Robert Hart is a highly skilled attorney with extensive experience representing both corporations and individuals in a wide variety of civil litigation matters to manage and extinguish exposure. His role as first-chair counsel in state and federal trials has garnered him a national reputation for his work as primary trial attorney to the firm’s railroad clients, Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway, AMTRAK, and numerous short line railroads. He has won several notable cases, many of which have established legal precedents in railroad liability law.
Aside from railroad law, Hart’s extensive defense and trial experience also includes serving as counsel in legal matters relating to all forms of transportation, including road and water. He has defended hundreds of personal injury matters that include general negligence, premises liability, and products liability. He has extensive experience in catastrophic cases involving wrongful death, traumatic brain injury, and severe orthopedic injuries. His clients rely upon him for general commercial and employment matters. He also has an active practice before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in both the Transportation Section and Oil and Gas Section.
Others have sought Hart’s skills as litigator in numerous cases involving environmental impacts to property including floodwaters, carbon tetrachloride, creosote, benzene, diesel spills and other contamination. He has also litigated several cases involving toxic torts and environmental impact on the person such as acute myeloid leukemia, hearing loss, cumulative trauma, diesel fumes, and whole body vibration.
Mr. Hart has argued before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and numerous times before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has had numerous cases in the Oklahoma appellate courts. Some of the published opinions upon which he was counsel include:
- Cornwell v. Union Pacific R.R. Co., 453 Fed. Appx. 829 (10th Cir. 2012)
- Dennis v. Watco Companies, Inc., 631 F.3d 1303(10th Cir. 2011)
- Robinson v. BNSF Railway, 412 Fed. Appx. 113 (10th Cir. 2011)
- Union Pacific R.R. Co. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 591 F.3d 1311 (10th Cir. 2010)
- Kennedy v. BNSF Ry. Corp., 227 P.3d 1120 (Okla. Civ. App. 2009)
- B. Willis, C.P.A., Inc. v. BNSF Ry. Corp., 531 F.3d 1282 (10th Cir. 2008)
- Henning v. Union Pacific R.R. Co., 530 F.3d 1206 (10th Cir. 2008)
- Port City Properties v. Union Pacific R.R. Co., 518 F.3d 1186 (10th Cir. 2008)
- Varner v. Peterson Farms, 371 F.3d 1011 (8th Cir. 2004)
- Myers v. Missouri Pacific R.R. Co., 52 P.3d 1014 (Okla. 2002)
- MacFarline v. Regouby, 14 P.3d 551 (Okla. 2000)
Mr. Hart has been with GABMH and its legacy firms since 1997.
- Union Pacific Railroad
- BNSF Railway Company
- CNA Insurance
- Bank of America
- Zurich Insurance
- WATCO Companies
- TTX Company
- Cornwell v. Union Pacific Wrongful death case in U.S. District Court in and for Northern District of Oklahoma. Defense verdict and successful appeal.
- Shockey v. Union Pacific Wrongful death case in the Eastern District of Oklahoma. Defense verdict and successful appeal.
- Gartrell v. Union Pacific Wrongful death case involving 8-year-old boy killed in crossing collision. Decedent was passenger in a church van. Defense verdict and successful appeal
- Thompson v. Antioch Baptist Church Defense verdict in a brain damage case tried in Muskogee County, Oklahoma.
- Thompson v. Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority Defense verdict in severe orthopedic case tried in Tulsa County, Oklahoma
Licensed in the Following Courts
- Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
- U.S. District courts for Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Oklahoma
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas
- U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas
- Tulsa County Bar Association
- National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
- Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel
- Federal Bar Association
Published Articles & Speaking Engagements
- Taking an Expert Witness Deposition, 79 O.B.J. 537 (March 8, 2008)
- Instructor, Effective Discovery Strategies for the Litigation Paralegal
- Lecturer, 2008 WATCO Companies Claims Conference
- Lecturer, 2006 Union Pacific Law and Claims Conference
- Lecturer, 2005 Union Pacific National Grade Crossing Conference
- B.S. Business Administration (Accounting), Northeastern State University, Cum Laude
- J.D., University of Oklahoma College of Law, with Honors