The Lawyer's Role in Emergency Preparedness, Response and Accident Investigation

(1853 Ratings)

Produced on: October 06, 2015

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 92 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency that is responsible for investigating civil aviation accidents as well as significant accidents involving transportation by railroad, highway, marine and pipeline. For many companies and their lawyers, the first encounter with the NTSB will be after a major accident has occurred. The post-accident environment is positively hostile to learning, however, and those who have not trained are prone to many basic mistakes, sometimes with substantial legal consequences. 


In this course, Dentons Partner Dane Jaques addresses what you need to know to understand the NTSB and the lawyer’s role in emergency preparedness, emergency response and accident investigation in the aftermath of a major accident. Mr. Jaques has represented dozens of clients in investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board and various foreign accident investigation authorities.


Learning Objectives:

I.     Understand the workings of the NTSB and the regulations and how they influence the investigation

II.    Anticipate and plan for issues arising from the NTSB party process

III.   Recognize basic mistakes that frequently occur in the absence of preparation

IV.   Identify appropriate training topics for clients and their attorneys


Dane Jaques

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Dane Jaques, a partner in Steptoe's Washington office, has more than 29 years of experience in energy and transportation law.  As a member of the firm's Energy and Transportation Groups, he focuses his practice on National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident response, pipeline safety, transportation regulation, aviation law, litigation, appeals, and administrative proceedings.  

Mr. Jaques has successfully represented numerous clients in air carrier, general aviation, and pipeline accident investigations conducted by NTSB, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US Chemical Safety Board, and many foreign accident investigation authorities.  He has also represented aviation companies in tort and business litigation pending in state courts, federal courts, and before the FAA, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), NTSB, and other US administrative agencies.  He regularly conducts corporate investigations and has handled many FAA and TSA enforcement actions against aviation concerns and their employees. 

Mr. Jaques is a former FAR Part 135 Captain and flight instructor with over 3,000 flight hours, and is a frequent speaker on disaster response, NTSB and FAA regulatory matters, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

In addition to providing legal services, Mr. Jaques co-founded and operated several small businesses, including a flight school and an insurance claim service.  He also founded a charity, the Catastrophic Illness Assistance Foundation, and served as its first General Counsel.

While in law school, Mr. Jaques served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Robert Renner at the US District Court for Minnesota.

Mr. Jaques has been practicing law for more than 25 years, focusing on aviation law, litigation, appeals and administrative proceedings. He has successfully represented clients in more than a dozen major National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigations and over two dozen general aviation accident investigations conducted by the NTSB, the Canadian Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and many foreign accident investigation authorities. He has also represented aviation, corporate, and insurance concerns in litigation pending in state courts, federal courts and before the FAA, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), NTSB and other U.S. and foreign administrative agencies. He regularly handles FAA and TSA enforcement actions against aviation concerns and their employees. He has also conducted many corporate investigations and has served as an expert witness on aviation law in foreign proceedings.

Mr. Jaques is a former FAR Part 135 Captain and flight instructor with over 3,000 flight hours. He holds an Airline Transport Pilot Rating (single and multiengine land); Flight Engineer Certificate (turbojet); Certified Flight Instructor Certificate (Airplane, Instrument and Multiengine -- Gold Seal, 1978-1989); Ground Instructor Certificate (Instrument and Advanced.)

 In 2014, the Legal 500 recognized Dane as one of the nation's leading lawyers in the area of Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense: Aerospace/Aviation.


Representative Matters

  • Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two Accident (Mojave, CA)
  • National Airlines Flight 102 (Afghanistan)
  • Emirates Airline Flight 609 (Karachi, Pakistan)
  • Reno Air Race (Reno, Nevada)
  • Colonial Pipeline, Centreville, VA Pipeline Accident
  • Puget Sound Energy, Seattle Pipeline Accident
  • NiSource Columbia Gas, Sissonville, WV Pipeline Accident
  • Pacific Gas & Electric, San Bruno, CA Pipeline Accident
  • Pacific Gas & Electric, Rancho Cordova, CA Pipeline Accident
  • TWA Flight 800 (off Long Island, New York)
  • US Airways Flight 1549 (Hudson River)
  • Alaska Airlines Flight 261 (Point Mugu, California)
  • Colgan Air Flight 3407 (Buffalo, New York)
  • US Air Flight 427 (Aliquippa, Pennsylvania)
  • US Air Flight 1016 (Charlotte, North Carolina)
  • US Air Flight 405 (LaGuardia, New York)
  • Korean Air Flight 6316 (Shanghai, China)
  • Northwest Airlines Flight 1482 (Detroit, Michigan)
  • Corendon Airlines Flight 773 (Antalya, Turkey)
  • Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Southwest Airlines Flight 345 (LaGuardia, NY)
  • Southwest Airlines Flight 812 (Yuma, AZ)
  • Southwest Airlines Flight 4013 (Branson, MO)
  • United Airlines Flight 232 (Sioux City, Iowa)
  • American Airlines Flight 191 (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Flying Tigers Flight 66 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
  • Trans States Airlines Flight 8050 (Ottawa, Ontario)
  • Trans States Airlines Flight 3363 (Ottawa, Ontario)
  • Air Serv International B-1900 (Democratic Republic of Congo)
  • Hendrick G150 (Key West, FL)
  • Blue Hawaiian Helicopters (Molokai, HI)
  • CI Aleknagik, Alaska (Involving Sen. Ted Stevens)


"Leading Lawyer," Legal 500 US, Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense: Aerospace/Aviation, 2014

Chambers USA Nationwide, Transportation: Aviation: Litigation, 2016

Select News and Events 

Selected Publications


  • J.D., University of Minnesota Law School
  • B.S., Northern Illinois University
  • Judicial Intern, Hon. Robert Renner, USDC, D. Minn.

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia


Anthony M.

Very good.

Kimberly A.


Charles S.

New content for me. Enjoyed it and found it helpful.

Peter N.

Well presented

daniel c.

excellent. informative and to the point. while limited in role, there is much to do for atty in context of NTSB investigation process

Robert L.

Great CLE.

Chris K.

Terrific presentation---tremendous practical insights into how to approach and go through the investigative process, and VERY well organized and clear speaker!

Christian K.

This was an excellent class. Well worth the time. Thanks!

Lauren G.

Very helpful

Lars-Erik P.


Peter O.

This speaker was excellent!

John C.

Excellent summation of the NTSB process!

Mitchell D.

A pleasure to listen to and informative

Joseph F.

Very good program.

Tommy T.

This course is probably a course in which a very small group of lawyers will ever need to know, however it is one of the most interesting CLE's I've attended.

Andrietta W.

Extremely interesting! Presenter was knowledgeable and very organized.

Michael W.

This was a very thorough and well-done presentation

Keith H.

The speaker was excellent. He really knew the area and was clear and down to earth. It's hard to imagine someone doing a better job on this topic.

Edward R.

As a licensed pilot and lawyer this presentation was very interesting and almost as entertaining as the movie Sully.

Ronald R.

Outstanding presentation! Extremely informative and comprehensive. Best course I have attended through Lawline.

Eric C.

I found this one quite absorbing and very interesting, even though it was outside my usual practice area.

Daniel S.

Good overview of the process and potential pitfalls. Good practical advice.

Mona M.

Dane Jaques, the presenter, truly understood the topic and presented it in a practical and useful manner.

J. Donald H.

well informed speaker

jon s.

Mr. Dean Jaques delivered a concise and focused presentation. Interesting. Good work.

Raul S. P.


Richard S.

I thought this was going to be boring, but it was one of your most interesting!

Suzanne S.

He was really good and the topic was very useful!!! Learned so much!

Kenneth A M.

Is not applicable to my practice, but very interesting.

Roger W.

Well presented and full of relevant information.

Andrew P.

This program provides much valuable material for dealing with the NTSB following an accident and subsequent investigation. This program is wonderful for anyone whose practice area involves the NTSB. Mr. Jacques is a fine presenter with a wealth of information!

Travis L.

Content was well presented for subject matter

Julie A. B.


James D.

A lot of complex material covered very well.

Timothy N.

Good Information

Hugh A. P.

Really professional presentation.

holly m.

good speaker, practical information

Donna W.

Excellent instructor

John R. M.

...excellent presentation and materials.

James H.

very interesting if it's appropriate to say that about a disaster

Gahan C.

I work with the NTSB all the time and I thought the presenter was very knowledgeable. Wonderful.

Joseph M.

Very good speaker and informative presentation.

Joel E.


michael m.

good speaker and presentation

Rebecca J.

Excellent presentation.

Edmond L.

Very interesting presentation.

julie f.

GREAT TOPIC and presentation!!!!

Steve H.

Great job

Gary D.

This presentation gives excellent insight into the role and practices of the NTSB.

Lisa M.

Interesting informative and direct speaker.

Alan A.

An interesting, complex, challenging topic, which I was not familiar with, very well done.

Jennifer H.


Thomas M.

Great points on slide presentation.

Francine A.

Great information!

Arijana K.

Very informative

Lexi W.

Great info on this fascinating practice area.

Thomas M.

Good Speaker and good program.

Mark M.

very good presentation. common sense approach and expert insight

Lee C.

interesting topic

Ralph P.


Melanie M.

Very interesting and thorough.

Ronald B.

I thought the presenter was one of the best I have ever seen even though I am not involved in this particular area of the law.

Lewis S.

Overall a good program with interesting information

Emma L.

The speaker presented the course with knowledge and confidence. My practice is in a small city near an airport and a RR track where a train transports "material' to the local university. Practicing in this area [accident investigation] may be complicat

Daniel O.

Very interesting course.

John N.

Extremely helpful information for anyone practicing in the transportation industry----

Laura A.

Excellent presentation

Marlon S.

Good stuff. Did not really consider some of this before. All attys should watch this@

Chukwuka O.

Great Instructor!

Ann R.

I appreciated the speaker's expertise and generous sharing of useful information and his ability to avoid any obvious attempt to generate business for his firm. So many times, law firm attorneys emphasize how important it is to hire outside counsel. Mr.

Richard G.

Excellent program, excellent presenter. Very informative.

Carlos M.

very informative, even for a novice on the subject matter!

Reginia B.


Elizabeth S.

Effective speaker. He got through a lot of material in a short amount of time.

Robert W.

very good content and presentation as well.

Thomas M.


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$ 89 Litigation and Aviation & Aerospace In Stock


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