Ryan W. Wright, Partner
Mr. Wright focuses his practice on independent contractor issues, including drafting and reviewing independent contractor agreements and equipment lease agreements, assisting in the counsel and design of independent contractor programs, and auditing clients’ independent contractor programs. He also represents motor carriers, forwarders, and logistics companies in contract reviews and regulatory compliance.
Ryan W. Wright counsels clients on a wide array of transportation issues including independent contractor issues, owner-operator arrangements, Federal Leasing Regulations compliance, and motor carrier and logistics operations, business dealings, and contracts. He regularly drafts and reviews various transportation-related contracts, including independent contractor agreements, equipment lease agreements, motor carrier services contracts, and logistics services contracts. Mr. Wright also counsels clients regarding licensing and regulatory compliance, arbitration, and antitrust issues, and advises vehicle manufacturers regarding National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) matters, including recall campaigns and compliance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and Early Warning Reporting (EWR) requirements.
On The Road
- Update on Independent Contractor Rulings, Laws, Bills, and Other Developments Across the Country
Jan 16, 2020, Ryan W. Wright, Scopelitis Webinar SeriesAn update regarding the latest information developing across the county, from California’s controversial AB 5 to New Jersey’s S4204. In addition, an overview of best practices, contract provisions, and common mistakes that can create legal jeopardy in motor carriers’ dealings with owner-operator/ independent contractors.
- Latest Developments in Owner-Operator Status and Related Issues
May 16, 2019, Ryan W. Wright, 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.
- The U.S. Supreme Court’s Opinion in New Prime: What It Means for Arbitration with Owner-Operators
Apr 12, 2019, Ryan W. Wright, North American Transportation Employee Relations Association (NATERA) Webinar
- Risk Management: Transportation Exposures
Feb 10, 2019, Ryan W. Wright, 55th World Food Logistics Organization Institute East - Atlanta, GA
- Arbitration Hits the Skids: Unpacking the New Prime Opinion and What it Means for Arbitration with Owner-Operators
Jan 28, 2019, Ryan W. Wright, Scopelitis Webinar Series
- Transportation Industry Legal Challenges in 2018
Feb 1, 2018, Ryan W. Wright, Trucking Owners Business Roundtable - Indianapolis, IN
- Law Alert: New Federal Arbitration Law - Impact on Transportation ProvidersCongress passed H.R. 4445, the “Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021.” The primary provisions of the new law appear to fall outside of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). However, the law does amend certain parts of the FAA to ensure that the new provisions concerning sexual assault and harassment claims apply “notwithstanding” anything to the contrary found in the FAA. Our arbitration team shares key takeaways for transportation providers.
- Law Alert: Congress Moves A Step Closer to Examining Truck Lease-Purchase AgreementsThe Senate Commerce Committee passed on a bipartisan basis its contribution to a surface transportation reauthorization bill that includes a threat to lease-purchase agreements in the trucking industry.
- Transportation Brief: No Circuit Split (Yet) on the FAA “Transportation Worker” ExemptionIn the Summer edition of The Transportation Brief, we discussed the First Circuit’s recent holding that Amazon’s “AmFlex” delivery drivers are exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), even if they do not cross state lines, because the goods they transport are moving in interstate commerce. Since then, the Ninth Circuit has agreed with the First Circuit in another case involving AmFlex drivers (over a strong dissent), while the Seventh Circuit reached the opposite conclusion (i.e., that delivery drivers are not exempt) in a case involving GrubHub.
- Law Alert: Ninth Circuit Weighs in on the “Transportation Worker” Exemption from the FAAThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a long-awaited opinion in a case involving the “transportation worker” exemption from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).
- Transportation Brief: Circuit Courts Grapple with the “Transportation Worker” ExemptionThe Supreme Court’s holding in New Prime has not been the death knell for the transportation industry’s efforts to enforce arbitration agreements under the FAA. Instead, the fight has moved to another element of the exemption, namely, whether the individual belongs to a class of workers engaged in interstate commerce. Read more about the First Circuit's ruling, unsettled questions on this topic, and the potential for transportation arbitration cases to appear on the Supreme Court's docket in the future.
- Law Alert: First Circuit Rules that Delivery Drivers Need Not Cross State Lines to Be Exempt from the Federal Arbitration ActThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that last-mile drivers who do not cross state lines are nonetheless interstate “transportation workers” exempt from the FAA so long as they transport goods or people within the “flow of interstate commerce.” The First Circuit’s opinion is the first circuit-level holding on this issue. Read the latest.
- Transportation Brief: California Takes Aim at Mandatory ArbitrationThe Governor of California recently signed into law AB 51. Read more about how the new law impacts transportation businesses and what you should do now that AB 51 is law.
- 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: 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: 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
- 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: First Circuit Denies Full-Court Review of Arbitration Opinion Unfavorable for Transportation ProvidersRead more on Scopelitis' take on First Circuit decision.
- The Death of the Baga Serpent - Non-HHG Carrier Exposure for Attorney Fees Extinguished