Nathan L. Karlin

Manhattan, Kansas
Managing Attorney
Phone (785) 539-4656
Fax (785) 539-1750

The National Trial Lawyers

Nathan Karlin is nationally recognized for his success and determination as a train accident lawyer. Nathan is the managing attorney at Pottroff & Karlin, and strongly believes in the firm’s commitment to advancing public safety across the country.  He is also the immediate past chair of the Railroad Law Section for the American Association of Justice. Nathan gained invaluable experience and training on successfully litigating all types of personal injury cases while working with one of the best trial lawyers in the country, Bob Pottroff.  Nathan has devoted the majority of his practice to fighting for railroad accident victims.  There are over 3,000 train accidents a year.  Hundreds of people lose their lives and even more are seriously injured.  Nathan understands that life can be profoundly changed in an instant by a train collision.  He also understands many of these railroad tragedies are preventable.  Nathan is active in courtrooms throughout the country advocating for a safer tomorrow.  He is committed to serving the community and furthering safety in the transportation industry.

Nathan received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Kansas School of Law and his Bachelor of Science in Economics from Kansas State University.  In law school, Nathan also received his certificate in Trial Advocacy and served two consecutive years at the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy where he authored an article on how the railroad industry is attempting to use legal arguments to avoid being held accountable for public safety.

Nathan has worked tirelessly to unveil the wrongdoings of railroad companies from coast to coast by co-counseling with other attorneys who bring him into work with them on cases. He has worked on such cases in numerous states including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. In addition to his own cases, Nathan has assisted other lawyers in numerous other states by providing them advice and support during their evaluation and litigation process.

In his personal time, Nathan enjoys spending time with his family and being involved in the Manhattan community. Nathan is a member of the Sunset Zoological Park & Wildlife Conservation Trust and on the board of directors for the Manhattan Emergency Shelter Inc.

Areas of Practice:

  • Railroad Law
  • Brain Injuries
  • Personal Injury Litigation

Bar Admissions:

  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico


  • University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, Kansas, J.D.
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, B.S. Economics

Classes/Seminars Taught:

Mr. Karlin has been invited to lecture across the country. His expertise in railroad law is no secret among his peers, and many have called upon him to share his experience.

  • American Association for Justice, July 2017; July 2019, July 2022
  • Florida Justice Association, Workhorse Seminar, March 2018
  • Connectionology Seminar, Santa Fe, NM, August 2019

Honors and Awards:

  • National Trial Lawyers Association, Top 100
  • Railroad Accident Trial Lawyers Association, Top 10

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • American Bar Association
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Riley County Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Kansas Trial Lawyers Association
Railroad News
September 15, 2023

San Antonio Pedestrian Killed by Union Pacific Train

September 10, 2023

Indiana Motorist Killed by Second, Hidden Train After Waiting for First Train at Dangerous, Unguarded CSX Crossing


Train crash cases are unique and complex with many different potential pitfalls, such as federal preemption. Anytime I get hired or even get a call from a train crash victim, my very first call is to Nathan’s firm. Nathan’s knowledge and experience in handling and trying cases against these litigation savvy railroad companies gives me the confidence to know that the clients and cases I refer to him are getting the best of the best.

James PerrinLubbock, Texas

I have had the opportunity to work as co-counsel with Nathan on several railroad crossing accidents cases. In each case, Nathan always possessed an incredible knowledge of the law and the facts, possessed a great talent for aggressive - strategic legal planning and trial tactics while, at the same time, displaying great skill as an effective negotiator. I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation.

Scott McCluenHarriman, Tennessee

Nathan Karlin has my strongest endorsement in the field of railroad crossing cases and personal injury law. I had the pleasure of working with Nathan in a complex railroad personal injury case. I was impressed by Nathan’s knowledge, his work ethic, and his dedication to the client. I look forward to working with Nathan on future injury matters. I am also aware firsthand that he has obtained excellent trial and settlement results in numerous cases involving members of the public harmed by railroad companies.

Joseph M. MillerMandeville, Louisiana

Nathan is a warrior fighting the railroads. As a fellow personal injury lawyer, I have constantly been impressed with his depth of knowledge and his capabilities from case to case. I’d take him into battle with me any day against the biggest railroads and insurance companies on the planet.

Jon C. ClarkAustin, Texas

Bob Pottroff has fought for the victims of the railroads’ callous disregard for safety more than any other attorney that I know. I should know because I am currently Chair-elect of the Railroad Section of ATLA.

Robert SchuetzeBoulder, Colorado

Mr. Pottroff has shaken the rail industry to its very roots. Settlements are now more common as a result of the way he has exposed the industry’s wrongdoing.

Mike EasleyArkansas

Bob Pottroff’s work in railroad safety law is unmatched and he has been the source of great advice and phenomenal creativity.

Roger BrownJefferson City, Missouri

In addition to his substantive contributions to railroad grade crossing safety, I have personally observed his untiring efforts and contributions to improving the integrity of the legal system.

Elizabeth HardyLake Charles, Louisiana