March 27, 2006

A team of Jenner & Block lawyers recently obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of CRST Van Expedited to prevent J.B. Hunt, one of the country’s largest publicly traded trucking companies, from interfering with contracts between CRST and its newly trained drivers. 

CRST, which provides expedited long-haul freight delivery services, trains most of its team-driver fleet.  In exchange for providing this expensive training, CRST enters into contracts with its driver trainees to work for CRST for a short fixed time period.  In granting CRST an injunction prohibiting J.B. Hunt from soliciting or hiring CRST driver trainees before the expiration of their contract terms, the Oklahoma Federal District Court found that CRST’s driver contracts were valid and enforceable and that the public interest favored their protection.  The Court concluded that the public interest in “alleviating a serious and chronic driver shortage . . . outweighs the negligible impairment of the free labor market” that would result from barring J.B. Hunt from hiring CRST contract drivers while they remained under contract. 

The trucking industry currently faces a significant shortage of trained and qualified drivers.  Industry commentators have observed that the decision “could ultimately dampen some of the [trucking] industry’s most aggressive driver recruiting tactics.”

The Jenner & Block legal team on this matter includes:  Partners John H. Mathias, Jr., Robert T. Markowski, Barry Levenstam, David M. Kroeger and David K. Haase; Of Counsel Darren M. Mungerson; and Associates Christopher M. O’Connor, Marc D. Sokol, Denise Kirkowski Bowler, Erin M. O’Connell, and David W. Austin.