Mr. Setliff represents clients in complex litigation at the trial and appellate level in state and federal court. His trial practice concentrates on the defense of corporate entities with a focus on defense of railroads, both freight and passenger carriers, in claims of traumatic injury by employees and non-employees. This includes defense of Federal Employers Liability Act claims, crossing accidents, trespasser claims and property damage claims. Mr. Setliff also defends the railroads against FELA claims by employees allegedly injured as a result of occupational workplace hazards, including hearing loss, repetitive stress and exposure to asbestos, silica, diesel fumes, soaps, solvents and other chemical fumes. Additionally, he is trial counsel to Class I and Class III railroads in employment claims arising under the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) and the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA). His clients include Class I and Class III railroads and the nation’s largest passenger rail carrier. He is a member of the General Counsel Committee of the American Shortline and Regional Railroad Association and the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel (NARTC).
Mr. Setliff also represents trucking companies, their insurers and their drivers in a wide variety of claims, including catastrophic personal injury, property damage, and toxic cleanup. He also handles workers’ compensation claims, negotiating and drafting of independent contractor agreements, and routine traffic citations. His practice covers the gamut of trucking litigation, from first scene accident investigation to effectively and efficiently trying cases to verdict. He serves as General Counsel to the Virginia Trucking Association and is an active member of the Virginia Movers and Warehousemen Association, the Maryland Motor Truck Association, the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA), the American Moving and Storage Association, and the International Association of Movers.
Mr. Setliff’s trial practice extends beyond transportation law and includes representation of one of the nation’s largest utility companies in commercial litigation matters as well as claims of personal injury and property damage. He is also trial counsel for several national commercial property owners, landlords and management companies handling commercial landlord/tenant issues as well as personal injury and premises liability. In addition, Mr. Setliff is trial counsel for a wide variety of national commercial retailers in personal injury, premises liability and workers’ compensation claims.
Trial counsel for Norfolk Southern Corporation for FELA, FRSA, crossing accident and property damage claims.
Trial counsel for National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) for FELA, crossing accident, personal injury and property damage claims.
Trial counsel for Class III railroads including Buckingham Branch Railroad for FELA, crossing accident and property damage claims.
Trial counsel for Simon Property Group, General Growth Properties, and Washington Prime Glimcher for commercial landlord tenant and premises liability litigation.
Virginia trial counsel for Dominion Resources/Virginia Power in commercial and personal injury litigation.
Trial counsel for Atlantic Bulk Carrier, IDM Trucking, Harris Trucking, Houff Transfer, Stewart Moving and Storage, Wilson Trucking, Thompson Trucking, and Gentle Giant Movers regarding personal injury and workers’ compensation claims.
Trial counsel for several national insurance carriers, including PMA and One Beacon, Vanliner, Liberty Mutual, Zurich, Acuity, and National Interstate, and their insureds, as well as several specialized insurance captives in personal injury and workers’ compensation claims.
Trial counsel for several national commercial entities, including Omni hotels, Gold’s Gym and L Brands, in personal injury, workers’ compensation and general commercial litigation.
SEMINARS AND PRESENTATIONS:
“Anatomy of a Catastrophic Truck Accident,” National Truck and Heavy Equipment Claims Council Meeting, Dallas, Texas, May 2017
“Anatomy and Defense of a Serious Truck Accident” Panel Discussion and Mock Trial, Virginia Trucking Association, Annual Safety Council Meeting, Staunton, Virginia, April 2017
“What you need to know about hiring and retention issues,” Raffles Captive Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, April 2017
“Best hiring and retention practices,” Traxx Captive Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, March 2017
“Minimizing liability for hiring and retention decisions,” American Moving and Storage Association Annual Meeting, Palm Springs, California, February 2017
“Preventing and defense of STAA Whistleblower Claims,” Captive Transportation Safety Workshop, Dallas, Texas, February 2017
“Dangers Around Each Curve: Defending Negligent Hiring/Retention Claims,” Transportation Safety Workshop, Dubuque, Iowa, September 2016
“Defending Negligent Hiring and Retention Claims,” Virginia Trucking Association 2016 Annual Convention, Hot Springs, Virginia, September 2016
“Defending FMCSA Coercion Claims,” Virginia Trucking Association, May 2016
“Defense of Employment Related Claims,” Safe Truck Captive meeting, Dubuque, Iowa, April 2016
“Anticipating the Electronic Logging Device Mandate,” Maryland Motor Truck Association, Eastern Shore Chapter, April 2016
“Danger around every curve – whistleblower and coercion claims,” Traffic Captive meeting, Tennessee, April 2016
“Defending Whistleblower and Coercion Claims,” Raffles Captive meeting, Chicago, April 2016
“Defense of negligent hiring and retention claims,” Virginia Movers and Warehousemen Association meeting, February 2016
“Defending Whistleblower Claims under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act,” Virginia Trucking Association meeting, September 2015
“The Advent of Whistleblower Litigation,” Virginia Trucking Association Safety Management Conference, April 2015
“Defense of Brain Injury Cases,” InterTrans Annual Safety Conference, January 2015
“The Dynamics of Grade Crossing Litigation,” 23rd Annual TIDA Industry Seminar, January 2015
“Daubert challenges of plaintiff’s causation experts,” Southeast Claims Conference, June 2007
“Dr. Do Little: Attacking the Plaintiff’s Medical Expert and His Opinions,” Occupational Claims Conference, Boulder, Colorado, June 2006
“Defending diesel exhaust claims and the aftermath of the EPA assessment,” NARTC 49th Annual Meeting, March 2003
“The Use of Dispositive Pretrial Motions in Defending ‘Wear Out’ Cases,” NARTC 48th Annual Meeting, March 2002
“Defensive Strategies,” 15th Annual FELA Occupational Claims Litigation Seminar, June 2001
“The Magic Rocks of the Richmond Terminal,” 14th Annual FELA Occupational Claims Seminar, June 2000
• University of Virginia (B.A.)
• University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law (J.D., cum laude)
Member of the McNeill Honor Society
Associate Editor, University of Richmond Law Review
National Moot Court Team
BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS:
• District of Columbia
• The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
• The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
• The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
BAR AND PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS:
• Richmond Bar Association
• Virginia State Bar (former Vice-Chairman, Third District Disciplinary Committee)
• American Bar Association (former Vice-Chairman, Rail & Motor Carrier Law Committee; Natural Resources, Toxic Tort & Environmental Litigation Committee)
• Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association
• National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel (Former Member, Executive Committee)
• Virginia Railway Association
• Virginia Trucking Association, General Counsel
• American Trucking Association
• American Short Line Railroad Association
•Virginia Movers and Warehousemen Association
•Maryland Motor Truck Association
•National Tank Truck Carriers
•CLM Potomac Region Board, VicePresident
•American Movers and Storage Association Member
•International Association of Movers
•National Truck and Heavy Equipment Claims Council
•Virginia Loggers Association
Mr. Setliff repeatedly has been recognized in “The Best Lawyers in America” in Transportation Law (2008-2017). He has also been recognized in the categories of:
• Railroad Law
• Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants
• Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
Mr. Setliff repeatedly has been recognized by Virginia Super Lawyers (2009 – 2017).
Mr. Setliff has achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s A/V rating for legal ability and ethical standards.