Over the years, Holland & Knight has probably done as much or more legal work for U.S. and foreign clients involving every facet of aviation as any other firm in the United States.
The single largest component of our aviation litigation practice is the representation of U.S. and foreign airlines, as well as manufacturers of corporate and military aircraft and components, in litigation arising out of aircraft accidents and in aircraft crash investigations of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Congress. In order to minimize likely conflicts, we purposely don't represent manufacturers of airliners in matters that might prevent us from acting adverse to those manufacturers on behalf of our airline clients.
Holland & Knight’s aviation lawyers also represent operators and manufacturers of aircraft and aircraft components in connection with general-aviation accidents involving various kinds and models of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.
One feature of airline crash cases is that they often involve multiple deaths and injuries. The experience and capability to handle the complex claims that result from such mass disasters are especially important in aviation cases. We also have served as counsel in non-aviation cases, such as hotel fires and widespread chemical exposure cases. Because of our size, we are able to mobilize a large number of experienced lawyers to deal with the problems arising out of a major disaster and the resulting claims and litigation.
In addition, we have devoted considerable time to advising airlines about the applicability of, and compliance with, the U.S. government's post-accident family assistance programs.
Our experience in dealing with crash litigation and the investigations of the NTSB and the FAA is well known. In addition to smaller crash cases, we have been lead U.S. counsel for the defendant operator or manufacturer in investigations and/or litigation arising out of the following representative matters:
Our team has handled many hundreds of litigated cases involving international aviation laws, especially the Montreal Convention and its predecessors. On critical international legal issues, we have represented airlines and their organizations (IATA and A4A) in appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Our aviation lawyers have a great deal of experience in maritime tort law and have dealt extensively with international and national aviation and maritime laws that are applicable to a crash on the high seas or other navigable waters.
The Holland & Knight aviation team defends airlines in cases involving smaller accidents, turbulence, pressurization problems, emergency evacuations, hijackings, false arrests, denied boardings, delays and cargo and baggage claims. We also defend against non-crash commercial claims, as we did for an airline sued by another airline that alleged improper engine maintenance. We also were successful as lead defense counsel for a national airline in nationwide privacy class action litigation.
Additionally, our aviation lawyers also represent airlines and manufacturers in connection with claims made against others. For example, we were lead counsel for Air France in its successful lawsuit against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the destruction of a Concorde engine due to the aircraft's being struck by geese while landing at Kennedy Airport in June 1995.
Our aviation lawyers have extensive experience in aviation matters not involving accident investigations and litigation, including:
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