Since 1998, the AViCON conference has provided an educational forum for a wide range of aviation insurance professionals including claims managers, airline board members, product manufacturers, government investigators, and many more. Through our sponsorship with DRI, we are providing 11 hours CLE and CE Insurance credit.
Registration Confirmation Your registration will be confirmed by email within 2 business days. Please check your junk and/or spam email folder for confirmation prior to contacting the AViCON Registrar. If you do not receive an email confirmation within 5 business days the date your registration was submitted, or you have other registration questions, email email@example.com or call +1 866 327 1165. Register by May 11 for the Super early bird rate, fees expire at 11:59 PM (ET).
Cancellation Policy: 50% cancellation fee will be assessed on cancellations received by June 14 – August 12, 2018. 100% cancellation fee will be assessed on ALL CANCELLATIONS after August 13, 2018. Refunds will NOT be given for no shows.
Cancellations requests must be made in writing and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org Cancellations will not be accepted by phone or onsite. Cancellations will be acknowledged by email. If you do not receive an acknowledgment within two weeks, please contact Heather Wallinovich at +1 866 327 1165 or by email email@example.com
Substitution Policy Substitutions will be allowed before a badge is picked up, so long as the replacement individual is from the same organization. Substitutions will not be made once the original registrant has attended any portion of the conference. The original registrant may make the substitution by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, August 31, 2018. Beginning September 1, 2018, all substitutions must be made onsite and require hard copy/written permission from the original registrant granting the substitution.
Attendee Policy Attendance is for members of the legal, Insurance and Aviation manufacturing industries ONLY. Individuals not in the trade should not attend. RTI’s AViCON reserves the right to accept or reject registrations and to cancel any previously accepted reservations, at any time, at its sole discretion, without liability to the registrant or any other party. This policy was instituted to maintain the professional environment of the AViCON conference while protecting the interests of our attendees and exhibitors.
Loud, abusive, or defamatory language, harassment or other unprofessional or inappropriate behavior is not permitted at any time at the conference. If such conduct is engaged in by a registrant, please be advised that RTI may cancel any previously accepted reservations, at any time, at its sole discretion, without liability to the registrant or any other party, and the registrant agrees to exit the premises immediately.
RTI, its sole discretion, reserves the right to decline the registration of any applicant that may violate national security or export compliance laws, including U.S. economic sanctions. Applicants must provide full, truthful information when registering, in accordance with registration terms and conditions.
Photo and Video Policy Attendees are permitted to use hand-held cameras to take photographs, capture digital images, and videotape within public areas of AViCON 2018 for personal, non-commercial use. Public areas include the exhibit hall; general session, technical, panel and workshop rooms; lobby areas; and hallways.
Large cameras, photo or video equipment, or ancillary equipment such as lighting, tripods, cables, etc. are prohibited (except in instances where approval from RTI show management is obtained).
All photographers and videographers are prohibited from entering, photographing, or videotaping non-public areas of RTI and AViCON2018. Non-public areas include storage areas; speaker ready rooms; staff offices; and dedicated meeting rooms.
All photographers and videographers are prohibited from impeding attendee traffic flow, blocking doors, stairs, elevators and escalators, and affecting the safety of attendees. All photographers and videographers must fully and immediately comply with any requests, directions, or instructions of AViCON conference management related to safety concerns. All photographers and videographers must obtain exhibitor approval before capturing images within the exhibitor’s booth space.
While attending AViCON 2018, all photographers and videographers must comply with all applicable rules, including but not limited to, this policy, all applicable laws, ordinances, municipal regulations, standard operating procedures and administrative procedures. AViCON conference management may evaluate the actions of a photographer or a videographer, and if a determination is made that the actions of a photographer or videographer are not in compliance with any applicable rule, AViCON conference management may terminate the permission granted by this policy.
Export Compliance RTI and AViCON remind conference participants that they are responsible for compliance with regulations limiting the release of export-controlled technology or technical data and the provision of defense services to non-U.S. persons under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). AViCON is not liable for unauthorized releases of technical data by conference attendees.
Force Majeure In case the premises for the conference is destroyed by Acts of God, fire or the elements or by any cause, or in case of government intervention or regulation, military activity, terrorism, civil disturbance, strikes, labor disputes, or any other circumstances make it impossible or inadvisable to hold the conference at the time and place provided, the attendee waives any claim for damages or compensation, except the pro rata return of the amount paid for admission, after deduction of actual expenses incurred in connection with the exhibition and there shall be no further liability on the part of either party. In no event, shall RTI, its officers, directors, trustees, or agents be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential damages resulting from the failure to hold the conference.
Photo Use Release By way of ordering ticket(s) for AViCON 2018 I grant and authorize RTI Group, LLC the right to take, edit, alter, copy, exhibit, publish, distribute and make use of any and all pictures or video taken of me to be used in and/or for legally promotional materials including, but not limited to, newsletters, flyers, posters, brochures, advertisements, fundraising letters, annual reports, press kits and submissions to journalists, websites, social networking sites and other printing and digital communications, without payment or any other consideration. This authorization extends to all languages, media, forms, and markets now known or hereafter devised. This authorization shall continue indefinitely unless I otherwise revoke said authorization in writing email@example.com.
I understand and agree that these materials shall become the property of RTI Group, LLC and will not be returned.
I hereby hold harmless and release RTI Group, LLC from all liability, petitions, and causes of action which I, my heirs, representative, executors, administrators, or any other persons may make while acting on my behalf or on behalf of my estate.
This two-day program centers around a fictional case study featuring discussions lead by legal and insurance experts. Together, we will explore considerations and complexities of the case from accident investigation, legal discovery, multi-party litigation, and conclude with a live claim resolution exercise.
At 15:30, on June 21, 2018, a USAF operated R-75 (a militarized version of a Pilatus PC-12) takes off from Martin State Airport, MD, carrying sensitive, classified materials. The pilot, a contractor for the DOD, travels along an IFR route towards Cape May, NJ. At the border of Maryland and Delaware, the R-75 collides with a civilian GA aircraft. The R-75 sustains damage to its landing gear and belly while the GA is totaled. The R-75 contacts the nearest airport, Wilmington Airport, and declares an emergency.
Upon touching down on runway 01 at Wilmington, the landing gear collapses and the R-75 skids down the runway coming to a stop. ATC grounds all flights, leaving regional jet Air Apparent flight 913, previously preparing for takeoff, stranded on the tarmac. After several hours, fights broke out between passengers and airline personnel on board flight 913, causing physical damage to passengers, crew, and the interior of the aircraft. Approximately four hours later, Air Apparent flight 913 is allowed to return to the gate.
DRI is the leading organization of defense attorneys and in-house counsel comprised of 22,000 like-minded defense practitioners. DRI is host to 29 substantive committees whose focus is to develop ongoing and critical dialogue about areas of practice. DRI hosts renowned CLE seminars, conferences, and webcasts.
Ed Libassi has dedicated his life to aviation. His reliability, insight and no nonsense approach has given his clients the confidence to trust their lives and the lives of their families, in his able hands.
Ed is committed to providing the highest quality of expert consultant services for individuals, corporations or legal counsel. Ed’s past history, on the ground, hands-on experience provides the kind of knowledge and understanding only a true source of expertise possesses. He will deliver the results you want, keeping you informed, prepared and confident in any aviation inquiry.
Curt Lewis and Associates, LLC is a multi-discipline technical and scientific consulting firm specializing in aviation and industrial safety. The firm, established in 2005, targets safety management systems, system safety audits and safety training programs, risk management, accident investigation, litigation support and quality assessments. By making safety an integral part of your business, you will significantly reduce the cost of insurance deductibles, legal fees, lost time and overtime, cost of investigation, loss of productivity and equipment, and most importantly, injury or death to your employees and customers.
Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,300 lawyers and other professionals in 28 offices throughout the world. Their lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law. Interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams provide clients with access to attorneys throughout the firm, regardless of location.
The hallmark of Holland & Knight's success has always been and continues to be legal work of the highest quality, performed by well-prepared lawyers who revere their profession and are devoted to their clients.
John Darer is a well-known highly skilled structured settlement expert, Certified Financial Transitionist, Registered Settlement Planner, licensed insurance agent and thought leader, who is a 2018 A.M. Best Recommended Structured Settlement Expert for structured settlements. John Darer breaks down complex financial ideas and concepts, moves them out of the abstract and articulates them in a way to empower people of any level, with the essential knowledge to feel confident to make decisions. Drawing on over 30 years of practical hands-on settlement consulting and financial services experience, John Darer assists domestic, London market, and other international clients and counsel in some of the most complex cases in aviation, personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, environmental, transportation and maritime, employment, divorce and commercial contract settlements. John's diverse background brings a valuable asset to the table for his clients, whether providing assistance at mediation, during discovery, post-settlement, or "on the fly" New York CPLR Article 50A or Article 50B projections and analysis, or managing transition stress.
SNI is the premier global provider of sales, influence, and negotiation training and consulting. Founded in 1995, and having trained over 250,000 professionals, we are the leader in training, consulting and keynotes in these three specific content areas. We focus on the bottom line, the people, and the tools that drive continued success for the world’s leading organizations every day.
SNI provides a competitive advantage to our clients by maximizing their ability to create mutually beneficial and profitable long-term relationships with peers, vendors, and customers.
Our success is built on helping professionals at all levels use a systematic approach to get more accomplished, faster, and with a higher degree of effectiveness. Founded as Shapiro Negotiations Institute by Ron Shapiro – New York Times Bestselling Author, Attorney, Educator, Sports Agent, and Civic Leader – SNI’s content is based on over 40 years of lessons learned in real-life situations. SNI digs into specific industry and client challenges, so our tools and techniques can be used immediately and repeated with precision.
Founded in 1950, Kreindler has grown substantially in size, prestige, and experience over the years. We're the largest plaintiffs' aviation law firm in the United States. We have well-established plaintiff transportation (maritime, train, bus, automobile) practices. We have a growing mass tort practice, particularly in the pharmaceutical area. Kreindler tackles complex litigation challenges in many other personal injury, commercial or corporate contexts as well.
Kreindler's practice is national and international in scope. We represent clients in federal and state courts throughout the United States, and the people we serve can reside anywhere in the United States or foreign countries. For nationwide client service in aviation accidents or other complex civil claims, contact a Kreindler lawyer.
When Mr. Piper introduced the Piper Cub in 1937, he had a dream. He felt that everyone should fly. And he believed that Piper could provide everyone with that freedom. 130,000 aircraft later, that dream lives on. Today, Piper Aircraft is the only general aviation manufacturer to offer a complete line of aircraft. From rugged, reliable trainers to a high-performance turboprop, from student pilot to experienced aviator Piper creates the freedom of flight for everyone.
RTI’s World Headquarters and Research Centre offers a premier facility along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia, our refreshing facilities near the Chesapeake Bay are ideal for hosting AViCON. Guests can travel by air and touch down their own aircraft at nearby Bay Bridge Airport, just a short drive away.
Want to make AViCON a Vacation destination? See what The eastern shore has to offer:
We could not host AViCON without the support of our sponsors. We offer many opportunities that are sure to meet your price range and provide you with the best exposure to our attendees. All payments must be received before August 10, 2018. For more information, please contact Heather Wallinovich 410-571-0712, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Call the Beach Club front desk (410-604-5900) for pick up from the Bay Bridge Airport
On behalf of the Commissioners of Queen Anne's County welcome to the beautiful Bay Bridge Airport, Maryland's waterfront jewel. Bay Bridge Airport is ideally located for all of your Maryland travel and recreation needs and is the closest Airport to Baltimore/Annapolis/Washington outside of the Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA). Whether your travel is for business or pleasure, Bay Bridge offers the location, friendly staff, and amenities that are sure to make your visit a pleasant one.
202 Airport Road Stevensville, MD 21666
Phone: 410-643-4364 Fax: 410-643-4273
Hours Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
1.4 miles from RTI
Bay Bridge Airport (W29) 24 Hour Access to: Pilots' Lounge Rest Rooms DTN Weather Flight Planning Center Runway 11/29=2903' X 60' Asphalt DSPL:29=190'
CTAF/Unicom: 122.725 AWOS: 120.575 NOTAMS: File BWI (Check all available NOTAMS before each flight)
Hours Attended Monday - Friday 0800 - 1630
Keynote Speaker: Jill Rutan Hoffman
Jill Rutan Hoffman is a twice-published author and a serial entrepreneur. She is the daughter of world famous Voyager pilot, Dick Rutan, and niece of legendary aircraft and spacecraft designer, Burt Rutan.
Jill has dedicated her life to encouraging others to break the law of gravity by creating unique opportunities for people to fly. As the founder of the non-profit, Looking Skyward, Jill sent deserving young adults to many space and aviation camps across the country. Jill also generously donates her time as a mentor to young adults pursuing careers in aviation.
Seeing a growing pilot shortage and lack of innovation in the aviation industry, Jill Founded Path 2 Flight, LLC in 2018, with her husband and Co-founder, Lars Hoffman. Path 2 Flight introduces a whole new community to flight by making it easy for people to find, book and buy exciting flight experiences and flight training opportunities. The company is also passionate about supporting the future of flight by promoting the industry's latest technologies and trends, like virtual reality flight training, electric airplanes and space flights.
Jeff has coached negotiation teams within organizations and has delivered high impact presentations from forty-five minutes to three days in length. His audience size has ranged from five executives around a boardroom table to one thousand people in an auditorium. In addition to his role as an educator and an entertainer, Jeff has also played a significant role in selling and designing negotiation training programs for SNI.
Jeff has delivered customized programs for clients across many diverse sectors: Financial Services (Barclays, PricewaterhouseCoopers, J.P.Morgan Chase); Pharmaceutical (Novo Nordisk, Sanofi-aventis, Bristol Myers Squibb); Insurance (GeneralReinsurance, Nationwide); Telecommunications (Verizon, Comcast); Medical Devices (Toshiba Medical Systems, Siemens Medical); Sports (Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, Madison Square Garden); Media (ESPN, Hearst Corporation) and a host of others. Jeff also works closely with the Anthony Robbins Platinum Partnership, an exclusive membership-only group personally coached by Tony Robbins.
Book Signing: Author, Stephen Carbone
Stephen Carbone is the author of The Air Crash Files: Jet Blast and The Air Crash Files: Thermal Runaway. These two novels are aviation thrillers; the first and second of a trilogy that concludes in the novel: The Air Crash Files: Flameout. They follow the investigatory exploits of Daniel Tenace (pronounced Ten-ah-chey), a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) aircraft maintenance major accident investigator. Tenace overcomes many hurdles, both technical and political, to discover dangers that the aviation industry faces today.
The Author, Stephen Carbone, is a former aircraft mechanic; his experience includes working for a major airline for nineteen years. During this time he acquired his Undergraduate and Graduate degrees in Aviation Safety. He left the industry to take a position with the NTSB as the only airframe and powerplant certificated major accident investigator for aircraft maintenance. During those years he investigated ten accidents, both domestic and international. He designed NTSB courses and taught accident investigation techniques at the NTSB Academy while acting as a liaison to the international accident investigation community.
He left the NTSB to work at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) where he was involved in investigating major airlines, conducting safety audits and writing regulations and guidance. He remained involved with accident investigation for both Headquarters and the Eastern Region. He finished his career at the FAA designing safety courses, managing instruction, and teaching at the FAA Academy.
Today he writes for aviation technical magazines and is working on his third novel. Stephen Carbone uses the experience cultivated during his years in investigations, as well as the store of knowledge he has working on the latest technology aircraft. His experiences working in the airline industry gives him a first-hand perspective that shows through in his writing, using the skills born of years of working closely to the industry he loves.
Brian Alexander is a Partner at Kreindler & Kreindler in New York City. He specializes in complex operational and products liability aviation accident cases. Many of his cases have resulted in record-setting recoveries for his clients throughout the world. In addition to assisting his personal clients, his work has also aided in improving safety for the flying public.
The Kreindler & Kreindler practice represents plaintiffs in complex litigation. This firm provides exceptional legal advocacy to protect clients’ rights to ensure the fullest measure of justice allowable by law. These attorneys utilize their unmatched experience and resources to passionately battle for their clients to obtain the best possible outcome for them. Kreindler & Kreindler always treat clients with respect and empathy as they endure, an often, life-altering crisis.
Founder and Senior Partner, Alimonti Law Offices, P.C.
Rick Alimonti is the founding partner of Alimonti Law Offices P.C., based in White Plains, NY. Since 1990, Rick has been handling airlines’ passenger claims as well as claims in product liability, premises liability, aviation insurance coverage, and a broad range of “general aviation” matters. Rick is a member of the mediation panel for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and is an inaugural member of the S.D.N.Y. Mediator Advisory Committee. He is a two-time past co-chair of the American Bar Association’s (Section of Litigation) Committee on Aviation Litigation and has held multiple positions in the leadership of the ABA Section of Litigation. Rick has been increasingly called upon as a speaker on aviation law as well as on more generic topics, including ethics, and ethics in negotiation and mediation. He is also an active private pilot. Alimonti Law offices have been counsel of record on numerous reported decisions at the trial and appellate levels on such diverse issues as federal preemption, personal jurisdiction, the economic loss doctrine, and premises liability. Rick’s frequent presentations have been favorably reviewed by national and international audiences, including his highly acclaimed Aviation/Ethics CLE available online at Lawline.com.
Paul Bowles devotes his law practice to helping large and small companies, individuals, and artists thrive and excel. He is known for his work in complex product liability and commercial litigation, chiefly in the aviation and transportation industries., where he represents Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies in a variety of matters across the United States, into Europe and South America. His wide range of experience helps clients succeed in tackling all aspects of litigation.
As a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on the Tort System, Mr. Bowles helps New York advance its tort legislation with a group of insightful lawyers and judges who bring myriad viewpoints to the table.
Robert A. Braun focuses on commercial disputes, product liability, and aviation litigation. From 1999 to 2004, Mr. Braun served as an active-duty JAG in the United States Air Force where he tried jury and bench trials and also participated in Aircraft Major Mishap Accident Investigation Boards. Prior to his military service, he completed a two-year federal clerkship with the Honorable J. P. Stadtmueller, in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Alisa specializes in complex personal injury litigation and products liability with a focus on aviation. Her successes, advocating on behalf of victims, are driven by a passion to make flying safer for everyone. She has experience working on experimental aircraft, helicopter, single engine, and commercial and charter airplane crashes.
In addition to representing travelers who have been injured on commercial flights, she also proudly represents pilots and flight attendants injured on airplanes. Alisa’s cases have been profiled by CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, The Today Show, Le Monde, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, CNN.com, NBC News L.A., and Macleans Magazine.
Alisa is a former Chair of the Aviation Section for the American Association of Justice, Aviation Section of the King County Bar Association, Chair of the Products Liability Section for the Washington State Association for Justice, and former Newsletter Editor for the Aviation Section of the National Trial Lawyers Association. In 2006 Alisa served as a founding board member of MAMAS, the Mother Attorney Mentoring Association of Washington. In 2007 Alisa served as President of King County Washington Women Lawyers. In 2010 Alisa was honored to be selected to speak at the Washington State Bar Association Best of CLE- Encore of Excellence. And in 2014 Alisa acted as Editor in Chief for the Washington State Association of Justice Product Liability Deskbook.
Other attorneys in the community often call on Alisa for her aviation law expertise. She has unique education in the field of aviation, having studied Air and Space Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Alisa moved to Seattle after attending Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. She lives with her husband, Matt Geise and their two daughters in Seattle.
Alisa is licensed to practice in Washington and admitted in the United States District Court Western District of Washington. She has been admitted pro hac vice in Alaska, California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Minnesota, and Arizona.
As general counsel for Phoenix Air Group in Cartersville, Georgia, Randall “Randy” G. Davis 79L spends about 80 percent of his time on the ground, dealing with the legal complexities that accompany one of the larger international air ambulance and special-mission companies in the world.
The rest of the time, Davis is airborne, flying missions around the world. Recently, he piloted one of several company missions to bring American citizens infected with Ebola back for treatment at Emory University and the University of Nebraska.
Thomas E. “Ted” Dunlap, Esq., is Counsel and Director of Client Relations at RTI. Prior to joining the company, Ted was a litigator in private practice, concentrating on civil litigation and coverage matters while assisting a wide variety of clients with maritime, aviation, product liability, general liability, commercial, and construction issues.
Ted is licensed to practice law in state and federal courts in Maryland and the District of Columbia. He is active on the Aviation and Admiralty Law Committees of the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, and he is a steering committee member on the DRI’s Aviation Law and Corporate Counsel Committees.
Ted’s legal, customer service, and business management experience combine for a unique background that allows him to develop bespoke solutions to the complex issues facing RTI’s sophisticated clientele. In addition, he helps ensure all RTI’s experts have an up to date understanding of the legal standards related to providing expert testimony and serves as an internal reliability consult throughout RTI’s peer review process for expert opinions and reports.
Senior Claims Specialist, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS)
Stephan A. Fisher is currently a Senior Claims Specialist in the aviation claims department at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty in New York. At Allianz, Mr. Fisher primarily handles passenger claims for bodily injury against major carriers. Prior to joining Allianz, Mr. Fisher was an attorney at Martinez & Ritorto, P.C. for 15 years, where he represented commercial airlines, aircraft and component part manufacturers, aircraft maintenance companies, aircraft owners and operators, ground handling companies, and FBOs in state, federal, and appellate courts.
Since graduating from Rutgers Law School in 2003, Mr. Fisher has been admitted to the State and Federal Bars of New York and New Jersey, the District Court of Puerto Rico, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Aircraft Accident Investigator and Aircraft Maintenance Specialist
Mark Fitzpatrick has extensive knowledge and experience as an aircraft accident investigator and aircraft maintenance specialist. Mark has over twenty-five years experience in commercial aviation and has completed certification in both aircraft accident investigation and aircraft appraisals. He continues to hold his Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) License. While at The Southern California Safety Institute, Mark completed courses in aircraft accident investigation, human factors for accident investigations, flight data analysis, gas turbine accident investigation, investigation management, bloodborne pathogen exposure (biohazard risk associated with aircraft accident investigation).
His experience also extends into interfacing maintenance items (DMI’s) from journal logs to computer program, summaries of aircraft reliability for daily briefings, origin and destination surveys, daily airport activity reports from flight operations, and synchronizing serviceable tags with maintenance logs.
Senior Aerospace Engineer with a specialty in Materials Science
Mike Gordon, PE, PEM, has more than twenty years of mechanical and aerospace engineering experience in space & defense programs as well as commercial & general aviation with a specialty in materials science.
Since 2010, he has been employed at a major General Aviation manufacturer as the Chief Engineer with responsibility for Liaison Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Materials & Processes (M&P) Engineering, Methods Engineering & Production Planning, Quality Engineering & Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE), and Technical Training. In this capacity, he has participated in and led design and testing efforts for numerous systems present on pressurized aircraft, including doors and door mechanisms. He has been delegated by the FAA as an ODA Engineering Unit Member for all M&P areas, design & construction, service documents, interior flammability, and fire protection of all structural areas (wings, fuselage, & empennage), landing gear, flight controls, door systems, interior arrangements, and major repair/alterations. Mr. Gordon serves as the technical authority on failure analyses of damaged hardware and supports air safety investigations for structure-related failures (including fatigue, corrosion, and environmental effects) as well as flammability issues.
Prior, he served 18 years on the Space Shuttle Program and served as the subsystem manager (SSM) of the Orbiter Leading Edge Structural Subsystem – including all reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) heatshield components, their attachment, and internal insulation. As SSM, he approved the certification of flight readiness for 26 missions (STS-108 through STS-132). Mr. Gordon was actively involved in the STS-107 Space Shuttle Columbia accident investigation (including leading the wing leading edge reconstruction and over a hundred hours of expert testimonies) and the two-year return to flight effort. Prior to the SSM appointment, he supported the Space Shuttle Program as a Senior M&P Engineer where he acquired the proficiency with procurement, production, processing, testing, analysis, design, certification, assembly, inspection, and repair of all material types (metallics, ceramics, polymers, & composites). He supported the Shuttle Program for a total of 86 missions (STS-49 to STS-132). Mr. Gordon earned the Advanced Level Systems Engineering certification from the largest aerospace manufacturer and has supported design and maintenance issues for structures and mechanical systems of a wide range of aircraft, spacecraft, and ground support equipment.
Justin Green joined Kreindler & Kreindler LLP in 1997 and became a firm partner in January of 2003. He focuses his practice on helping families of aviation disaster victims but also represents victims of other transportation accidents and mass torts.
As an aviation lawyer, Justin has successfully represented families in major aviation cases. These include major airline disasters, corporate airplane, and helicopter accidents, civil airplane and helicopter accidents and aviation accidents that have taken the lives of our fellow servicemen and women. He has authored numerous articles on aviation, product liability and wrongful death law.
A guest lecturer on aviation law at Fordham Law School, Justin has also spoken on aviation law and aviation safety at numerous professional conferences. He edits the leading treatise on U.S. aviation law: Kreindler, Aviation Accident Law published by Lexis/Nexis. Many newspaper and news programs have asked him to comment on aviation safety issues and to speak on the rights of aviation disaster victims.
Justin uses the skills he developed as an aviation lawyer to represent victims of other transportation accidents and the victims of corporate wrongdoing. Martindale-Hubbell Lists Justin as an “AV” peer-reviewed lawyer which is the highest rating awarded by the organization. Law & Politics, a publication of Key Professional Medial Inc., has named him a “Super Lawyer” since 2009.
Justin is a member of the American Association for Justice, where he is the immediate past chair of the aviation section. He belongs to the American Bar Association, where he served as vice-chair of the Torts and Insurance Practice’s aviation section, and as a member of the Air & Space Law Section. He is a board member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, and he is a member of New York’s Federal Bar Council and the New York City Bar Association, where he serves on the aeronautics committee.
Justin learned to fly in the United States Marine Corps and served as his squadron’s aviation safety officer after graduating from the Naval Postgraduate School’s aviation safety program/ He was responsible for his squadron’s aviation safety, and also for investigating accidents. He holds an airplane and helicopter commercial license from the Federal Aviation Administration; he is instrument-rated and has flight time in many different airplanes and helicopters.
He graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York, and earned his law degree from Fordham Law School in New York City.
Director; Accident Investigation Division (AVP-100) Federal Aviation Administration
Jeff Guzzetti has been the director of FAA’s Accident Investigation Division, AVP-100, for the past four years. This division is responsible for ensuring the integrity and implementation of FAA’s policies for all FAA investigations of aircraft accidents and incidents, including all foreign investigations that involve U.S. aviation products and operations. The division also serves as FAA’s primary liaison with the NTSB.
Jeff has nearly 30 years of experience in aviation safety. He began his career with the FAA in 1985 as an aerospace engineer trainee at the FAA Technical Center’s Aviation Safety Division in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Jeff later held positions in systems safety engineering and accident investigation for the Department of the Navy and the Cessna Aircraft Company. He then joined the NTSB in 1992 and investigated aircraft accidents and incidents for 18 years, first as a field investigator, then as an aerospace engineer for the “go-team,” then as the investigator-in-charge of major investigations, and finally as the Deputy Director for Regional Operations.
In August 2010, Jeff left the NTSB for an appointment as the Assistant Inspector General of Aviation Audits at the DOT’s Office of Inspector General (OIG). Jeff was responsible for the timely issuance of numerous audit reports and Congressional testimony regarding all FAA programs and has personally testified before Congress regarding aviation safety topics. In May 2014, Jeff left the DOT OIG to rejoin the world of accident investigation as the manager of the FAA’s Accident Investigation Division in Washington, DC.
Jeff graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a B.S. degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He is a commercial-rated pilot with multi-engine instrument ratings in airplanes, seaplanes, and gliders.
Christa Hinckley is a partner in LeClairRyan's Houston, Texas, office, but is primarily based in the Dallas Ft. Worth area. Her practice focuses on general corporate matters across transportation industries, with a particular depth of knowledge of transactions in the aviation industry. Her client list includes flight departments of national and international companies, high net individuals who own or operate personal aircraft, charter operators, transportation management companies, airlines, aviation maintenance technology companies, as well as companies that require transportation regulatory oversight.
Christa has significant experience handling a variety of transactional matters involving domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, regulatory compliance both domestically and internationally, international treaties, aircraft and engine purchases and sales, aircraft leasing and financing transactions, hangaring contracts, renovation and completion agreements, repair maintenance and overhaul agreements, and aircraft management and charter operations.
An experienced enterprise risk management attorney, Christa previously served as managing director of insurance and risk for American Airlines and its affiliates. In this capacity, she responded to four fatal accidents and the September 11 attacks as part of the airline's “go-team.” She also managed the legal and insurance aspects of American Airline’s participation in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Additionally, she served as one of the initial managing directors of the airline’s Customer Assistance Response Effort, which became one of the templates for other commercial airlines’ family assistance programs.
As a result of this experience, Christa counsels her clients on risk assessment and management, emergency response and preparedness, management of complex multidistrict litigation of insured claims, bodily injury and wrongful death mediation and settlement, resolution of first-party losses, such as property damage, hull losses, and business interruption claims. Christa has significant experience in aviation hull and liability insurance policies, including “War Risk” losses, and counsels her clients regularly on aviation insurance issues.
Christa also has a depth of experience with respect to workers’ compensation, professional liability, and premises liability insurance on behalf of a variety of businesses as well as those operating within the aviation industry.
Additionally, Christa provides pro bono counsel for the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas and is a member of the New York Committee supporting the Human Rights Watch.
Steve Hull is responsible for the aviation business in the UK and Europe. Steve has over 40 years in aviation; he has spent twenty-four of those years either working in or leading, airline safety departments.
He has investigated over 70 incidents and accidents and has led teams to investigate the causal factors and compile comprehensive reports that include recommendations to the airlines’ boards to prevent recurrence. Steve has extensive operational flight experience with over 8,500 flying hours as a flight engineer on the B747 and Concorde.
Steve was the editor of FLYWISE, the British Airways corporate safety magazine which was considered an industry leader and a benchmark in the reporting of safety information. He was the former Chairman of the UK Flight Safety Committee (UKFSC).
Steve presents to several major ‘Blue Chip’ companies including, Shell, BP, NATS, CAA Aviation Medics, Aviation Underwriters plus new pilots and engineers. He has also lectured at the European Centre of Aviation Training and he regularly lectures at Cranfield University on safety and accident investigation.
Steve is an Incorporated Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Membership Secretary of the European Society of Air Safety Investigators and was the initial airline lead investigator after the B777 accident at London Heathrow Airport in January 2008.
Mr. Lawler received a B.A. in Political Science from Tulane University in 1990 and graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2002. Before and while attending law school, Mr. Lawler served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps as a Weapons and Sensors Officer in the F/A-18D Hornet, including one tour as an instructor in the Hornet. He also served as a Forward Air Controller with an infantry battalion and deployed to the Persian Gulf during 1997-1998 in support of Operation Southern Watch.
From 2001 until he retired in 2018, Mr. Lawler was active in the Marine Corps Reserve where he held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was mobilized in support of the Global War on Terror in 2003 and again mobilized and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from November 2010 through May 2011. Mr. Lawler was hand-selected to conduct six military aircraft accident investigations, including four as the senior investigator of multi-fatality accidents that claimed a total of 31 lives, most recently the USMC KC-130 mishap in July 2017 near Greenwood, Mississippi. Mr. Lawler is also a private pilot with over 2,000 hours of combined military and civilian flight time and is still active as a contract simulator instructor in the F/A-18 simulators at MCAS Miramar, CA.
Since being admitted to the Bar in December 2002, Mr. Lawler has litigated numerous domestic and international aviation cases including mass commercial aircraft disasters, general aviation accidents and military mishaps, both helicopter and fixed wing. He now concentrates his practice in representing military Reservists/Guardsmen in employment disputes with their civilian employers for violations of USERRA. Mr. Lawler is admitted to the State Bar of California, United States District Court, Southern, Northern and Central Districts of California, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He is also a member of several professional organizations including the American Association for Justice, American Bar Association, and Lawyer Pilot Bar Association.
Donald G. Machalinski is a Partner in the Insurance practice at Tressler LLP. He concentrates in aviation, product, professional and premises liability litigation, and his practice also includes insurance coverage litigation. Don has an active casualty trial practice as well as an appellate practice for both liability and coverage matters.
Don has achieved an AV® Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence. In 2016, Don was selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers®. He is also a licensed pilot.
Since entering private practice after serving as a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney, Michael McGrory has represented airlines, airports, aircraft owners and manufacturers in business disputes and lawsuits arising out of accidents. Mike has a unique ability to stay focused and even-keeled even in times of disaster. He takes a thoughtful and direct approach to advising clients in the areas of aviation and aerospace law, commercial litigation, regulatory compliance, and the emerging medical cannabis field.
His non-aviation work involves advising businesses, governmental entities, insurers and insurance brokers in commercial and tort litigation. Having grown up in a police family, Mike is especially proud of his successes defending police officers accused of civil rights violations.
Mike has held a variety of leadership positions in bar and industry organizations and has also demonstrated great commitment to his community. He is particularly passionate about his work on the board of directors for Mental Health America of Illinois, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving treatment and care available to those who suffer from mental and emotional disorders.
Senior Vice President & Airline Claims Division Manager, USAIG
Sherry J. Ortiz, Senior Vice President, Airline Claims Division Manager, United States Aircraft Insurance Group, (USAIG) handles Airline, General Aviation and Manufacturing claims, including special projects, litigation management, claims process management, airline emergency response and Family Assistance Act guidance, trial preparation, legal research, and investigation. Before joining USAIG, Sherry was employed at Trope & DeCarolis, LLP in Los Angeles, the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Regional Counsel for the New England Region, the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts, Roxbury Public Defenders and various legal aid entities.
Sherry graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a B.S. in Aerospace Studies, Magna Cum Laude, including minors in Aviation Safety, Aircraft Accident Investigation, Atmospheric Environmental Science, and Humanities. At Embry-Riddle Sherry was elected as President of the Student Body and served on the Board of Trustees, a member of Sigma Tau Delta (National English Honor Society), Omicron Delta Kappa (National Leadership Honor Society), Staff Reporter for the campus newspaper (The Avion), recognized as the Outstanding Graduate for her degree program and awarded the Jay Adams Community Service Award. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Boston College Law School in 2003. She is admitted to practice law in the Courts of New York. Law school awards and accomplishments include winner of the ABA Negotiation competition and member of the Boston College National Negotiation Competition Team, member of the Boston College National Mock Trial Team and ABA regional finalist, and co-chair of the Board of Student Advisors.
Sherry’s volunteer work includes being a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) at the Edelman's Children’s Court in Los Angeles and a volunteer attorney at the Irish Immigration Center in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association, IAWA, Wings Club and Mensa. Sherry has been a pilot for more than 20 years.
James E. Robinson is a partner in the Gordon & Rees Philadelphia office. His practice includes products liability, aviation, commercial litigation, construction and appellate matters. Jim’s clients include major aviation manufacturers, commercial airlines, Part 135 operators, FBOs, certified Repair Stations and aviation insurers. He has handled wrongful death and survival actions, ground handling claims, passenger injury claims, commercial disputes, and aviation product recalls, in a number of jurisdictions around the country, at trial and on appeal.
Jim recently completed a Second ment as in-house counsel to a major aviation manufacturer, which included the negotiation of non-disclosure agreements and vendor contracts, negotiation and resolution of vendor disputes and warranty claims, review and approval of FAA requests, company collaboration and partnering agreements, review of service publications, and various intellectual property issues and disputes. Jim is a regular speaker on aviation law and litigation – most recently on the management of concurrent civil and criminal actions arising from aviation accidents. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the DRI Aviation Law Committee.
Jim has an active pro bono practice, as a volunteer Child Advocate, representing children who are the victims of abuse, neglect, dependency or crime for which he has been repeatedly recognized by the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. Jim serves on the Board of the Support Center for Child Advocates.
James F. Rodriguez is a Washington, D.C., attorney who focuses his practice on litigation and dispute resolution. Mr. Rodriguez is a former U.S. Air Force military attorney and satellite engineer. More recently, he served as an Assistant General Counsel with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). His practice focuses on representing the firm's transportation industry clients in accident investigations conducted by the NTSB, accident claims and litigation, mass-disaster litigation, litigation related to space launch and satellite operations, and transportation regulatory matters. He also advises clients on export, import, and related trade issues, as well as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and referrals.
While at the NTSB, Mr. Rodriguez served as the lead agency attorney for major investigations in all modes of transportation, including those of the sinking of the El Faro cargo ship, the crash of the first SpaceShipTwo commercial spacecraft, the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 and the battery fire on a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 at Boston's Logan International Airport. He also was lead agency counsel for investigations of the pipeline explosion in Sissonville, W.Va., the Seastreak ferry accident in New York City, the bridge collapse over the Skagit River in northwestern Washington, the collision between a Metrolink train and a pickup truck in Oxnard, Calif., and the Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia.
Mr. Rodriguez provided the NTSB with extensive knowledge on export control issues, advising on licensing requirements and control of information subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). He liaised with the U.S. Department of State's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) on ITAR matters and the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) on EAR matters, as well as the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on the applicability of economic embargoes to entities involved in NTSB investigations. Mr. Rodriguez was also the lead agency attorney for information law issues. He advised the agency on administrative appeals and litigation under the FOIA, Privacy Act matters, along with the agency's handling of trade secret and confidential commercial information. In addition, Mr. Rodriguez served as an instructor for NTSB Training Center Accident Investigation Courses in Ashburn, Va.
Prior to his work at the NTSB, Mr. Rodriguez was an intellectual property litigation associate at two large law firms, focusing primarily on patent litigation. During that time, he worked on patent litigations involving satellite communications, aircraft avionics, computer networks, speech synthesis, medical devices and handheld music players, as well as copyright disputes surrounding video games. He also is experienced in contract litigation and arbitration over satellite launch failures and government contract teaming agreements. Mr. Rodriguez served in the U.S. Air Force's Judge Advocate General's Corps as a reserve judge advocate. He achieved the grade of major before leaving the service.
Prior to law school, Mr. Rodriguez worked as an engineer for the U.S. Air Force and private industry on military and commercial satellite programs. He managed 100-plus person launch and early orbit checkout teams for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, installed command and control systems, conducted developmental and operational testing of 13-meter antennas near Fairbanks, Alaska, and developed satellite scheduling software. Mr. Rodriguez is an instrument-rated, commercial pilot and certified flight instructor with approximately 560 flight hours in single-engine aircraft. He previously served as squadron commander for a Civil Air Patrol volunteer search and rescue squadron operating out of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas.
Daniel Rose joined Kreindler & Kreindler LLP in 1997 and became a partner in 2004. He specializes in aviation, maritime and products liability accident litigation. Mr. Rose has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Binghamton University and is a graduate of Fordham University Law School, where he was on the Dean’s List and a member of the Fordham International Law Journal. After law school, he served as Law Clerk to United States District Court Judge Paul V. Gadola in the Eastern District of Michigan. Before attending law school, Mr. Rose served in the United States Navy as a carrier-based attack pilot on board the U.S.S. Independence, where he participated in Desert Shield. Mr. Rose is a licensed commercial multi-engine airplane and seaplane pilot with instrument ratings. He has accumulated over 1,500 hours of flight time.
Mr. Rose has handled numerous commercial airline, commuter, military and general aviation crash cases, including the American Airlines Flight 587, SwissAir Flight 111, Comair 5191 and Colgan/Continental Flight 3407 litigations. He has prosecuted numerous product liability cases involving a wide range of aviation products including engines, fuel systems, autopilot systems, avionics and flight control systems against various defendants including Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Airbus, Raytheon, Beech, Cirrus, Cessna, Mitsubishi and Piper. Mr. Rose has also prosecuted numerous maritime negligence and wrongful death claims under the Jones Act, the Death On the High Seas Act and the General Maritime Law against various defendants including Lockheed Martin, Vulcan Materials, Bean, Moran and other maritime employers as well as passenger claims against cruise lines such as Princess and Carnival and claims arising out of the tour boat capsizing on Lake George.
Mr. Rose has also prosecuted numerous products liability cases involving automotive defects including claims against Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Volvo. Mr. Rose has tried cases in federal and state courts. Mr. Rose is admitted to the bars of New York and New Jersey, the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York, the District of New Jersey, the Western District of Michigan, the Northern District of Illinois and the Northern District of Florida. He is also admitted to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, where he has successfully argued appeals. He has appeared pro hac vice in numerous courts throughout the United States. Mr. Rose is the current Chair of the American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation & Space Law Committee and the current Chair of the American Association for Justice (“AAJ”) Aviation Law Section; and is a member of the AAJ Admiralty Law Section; the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Aeronautics Committee; the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Mr. Rose is an approved volunteer pilot for the Veterans Airlift Command (www.veteransairlift.org) where he flies wounded veterans of Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes.
Lisa J. Savitt is a Partner in The Axelrod Firm’s Washington, DC office where she handles international and domestic litigation and alternative dispute resolution, representing foreign and domestic companies in matters involving complex legal, regulatory and technical issues in state and federal courts around the U.S. She has worked with counsel around the U.S. and in many foreign countries. Her extensive industry experience includes representing clients in the aviation, insurance, chemical, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors. Lisa has handled multi-party product liability cases, tort cases, and commercial disputes. She also counsels clients on commercial and business-related issues such as product liability and risk management as well as crisis management.
Ms. Savitt’s litigation experience includes working with experts in a number of fields including electrical experts, engine experts, metallurgical experts, accident reconstruction experts, forensic pathologists and economic experts. Ms. Savitt's work has included counseling clients and working with counsel globally on matters involving cross-border litigation and application of law from both civil and common law jurisdictions. Lisa is a former Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of International Law and currently serves on the ABA Rule of Law Initiative Council for the Middle East and North Africa and is the Section’s liaison to the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. She is a founding member and former President of the International Aviation Women's Association. Lisa is also on the Board of the non-profit organization A Child for All (www.acfacorp.org) which helps vulnerable children in Mali.
Lisa is a frequent speaker and writer on international litigation issues. Presentations in which she has served as a panelist include “Aviation Challenges and Legal Responses,” at the International Aviation Women's Association 29th Annual Conference, Berlin, Germany, “Helicopter Crash Litigation,” AVICON Conference, Stevensville, Maryland, “Trying the Aviation Case: Ethical and Practical Pitfalls from Experienced Aviation Counsel,” at the Aviation Insurance Association Annual Conference, “The Challenges of Defending Litigation in the Mexican, Canadian and U.S. Judicial Systems” at the ABA Section of International Law North American Forum in Vancouver, “International Litigation in the United States Involving Foreign Parties,” at the Korean Bar Association in Seoul, Korea, and “In the Tentacles of the U.S. Civil Justice System and How EU Companies Can Prepare For It – An Update,” at the Wolf Theiss Litigation Forum in Vienna. She has also served as moderator and speaker at a number of other international and commercial litigation forums.
Michael J. Schofield has a broad-based civil litigation practice. He has experience in aviation, construction, commercial, insurance coverage and disputes, product liability, and general liability. He is a Certified Mediator and Qualified Arbitrator in Florida, and Mediator and Arbitrator in Alabama. He also serves as an arbitrator, and neutral in other ADR matters. Michael is also an approved continuing education instructor for subjects related to insurance claims, including Property & Casualty, Industrial Fire, Adjuster Ethics, Adjuster Law, Health Law, General Lines and Premium Discounts/Mitigation options. Mike is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit and Fifth Circuit Courts, all U.S. District Courts in the State of Florida, and all U.S. District Courts in the State of Alabama.
Mike earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in 1980 and his Juris Doctor from the University of Florida College of Law in 1983 with appellate advocacy honors. Mike also holds a Master’s degree in Theology (Apologetics) from Luther Rice University and Seminary.
Mike is distinguished by being the only Florida Board Certified Specialist in Aviation Law in the entire Florida Panhandle. In his spare time, Mike is an instrument-rated commercial pilot and flies multi-engine and single-engine aircraft, with about 1000 hours of pilot time.
Michael J. Schofield is licensed to practice in Florida and Alabama.
Chief, Major Investigations, Office of Aviation Safety
Joe Sedor joined the Office of Aviation Safety in September 1998 and became Chief of the Major Investigations division in October 2012. The Major Investigations division is responsible for and manages the Investigator in Charges (IIC) for all domestic air carrier accident/incident investigations, such as Asiana flight 214, or as U.S. Accredited Representatives in accordance with ICAO Annex 13 for foreign air carrier investigations, such as Malaysian Airlines flight 370. The division is also responsible for leading investigations into any FAA licensed commercial space launch/reentry accidents such as the SpaceShip2 accident. Mr. Sedor began his career with the Safety Board as a Systems Investigator and became a Major Investigation IIC in 2001.
Prior to joining the Safety Board, Mr. Sedor was a flight test engineer/pilot with the Cessna Aircraft Company where he worked primarily on the development and certification of the Citation X business jet. Mr. Sedor has a BSE in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, and an MS from the University of Tennessee Space Institute.
Tracy is an experienced aviation defense attorney who joined AIG Aerospace in September 2015, as a claims attorney handling global aircraft products claims. Tracy obtained a Bachelors of Business Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2002 with a major in Marketing and minor in Computer Applications, and a Juris Doctor degree from Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005 with an additional Certificate in Dispute Resolution.
Tracy began her career in Chicago with Merlo Kanofsky Gregg & Machalinski, defending general aviation claims, airport premises claims, and aircraft products claims. While at MKG&M, Tracy gained significant major accident experience representing Southwest Airlines in litigation arising from the Flight 1248 accident and representing Comair in litigation arising from the Flight 5191 accident. Tracy defended Southwest against the wrongful death claim asserted on behalf of the minor on the ground and his family as well as the suits filed by passengers for bodily injury and emotional distress. In defending Southwest, Tracy assisted with aircraft/wreckage inspection and retention and all phases of litigation including preparing and participating in a focus group which assisted in evaluating settlement and ultimately led to the settlement of the wrongful death claim stemming from the accident. At MKG&M, Tracy went on to work extensively on Comair Flight 5191. Tracy spent considerable time working from Comair headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio on the defense of Comair. Tracy assisted with the defense of all claims and lawsuits filed against Comair for the 47 passengers and 2 crew members killed in the crash. During the defense of Comair, Tracy drafted a motion for summary judgment, ultimately granted by the Court, which dismissed the Plaintiffs’ claim for punitive damages against Comair filed in the last remaining suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
Tracy later joined the law firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith in Atlanta, Georgia, as a partner, where she continued to defend aviation industry clients. Since joining AIG, Tracy has worked extensively on aviation products litigation and has been involved with handling airline, airport and coverage litigation.
Tracy is also actively involved with DRI (Defense Research Institute) and other aviation legal organizations. Tracy is a member of the DRI Aviation Law Steering Committee and DRI Corporate Counsel Steering Committee.
Mr. Stern brings to the law practical experience in, and knowledge of, the aviation industry. He has worked as an aviation research analyst, writing amendments to the Federal Aviation Regulations, a flight instructor, preparing students for their private and commercial pilot and instrument rating exams, and an air traffic controller, guiding airliners to a safe landing at Washington National Airport. Since transitioning to the practice of law in the mid-1980s, Mr. Stern has represented airlines, aerospace manufacturers, aerospace insurers, airmen, and other aviation businesses and individuals. In addition to handling product defect, premises liability, personal injury, negligence, and civil rights cases, he counsels clients on difficult insurance coverage and claims handling issues.
Mr. Stern has been ranked in Chambers for the last several years. Comments have included: "Clients say he is 'responsive and highly skilled.'" (2018); "very, very bright and articulate. He knows the ins and outs of cases and is quite formidable in oral argument" (2017); "He draws upon his significant industry experience to provide excellent representation to a client base of airlines, insurers, manufacturers and other aerospace entities" (2017); "highly professional and competent" (2016); "noted for his knowledge of federal pre-emption, insurance coverage disputes and civil rights claims against airlines" (2016); "outstanding [with an] ability to communicate persuasively and credibly and to demonstrate the salient factors of the case" (2015); a "trusted advisor" to his clients (2014).
The Legal 500 USA has listed Mr. Stern since 2014, describing him as a "highly experienced aviation law attorney" who "brings a depth of knowledge to bear." Mr. Stern is a frequent guest speaker and prolific author of articles and books on aviation and the law. He focuses his pro bono efforts on the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, and, as a member of the Project's Screening Committee, reviews claims of actual innocence by incarcerated persons. He also volunteers his time to Oasis, where he teaches senior citizens on uses of technology.
Mr. Tochen focuses on aviation matters related to accident investigations, accident prevention, and regulatory and compliance issues, as well as non-aviation interstate transportation matters.
Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Tochen served as general counsel at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB); deputy chief counsel at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT); and deputy assistant general counsel for environmental, civil rights, and general law at the DOT. As NTSB general counsel, he led the effort to revise agency regulations, including investigative procedures, and prepared an agreement regarding the sharing of aviation safety data among air carriers.
During his tenure at the DOT, he served as the lead attorney in the establishment of the Transportation Security Administration following 9/11. He also was the lead attorney in establishing drug and alcohol testing programs for over 19,000 USDOT/FAA employees performing safety-sensitive duties.
Robert, who has been practicing law in South Florida for more than 25 years, founded TorricellaLaw to pursue a practice that allowed for more personal service to the firm’s clients while providing a family environment to its lawyers and staff. Based upon the recommendation of peers in the industry, Martindale Hubbell has rated him AV Preeminent® for his work in aviation, business, construction defect, general liability, products liability, professional liability, premises liability and real estate litigation. During his career, he has litigated matters arising from both domestic and foreign incidents, including serving in oversight and intermediary roles liaising with foreign counsel handling criminal and civil investigations, as well as related civil litigation in matters that ultimately may be pursued in courts in the United States. He is best known for his representation of ExcelAire and its pilots in the aftermath of the 2006 crash of GOL Airlines Flight 1907. Robert was inducted as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an honorary society of trial lawyers. He is a married father of two and he and his family are active in the South Florida community, particularly in charities focused on children with autism and other special needs and their families.
Diane Westwood Wilson has a global practice, representing clients internationally and nationally, with particular expertise in the aviation insurance industry in matters involving airlines, aerospace, aviation, product liability and insurance coverage. In addition, she has over 30 years of complex and multijurisdictional commercial litigation and arbitration experience.
Among other significant matters, Diane represented EL AL Israel Airlines, Ltd., in the landmark United States Supreme Court multilateral treaty case establishing that the Montreal Convention is the exclusive cause of action, barring recovery under any other alternative theory of liability. In addition to handling the Supreme Court proceedings, Ms. Wilson tried the case in the Southern District of New York and argued the appeal in the 2nd Circuit. (EL AL Israel Airlines v. Tseng). She also represented the airline defendants in the Chan v. Korean Air and Olympic Airways v. Hussain Supreme Court cases, and she has been involved in numerous other petitions to the Supreme Court.
Diane provides strategic counseling and representation to a wide variety of airlines, airports, and manufacturers in the aerospace and other industries in state and federal courts, as well as assisting them in long-term strategic business decisions.
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