Jonathan M. Stern: Lawyer with Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP

Jonathan M. Stern


Peer Rating
AV® Preeminent

Client Rating
Rating Not Shown

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Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews

Practice Areas

  • Appellate Practice
  • Aviation
  • Product Liability
  • Insurance Services
  • Litigation Services
University Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, B.S., 1981
Law SchoolAmerican University, Washington College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1986
Admitted1987, Maryland; 1997, Virginia; 1988, District of Columbia; 2004, Pennsylvania; 2014, Mississippi; U.S. Supreme Court; Supreme Court of Mississippi; U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia, the District of Maryland, the Eastern District of Virginia, and the Northern District of Illinois; District of Columbia Court of Appeals; Court of Appeals of Maryland; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Supreme Court of Virginia; U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh circuits

Professional Affiliations

•Defense Research Institute (DRI) Aerospace Law Committee, chair, 2002 - 2004
•DRI Public Policy Committee, member, 2004 - 2006
•American Bar Association, member 1987 - present; editor or co-editor, Aviation Litigation Quarterly, 1997-2007
•American Bar Association, co-chair 2008 Aviation Litigation program


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 2015 described Mr. Stern as outstanding with an ability to communicate persuasively and credibly, and to demonstrate the salient factors of the case and in 2014, noted Mr. Stern as a trusted advisor to his clients. 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. He also volunteers his time to the Senior Connection, where he assists senior citizens with monthly bill paying and checkbook balancing and to Oasis, where he teaches senior citizens on uses of technology.


•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, 2012-2015
•Listed as Leading Aviation Attorney by Aviation Expert Guides 2014-Present
•Listed in The International Who's Who of Aviation Lawyers (Transport: Aviation-Contentious), 2015-2016
•Named as a 'Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer' variously for aviation, insurance coverage, and civil litigation defense in 2016 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


Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2015

Schnader's Aviation Group Again Ranked Among Top Firms in the United States

Schnader Recognized as a Top Firm by Chambers USA - Nine Schnader Partners Also Recognized

Jonathan Stern Discusses Germanwings Crash on Fox News

Jon Stern Quoted On Jury Verdict In Passenger Removal Case

Three Partners in Schnader's Aviation Group Recognized by Legal Media Group's Expert Guide as World Leading Aviation Attorneys

Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2014

Schnader's Aviation Group Again Nationally Ranked in Chambers USA and The Legal 500 USA

Jonathan Stern Discusses Insurance Issues Related to Corporate Aircraft

Schnader Recognized as a Top Firm by Chambers USA - Nine Schnader Partners Also Recognized

Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2013

Schnader's Aviation Group Ranked in Chambers USA and The Legal 500 USA

Schnader Recognized as a Top Firm by Chambers USA - Nine Schnader Partners Also Recognized

Schnader Recognized as a Top Firm by Chambers USA - Eight Schnader Partners Also Recognized

Courts Begin to Endorse Use of Predictive Coding

Predictive Coding Ordered in Global Aerospace Inc., et al, v. Landow Aviation, L.P. dba Dulles Jet Center, et al

Schnader Successfully Argues a Motion In Favor of the Use of Predictive Coding in the Discovery of Electronically Stored Information

Sixty-Eight Schnader Attorneys Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell

Schnader Achieves Victory for Independence Air

Schnader Successful in Motions to Dismiss Case in Air France Suit in the U.S.

Schnader Mentioned in Law360 Article on Air France Suit

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

Jon Stern Featured in Article Detailing A Recent Third Circuit Decision on Airlines and Tort Actions

Super Lawyers Recognizes Many Schnader Attorneys in 2010

Jonathan Stern Mentioned in an Article Detailing Elassaad v. Independence Air Inc.

Stern Recognized as 2009 Washington D.C. Super Lawyer

Schnader Supports the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project

Several at Schnader are 2008 D.C., New Jersey 'Super Lawyers'

Schnader Receives Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award

Stern Honored as Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer

Stern Contributes to Defense Practice Manual

Stern's Article Selected for ABA's Litigation Manual

Stern Reappointed to Defense Research Institute's Public Policy Committee


Former Managing Partner of Schnader's Washington Office Honored by the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists

ABA Aviation Litigation Committee Seminar

Demonstrative Evidence Panel, ABA Aviation Litigation Seminar

DRI Annual Meeting Aerospace Law Committee Breakout



Declaration of Independence: When does a reservation of rights entitle an insured to independent counsel and control of its defense?

The Four Cs of Writing

Federal Court Jurisdiction, Venue, and Removal

What's an Insurer to Do: Multiple Claims and Insufficient Limits

“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?

Fresh Air, Fresh Water, Peanuts and Booze: Battlegrounds for Airline Preemption in 2008

A Comprehensive Look at Jurisdiction and Removal

Terrible Twos or Doing What It's Supposed to Do? The Multiparty, Multiforum Trial Jurisdiction Act

The Multiparty, Multiforum Trial Jurisdiction Act's Limited Treatment in the Courts

A Potential 'Stuckeyville' in the Insurance World


Proportionality Considerations in Discovery: Understanding the New and Proposed Rules Will Help You Serve as a Useful Advisor and Advocate

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


Pennsylvania Permits Insureds Being Defended under a Reservation of Rights to Settle Without Their Insurer's Consent

You Like 'To-May-Toe, ' I Like 'To-Mah-Toe' - Distinctions Without a Material Difference: Supreme Court Reverses Lower Court Rejection of ATSA Immunity

Third Circuit Holds Motion for Reconsideration Does Not Avoid Prohibition of Appellate Remand Orders

Insurance Coverage and Claims Handling: A Patchwork of Laws Applies to National Endeavors

Changes to Federal Court Practice Affect Jurisdiction, Removal, and Venue

Troubled Asset Relief Program Imposes Minimal Restrictions on Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance


Jonathan Stern to Speak at ABA Conference

Jonathan Stern Discusses Germanwings Crash

Schnader Attorneys Present at the 48th Annual SMU Air Law Symposium

Jon Stern Served as Co-Chair and Speaker at American Conference Institute's 5th National Forum on Defending and Managing Aviation Claims and Litigation

Jon Stern Presented at the 2013 Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium


Documents by this lawyer on

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Pennsylvania Permits Insureds Being Defended under a Reservation of Rights to Settle Without Their Insurer's Consent
Jonathan M. Stern, August 10, 2015
A standard provision in the commercial general liability policy and many other liability policies precludes voluntary payments-settlements-by the insured without the insurer’s consent. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s decision in The Babcock & Wilcox Company v. American Nuclear...

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Office Information

Jonathan M. Stern

750 9th Street, N.W., Suite 550
WashingtonDC 20001-4534


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