Aviation Law in New York
7 Times Square, 10036, New York, New York
Condon & Forsyth LLP is widely recognized as the leading specialist law firm in the United States in the area of aviation and aerospace law. While best known for our unparalleled expertise in commercial airline accident investigations and litigation, our attorneys are uniquely qualified and experienced in every aspect of aviation and aerospace law, including product liability, mass disaster and emergency response, aircraft finance, commercial transactions, class actions, and regulatory issues. Our goal is to ensure that our aviation and aerospace clients and their insurers obtain the best financial and legal results considering the unique circumstances of each case.
We have successfully handled virtually every conceivable legal issue for airlines, manufacturers and their insurers, including wrongful death, personal injury, property damage and cargo claims, as well as delay, denied boarding, sexual assault and discrimination claims. Our attorneys have litigated at the trial level and on appeal many of the landmark legal precedents in aviation law, particularly relating to the Warsaw and Montreal Conventions.
We have represented clients in many major commercial airline disaster litigations and their attendant government investigations. Many of our attorneys have aviation industry experience or are former or current military and commercial pilots, and regularly represent clients during accident investigations conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). We also assist our airline clients in the development and implementation of air carrier family assistance plans that ensure that airline personnel respond appropriately in the event of an accident.
The firm has handled, on a recurring basis, such tasks for its aviation and aerospace clients as:
- Providing advice about, and preparing contract documentation for, aircraft and equipment purchases, leases and financing;
- Representing aviation and aerospace entities in DOT and FAA enforcement proceedings for hazardous material violations, Federal Aviation Regulation violations, passenger complaints and alleged violations of cargo shipping sanctions to certain countries;
- Advising clients on International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) issues;
- Assuring compliance with U.S. employment laws affecting foreign and locally engaged staff, including issues of wrongful termination and discrimination;
- Obtaining licenses (foreign air carrier permits, renewals, operating exemptions);
- Preparing airlines and foreign governments for bilateral discussions on such issues as fifth freedom rights, third country code sharing and open skies;
- Advising airlines on the antitrust aspects of code sharing, alliances and other airline cooperative agreements and the need for antitrust immunity;
- Assisting airlines in obtaining or trading High-Density Airport Landing Slots;
- Obtaining charter authority and operational authorizations for blocked space arrangements, codeshares and wet leases;
- Handling U.S. customs and immigration problems relating to passengers and cargo and representing clients in front of the U.S. Customs and Border Protections and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies;
- Representing clients before airport authorities in regard to leases of airport premises, gates, user fees and other operational issues;
- Advising airlines on DOT advertising rules and standards;
- Assisting airlines on tariff and noise regulation requirements;
- Preparing comments on proposed regulatory measures impacting our aviation and aerospace clients;
- Preparing and reviewing U.S. aircraft registrations, lien recordings at the FAA in Oklahoma City and U.C.C. filings in Washington, D.C.; and
- Preparing and reviewing contracts with travel agents and wholesalers, charter contracts, freight-forwarder contracts, maintenance and spare parts contracts and passenger and cargo handler contracts.
Our attorneys also author The Liability Reporter, published annually under the auspices of the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) and are instructors at the IATA Aviation Training and Development Institute. Due to their exceptional experience in the aviation and aerospace sector, our attorneys are also frequent lecturers at various legal and industry conferences throughout the world.
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Dave’s practice is primarily focused on aviation and aerospace law, including accident investigation and litigation. Dave has significant experience representing numerous aviation and aerospace companies, including foreign and domestic air carriers and aircraft manufacturers in complex civil litigation and in cases involving claims for wrongful death and personal injury, product liability, premises liability, breach of contract and breach of warranty. In addition, he has significant experience in handling accident investigations, complex liability issues, damages assessment and settlement negotiations. Having litigated claims governed by the Warsaw and Montreal Conventions, Dave is also well versed in international aviation treaties and federal aviation statutes. Dave has been lead trial counsel in a major mass disaster trial, has been lead counsel in an international arbitration, argued in the appellate court, and has mediated numerous cases.
Dave has extensive and practical knowledge of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation procedures and is highly experienced with the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act of 1996. He has advised numerous air carriers and aircraft manufacturers on how to prepare for and what to expect during an NTSB investigation and was asked by the NTSB to give a special presentation to its Board Members and investigators on the role of outside counsel during the course of an NTSB accident investigation.
His practice area has now expanded into the field of UAS/UAV/drone law and he also is experienced in space law, having been lead counsel in an international arbitration related to a satellite loss. He has successfully taken a lead role in the settlement negotiations of more than 250 wrongful death cases arising from the 2001 American Airlines Flight 587 accident, the second-worst aviation disaster in U.S. history. Dave has defended a foreign aircraft manufacturer in a military jet accident that involved the government-contractor defense, as well as having represented airline pilots, on behalf of an air carrier, in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enforcement proceedings and working alongside corporate aviation departments in various regulatory matters, including finance and leasing negotiations and Part 121 and 135 start-up activities.
Dave was counsel for American Airlines during the NTSB investigation and multi-district litigation arising from the 1999 Flight 1420 accident at Little Rock, Arkansas and was counsel to UPS (United Parcel Service) in the NTSB investigation of the DC-8 accident at Philadelphia International Airport that was the subject of an NTSB Public Hearing in July 2006. Most recently, Dave was lead trial counsel for Colgan Air in the February 12, 2009, crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407, near Buffalo, NY.
Prior to entering private practice, Dave served in the United States Navy for 10 years as a naval aviator, flying the F-14B Tomcat, as well as performing operational intelligence work for the Office of Naval Intelligence, personally developing and delivering threat capability briefs to numerous Navy and Marine Corps units as well as to senior Naval leadership. He also holds a commercial pilot’s license as well as a mechanical engineering degree.
Dave is an active member of the American Bar Association (and was formerly the Chair of Aviation and Space Law Committee of the Torts Trial and Insurance Practice Section), the Defense Research Institute and the Tailhook Association.
Dave is consistently recognized for his expertise by independent evaluators such as Chambers, The Legal 500 United States, and WhosWhoLegal. Most recently, the 2018 edition of WhosWhoLegal: Aviation states that “CONDON & FORSYTH boasts the foremost aviation offering in [North America]” and that Dave “receives plaudits from international peers who commend his superb work representing air carriers, manufacturers and aviation companies in relation to complex claims.” Dave was described in The Legal 500 United States as being “hugely experienced in both litigation and NTSB related matters.” He also is listed as Leading Aviation Attorney by Aviation Expert Guides.
Published Works and Presentations
Moderator, Aviation Insurance Roundtable panel discussion on Recent Trends Affecting Aviation Insurance at the American Conference Institute’s (ACI) Aviation Claims & Litigation held in New York (June 27-28, 2016).
Author, “3-D Printing: The Future of Aircraft Manufacturing.” ExpertGuides Aviation, 2016.
Co-Author, “Toxic Cabin Air Litigation Continues to Recirculate Through the Courts.” The Brief (Summer 2016).
Speaker, ABA TIPS Aviation and Space Law Annual CLE Seminar, Washington, D.C. (October 22-23, 2015). Dave spoke on a panel regarding Additive (3D) Printing: The Future of Aircraft Manufacturing.
Co-Author, “The Odd Man Out: An Air Carrier’s Obligation to Ground Victims under the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act.” The Brief. (Spring 2014).
Speaker, ABA TIPS Aviation and Space Law Annual CLE Seminar, Washington, D.C. (October 17-18, 2013). Dave spoke on a panel regarding nanotechnology. “Nanotechnology: Very Little Things that May Cause Really Big Problems.”
Speaker and Moderator, ABA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (August 8-12, 2013). Dave moderated and spoke on the CLE panel “How to Handle an NTSB Investigation: Avoiding Pitfalls and Protecting Your Client.”
Speaker, 83rd Annual Association of Transportation Law Professional, Chicago, Illinois (June 14-15, 2012). Dave gave a presentation on how to assist your client through an investigation by the NTSB.
Wrongful Death Litigation Arising Out of the Continental Connection Flight 3407 Accident: A Federal Court Compels Plaintiff to Produce a Broad Array of Damages Discovery, Including Social Media. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Alert (December 2011).
The Odd Man Out: An Air Carrier’s Obligation to Ground Victims Under the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act. ABA TIPS Disaster Preparedness Teleconference Series, Aviation and Space Law Committee (September 6, 2011).
Court Holds that the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 Preempts State Law Standards of Care. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Alert (July 2011).
Toxic Cabin Air Litigation Continues to Recirculate Through the Courts. Condon & Forsyth LLP Newsletter (Winter 2011).
Contributor, The Liability Reporter, published jointly by IATA and Condon & Forsyth LLP. (14th ed., February 2011).
Toxic Cabin Air Litigation Continues to Recirculate Through the Courts. The Air & Space Lawyer, v.23, no. 2 (2010).
Top Ten Safety Recommendations When Representing a Party to an NTSB Investigation. 43rd Annual SMU Air Law Symposium, Dallas, Texas (February 27, 2009).
Speaker, Ethical Issues Arising in Aviation Accident Litigation. ABA TIPS Aviation and Space Law Litigation National Program (October 17, 2008).
Speaker, Presentation to NTSB Board Members, legal department, and investigators regarding the role of outside counsel in NTSB investigations (October 15, 2008).
Speaker, Dealing with the NTSB, Patterson MacDougal and Alexander Holburn 8th Annual Aviation Conference (February 8, 2007).
Speaker, Critical Cases in Aviation Litigation, ABA, Section of Litigation, Aviation Litigation Seminar (June 1, 2006).
Speaker, Recent Developments in Aviation Discovery. ABA-TIPS, Aviation & Space Law Committee Seminar (October 1, 2004).
Speaker, NTSB Family Assistance Issues. ABA, Section of Litigation, Aviation Litigation Seminar (June 1, 2003).Show more +