Find Lawyers in Chicago, Illinois for Aviation Law
Practice Area Overview
An Aviation Law attorney provides counsel and planning in all segments of the aviation industry. The attorneys in this practice area focus their practice on flight, air travel, associated legal and business concerns, the operation of aircraft, and the maintenance of aviation facilities. This highly specialized field requires a comprehensive knowledge of FAA regulations, specific laws regarding flight, and an in-depth understanding of aviation.
Throughout history, Congress has enacted several federal laws pertaining to air navigation. Congress passed the Federal Aviation Act in 1958, establishing the Federal Aviation Administration. Since then, several subsequent federal acts, including the Airport and Airway Development Act of 1970 and the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, have further regulated aviation.
In the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress enacted the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001, which established a Transportation Security Administration in the Department of Transportation (TSA). The TSA now resides in the Department of Homeland Security.
While state governments have created administrative agencies and enacted statutes and regulations in effort to regulate air traffic, register aircraft, and regulate pilots, aviation is, for the most part, governed by federal law. Accordingly, states are prohibited from regulating rates, routes, or services of any air carrier authorized under the Federal Aviation Act to provide interstate air transportation. States are not prohibited, however, from enacting their own laws consistent with federal laws, or from altering existing remedies under state law. Additionally, Federal law does not preempt state products liability law, and in many defective product cases, aviation manufacturers may be held strictly liable.
Aviation attorneys must be prepared to represent airmen and operators and provide solutions and legal advice in areas including:
- Advising airport authorities and airport operators
- Aircraft Accidents and incidents
- Aircraft use policies to cover personal use, carriage of political candidates, SEC reporting, and related matters
- Airman enforcement matters
- Airmen medial matters
- Compliance issues with existing federal and state laws
- Maintenance and airworthiness issues
- FAA matters
- FAA legal interpretations and FAR interpretations
- Insurance coverage and risk management
- Part 91 Operations
- Part 135 Operations, Certification, and training issues
- Personal use of company aircraft, and related income recognition, deduction limitation, and SEC disclosure issues
- Purchasing, selling, and leasing fractional shares of aircraft
- Repair station issues
- Security Plan Preparation and Review and Security related issues
- State tax matters and audits regarding sales and use tax, and county property tax
- Tax aspects of buying, selling, and financing aircraft, like kind exchanges and state sales and use tax planning
- TSA compliance issues
The practice of Aviation law also can include representation at both the federal and state court levels on behalf of persons who are suffering from loss or injury due to an aircraft tragedy.
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Tracy Brammeier is no stranger to tort law, having worked as a clerk at the firm for years and then jumping into courtroom work and complex tort cases. In fact, her intelligence and legal acumen have led her to already have worked on some of the biggest lawsuits filed at the firm, led by partners directing the cases. She works closely with partner Kevin P. Durkin handling many transportation accident matters. Tracy has worked on several cases involving bicyclists struck by trucks, a man who s...
Bob Clifford is the founder of Clifford Law Offices, which concentrates its practice in helping victims of personal injury, medical malpractice, mass torts, consumer and health care fraud, product liability, and aviation and transportation disasters. Bob regularly handles complex damage cases and routinely receives multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. Mr. Clifford has represented those injured or killed in every major commercial airline crash in the U.S. in the last three decades. C...
Thomas A. Demetrio is a trial lawyer with an emphasis on medical negligence, product liability, airplane crash and commercial litigation on behalf of plaintiffs. He is Past President of the Chicago Bar Association and Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. He is a fellow of: The American College of Trial Lawyers The International Academy of Trial Lawyers The Inner Circle of Advocates Tom has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since its inception in 1987 and was named by Best Lawyers as the C...
Kevin Durkin is a partner at Clifford Law Offices. Over a career that spans more than 35 years, Mr. Durkin has successfully represented clients in many practice areas, including: Aviation accident litigation and transportation liability Truck, railroad and automobile litigation Premises liability and negligent security Medical malpractice Mr. Durkin has been named a top-tier attorney by U.S. News-Best Lawyers in the areas of personal injury litigation, aviation law and product liability since...
Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, John grew up working in his family’s restaurant and then stayed local attending both Northwestern University (B.A.) and Notre Dame Law School (J.D.). As a first generation Greek American, John witnessed the difficulties that immigrants can experience while adapting to a new culture. He also experienced the importance of community in helping people to assimilate and understand how to become part of that new culture. He is fluent in Greek and has b...
Chicago trial attorney Brian LaCien is a founding partner of Smith LaCien LLP. He has a broad range of experience in the areas of medical malpractice, professional negligence, wrongful death, class actions, trucking litigation, product liability, aviation negligence, civil rights violations and premises liability. LaCien and Todd A. Smith, also a founding partner, have a long track record of achieving exceptional results for clients, with more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements and o...
Biography: Todd A. Smith, Founding Partner, Smith LaCien LLP Making Access to Justice a Personal Crusade A native of Evanston, Ill., and with a law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Todd A. Smith, a founding partner with Brian LaCien of Smith LaCien LLP, has practiced law for over 40 years. He has won some of the largest multi-million dollar jury awards and settlements in serious personal injury, product liability, wrongful death, and medical malpractice cases in Illinois. ...
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