What is the Role of an Aviation Attorney?

An aviation attorney is, as you might expect, a lawyer who specializes in aviation law.  This is the law related to the airplanes themselves, as well as ground facilities, such as hangers, and airports for example.  An aviation attorney may represent a pilot, an airline company, a flight school, a manufacturer or an individual depending on the case.  And, because it is such a specialized area of law, an aviation attorney like Slack & Davis, is vital when it comes to cases of this matter.

Criminal Cases

Aviation criminal cases can involve anything from following to fail regulations, to terrorism.  And, it is possible for a defendant to be sued in both a criminal and a civil court for the same matter, for example when an airline ignores FAA regulations, and is fined in both criminal court and civil court.  Charges could involve large monetary fines, and/or jail time, so it is vital to have a criminal aviation attorney to back your case.

Civil Cases

Civil aviation law involves matters such as wrongful deaths caused by private operators and airlines, damages related to crashes, and product liability suits.  Whilst some people do choose to hire a general lawyer to help with these cases, an aviation attorney is very familiar with this area of the law, and can provide ample representation for a defendant.  It is likely that they have also defended similar cases, and if not, they will be aware of other cases similar to yours.

Helping Companies

Some larger companies, such as large airlines, flight schools, and manufacturers, may also hire an in-house aviation attorney to advise them about the law, and to also represent them when needed.  The benefit of this is that the attorney will know the company inside and out, and will fully have their best interests at heart.  In addition to representing clients in court, an in-house aviation attorney can also help a company to come up with a list of legal guidelines regarding safety, as well as staff policies that comply with the law.  They may also help a company that is buying or selling aircraft on a regular basis.

It’s important to remember that aviation law doesn’t only cover aircraft on the ground, but in space as well.  Aviation attorneys are often called upon for help regarding spacecraft, satellites, and interplanetary probes as well.

Helping Individuals

Whilst some attorneys do work for companies, it is much more common for an aviation attorney to work for a law firm that helps individuals.  They may represent people who want to sue members of the aviation industry, they may work with companies that specialize in air crashes and disasters, or they may help with general personal injury cases.

Aviation lawyers tend to be passionate about everything related to airplanes, and they will be able to advise you on the best course of action, whether you are suing an airline, or just want to draft up a new policy for your staff.  They really are the best people to contact when you need specialist legal advice, as they have the experience of aviation and contract litigation to fall back on.  No ‘general’ law firm can compare.

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