John H. LeSeur

Slover & Loftus LLP
Partner
Email: jhl@sloverandloftus.com
T: (202) 347-7170
F: (202) 347-3619

John LeSeur started at Slover & Loftus LLP as a law clerk in 1977; he became an associate with the firm in 1979; and he joined the firm as a partner in 1985.  Over the past thirty years, Mr. LeSeur has successfully represented firm clients in matters involving railroad transportation, motor carrier transportation, coal supply, and environmental compliance.  These matters have spanned all of the firm’s major practice areas.

Practice Focus 

In the administrative law practice area, Mr. LeSeur has represented shippers in major cases before the Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) including rate cases, fuel surcharge cases, merger cases, build-out cases, and unreasonable practice cases, as well as in matters relating to compliance with Federal Railroad Administration regulations.  In the arbitration practice area, Mr. LeSeur has represented rail shippers, and other major users of rail service, in several major arbitrations involving contract price reopeners, price adjustment provisions, fuel surcharges, and undercharge claims.  In the federal court practice area, Mr. LeSeur has represented shippers in cases involving appeals from agency adjudication and rulemaking decisions and appeals of arbitration decisions.  In the commercial practice area, Mr. LeSeur regularly represents clients in negotiations of rail transportation contracts, coal supply contracts, and other agreements.  As part of these representations, Mr. LeSeur has counseled clients on all phases of the negotiations, including strategy, contract drafting, and obtaining requisite approvals.  Mr. LeSeur has also been a leader in the firm’s legislative practice, including the legislation that created the STB, amendments to Clean Air Act, and Federal Coal Tax legislation. His legislative practice has included testifying before Congressional committees and advising clients on legislative strategy. 

Representative Legal Matters 

Successfully represented the complainant shippers as lead counsel in the WFA/Basin Electric rate Case, decided by the STB in 2009, where the STB awarded the complainant shippers rate relief the STB valued at $350 million and described as “the single largest reduction in rail rates ever awarded by this agency.”  

Successfully served as lead counsel for a coal shipper in confidential commercial arbitration that produced an award valued at over $250 million. 

Successfully served as lead counsel for the shipper party in the PSO Arbitration proceedings before an arbitration board, and in subsequent appeals in federal courts, where the shipper defeated a claim for monetary recovery under a coal transportation contract and obtained an award of appellate attorneys fees against the involved rail carrier under a precedent setting application of state contact law to shift fees in post-award proceedings in federal court.  

Successfully served as lead counsel for the rail shipper in the Missouri Mining v. ICC case proceedings before the Interstate Commerce Commission (“ICC”), and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, where the ICC set the standards governing regulatory review of the construction of new common carrier rail access lines to serve rail utility generating stations. 

Successfully served as lead counsel for individual shippers seeking pro-competitive conditions in the UP/SP and BN/Santa Fe Merger Cases. 

Successfully served as lead counsel for a consortium of coal shippers in the Coal Dust Case where the STB in 2011 found that a rail carrier’s publication of coal dust rules constituted an unreasonable practice. 

Successfully represented clients to ensure that Congress did not eliminate protections for captive rail shippers when Congress sunset the ICC, and created the STB. 

Successfully served as lead counsel of a municipality in the City of Sikeston, Missouri Case where, as requested by the municipality, a railroad withdrew a request to dramatically increase rail traffic running through the municipality. 

Successfully advised clients in coal supply and coal transportation contract negotiations involving billions of dollars of commerce. 

Successfully advised clients on Clean Air Act compliance legal strategies for coal-fired plants. 

Professional Associations and Memberships 

American Bar Association (former Chairman of the Transportation Law Committee, Young Lawyers Division)

Association of Transportation Law Professionals 

Admissions 

Supreme Court of the United States 

Numerous Federal Appellate/District Courts

District of Columbia Bar  

Education 

Dartmouth College (B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1974)

Georgetown University Law Center (J.D. 1979) 

Presentations and Publications 

“Coal Dust Legal Developments Update,” National Coal Transportation Association Annual Meeting (2011) 

“Recent STB Maximum Rate Cases,” National Coal Transportation Association Spring Conference (2009) 

“Captive Coal Shippers and the Revised Coal Rate Guidelines,” Western Coal Traffic League Winter Meeting (2009) 

“Fuel Surcharge Remedies at the STB,” Western Coal Traffic League Winter Meeting (2008) 

“Update on Current Coal Transportation Proceedings,” WFA Energy Conference (2007) 

“Update on the Drafting of New 2007 Rail Legislation,” Western Coal Traffic League Winter Meeting (2007) 

“Hot Topics In Transportation,” Association of Transportation Law Professionals Seminar (2006) 

“PRB Coal Transportation Pricing Developments,” Electric Power Conference (2005) 

“Anatomy of a Rate Case,” Western Coal Traffic League Winter Meeting (2005) 

“Recent Western Coal Transportation Pricing Developments,” Burns & McDonnell Coal-Fired Generation Symposium (2004)

“Update on Competitive Access and Bottleneck Rate Case ‘Relief’,” Western Coal Traffic League Winter Meeting 2004)

“Clouds on the Horizon:  The Clear Skies Debate,” Western Coal Traffic League Winter Meeting (2003)

“Dark Clouds on the Horizon:  Rail Mergers and Rail Duopoly,” Western Coal Traffic League Winter Meeting (2001)

“Life After Bottleneck,” Western Coal Traffic League Winter Meeting (2000)

“Coal Demand and Distribution,” NMA Annul Transportation and Distribution Seminar (1999)