Gregory M. Feary
Mr. Feary focuses on independent contractor issues and legislation as well as transportation insurance and corporate structure designs to reduce exposure to the firm’s transportation clientele. He audits its clients' independent contractor programs and provides legislative support for many organizations and clients on independent contractor issues. He also counsels clients on alternative risk programs including single parent and group captive insurers, risk retention groups, and various self-insurance and self-insured retention programs. Mr. Feary also conducts insurance audits and supervises litigation in the areas of premium disputes and specialized transportation insurance coverage controversies, including those involving occupational accident insurance. In addition, he regularly designs independent contractor programs and defends independent contractor disputes. Mr. Feary serves as one of the firms principle contacts in mergers and acquisitions due diligence work and advises on corporate structure and risk mitigation issues related thereto.
Gregory M. Feary is President of the firm and also serves as a managing partner who practices primarily in a wide range of areas including transportation laws, independent contractor laws, transportation insurance laws, legislative support and transportation contract matters. He is the Vice Chair of the ATA/NAFC Risk Management & Insurance Advisory Committee and a member of the ATA Insurance Task Force for which he serves as Chairman of the Lawyer’s Subcommittee. He also served as ATA’s national transportation insurance law counsel throughout the 1990s. He was a member of the Advisory Board of Purdue University's Center for Transportation Distribution Logistics. Mr. Feary was named to The BTI Client Service All-Stars 2012 and 2016 list and as one of the top 5% of attorneys in Indiana by the Indiana Super Lawyers® peer selection survey. He is also AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability, and recognized as a “Top Rated Lawyer in Transportation” by Martindale-Hubbell™ and American Lawyer Media. He was awarded the 2019 International Advisory Experts Award for Transport Law within Indiana by the International Advisory Experts global alliance. In addition, he was named as a 2019 Top Rated Lawyer in the ALM Media Legal Leaders + Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Attorney “Midwest’s Top Rated Lawyers” list published in The National Law Journal. Feary currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law-Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
Mr. Feary has created and counseled many captive insurance companies and is the author of The Definitive Industry Primer on Occupational Accident Insurance in Trucking. He is also the author of both Independent Contractor Employment Classification: A Survey of State and Federal Laws in the Motor Carrier Industry, 35 Trans. Law J. 139 (2008) and 1995 Developments in Workers' Compensation, 29 Ind. L. Rev. 1139 (1996) and drafted Indiana's law deeming owner-operators of trucks to be independent contractors for purposes of workers' compensation.
On The Road
- Protecting the IC Broker Model
Aug 6, 2019, Gregory M. Feary, National Home Delivery Association’s 2019 Forum Program - Denver, CO
- Owner-Operator Panel
Jul 15, 2019, Gregory M. Feary, American Trucking Associations’ 2019 Trucking Legal Forum - Rancho Bernardo, CA
- Independent Contractors and the Dynamex Decision
Jun 11, 2019, Gregory M. Feary, American Trucking Associations' National Accounting & Finance Council's 2019 Annual Conference - Indianapolis, IN
- Latest Developments in Owner-Operator Status and Related Issues
May 16, 2019, Gregory M. Feary, Scopelitis Webinar Series
This session addressed the evolving landscape of owner-operator independent contractor issues both at the state and federal level. It also identified case law and legislation that might signal changes in judicial temperament, as well as case law and legislation that suggests business as usual. The Firm’s presenters identified potential challenges and best practices for operating under an independent contractor model.
- Update on Independent Contractor Status in Trucking
Jul 10, 2018, Gregory M. Feary, Hudson Insurance Group's Annual Risk Management / Leadership Conference - Indianapolis, IN
- Unexpected Liabilities
Apr 10, 2018, Gregory M. Feary, Truck Renting & Leasing Association’s 2018 Annual Meeting - Scottsdale, AZ
- Owner-Operators: Here to Stay, For Now
Jan 18, 2018, Gregory M. Feary, Transportation Lawyers Association's 2018 Chicago Regional Seminar - Chicago, IL
- Specialized Contracts in Transportation Issues and Tips: IC Contractor Operating Agreement & Owner-Operator Equipment Lease
Nov 8, 2017, Gregory M. Feary, Georgia Motor Trucking Association's Leadership Conference - Marietta, GA
- E-Commerce and Final Mile’s Effect on LTL and Parcel Supply Chains
Sep 14, 2017, Gregory M. Feary, 2017 FTR Transportation Conference - Indianapolis, IN
- What “Rigged” Got Wrong: Structuring Lease-Purchase Programs to Avoid the Risks Outlined in USA Today’s “Rigged” Series
Aug 22, 2017, Gregory M. Feary, Scopelitis Webinar Series
- International Logistics - Real World Examples of What Can Go Wrong, And How to Prevent It
Jul 20, 2017, Gregory M. Feary, Scopelitis Webinar Series
- Independent Contractor Status in 2017
Jul 17, 2017, Gregory M. Feary, American Trucking Associations' Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel - Beaver Creek, CO
- Owner-Operator Business Model Update
Mar 16, 2017, Gregory M. Feary, Scopelitis Webinar Series
- Independent Contractor Challenges
Jul 14, 2016, Gregory M. Feary, Scopelitis Webinar Series
- Transportation Brief: Spotlight on Independent Contractor Legislative CounselAs California AB 5 made clear, state-level changes to independent contractor (IC) status can significantly change the business operations of a motor carrier in any given state and can have a domino effect on operations even beyond the borders of that state. Read more about how Scopelitis' IC legislative counsel practice regularly assists clients, state associations, industry associations, and coalitions with monitoring recent legislative activity that could impact IC status.
- Transportation Brief: AB 5 – Practical Solutions to a Thorny ProblemCompanies and owner-operator businesses are both searching for practical solutions to the problem presented by California Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5). Read more from Scopelitis regarding solutions that are developing as the best options for tackling the practical realities of equipment and professional services that companies face.
- Scopelitis in the News: "Trucking Looks for Solutions to California's Stringent New Independent Contractor Law." October 22, 2019. Heavy Duty Trucking (HDT).Scopelitis Partners Greg Feary, Shannon Cohen, and Chris McNatt quoted in Heavy Duty Trucking on California's AB 5 law.
- Scopelitis in the News: "California's Dynamex Law Will Erode Entrepreneurship." October 3, 2019. Law360.Scopelitis President & Managing Partner Greg Feary in Law360 on California AB 5's impact on the transportation industry and beyond.
- Scopelitis in the News: "California’s Contractor Law Has Steep Implications for Trucking: Here’s What Your Fleet Needs to Know." September 16, 2019. Commercial Carrier Journal.Scopelitis President & Managing Partner Greg Feary in CCJ regarding potential strategies for trucking fleets to comply with California’s A.B. 5 law, particularly implications for contracted owner-operators hauling loads for fleets.
- Scopelitis in the News: "Trucking Industry Raises Alarms on California Gig Economy Legislation." September 12. 2019. The Wall Street Journal's Logistics Report.Scopelitis President & Managing Partner Greg Feary quoted in The Wall Street Journal's Logistics Report on California's AB 5 Legislation and it's potential to undercut trucking’s independent-contractor model.
- Scopelitis in the News: "California Passes Bill That May Affect Independent Contractor Status for Truckers." September 12, 2019. Transport Topics.Scopelitis President & Managing Partner Greg Feary in Transport Topics regarding California lawmakers passing a bill that codifies into law a 2018 state Supreme Court decision that makes it easier for independent contractors to become reclassified as employees of motor carriers.
- Law Alert: California ABC Test - Controversial AB 5 Moves to GovernorScopelitis on the California legislature passing AB 5, which will impact many small businesses in California and will alter business relationships with many companies that work with those small businesses.
- Scopelitis in the News: "California Bill Set to Reshape Drayage Landscape." September 5, 2019. Journal of Commerce.Scopelitis President & Managing Partner Greg Feary in Journal of Commerce regarding California lawmakers being on track to pass a law that would fundamentally alter the relationship between trucking companies and draymen, potentially reshaping the market more toward a broker-carrier model used in the truckload industry.
- Scopelitis in the News: Report Links Owner-Operators to Low Rates of Compliance with California Clean Truck Regulations." August 30, 2019. FreightWaves.
- Transportation Brief: Dynamex Weeds are Growing in the Garden StateSupposed public policy concerns akin to those expressed by the Dynamex court have recently popped-up in New Jersey (another ABC Test state), thereby increasing the Garden State’s allure to adversaries as fertile ground for a misclassification battlefront.
- Transportation Brief: Mergers & Acquisitions - Deal Failures in Hot Trucking MarketRecently private equity firms and a steady stream of strategic buyers in the trucking market have taken a renewed and active interest in acquiring transportation businesses. Despite an active market, in part due to greater availability of loans and underwriting insurance, deal failures have occurred with greater frequency. In many cases, a mock due diligence audit can reveal some common issues.
- Scopelitis in the News: "California Legislation to Codify ABC Employee-Contractor Test Gains Approval of State Assembly." June 5, 2019. Transport Topics.Scopelitis President & Managing Partner Greg Feary in Transport Topics regarding legislation that has passed in California’s State Assembly that would mandate use of the “ABC test” and its potential effect on motor carriers' use of use independent contractors.
- Scopelitis in the News: Trucking Seeks Exemption in Latest California Contractor Proposal, June 3, 2019. FreightWaves.Scopelitis President & Managing Partner Greg Feary in FreightWaves regarding California's AB 5 legislation, which seeks to codify into law the so-called “ABC Test,” an assessment set forth in last year’s landmark Dynamex decision.
- Law Alert: Dynamex Legislation Passes California AssemblyScopelitis attorneys offer an update on the potential application of the Dynamex standard.
- Law Alert: DOL Issues Opinion Letter Deeming Gig Economy Workers Independent ContractorsScopelitis attorneys highlight key facts and circumstances considered by the DOL under each factor of the economic realities test.
- Law Alert: Western States Trucking Association's FAAAA Preemption Argument Dismissed by California District CourtOn March 29, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California held that the FAAAA does not preempt the application of the Dynamex ABC Test to a motor carrier for purposes of determining whether owner-operators are considered employees under California’s Wage Orders. Read more on what this ruling means for the transportation industry.
- Transportation Brief: Spotlight on Scopelitis Emerging Tech PracticeThe way transportation companies conduct business today is changing quicker than ever, with technology presenting new opportunities and challenges. The Scopelitis Firm actively follows these changes and frequently assists newly-formed, technology-based transportation companies and established companies that seek to adopt new technologies to enhance their existing business model.
- Scopelitis Legislative News - March 2019Updates from Scopelitis' Legislative Services team.
- Scopelitis in the News: "The California Independent Contractor Crisis: Undermining the Owner-Operator." Overdrive Magazine. February 4, 2019.Scopelitis President & Managing Partner Greg Feary on independent contractor classification in Overdrive Magazine.
- Law Alert: NLRB Re-Focuses Its Independent Contractor TestMore on The National Labor Relations Board determination that van drivers franchised with SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., were properly classified as independent contractors rather than employees. Ion organizing or other concerted activity exists.
- Law Alert: Unemployment Tax IC Status Decision Q.D.-A., Inc. v. Indiana Dept. of Workforce DevelopmentThe Indiana Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Q.D.-A., Inc. v. Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Read insight from Scopelitis attorneys.
- Scopelitis in the News: "Feary & Cohen: Changes Might Affect Transportation Independent Contractors." Indiana Lawyer. January 23, 2019.Scopelitis Partners Greg Feary and Shannon Cohen in Indiana Lawyer on a decision that may impact independent contractor relationships across the country, especially in the transportation industry.
- Law Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Declares Owner-Operators Exempt from the Federal Arbitration ActRead more from Scopelitis on the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in New Prime, Inc. v. Oliveira.
- Law Alert: California Joint and Several Motor Carrier ListPursuant to the statutory “publication” requirement under CA Labor Code §2810.4 a list of motor carriers that have outstanding California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement wage and hour liabilities has been published. Read more.
- Scopelitis in the News: "California’s ABC Test: The Fundamental." January 3, 2019. Trimble Transportation Blog.Scopelitis President & Managing Partner Greg Feary talks motor carrier concerns regarding the Dynamex case and the ABC test.
- Scopelitis in the News: "The Biggest Transportation Rulings of 2018." December 14, 2018. Law360Scopelitis President and Managing Partner Greg Feary discusses the California Supreme Court's April 2018 Dynamex decision with Law360.
- Law Alert: Dynamex subject to FAAAA preemptionRead more on the California Federal District Court Decision that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (“FAAAA”) preempts the application of the “Dynamex” ABC Test to a motor carrier.
- Scopelitis Legislative News - December 2018Trends covered in this issue:
• Midterm Election Shifts
• Infrastructure Funding on the State Level
• Portable Benefits Model for Independent Contractors
• Upcoming DOT Funding
• Will Divided Congress be Productive?
• FMCSA Signals Aggressive Timeline
- Law Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in New PrimeRead more on the oral argument in New Prime, Inc v. Oliveira a case primarily about whether trucking independent contractors are exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).
- Video Law Alert: New Prime Oral Argument PreviewRead a preview of next week’s oral argument in a trucking case pending before the United States Supreme Court that will significantly impact the use of arbitration to resolve disputes with owner-operators.
- Law Alert: California’s Meal and Rest Break Requirements PreemptedRead more on California Meal and Rest Break Laws Preempted With Respect To Hazmat Drivers.
- Law Alert: NJ Unemployment Tax Owner-Operator Exemption GuttedRead Scopelitis' take on the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development notice that it had adopted substantial changes to the regulations interpreting what constitutes necessary evidence under New Jersey’s unemployment tax independent contractor exemptions applicable to a wide range of industries -NJ Stat. Ann. S 43:21-19(i)(7).
- Law Alert: California Supreme Court Denies Petition for Rehearing in DynamexRead Scopelitis' take on California Supreme Court denying the Dynamex petition for rehearing.
- Law Alert: Supreme Court Allows Class Waivers in ArbitrationRead Scopelitis' take on the Supreme Court ruling that Class-Action and Collective-Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements Do Not Violate the NLRA
- Transportation Brief: Buyers Be DiligentWhen considering the acquisition of a motor carrier operation, a number of due diligence matters specific to transportation should be analyzed. Read more here.
- Law Alert: California Supreme Court Clarifies Test for Employment Status Under IWC Wage OrdersRead Scopelitis' take on the California Supreme Court decision.
- Law Alert: Supreme Court to Consider the “Transportation Worker” Exemption from the Federal Arbitration ActRead Scopelitis' take on the U.S. Supreme Court agreeing to hear an appeal by motor carrier New Prime, Inc. challenging a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that found the company’s owner-operators worked under “contracts of employment.”
- Law Alert: Pennsylvania IC WithholdingRead Scopelitis' take on a new Pennsylvania non-employee withholding requirement.
- Scopelitis Legislative News - October 2017Trends covered in this issue:
• States Prepare for 2018 Sessions
• The Emerging Economy Continues to Impact Legislatures
• IC Certification Procedures on the Rise?
• Appropriations for the Department of Transportation Advances in the House
• FMCSA Administrator Nomination Announced
• Joint Employer Clarification Bill Advances
• Autonomous Vehicle Bills Advance
- Law Alert: ALJ Finds Misclassifying Independent Contractor Drivers Violates the NLRARead Scopelitis' take on the ALJ decision.
- Transportation Brief: Best Practices for Structuring Lease-Purchase ProgramsResponding to increased interest in entrepreneurship opportunities and capacity demands, many lease-purchase programs are available for sole proprietor owner-operators.
- Transportation Brief: Occupational Accident Coverage in the Gig EconomyThe collaborative economy or “gig economy” continues to make its mark on the independent contractor landscape. As these services and the companies that oversee them mature, the market is responding to contractors’ business needs in much the same way the market has responded to independent contractors in other, more traditional business models.
- Law Alert: Permanent Injunction Issued on DOL’s Overtime RuleRead more on Scopelitis' take on a Texas judge's final order rejecting the U.S. Department of Labor’s attempt to raise the salary level for “white collar” exemptions from overtime.
- Scopelitis in the News: "Tech firms see big tech opportunity in freight apps." August 19, 2017, Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ)Scopelitis President & Managing Partner Greg Feary on tech innovation in the freight industry.
- Scopelitis in the News: "Trucking industry report was inaccurate." July 2, 2017, IndyStarScopelitis President and Managing Partner Greg Feary on USA Today's "Rigged" series.
- Law Alert: First Circuit Denies Full-Court Review of Arbitration Opinion Unfavorable for Transportation ProvidersRead more on Scopelitis' take on First Circuit decision.
- Scopelitis in the News: Feary Responds to "Rigged"Scopelitis President & CEO Greg Feary Responds to USA Today's story on the trucking industry.
- Scopelitis in the News: "USA Today Report Misses Mark." June 26, 2017 Transport Topics.Transport Topics' coverage of Scopelitis President & CEO Greg Feary's response to USA Today's story on the trucking industry.
- Scopelitis in the News: "City Mulls Taxi Rule Changes in Era of Uber, Lyft." June 17, 2017, Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ)Scopelitis Partners Greg Feary and Shannon Cohen share insights with IBJ on state legislation governing app-based ride-hailing companies.
- Scopelitis Legislative News - June 2017This newsletter includes a sampling of noteworthy developments or trends affecting transportation in Congress or the state legislatures during the last two months.Trends covered in this issue:• Scopelitis Law Alert: U.S. DOL Announces Withdrawal of Joint Employment, Independent Contractor Informal Guidance
• States Seek Infrastructure Funding
• Lowering Roadblocks to Platooning
• States React to Gig Economy
• FY 2018 Presidential Budget
• DOT Personnel Changes
• Regulatory Reform
• Tax Reform
• FMCSA Withdraws Minimum Insurance Limits Rulemaking
• Entry-Level Driver Training Rule
• FMCSA Split-Sleeper Berth Pilot
• Rescission of USDOL Persuader Rule Submitted to OMB
- Scopelitis in the News: "Labor Department Withdraws Informal 2015 Guidance on Role of independent Contractors." June, 10, 2017, DC Velocity.Scopelitis President & Managing Partner Greg Feary shares insights with DC Velocity on U.S. DOL's decision to withdrawal an informal interpretation of labor law issued in 2015.
- Scopelitis in the News: "Trump DOL Relieves Pressure Surrounding Obama-era Changes to Owner-Operator Model." June 9, 2017, Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ)Scopelitis President & Managing Partner Greg Feary shares insights with CCJ on U.S. DOL's decision to withdrawal joint employment, independent contractor informal guidance
- Scopelitis Legislative News - March 2017This newsletter is an overview of noteworthy developments or trends affecting transportation in Congress or the state legislatures so far in 2017.
Trends covered included in this newsletter:• National Carrier Hiring Standard
• Regulatory Reform
• Class Action Reform
• 2018 Presidential Budget
• States Seek Infrastructure Funding
• Lowering Roadblocks to Platooning
- Transport Topics
Labor Department’s Misclassification Guidance
- Scholarship Intended to Open Doors for Students
- O-O Model Forces Fleets To Lean on Legal Services
”This is the worst environment yet for independent contractor operations,” said Gregory Feary, managing partner of Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary. “Lots of companies are successful at it, but you really need to know what you’re doing.”
- The Owner-Operator Business Model
- Transport Topics
Tips for a ‘Hard’ Insurance Market - November 2003
- Commercial Carrier Journal
Reward for Risk
- PEO Insider
Employment Practices Liability Insurance Coverage in Non-Employer Situations
- PEO Insider
Association Plans: Salve or Salt for Group Health Wounds?