BNSF Vice President Paul Hoferer Joins Lathrop Gage


Kansas City, Mo. (July 1, 2008) -- Firm CEO Joel Voran announced today that Paul R. Hoferer, who this year retired as Vice President and General Counsel for BNSF Railway Company in Fort Worth, Tex., has joined Lathrop Gage as Of Counsel.

Mr. Hoferer will be a member of the litigation practice group, bringing to the firm 43 years of experience in the railroad industry. In addition to supervising in-house counsel and the General Claims Department, he was responsible for nearly 3,000 lawsuits handled by 100 law firms throughout the U.S. and Canada.

"The firm's diverse strengths were what drew me to Lathrop Gage," Mr. Hoferer said. "I look at this as yet another chapter in the firm's historic relationship with the railroad industry, a relationship that goes back to the late 1800s."

Mr. Hoferer began working for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company as a switchman in Kansas City upon graduating from high school. While serving three years in the U.S. Army, including a tour of duty in Vietnam as a Lieutenant in charge of an infantry platoon, he was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received in combat.

After his discharge from the Army, he worked as a switchman for the railroad while attending college and law school at Central Missouri State University and Washburn University School of Law, respectively.

In 1975, Mr. Hoferer began his career with Santa Fe's law department in Topeka, Kan., as a trial attorney. Following the merger of Burlington Northern Railroad and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company in 1995, he moved to Fort Worth, Tex., where he was promoted to Assistant Vice President - Litigation Counsel. In 2000, he became General Counsel and in 2002 Vice President and General Counsel.

In 1997-98 he served as General Claims Conference Chairman for the American Association of Railroads, and received the organization's Paul C. Garrett Award for Meritorious Service in 2000. Most recently he served as Past President of the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel in 2002-03, and on the board of governors for the Washburn University School of Law from 2004 through the present. Mr. Hoferer has been a frequent speaker and instructor on railroad litigation matters, and has received Martindale-Hubbell's highest lawyer accolade, that of "AV-rating" from his peers.

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