WASHINGTON (January 27, 2017) – James F. Rodriguez, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) assistant general counsel, has joined Holland & Knight as a senior counsel in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. Mr. Rodriguez will focus his practice on representing Holland & Knight’s transportation industry clients in NTSB accident investigations, accident claims and litigation, and mass-disaster litigation, as well as advising clients on export, import and related trade issues.
During his tenure at the NTSB, Mr. Rodriguez served as lead counsel 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 spaceplane, the crash of Asiana Flight 214 and the battery fire on a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 at Boston’s Logan International Airport. He also was lead counsel for the pipeline explosion in Sissonville, W.Va.; the Seastreak ferry accident in New York City; the Skagit River, Washington, bridge collapse; the collision between a Metrolink train and a pickup truck in Oxnard, Calif.; and the Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia.
Mr. Rodriguez is one of two former NTSB senior attorneys now at Holland & Knight. Former NTSB general counsel Gary Halbert joined the firm in 2011, also in Washington.
“Jim’s experience as counsel for some of the NTSB’s highest profile investigations in recent years will be of great value to our clients across the transportation industry,” said John Hogan, chair of Holland & Knight’s Litigation Section. “With Jim joining our team, no law firm is in a better position to help clients navigate the NTSB investigation process following a major transportation accident, whether aviation, railroad, pipeline, hazardous materials, marine or highway.”
“Holland & Knight is well known for its legal work in the area of accident investigation and litigation,” said Mr. Rodriguez. “I am proud to be joining some of the best practitioners in this area of the law.”
Mr. Rodriguez was a captain in the U.S. Air Force and a major in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, including serving in the Judge Advocate General Corps and as an engineer on military satellite programs. He also is an instrument-rated commercial pilot and certified flight instructor. He received a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a J.D. degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. After graduating from law school, Mr. Rodriguez was an associate with Kirkland & Ellis, then Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
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