Jim Rodriguez

Senior Counsel
  • T 202.469.5261

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 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.

Not yet admitted to the District of Columbia bar; admitted to California bar only and practicing under supervision of lawyers licensed to practice in the District of Columbia.

Honors & Awards

  • National Transportation Safety Board, Distinguished Employee Award
  • U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate Staff Officer Course, Robert L. Lowry Award

Memberships

  • International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
  • Arizona Law Review
  • Order of the Coif