 F.3d 134 (3d Cir., 2009), successful in convincing the U.S. Court of Appeals to vacate a ruling by the U.S. District Court and hold in a precedential ruling that a rail contract with confidential rates and routes qualified as a private contract under 49 U.S.C. § 10709, rendering all statutory remedies available under Title 49 to be inapplicable to freight movements under the contract.

Robert Burton Associates v. Preston Trucking Co., 149 F.3d 218 (3d Cir. 1998), successful in convincing the U.S. Court of Appeals to vacate the District Court’s holding and modify the measure of damages in freight claims against carriers to replacement value instead of market value.

S & H Hardware and Supply Co. v. Yellow Transportation Co., 432 F.3d 550 (3d Cir. 2005) successful in having the U.S. Court of Appeals issue a precedential opinion enforcing the terms of the bill of lading and denying liability for a one million dollar freight loss claim.

American Cyanamid v. New Penn Motor Express, 979 F.2d 310 (3d Cir. 1992), successful in convincing the U.S. Court of Appeals to issue a precedential ruling which enforced a tariff limiting a carrier’s liability to $2,084 on a $908,000 freight loss claim based upon a limitation of liability in the bill of lading, despite the shipper’s claim that the carrier had intentionally deviated from the terms of the bill of lading.

American Road Service Company v. Consolidated Rail Corporation, F.3d (6th Cir. 2003) successful in convincing the Court of Appeals to enforce a limitation of liability on a bill of lading issued in Italy to an inland rail carrier in Detroit, Michigan.

American Rock Salt Co. v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co., 387 F. Supp.2d 197 (W.D. N.Y. 2005), successful in convincing the U.S. District Court in a case of first impression to enforce a transportation contract that modified but otherwise incorporated the Carmack Amendment.

Consolidated Rail Corporation v. Primary Industries Corporation, 868 F. Supp 566 (S.D. N.Y. 1994), successful in having multimillion dollar freight claim dismissed, and having judgment entered for $5,136,082 in freight charges, pursuant to the Carmack Amendment to The Interstate Commerce Act.

In Re Bergman, 103 B.R. 660 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 1989), a case of first impression in which two individuals were held liable for freight revenue that was due and owing to various railroads from companies that the individuals owned and operated. The individuals’ debt was also held to be non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, and assets sheltered in corporate accounts were eventually seized to satisfy the judgment.

Fiber-Lite Corporation v. Molded Acoustical Products of Easton, Inc., 186 B.R. 603 (E.D. Pa. 1994), successfully convinced U.S. District Court in a case of first impression to hold that corporation which purchased assets of bankrupt debtor was a “mere continuation” of bankrupt debtor, and therefore fully liable for debts of bankrupt corporation.

Kansas City Fire and Marine Insurance Co. and Circle V Transportation Co. v. Consolidated Rail Corporation and Union Pacific Railroad Co., 80 F. Supp. 2d 447 (E.D. Pa. 1999), successful in persuading the court to apply a tariff’s limitation of liability to a multi-million dollar freight claim, despite claims of ambiguity, deviation, and nullified tariffs. Court held that the limitation was applicable to claims by both the shipper and the beneficial owner of freight.

Served as an arbitrator in connection with cross-border motor carrier freight claim issues before the U.S. District Court in Texas.

Engaged as special counsel to the Association of American Railroads in connection with proposed UN treaty governing international transportation of freight

 

Personal

Mr. Keenan is married with four children and five grandchildren. He is active in various bar and transportation law associations, and has been involved with several local charities, including Hope Lodge of the American Cancer Society.

freightlaw.net

Telephone: 215-609-1110       Fax: 215-609-1117