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Indemnification to Mediation: Ethical Issues Arising From a Modest Aviation Accident

(898 reviews)

Produced on November 09, 2017

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Course Information

Time 1h 31m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Ethics Aviation

Course Description

A towed aircraft breaks free at the airport and smashes into another aircraft in the process of loading passengers. Property damage and personal injuries ensue. Plaintiffs retain counsel and various defendants jockey for position, tendering defenses to and from the other.  

This interactive, role playing panel, moderated by Frederick Alimonti and featuring distinguished aviation litigators, will grapple with ethical dilemmas and try to do “do the right thing” from retention, all the way through a hypothetical mediation.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify legal ethical issues and solutions when indemnities call upon counsel to represent more than one party
  2. Examine scope of privilege and risks of conflicts when representing multiple defendants
  3. Review ethical considerations and prohibitions on withholding and then “doctoring” evidence
  4. Address the issues of mediation - when does a mediator go too far in “brokering” a settlement?

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Thomas Pantino

Fitzpatrick & Hunt, Tucker, Collier, Pagano, Aubert, LLP

Tom is a partner in the New York office of Fitzpatrick, Hunt, Pagano, Aubert, LLP. Tom began his career as a systems design engineer on the U.S. Navy F-14D program at the then-Grumman Aerospace Corporation (now Northrop Grumman), working on a number of the fighter jet’s avionics systems. Coming from engineering, Tom’s law school focus was in the intellectual property disciplines, and he became a registered patent attorney before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. After working at intellectual property law firms prosecuting patents and defending clients in patent and trademark infringement litigation, in 1993 Tom joined the attorneys that eventually formed Fitzpatrick & Hunt.

Since that time, Tom has handled aviation-related claims and litigation throughout the U.S. and abroad. The vast majority have been defending engine and component part manufacturers and service providers in product liability claims involving wrongful death, personal injury and property damage. Tom is admitted in the state courts in New York, as well as the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. 

Frederick Alimonti

Alimonti Law Offices, P.C.

Founder and Senior Partner Rick Alimonti brings over twenty years of aviation and insurance litigation experience to the firm. His experience includes product liability, airline law, general aviation, and aviation insurance coverage. Martindale-Hubble lists Mr. Alimonti as an “AV” peer-reviewed lawyer, the highest rating awarded by the organization. 

Mr. Alimonti is a member of the Southern District of New York’s mediation panel and has been appointed to the SDNY Mediator Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution section of the American Bar Association and of the Dispute Resolution Section of the New York State Bar Association. He founded Alimonti Mediation Services in 2012 to mediate disputes involving product liability, premises liability, aviation law and commercial disputes. Rick recently became affiliated with “Mediators Plus More,” a New York-based panel of private mediators that matches mediator expertise and experience to the dispute at issue. http://mediatorsplusmore.com/.

Alimonti Law Offices is a frequent provider of CLE-accredited programs in the United States and abroad. In June 2014, Mr. Alimonti was a panelist at the ABA National Institute on Aviation Litigation and presented “Trying not to Stress the Small Stuff, Tips on the Effective Handling of Non-Catastrophic Aviation Cases” and was also a panelist at the 48th Annual SMU Airlaw Symposium in Dallas, Texas, where he presented “Ethics in Negotiation and Mediation.” In June 2013, Mr. Alimonti was a panelist on ethical issues at the ABA Aviation Litigation Seminar in NYC. In June 2012, Mr. Alimonti presented “Defending and Managing Claims involving Unruly Passengers” at the ACI Conference in Boston, MA. In 2011, he presented a paper at the ABA Section of Litigation, Joint Committee Meeting in Snowmass, Colorado, and he presented “Ethics in Aviation Litigation” at the 2011 SMU Air Law Symposium and at the 2011 Aviation Litigation CLE Seminar at the NYC Bar Association. 

Mr. Alimonti’s academic contributions to the field of aviation law include the formation and launch of the American Bar Association’s highly successful first Annual Seminar on Aviation Litigation in 1995. This program continues as an annual institution in New York to this day. Mr. Alimonti has twice served as chair of the ABA’s Aviation Litigation Committee. His positions include:

  • Co-chair of the ABA Litigation Section’s Standing Committee on Aviation Litigation for three-year term (1995 -1998; August 2007 - 2009) 
  • Meeting Chair, ABA CLE on Aviation Litigation, New York (2006, 2007, 2010)
  • Member, Task Force on the Public Perception of the Legal Profession (2004-2007)
  • Co-chair of the ABA, Litigation Section’s Standing Committee on Solo and Small Firms (2001-2004)
  • Division Co-Director for the ABA Litigation Section (2001)
  • Litigation Section’s Co-Chair for the ABA Annual Meeting in New York (2000) 

Mr. Alimonti is a regular speaker on aviation law, mediation and ethics. He has presented and published numerous articles including the following:


  • “Trying not to Stress the Small Stuff, Tips on the Effective Handling of Non-Catastrophic Aviation Cases”, delivered at ABA National Institute on Aviation Litigation, New York, NY (2014)
  •  “Ethics in Negotiation and Mediation” delivered at 48th Annual SMU Airlaw Symposium in Dallas, Texas, (2014)  
  • “Defending and Managing Claims Involving Unruly Passengers”, delivered at ACI Conference on Defending and Managing Aviation Litigation, Boston MA (June 2012)
  • “Fighting Fire with Water, Dealing with Difficult Adversaries” (Litigation, Fall 2008)
  • “Ethical Hurdles Along the Way: Ethical Issues when Representing an Insured in an Aviation Case” (ABA 2007)
  • Columnist: Young Lawyer’s Corner. Aviation Litigation Quarterly (ABA 2006-2008)
  • “Who’s in Charge Here Anyway? Ethical Issues When Representing an Insured,” THE BRIEF, VOL 36, NO. 2 (WINTER 2007)

Mr. Alimonti received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University and his Juris Doctor from St. John’s University Law School. He is admitted to practice in the State of New York, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, and Eleventh Circuits. He serves as the President of the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum at Teterboro, New Jersey and is a private pilot. 

Glenn Vallach has been a Claims Attorney with United States Aircraft Insurance Group since October 2012. In that capacity, Glenn is the principal coverage analyst for the company, and he manages and supervises a broad range of significant liability claims for the General Aviation, Manufacturing & Special Risks and Airlines claims divisions within USAIG. Glenn also serves on the Policy Language Revision Committee and the Subrogation Committee for the company.

Prior to joining USAIG, Glenn was an aviation litigation and trial attorney for a boutique New York City defense law firm in Manhattan for almost five years. In that capacity, Glenn litigated a large number of complex aviation matters for a variety of prominent aviation entities and insurers. Glenn is also an accomplished and frequently published law professor, having taught commercial law and business courses for private and public universities in New York and New Jersey since 2009.

Glenn graduated Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History in 2005, and graduated Fordham University School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree in 2008. He is admitted to practice law in the courts of the State of New York and in the Eastern and Southern District Courts of New York, and is a member of the American Bar Association, Aviation Insurance Association and New York State Bar Association.

Erin Applebaum

Kreindler & Kreindler LLP

Since graduating from Brooklyn Law School in 2010, Erin has dedicated her career to seeking justice for passengers injured or killed during the course of air travel. As part of Kreindler & Kreindler’s aviation practice, she maintains a particular focus on complex personal injury matters, general aviation accidents, and commercial airline disasters. Erin was recently appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee for the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 lawsuit against Boeing  in the Northern District of Illinois. She has been selected each year since 2012 as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in the field of Aviation and Aerospace Law for the New York Metro Area.

 Erin is an active member of several professional groups: the American Association for Justice, where she participates in the Aviation Section and the Women’s Trial Lawyers Caucus; the New York City Bar Association Aeronautics Committee, where she serves as Chair of the Subcommittee on Commercial Airline Casualty; and the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), where she serves as a Vice Chair on the Aviation and Space Law Committee. In 2018, Erin was selected for membership in the ABA TIPS Leadership Academy, a diverse group of 25 attorneys from across the nation identified as emerging leaders in the profession. Erin also participates in a mentorship program through her alma mater, advising current Brooklyn Law School students who have expressed a developing interest in plaintiffs’ litigation or aviation law.


Reynold L.

Really interesting fact patterns - nice sharing of real life experiences by the participating attorneys.

James W.

Good Materials

William A.

Excellent panelists representing important components of such a case

John M.

This was extremely useful material! I really got a lot out of it!

Cynthia J. T.

Aviation is relatively small world but this was excellent roundtable discussion of issues of multiple parties, liability, indemnity, etc... would highly recommend this to attorneys in general practice with regard to insurance involvement in settlement of case... a lot of real-world expertise and candid discussion here. Good on you, Lawline!!!

Peter M.

Good course and presenters, good selection of presenters.

Charles D. J.

The panelists were most knowledgeable and caused time to fly by sharing from their individual perspectives as litigators.

Chris K.

I really liked the discussion of mediation and mediators---it confirmed a number of my own observations.

Carroll M.

VERY engaging and very practical! Kudos to the presenters!!

Trevor C.

The discussion of AI issues, defense and indemnity obligations was right on point. All presenters were outstanding and knowledgeable.

carol b.

Super panel!

Leoncio G.

Exceptional panel discussion on this topic. Please continue to request the participation of all four presenters on future CLE recordings within their respective expertise. Much appreciated!

Paul W.

Interesting discussion of issues I have dealt with myself. Loved the panelist comment that she wouldn't compromise her ethics unless it was a million dollar 'multiple surgeries' case.

John K.

The discussion on mediator ethics was particularly interesting and informative.

Sandra S.

Very engaging panel discussion - thoroughly enjoyed it.

Norman K.

Really excellent panel and panelists.

Mark C.

I enjoyed the presentation.

Brad M.

Good applicability beyond the aircraft industry!

Mark B.

Interesting and group interacted well.

Sheldon M.

Good program.

Kathryn W.

Loved this format

Walter R.

Wonderful presentation. Excellent presenters. Insightful combination of aviation, insurance and ethics - a "real life" approach.

Robert R.

Excellent course.

Angel C.

I enjoyed listening to the information presented. The presenters were knowledgeable and provided excellent information from their various perspectives. Good job.

Anthony V.

Learned a lot

David H.

Much better than I expected. Good content. Well done.

Janna W.

Very interesting and enjoyable program.

Gordon S.

Excellent panel. Usable information.

Mark V.

Very good discussion from multiple perspectives.

Judith S.

Very interesting! Great format.

gene p.

great subject and speakers who informed me of so many things a lawyer should do and not do in these type of cases

Josefina B.

The moderator was excellent,and he used the panel well. Certainly made it more interesting.

jacob p.

Above average course.

Frank C.

All presenters were well informed and made the subject matter interesting and easy to understand

Sehla A.

Loved the conversational format.

James H.

Very interesting development of ethical issues.

kay m.

Outstanding presentation! Really, really informative and enjoyable..

Marty D.

Fantastic. Enjoyed this CLE very much. My favorite parts: the diverse panel, the host was prepared, thoughtful, smooth, glib and in command of the panel. "Jump the puddle" will be my new phrase to sound erudite.

Gregory E.

Interesting dialogue on important issues

Rufus W.

Great panel

Robert W.

Excellent panel with varied perspectives. Very good program.

Mattie A.


Fabian G.

I greatly appreciate those who took the time to create these unique and educational videos. They are extremely informative.

Larry B.

Excellent, well planned and delivered.

Jonathan Y.

The group forum was well-comprised and I appreciated the exposure to differing opinions, understandings and recommendations.

Richard A.

Interesting course and not a subject I thought I would be interested in.

Seth W.

good job

Pamela C.

Excellent discussion!

Julian L.

Excellent speakers.

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