When a transportation calamity occurs, anyone with any connection to the incident (including, of course, those who provided the service, equipment or maintenance) is soon to be under careful scrutiny by the media as well as law enforcement officials and local, state and federal investigators and regulators. If the calamity is large enough, or involves aviation or certain national transportation issues, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) may choose to launch an investigation as well.
The NTSB generally has priority over all federal, state and local agencies in the investigation of any transportation calamity. They also have surprisingly broad discretion. Companies and attorneys not familiar with the NTSB investigation process are at a significant disadvantage in any attempt to learn the process in the midst of an active investigation.
Wilson Elser’s Tom Tobin, an engineer as well as an attorney, has counseled dozens of transportation providers and manufacturers in rail, aviation, marine, highway and pipeline NTSB investigations. He provides a comprehensive overview of the NTSB investigation process and offers detailed, practical tips and suggestions as to how to best assist the NTSB while also safeguarding your company’s own interests. Along the way, he identifies common mistakes made by companies and their counsel who are not familiar with the NTSB investigation process.
I. Understand the structure and motivations of the NTSB
II. Obtain insight into how and when the NTSB decides to investigate an accident or incident
III. Know what to expect when the NTSB Investigator-in-Charge (IIC) and his or her team arrives on-scene
IV. Anticipate the NTSB investigation group structure and the party process – have a plan as to how best to actively participate
V. Know how important it is to thoroughly prepare for NTSB Public Hearings
VI. Understand the importance of thoroughly vetting NTSB Group Factual Reports and how to best recommend changes and corrections
VII. Prepare Proposed Findings & Recommendations and understand how important they are
VIII. Grasp the opportunity afforded by meetings with the individual NTSB Members before the NTSB Accident Report is finalized
IX. Understand the potential involvement of NTSB staff and their documents and reports in litigation related to the calamity at issue
Tom is an attorney in the New York offices of the Wilson Elser Law Firm. Wilson Elser has 26 regional offices in the United States, with more than 800 attorneys.
Tom has been successfully litigating complex transportation-related product liability and commercial matters for over 30 years. An engineer as well as a lawyer, Tom routinely consults with international manufacturers and distributors as to product safety and the minimization of product liability exposure. He has lectured extensively on product liability prevention in the United States, Japan, Korea, the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan.
Tom has tried, or been involved in, trials in more than a dozen states, and has defended clients in almost every state. He frequently coordinates clients’ defenses of generic claims and “pattern litigation” around the country. While he is admitted to the New York State Bar, he has been admitted pro hoc vice in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington D.C.
For the past ten years, Tom has been extensively involved in counseling clients involved as parties in NTSB investigations of calamities of all sorts, including aviation matters. He is widely published concerning NTSB investigations and has given dozens of related lectures and seminars before transportation providers, manufacturers and component part suppliers. In July of this year, the NTSB included Tom as one of only three outside panelists in its first training seminar for lawyers assisting clients with NTSB investigations (NTSB Investigations: What Legal Professionals Need to Know).
Tom and his wife live in Rye, New York, one of the northern suburbs of New York City. His three children are all out of the house, beginning careers in Rhode Island, California and Virginia. When Tom is not actively litigating or assisting companies in NTSB investigations, he is frequently off the northeast coast sailing or racing his F&C 44 ketch with family, friends and sometimes clients as well.
Tom can be reached at 914-872-7246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interesting presentation of a complex topic; a great introduction to this niche of the law.
Great presentation, knowledgeable and well prepared
Great CLE. The speaker was excellent.
Very interesting content and use of videos broke up Powerpoint presentation well.
Very informative and well-presented.
The presentation was very interesting and informative.
Outstanding. Very engaging.
This may be the best presentation I have seen on Lawline. Highly recommended!
Tobin was GREAT -
Mr. Tobin's presentation was outstanding.
Absolutely excellent presentation, great photos and slides. very useful for outside counsel and corporate counsel and executives. pat rogan
interesting--speaker has 15 yrs exp and been involved in 22 NTSB investigations.
awesome very relevant. interesting by itself
Excellent & thorough presentation
Well prepared and presented.
My favorite so far, love NTSB investigations and always wondered how they worked,
Very good speaker.
One of the best courses! Fantastic subject matter, great presenter! More transportation, Aviation, FAA, NSTB, Drone and Space Law programs please!!!
Very informative Very informative! !
As an attorney with no experience in NSTB cases, this course was interesting and informative.
As GC for a company that is providing products to the motive industry, the presentation was informative and inciteful and well presented by the presenter.
best presentation I've seen this period
An excellent presentation.
Practical, good examples
Very well presented. Actually events discussed made the topic interesting & relevant.
Probably one of the most informative, effectively presented programs to which I have listened (out of dozens).
Watching this presentation was a pleasure. Tobin was very very impressive!
Very effective in converting complicated details into core, easy-to-understand information.
well done course
excellent presenter - one of the best on these lawline courses
VERY interesting and well-taught. Thanks!
great content excellent presentation
Very good presentation.
One of the best--and certainly the most interesting--of the Lawline courses I have seen.
Valuable information and extremely well presented.
Speaker was very good communicator
Very interesting and informative discussion on the NTSB.
very informative and interesting
Stressing the mutual benefit to your client and the NTSB of full cooperation - much different procedure than typical regulatory or ligation environment.
Extremely good programme!! Perfect blend of the law and practice, and thoroughly enjoyable. Bravo!
I liked the speaker-very personable
Excellent and informative CLE!
I learned alot from this program.
great stuff. instructor very effective. just wish he had more time
One of the best I've attended -- interesting topic, great presenter, tons of practical advice & materials thanks
Very interesting. And an outstanding presenter.
One of the best subject matter courses I've attended. Thank you,.
Very informative and professional. One of the best CLE seminars I've watched.
Fascinating and informative. Highly recommended.
Great course and presentation.