Dec. 4 2006 09:17 AM

Primus Law Office reports with great sadness that William J. Augello, an icon of the shipping and logistics industry and a regular columnist for Parcel Magazine, passed away on the morning of November 19, 2006 at his home in Marana, AZ.  Bill was diagnosed with an aggressive, untreatable form of cancer earlier this fall.  Bills fascination with the law and his desire to share it with others continued throughout his illness virtually until the day of his passing. 


Bills Family

Bill is survived by his wife of 56 years, Elizabeth (Betty) Augello, and six children; Tom, Pat and husband Tom, Chip and wife Cheryl, Billy, Peg and husband Norman, and Jamie, and, four grandchildren; Ryan, Nathan, Travis and Casey.


Scholarship Fund

Prior to Bills passing the University of Arizona Law Center established a scholarship fund in Bills name, which Bill learned of with great pleasure and pride in his final days.  Donations in memory of Bill may be sent to:



Law College Association William J. Augello Scholarship for Transportation and Commercial Law Studies

James E. Rogers College of Law

The University of Arizona

P.O. Box 210176

Tucson, AZ 85721-0176


Memorial Gathering for Bill

A memorial gathering for Bill will be hosted by the Transportation Logistics Council on the evening of Sunday, April 15, 2007 in Orlando, Florida in conjunction with the Councils annual meeting.  Friends and colleagues of Bill are invited to attend to share memories and reminisce about Bill with each other and with members of Bills family.  Details of this memorial gathering will be posted on the Councils website,, in mid-December. 


Bills Professional Accomplishments

An icon of the industry, Bill practiced transportation and administrative law for 52 years.  After retiring from the firm of Augello, Pezold and Hirschmann of Huntington, New York, he continued to consult with and present expert testimony for the transportation industry and members of the bar from his office in Tucson, Arizona.  Bill remained active until his final days.  At the time of his passing he was an Adjunct Professor at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona.


Bill received a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology at Dartmouth College and an LL.B at Fordham Law School.  He was also on the faculty of Denver Universitys Intermodal Transportation Institute and at the Institute of Logistical Management, having served on both Boards of Directors.  He was Coordinator for Transportation Law Education at the National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade in Tucson, AZ, where he served as Co-Chairman of its Sub-Committee on Uniform Liability Regime. 


He also served as a member of the U.S. State Departments Advisory Committee on Private International Law.  He was a founder and member of the Board of the National Freight Transportation Library, the Shippers National Freight Claim Council, the Transportation Arbitration Board and the Certified Claims Professional Accreditation Council. 


Bill has been honored by Syracuse University (Harry E. Saltzberg Honorary Medallion), the Delta Nu Alpha Transportation Fraternity (National Transportation Man of the Year), Transportation Lawyers Association (Distinguished Service Award) and the Colorado Transportation Communitys Operation Stimulus (Outstanding Educator of the Year).


Bill wrote extensively for several industry trade publications, and at the time of his passing was a columnist for Parcel Shipping and Distribution (Now known as Parcel Magazine), Inbound Logistics, as well as Dun & Bradstreets Exporters Encyclopedia.  He argued before the United States Supreme Court and numerous U.S. Courts of Appeals, testified before Congressional Committees and appeared before governmental regulatory agencies and carrier Classification Committees.


As Executive Director for 30 years of the Transportation Logistics Council (TLC) and its predecessors, Bill provided continuing education to thousands of students and practitioners in the transportation and logistics fields through his many texts, seminars and editorials in TransDigest, TLCs monthly newsletter.


Bills Last Books

Bills text, Freight Claims in Plain English, written in collaboration with George Pezold, continues to be the leading text on carrier liability for loss, damage and delay.  The Fourth Edition was completed prior to the time of his passing and is scheduled to be published in February 2007.


In the final weeks of his life, Bill also completed his last book, Legal Issues Affecting Shippers, Carriers and Intermediaries which is scheduled to be published in January 2007.  Information on all of his texts may be obtained by visiting


Bills Last Interview

Shortly before the time of Bills passing he was interviewed with the understanding that the interview would not be released until after his passing.  This interview may be listened to at


Tributes and Memories of Bill

As word spread of Bills illness he received many, many e-mails and letters from friends and colleagues in the transportation industry and we would like to share with the readers just a few of these.  These letters reflect the fact that in addition to being a highly skilled attorney Bill also served as a mentor, provided encouragement, and otherwise touched the lives and careers of many people.


I write you to thank you for your gigantic contribution to an industry to which I have dedicated my life and have served more proficiently because of your teaching. You have taught me prudence in this business and respect for the structure of agreements and the hidden perils in statutes and regulations that may lay sleeping until a calamity awakes them.


Your caveats, issued frequently to those of us drunk on the wine of free markets, were wise and saved many of us from leaving the framework of contracts. When even senior management folks in several industries believed deregulation meant that there were no more rules you held fast in your position that disputes will be decided by one or another rule or statute; anarchy cannot function in a commercial environment.


I know of few others who were so selfless as you in this business, Bill. You were the sage who counseled our green recruits and advised them to be fastidious in their approach to agreements with both shippers and carriers. I am fortunate to have made your acquaintance and to have enjoyed the benefit of your advice. Your legacy will be long and your reputation will be remembered by many of us as one of a shrewd and tireless man who recognized not only justice but the dangers in laws that are intended to achieve a benefit but expose businesses to harm. God bless you for your stalwart service to an industry that is not glamorous but is critical to all industries.




For those of you who know Bill, you know that this industry has lost a great champion and spokesperson.  And, for those of you that did not have the privilege of knowing Bill, suffice it to say that if your company ships or receives anything, then your company benefited from the activity that Bill conducted on behalf of all shippers located in this country.




You have always been a friend to me especially when I was on the carrier side, you would listen to me and you never singled out my company in a negative way without first talking to me to get the other side of the story. I have enjoyed our discussions, debates and friendly chats as well as our golf.




I am truly saddened by the passing of a "Giant" in the Transportation Industry.  Bill Augello made an impact on every one of us in the Transportation Field. I wonder now, where and in what direction this whole "Undercharge" fiasco would have gone without his counsel and leadership.  I know here at our company that Bill took on what seemed to me at the time to be an overwhelming challenge. With Bills help, we successfully defeated the Carrier's Undercharge Trustees efforts to collect anything.  Bill will always be a Champion in my mind.  We will miss him and I know up there somewhere he is still fighting for us Shippers.




We have always enjoyed your leadership and participation at the TCPC conferences. I still remember your encouragement on our web application over 7 years ago. Thank you for everything you have done for us. We will keep you in our prayers.




You are a true teacher and gentleman and I have been blessed to know you.




No one could have asked to have a better person than you in the position of leadership within transportation law and education you have held over the years.  I always appreciated your friendly demeanor and how freely you shared your opinions.





Im in the process of writing letters to those that have contributed to my many successes over the years, as I plan to retire at the end of the year.  This seems like an appropriate time to acknowledge the one person who is most responsible for those successes and that would be you.  Every penny recovered from freight claims, and every dollar saved as a result of a billing error or any variety of cost avoidance that I have encountered can be traced right to you and the guidance you have provided over the years.




I have long admired your work in the transportation industry, and greatly appreciate your help and wisdom.




As I hope you know, you have been a great inspiration to many in the transportation community.  I often remember the chance meeting we had in the hallway at one of the Conferences where you said to me, fighting for justice in a commercial context is still an important form of fighting for justice.




I have always admired your style. You are a zealous advocate for your positions; a tenacious adversary; a dedicated teacher; and one heck of a lawyer. All that having been said, you are one of the few attorneys in our era that is truly unique. You perceived a vacuum in the industry and you proceeded to fill it with the force of your personality. You created something that was not there before and something that will exist far into the future.