Slover & Loftus LLP
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(202) 347-7170

Donald G. Avery specializes in representing the interests of rail-dependent shippers, ports, and short line railroads in their dealings with one another and with large railroads and government agencies. 

Practice Focus 

Mr. Avery’s representation of his clients has included active involvement in proceedings before the Surface Transportation Board, the Federal Maritime Commission, the National Mediation Board, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Federal Railroad Administration, and various federal courts. 

Mr. Avery’s work before the Federal Railroad Administration has included the defense of clients against FRA enforcement actions involving the transportation of hazardous materials (HAZMAT), as well as the preparation and prosecution of requests for waivers of particular safety regulations. 

Mr. Avery’s practice has also included the provision of advice and assistance to clients in the negotiation and structuring of their business relationships with other participants in the railroad industry, including the negotiation of railroad transportation contracts and railcar leases. 

Mr. Avery is also active in the firm's energy regulatory practice, representing electric utilities and natural gas pipeline customers before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the courts. 

Mr. Avery joined Slover & Loftus in 1979 and was a member of the firm until 2006, when he assumed of-counsel status.  Prior to joining Slover & Loftus Mr. Avery was counsel and assistant general counsel to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK). He blames his lifelong interest in railroads on the fact that he grew up in Elmhurst, Illinois, near the Chicago & North Western Railway's main line. 

Representative Legal Matters 

Defense of a major port authority before the National Mediation Board against a labor union’s claim that rail operations at the port effectively made the port authority a railroad subject to the Railway Labor Act. 

Prosecution in federal district court of an electric utility’s declaratory judgment and damage claims against the railroads transporting its coal for their failure to comply with their contractual service obligations.

Prosecution in federal district court of a railcar lessor’s breach of contract damage claims against its lessee for failure to return the leased cars in good condition as required by the lease. 

Representation of a forest products company in challenging before the Surface Transportation Board the proposed abandonment of the rail lines serving one of the company’s facilities, which facilities could have been forced to close if they had lost rail service. 

On the energy side, the active participation on behalf of clients in several major rate cases such as RP08-426 and RP10-1398 (El Paso), both of which went to hearing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. 


District of Columbia Bar

Supreme Court of the United States 

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit


Avery, Donald G. and Ericson, Kendra A., “Railroad Mergers – A Coal Shipper’s Perspective,” in The Transportation Antitrust Update, Summer 2004 (Transportation Law Committee, Section of Antitrust Law, American Bar Association) 

Avery, Donald G., “Do-It-Yourself ‘Electric’ Coal Trains,” 127 Public Utilities Fortnightly 12, June 15, 1991 


Princeton University (A.B., magna cum laude, 1965)

Harvard Law School (J.D. 1968)