Past chair of the Aviation Group, Mr. Stern brings to his clients an abundance of legal experience and industry knowledge. He holds commercial pilot, advanced and instrument ground instructor, and control tower operator certificates and has worked as an aviation research analyst, flight instructor and air traffic controller.
A trial attorney with more than 28 years of experience representing airlines, aerospace manufacturers, aerospace insurers, airmen, and other businesses and individuals, Mr. Stern handles a variety of product defect, premises liability, personal injury, negligence and civil rights cases. He counsels clients on difficult insurance coverage and claims handling issues and conducts internal corporate investigations.
Chambers USA 2014 noted Mr. Stern as a trusted advisor to his clients, and The Legal 500 USA 2014 described him as a highly experienced aviation law attorney who brings a depth of knowledge to bear.
Mr. Stern is a frequent guest speaker and prolific author of articles and books on aviation and the law. He focuses his pro bono efforts on the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, and as a member of the Project's Screening Committee, reviews claims of actual innocence by incarcerated persons.
Areas Of Experience
• Regularly defends airlines in personal injury and civil rights cases, such as Shah v. Southwest Airlines Co., No. 1:13-cv-1481 (AJT/JFA) (E.D. Va.) (obtaining defense verdict on Sept. 12, 2014, in civil rights claim following plaintiff's removal from a Southwest flight for suspicious behavior), Qayyum v. US Airways, Inc., No. 3:08-0996, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92365, 2008 WL 4879401 (S.D. W. Va. 2008) (involving motion to dismiss various claims of civil rights violations), and Metts v. Airtran Airways, Inc., CIV.A. DKC 10-0466, 2010 WL 4183020 (D. Md. Oct. 22, 2010) (involving late disclosure of experts). In Elassaad v. Independence Air, Inc., 604 F.3d 804 (3d Cir. 2010), limits were placed on the extent of federal preemption of air safety, but Mr. Stern tried the case on remand and won a defense verdict and judgment.
•Lead counsel for the owner of a corporate jet hangaring facility that collapsed under a major snowfall in Washington in 2010. The collapse caused the largest single general aviation loss in history. Mr. Stern assembled a multi-disciplinary team of lawyers and experts, ultimately settling all claims against our clients and obtaining substantial recoveries from those responsible. He also was lead counsel for the State of Maryland in the case of a State Police-operated medevac helicopter that crashed while on approach to Andrews AFB, obtaining a substantial contribution from the United States to settlements of all claims.
•Represented a variety of aircraft and aircraft component manufacturers, including in Jacoby v. Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corp., No. 1:07cv350 (LMB/TCB) (E.D. Va.), In re Air Crash at Madrid, Spain, 2:10-ML-02135-GAF, 2011 WL 2183972 (C.D. Cal. May 16, 2011) (involving forum non conveniens dismissal), In re Air Crash Over the Mid-Atlantic on June 1, 2009, 792 F. Supp. 2d 1090 (N.D. Ca. 2011) (involving forum non conveniens dismissal), and Hemme v. Airbus SAS, No. 09 C 7239, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31920, 2010 WL 1416468 (N.D. Ill. 2010) (involving motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted). Represented the designer of a thrust reverser for a hush kit for DC-8 airplanes, obtaining a defense verdict, a counterclaim recovery, and upholding both on an appeal predicated on the allegedly improper admission of testimony of an aerodynamicist in Quiet Technology DC-8, Inc. v. Hurel Dubois UK, Ltd., 326 F.3d 1333 (11th Cir. 2003).
•Handled a variety of unusual aviation cases that have tested the limits of the court's subject matter jurisdiction, justiciability, venue and patience. For example, Sullivan v. Gen. Helicopters, Int'l, 564 F. Supp. 2d 496 (D. Md. 2008), explored the federal court's admiralty jurisdiction. McMahon v. Presidential Airways, Inc., 410 F. Supp. 2d 1189 (M.D. Fla. 2006), tested the limits of removal jurisdiction for a defense contractor claiming to have acted under a federal officer in crashing an airplane in Afghanistan. In Yanez v. Am. W. Airlines, Inc., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20706, 2004 WL 2434725 (D. Md. Oct. 13, 2004), Mr. Stern was successful in having a plaintiff's complaint dismissed as a sanction for fraud on the court. In Rogers v. Civil Air Patrol, 129 F. Supp. 2d 1334 (M.D. Ala. 2001), Mr. Stern successfully challenged venue laid in Alabama where his client, the Civil Air Patrol, was headquartered, because the plaintiff also had sued the Secretary of the Air Force.
•Regularly represents aerospace insurers in cutting-edge cases, often working behind-the-scenes to keep clients out of harm's way. Some of the cases that have gone to court include S. Air, Inc., v. Chartis Aerospace Adjustment Services, Inc., 3:11CV1495 JBA, 2012 WL 162369 (D. Conn. Jan. 18, 2012), in which the court upheld the removal to federal court of a Connecticut statutory proceeding to compel an insurance appraisal that provided only for a state court forum. In Hercules v. AIG Aviation, Inc., 776 A.2d 550 (Del. Super.), aff'd, 760 A.2d 162 (Del.2000), won summary judgment on behalf of a group of aviation product insurers sued for coverage of a False Claims Act case the insured had settled for $55 million. In Old Republic Insurance Company v. Gormley, 77 F. Supp. 2d 705 (D. Md. 1999), the court granted summary judgment on behalf of the client because the pilot of a helicopter that crashed did not meet the minimum flight time requirements of the policy. In the areas of insurance coverage and claims handling, Mr. Stern has been called on by aerospace insurers to provide guidance with respect to many of the headline-making events of the day, including the 9/11 attacks on America, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the crash of Air France Flight 447 while enroute from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, and the mid-air collision over the Hudson River of a single-engine airplane and a helicopter carrying tourists.
•Recognized by Chambers USA for nationwide aviation litigation, 2012-2014
•Listed as Leading Aviation Attorney by Aviation Expert Guides 2014
•Listed in The International Who's Who of Aviation Lawyers (Transport: Aviation-Contentious), 2015
•Named as a 'Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer' variously for aviation, insurance coverage, and civil litigation defense in 2014 and numerous earlier years
•Named as a one of 'Washington DC & Baltimore's Top Rated Lawyers,' Martindale-Hubbell, 2012-2014
•Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
•National Law Journal Defense Win of the Month, May 2002
03/26/2015 Jonathan Stern Discusses Germanwings Crash on Fox News
09/23/2014 Jon Stern Quoted On Jury Verdict In Passenger Removal Case
07/07/2014 Three Partners in Schnader's Aviation Group Recognized by Legal Media Group's Expert Guide as World Leading Aviation Attorneys
07/03/2014 Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2014
06/27/2014 Schnader's Aviation Group Again Nationally Ranked in Chambers USA and The Legal 500 USA
06/02/2014 Jonathan Stern Discusses Insurance Issues Related to Corporate Aircraft
05/23/2014 Schnader Recognized as a Top Firm by Chambers USA - Nine Schnader Partners Also Recognized
09/13/2013 Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2013
06/03/2013 Schnader's Aviation Group Ranked in Chambers USA and The Legal 500 USA
05/24/2013 Schnader Recognized as a Top Firm by Chambers USA - Nine Schnader Partners Also Recognized
06/07/2012 Schnader Recognized as a Top Firm by Chambers USA - Eight Schnader Partners Also Recognized
05/30/2012 Courts Begin to Endorse Use of Predictive Coding
05/03/2012 Predictive Coding Ordered in Global Aerospace Inc., et al, v. Landow Aviation, L.P. dba Dulles Jet Center, et al
04/25/2012 Schnader Successfully Argues a Motion In Favor of the Use of Predictive Coding in the Discovery of Electronically Stored Information
09/19/2011 Sixty-Eight Schnader Attorneys Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
07/12/2011 Schnader Achieves Victory for Independence Air
06/16/2011 Schnader Successful in Motions to Dismiss Case in Air France Suit in the U.S.
05/31/2011 Schnader Mentioned in Law360 Article on Air France Suit
01/13/2011 Schnader Representing the State of Maryland and The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania in a Suit Filed Against the Federal Government Regarding a 2008 Medevac Crash
07/12/2010 Jon Stern Featured in Article Detailing A Recent Third Circuit Decision on Airlines and Tort Actions
01/01/2010 Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2010
09/22/2009 Jonathan Stern Mentioned in an Article Detailing Elassaad v. Independence Air Inc.
03/23/2009 Stern Recognized as 2009 Washington D.C. Super Lawyer
07/15/2008 Schnader Supports the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project
03/21/2008 Several at Schnader are 2008 D.C., New Jersey 'Super Lawyers'
11/06/2007 Schnader Receives Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award
04/09/2007 Stern Honored as Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer
10/02/2006 Stern Contributes to Defense Practice Manual
09/08/2006 Stern's Article Selected for ABA's Litigation Manual
03/20/2006 Stern Reappointed to Defense Research Institute's Public Policy Committee
Attorney Speaking Engagements
06/04/2015 Jonathan Stern to Speak at ABA Conference
03/25/2015 Jonathan Stern Discusses Germanwings Crash
04/03/2014 Schnader Attorneys Present at the 48th Annual SMU Air Law Symposium
05/29/2013 Jon Stern Served as Co-Chair and Speaker at American Conference Institute's 5th National Forum on Defending and Managing Aviation Claims and Litigation
01/24/2013 Jon Stern Presented at the 2013 Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium
06/07/2012 Schnader Attorneys Presented at the American Bar Association 2012 National Institute on Aviation Litigation
03/31/2011 Schnader's Jonathan Stern at the 45th Annual Southern Methodist University Air Law Symposium
01/05/2011 Jonathan Stern Speaks on Standards for the Liability of the Aerospace Part Manufacturer
01/05/2011 Schnader's Stern a Moderator for How to Deal With Forum Non Conveniens Issues
06/22/2010 Shupe and Stern Speak at the American Conference Institute's 2nd Annual Forum on Defending and Managing Aviation Litigation
06/04/2009 A Study in Witness Examinations: Style and Substance - The Delicate Art of Cross...but with Challenging Witnesses
11/06/2008 Navigating the Risks of Aerospace Product Liability
06/05/2008 Presentation: Aviation Trial Demonstrations and Cutting Edge Issues
06/01/2007 Bang for the Buck: Demonstrative Evidence that Works and Won't Break Your Budget
05/09/2014 Declaration of Independence: When does a reservation of rights entitle an insured to independent counsel and control of its defense?
02/28/2013 The Four Cs of Writing
03/15/2012 Federal Court Jurisdiction, Venue, and Removal
09/01/2009 What's an Insurer to Do: Multiple Claims and Insufficient Limits
07/01/2009 “Who's on First? A Plea for Clarity in Drafting Contractual Indemnity Provisions”
Fall 2008 “Courts Cannot Agree Whether They Are Covered and If Not, Why?
06/01/2008 Fresh Air, Fresh Water, Peanuts and Booze: Battlegrounds for Airline Preemption in 2008
10/01/2006 A Comprehensive Look at Jurisdiction and Removal
05/01/2005 Terrible Twos or Doing What It's Supposed to Do? The Multiparty, Multiforum Trial Jurisdiction Act
05/01/2005 The Multiparty, Multiforum Trial Jurisdiction Act's Limited Treatment in the Courts
02/10/2005 A Potential 'Stuckeyville' in the Insurance World
05/05/2008 Litigating the Aviation Case: From Pre-Trial to Closing Argument, Chapter 13 - Cleared Direct to Federal Court: Why Aviation Cases Are More Likely Than Other Types to Take Flight From State Courts
01/30/2014 You Like 'To-May-Toe,' I Like 'To-Mah-Toe' - Distinctions Without a Material Difference: Supreme Court Reverses Lower Court Rejection of ATSA Immunity
09/10/2013 Third Circuit Holds Motion for Reconsideration Does Not Avoid Prohibition of Appellate Remand Orders
07/05/2012 Insurance Coverage and Claims Handling: A Patchwork of Laws Applies to National Endeavors
01/04/2012 Changes to Federal Court Practice Affect Jurisdiction, Removal, and Venue
01/16/2009 Troubled Asset Relief Program Imposes Minimal Restrictions on Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance
12/03/2009 Former Managing Partner of Schnader's Washington Office Honored by the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists
06/05/2008 ABA Aviation Litigation Committee Seminar
06/01/2007 Demonstrative Evidence Panel, ABA Aviation Litigation Seminar
10/20/2005 DRI Annual Meeting Aerospace Law Committee Breakout