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Federal Preemption in Aviation Law: What Does It Mean & How Do You Advance Your Case?

Produced on August 19, 2019

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Course Information

Time 61 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

This program, presented by attorneys Doug Amster and Gene Kaskiw of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, will discuss the full scope of preemption available under federal law pertaining to the airline industry. The presenters will first begin with an overview of preemption in general, and then discuss federal preemption in the aviation context, including the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 and the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986. The history of each of these statutes will be discussed, along with key federal cases applying the doctrines therein, and the current state of the law. The course will also provide practice tips for aviation lawyers on both sides of the bar for investigation, discovery, and briefing. 


Learning Objectives:

  1. Provide an overview of the doctrine of federal preemption and what it means ("field" vs. "express")
  2. Examine what areas of aviation are covered by each applicable act
  3. Gain knowledge of key cases interpreting federal law
  4. Develop litigation strategies to advance cases where preemption is an issue
  5. Become familiar with common pitfalls and practical advice in litigating aviation cases

Credit Information

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Faculty

Douglas H. Amster

Lewis Brisbois

Douglas Amster is a partner in the Newark office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Aviation Practice. Mr. Amster focuses his practice on aviation tort defense on behalf of domestic commercial airlines, which includes the defense of a non-carrier airline in the 9/11 litigation, and the defense of post-9/11 passenger removal/racial profiling cases. He also represents the owners and operators of private aircraft as well as entities that maintain and repair aircraft. Mr. Amster’s general aviation experience includes accidents and investigations involving Gulfstream, Bombardier, Cessna, Piper, Mooney and Beechcraft fixed-wing aircraft, as well as Sikorsky and Schweizer rotorcraft.

Mr. Amster also has substantial experience in many areas of commercial and personal injury litigation, including products liability, contract disputes, fraud claims, securities fraud litigation, medical malpractice and legal malpractice claims. 

Effective January 1, 2015, Mr. Amster was appointed as a Trustee of the New Jersey Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner of the Supreme Court of New Jersey. The Fund is an entity of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, and it was established in 1969 to reimburse clients who have suffered a loss due to the dishonest conduct of a member of the New Jersey Bar.




Gene K. Kaskiw

Lewis Brisbois

Gene Kaskiw is an associate in the New York and Newark offices of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, in the Aviation group.  His practice includes the defense of both fixed- and rotary-wing general aviation operators and component part manufacturers in litigation arising from air crashes in state and federal courts throughout the United States.  In addition, he regularly defends large domestic and international air carriers in personal injury cases. Mr. Kaskiw also has experience with products and premises liability, aircraft liens, cargo claims, insurance defense, the Montreal Convention, vendor agreements, fraud claims against airlines, federal preemption and regulatory matters.

A longtime enthusiast of the commercial aviation industry, Mr. Kaskiw is a frequent contributor to a variety of online and print publications analyzing domestic and international air carriers, including a publication in CLM Magazine regarding the recent Boeing 737MAX grounding.  A New Jersey native, he earned a Juris Doctor from Rutgers School of Law in 2012 and graduated from Columbia University in 2009 with a B.A. in English. At Columbia, he was a member of the varsity intercollegiate football team.