Slover & Loftus LLP
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Mr. Kolesar is a partner with Slover & Loftus LLP, where he has been representing shippers since 1991.

Practice Focus

Mr. Kolesar represents clients in a wide variety of disputes pertaining to railroad transportation, intermodal transportation, and motor carrier transportation. He also counsels clients on matters related to the negotiation of rail transportation contracts and on matters related to rail project development. The clients that he has represented include coal-shipping electric utilities, major intermodal service providers, and a number of exempt commodity rail shippers.

His regulatory practice encompasses a number of technical and highly specialized railroad transportation matters before the Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) including maximum rate reasonableness complaint proceedings filed by coal shippers against Class I rail carriers (i.e., “stand-alone cost” cases), unreasonable practice proceedings, STB rulemakings, and matters related to railroad licensing and abandonment.

In addition to these regulatory matters, Mr. Kolesar’s practice also focuses upon transportation-related contract disputes both in the courts and before private arbitration panels. These litigation matters have related to the rail transportation of coal (both in terms of rail pricing and rail service issues), intermodal rail service, motor carrier service, and tariff-based demurrage collection proceedings.

Representative Legal Matters

Represented coal-burning utility shippers in a substantial number of proceedings challenging the common carrier rates of the major Class I railroads under the STB’s stand-alone cost constraint.

Represented shippers in proceedings in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in which both shippers and rail carriers have sought review of the STB’s rate case decisions.

Represented a group of coal burning shippers in the successful challenge – on unreasonable practice grounds – to the scientific principles underlying BNSF Railway Company’s coal dust emissions remediation tariff.

Represented a group of similarly situated coal-burning utilities in the STB’s evaluation of “Competition in the Railroad Industry,” seeking broader access remedies for captive shippers.

Represented a major investor-owned utility in proceedings before the STB involving paper barrier interchange restrictions between Class I and Class III rail carriers, and involving the prescription of an alternative “through route” rail service option for coal transportation service to the utility.

Represented shipper in review proceedings associated with a demurrage-related dispute in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, including extensive analysis of jurisdictional issues associated with STB decisions on referral from federal court proceedings.

Represented coal shippers in multiple civil litigation proceedings regarding the breach of rail transportation service standards and the availability of force majeure as a defense to railroad service failures.

Represented intermodal service provider in breach of contract arbitration proceeding with customer resulting in an award of substantial damages and attorneys’ fees to client.

Represented gas-burning electric utilities in multiple Section 4 rate proceedings before the FERC as well as related review proceedings in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Advised clients in various matters relating to the status of rail track as a common carrier rail line as opposed to a private spur.

Represented short-line railroads before the STB in matters relating to railroad licensing and railroad abandonment proceedings.

Extensive involvement in guiding clients through the STB’s recordation process for security interests granted in locomotives and rolling stock.


United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

United States District Court for the District of Columbia

District of Columbia Bar

Pennsylvania Bar (inactive)


University of Notre Dame (J.D. 1991)

Cornell University (B.A. Physics 1988)


Co-Editor, "Coal" (Chapter 55), Energy Law and Transactions (Matthew Bender 2019 ed.)

Understanding Recent Developments in the Surface Transportation Board’s Procedures Governing Maximum Reasonable Rail Rate Determinations, in Strategies for Transportation Litigation and Dispute Resolution (Thompson Reuters/Aspatore, 2013)

Memberships/Pro Bono

Pro bono representation of honorably discharged veteran in appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in a matter related to the denial of disability benefits