Charles Shewmake is a litigation attorney in Holland & Knight's Dallas office. Mr. Shewmake focuses his practice on a wide range of surface transportation issues, commercial litigation, labor and employment, and regulatory matters.

Mr. Shewmake has worked with railroads and railroad-related litigation or regulatory matters from state district courts to the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as representations before the National Railroad Adjustment Board (NRAB) and Surface Transportation Board (STB). He prides himself on being able to translate the arcana of railroad law, including the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA), Interstate Commerce Act and Railway Labor Act (RLA) (which applies to airlines as well as railroads) to non-railroaders or businesses looking to learn more about railroads. Mr. Shewmake has also assisted trucking companies, truck brokerage firms and warehouse firms with their transportation-related legal issues. In addition to his transportation clients, Mr. Shewmake has also been involved in litigation and dispute resolution for a number of other industries.

Mr. Shewmake spent the majority of his career with BNSF Railway Corp., including most recently serving as vice president and general counsel from 2008 to 2016. In that role, he managed a team of more than 100 attorneys and claims professionals as well as outside counsel. He also was responsible for casualty litigation, safety-related legal matters, labor and employment matters, and environmental legal matters. Mr. Shewmake was a frequent speaker and presenter on transportation issues. During his career at BNSF, Mr. Shewmake also coordinated the activities of the state government affairs team, with responsibility for state legislative and political activities in 28 states.

In addition, Mr. Shewmake's experience includes complex shareholder litigation, antitrust litigation, personal injury litigation, environmental litigation and commercial arbitration as well as emergency response management.


  • Harvard University, AMP Executive Business Program
  • Texas Tech University School of Law, J.D.
  • The University of Texas at Arlington, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
  • Texas
  • Association of Transportation Law Professionals (ATLP)
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel (NARTC)
Honors & Awards
  • The Legal 500 USA, Transport: Rail and Road - Litigation and Regulation, 2022, 2024
  • GCR 100, Global Competition Review, Recommended Attorney, 2021
  • Power Attorney, Fort Worth Business Press, 2010


Speaking Engagements