Mike concentrates his practice in tort and commercial litigation on behalf of the firm’s airline and insurance clients.
He has been honorably mentioned in The International Who’s Who of Aviation Lawyers (2009-2014).
Mike is a member of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York; the New York State and American Bar Associations; the New York County Lawyers Association (Chairman, Committee on Aeronautical Law, 1982-1984); and the International Association of Defense Counsel. Mike has served as Arbitrator in the Civil Court of the City of New York, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and is currently a Mediator in the Southern District of New York. He also serves as a Judge on the Contract Dispute Resolution Board.
He currently serves on the Le Moyne College Board of Trustees where he is on the Executive Committee, the Governance Committee and is Chairman of the Enrollment Management Committee. Mike is listed as Leading Aviation Attorney by Aviation Expert Guides 2014 and was honorably mentioned for his work in The Legal 500 United States guide (2014). In Who’s Who Legal Transport: 2015, Mike was recognized for his “wealth of experience in major litigation involving foreign air carriers before states and federal courts.”
Mike joined the firm in 1972 and has handled major aviation accident investigations and litigation throughout his career. He is lead counsel for the airline in the May 2008 TACA Flight 390 accident and was counsel for the airline in the September 1998 Swissair Flight 111 accident and the January 1990 Avianca Flight 52 accident.
He has significant experience in major litigation involving foreign air carriers in state and federal courts and has represented air carriers in liability litigation in the United States for more than forty years. He has represented domestic and foreign airlines in virtually every conceivable type of airline matter through the years, including antitrust litigation, hull claims, FAA enforcement actions and aircraft financing.
Mike also has significant experience defending class action litigation on behalf of aviation clients. He is currently representing a major foreign airline in a class action arising out of alleged overcharges in the sale of air cargo and passenger tickets and is defending a maintenance and overhaul facility in a class action case seeking damages for the release of toxic smoke and fumes into the atmosphere. He recently secured the dismissal of class action litigation against two airlines that were alleged to have improperly collected a tourism tax.
He has been a guest lecturer in Aviation Law at Seton Hall Law School; St. John’s University Law School; Embry Riddle Aeronautical University; the Ontario Bar Association; the World Airline’s Customer Relations Association; and several American Bar Association Annual Meetings. He is the past Chair of the Aviation and Space Law Committee of the Tort and Insurance Practice (TIPS) Section of the American Bar Association. He lectures frequently on aviation law before bar associations and industry groups. He was appointed to a Task Force by the TIPS Section of the American Bar Association to draft regulations to submit to the Justice Department to implement the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001, enacted as part of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act.
Newsletters and Bulletins
Published Works and Presentations
Speaker, Department of Transportation Issues: Full Fare Advertising and Disclosure of Fees – Safeguards for the Traveler or a Trap for the Unwary Carrier, ATLA Aviation Law Americas (Miami, FL – September 2012).
“Airport terminal operator subject to liabililty under Montreal Convention for tarmac delays,” JLT Plane Talking: Aerospace – Lead Lines (July 2012).
Contributor, The Liability Reporter, published jointly by IATA and Condon & Forsyth LLP. (15th ed., February 2012).
Panel Moderator, Fireside Chat – “A Walk Down Memory Lane – Aviation Crash Litigation the Last Fifty Years”, Blue Angels Air and Transportation Law Conference (November 8-12, 2011).
Speaker, Aviation and the Environment, ALTA Aviation Law Americas (Cartagena, Columbia – September 14-16, 2011)
Airline Passenger Protection Rules Take Effect and Are Expanded. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (September 2011).
Passengers Travelling Gratuitously on Private Aircraft Not Entitled to Recover Under Montreal Convention. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (May 2011).
Picking the Sovereign’s Pocket: Enforcing Your Judgment Against a Recalcitrant Regime. The Air & Space Lawyer, vol. 23, no. 4 (2011).
Antitrust and the Airlines. 77 J. Transp. L. Logist. & Pol’y. 307 (2011).
Collecting from the Foreign Sovereign: Putting Their Money into Your Client’s Pocket. IADC Aviation and Space Law Committee Newsletter (February 2011).
Federalism in the Twenty-First Century: Preemption in the Field of Air Safety. Defense Counsel Journal, vol. 78, no. 1 (January 2011).
Contributor, The Liability Reporter, published jointly by IATA and Condon & Forsyth LLP. (14th ed., February 2011).
Third Circuit Limits Federal Preemption of Air Safety to In-Flight Operations. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (August 2010).
Speaker, “Antitrust Developments in Transportation Under the Obama Administration”, Association of Transportation Law Professionals, 81st Annual Meeting, June 2010.
DOT Proposes Extension of Tarmac Delay Reporting Requirements to Foreign Air Carriers and Increase in Denied Boarding Compensation. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (July 2010).
Contributor, The Liability Reporter, published jointly by IATA and Condon & Forsyth LLP. (13th ed., February 2010).
Court Dismisses Antitrust Action Alleging Fixing Of Fuel Surcharges By Airlines. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (April 2010).
TSA Implements Screening Program for Cargo Carried on Passenger Flights. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Alert (October 2009).
Montreal Convention Limits of Liability to Rise 13.1% by End of Year. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Alert (September 2009).
Aviation and Security Infrastructure Fees (ASIF) – Are You Overpaying? ALTA Aeropolitical Conference for Legal Issues Facing the Aviation Industry, Miami, Florida (September 9-11, 2009).
Forum Non Conveniens: The Swinging Pendulum to Dismissal of Foreign Aviation Accident Cases in the United States. The National Transportation Safety Board Bar Association (Fall 2009).
Fifth Circuit Clarifies Application of Montreal Convention to Baggage Claims. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (June 2009).
Increased Protections for Air Travelers with Disabilities. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Alert (May 2009). Forum Non Conveniens- The Swinging Pendulum to Dismissal of Foreign Aviation Accident Cases in the United States. Condon & Forsyth LLP Newsletter (Spring 2009).
Discovery Reform in the United States: Is it Really at Hand? Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Alert (March 2009).
Peanuts, Pregnancy…And Pre-Emption. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Alert (February 2009).
2008 Roundup of Decisions Under the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994 (“GARA”). Condon & Forsyth LLP Newsletter (Winter 2009).
Death & Taxes: Certainties In the Aviation Industry. ALTA Aviation Law Conference, Miami, Florida (October 29-30, 2008).
Federal Appeals Court Holds Texas Public Policy Bars Insurance of Punitive Damages for Corporate Misconduct. Condon & Forsyth LLP Newsletter (Fall 2008).
Appeals Court Overturns New York “Passenger Bill of Rights” Act. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Alert (March 2008).
Illinois Federal Court Finds That Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act Precludes Suits In United States Against Peruvian Airline For Damages Arising From 2005 Accident. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (September 2007).
Aviation Accident Cases: Where to Litigate – Federal vs. State Court. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (May 2007).
The Airline’s Emergency Response: Keeping Your Family Assistance Plan Up-To-Date. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (April 2007).
A Bill Of Rights For Airline Passengers. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (February 2007).
DOT Cracking Down On Deceptive Advertising Of Airline Fares. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (January 2007).
Antitrust Claims Dismissed Against Carrier Following Termination Of Travel Agent’s Volume Override Commission Agreement. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (October 2006).
Failure to Warn Of DVT Risks is Not an “Accident” Under the Warsaw Convention. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (August 2006).
Service Animals in the Cabin. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (June 2006).
New International Treaty Affecting Leasing Of Aircraft and Engines Now in Effect. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (April 2006).
Claim For Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is Not Compensable Accident Under Warsaw Convention. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (March 2006).
Price Fixing Probe Results In Raids On Airline Offices. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (February 2006).
Who You Gonna Call? [New In-flight Passenger Regulations on the Horizon]. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (January 2006).
Drug Heist Forces Definition of International Liability. Air Cargo News, vol. 4, no. 128 (December 2, 2005).
New York Court Clarifies Damages Recoverable in Bumping Case. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (December 2005).
Foreign Airlines and Ownership of Real Property in the United States. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (November 2005).
Code-Share Partner Liability Under Warsaw and Montreal Convention. IADC Newsletter, Aviation & Space Law Committee (November 2005).
The Montreal and Warsaw Conventions: International Legal Limits – Then and Now. Florida Bar Association, Pensacola Beach, Florida (November 8, 2005).
ATA Proposes New Agreement to Extend Provisions of Montreal Convention to All International Transportation. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (October 2005).
Payment of Special Occupational Tax by Airline Lounge Operators Serving Alcohol Is Suspended through June 30, 2008. Condon & Forsyth LLP Client Bulletin (August 2005).
NTSB Anniversary Report Marks 30 Years. Air Cargo News, vol. 4, no. 59 (June 15, 2005).
Risk Management: Planning to Handle Things That Are Going to Go Wrong Even If You Don’t Know When – Or – How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Aviation Business. IATA Legal Symposium, Santiago, Chile (February 2005)
Conflicts Between The Courts: What’s A Lawyer To Do? IADC New York Insurance Meeting, New York (January 26, 2005)
The Vanishing Doctrine of Implied Indemnity in Maritime Actions, 72 Defense Counsel Journal, 130 (April 2005), discusses how maritime law has evolved to share the needs of a changing society with respect to indemnification of ship owners and stevedores.
Belgian Accounting Firm Enjoined From Pursuing Action In Brussels To Halt United States Securities Fraud Action. IADC Newsletter of the Multinational Litigation Committee (November 2004).
No Personal Jurisdiction Found Over Lessor Based On Crash of Helicopter in Forum State. IADC Newsletter of the Aviation and Space Law Committee (October 2004).
The Puzzle of Defining “Bodily Injury” Under the Warsaw Convention. Defense Counsel Journal, v. 70 n. 4 (October 2003).
Montreal Convention to Take Effect on November 4, 2003. IADC Newsletter of the Aviation and Space Law Committee (September 2003).
Is There A Boo-Boo? Defining Bodily Injury Under the Warsaw Convention. IADC Mid-Year Meeting 2003, Pebble Beach, California (February 17, 2003): This program addresses the rapidly evolving concept of bodily injury under the Warsaw Convention including discussion of recent cases that have defined and then refined its meaning.
Mediating the Aviation Case. For The Defense (July 2002).
To Appeal or Not to Appeal: When is an Order Directing Arbitration a Final Decision for Federal Appellate Purposes? IADC Newsletter, Aviation & Space Law Committee (February 2002).
Footing the Bill: Paying the Legal Costs of Criminal Proceedings. Defense Counsel Journal (January 2002).
Criminalization of Negligence: The “Third Rail” in Aviation Accident Litigation. The Florida Bar Trial Lawyers Section, Blue Angels Seminar, Pensacola, Florida (November 8-10, 2001).
Aviation Issues in the Real Millennium. American Bar Association, Washington, D.C. (October 18-19, 2001).
Warsaw convention Pre-Empts State and Federal Law Claims for Violation of Discrimination Statutes. IADC Newsletter of the Aviation and Space Law Committee (October 2001).
ATLA Aviation Section, Montreal, Canada (July 16, 2001).
Footing the Bill: Paying the Legal Costs of Criminal Proceedings. IADC, Dublin, Ireland (July 1-5, 2001).
Air Carrier Liability Under the Air Carrier Access Act. IADC Newsletter, Aviation & Space Law Committee (November 2000).
Aviation Issues in the New Millennium. American Bar Association, Washington, D.C. (October 19-20, 2000).
Recent Developments in Family Assistance Act Requirements. AON, Bogota, Columbia (September 13-15, 2000)
Los danos indemnizables en el transporte aereo internacional en los Estados Unidos de America. AITAL: Asociacion Internacional de Transporte Boletin Informativo (Mazo-Abril 2000).
Defending Foreign Air Crash Cases in the United States: The Effective Use of Forum Non Conveniens Defense. Speaker at Meet the Blue Angels, Current Aviation Law Developments, presented by the NTSB Bar Association and The Florida Bar’s CLE Committee, Pensacola Beach, Florida (1999).
Settlement of Aviation Cases. ABA 1999 Aviation Seminar, Washington, D.C. (October 21, 1999).
Expediting The Fair Resolution of Aviation Cases. Speaker at the ABA Aviation Litigation Seminar, Tort and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation Space Law Committee, Washington D.C. (1999).
The Role of Discovery in Aviation Cases: Litigating the Aviation Case from Pretrial to Closing Argument. American Bar Association, 2nd ed., Chapter 6 (1998).
Demonstrative Evidence in Aviation Cases. American Bar Association (1998).
Selecting the Jury in an Air Crash Disaster Case. American Bar Association (1996).
The Self-Analysis Privilege: Shielding the Trust or Encouraging Improvement? 25 The Brief 52 (Fall 1995).
The Real Thing: State Law Tort Reform. Address at the “ABA Litigation in Aviation Seminar, Washington D.C. (1995).
Defending Foreign Air Crash Cases in the United States. Eighth Annual Aviation Law Insurance Symposium Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida (January 26-27, 1995).
The Computation of Damages in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases in the Second Circuit. Defense Counsel Journal (1994).
Defenses that an Air Carrier has to Claims Brought in the United States. TACA Personnel, El Salvador (July 8, 1994).
Admissibility of Accident Reports into Evidence Under Federal Rule of Evidence 803(8)(C). Insurance, Negligence and Compensation Law (INCL) Journal, New York State Bar Association Journal (June 1989).
Limits of Liability in Passenger Cases and Recent Trends in Major Aviation Litigation. Mexico City, Mexico (August 17, 1989).
The Imposition of Sanctions Under CPLR sec.83-3-a and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11. INCL Journal (December 1989).
Team Excellence: Key to the Future. WACRA Annual Meeting, Lisbon, Portugal (November 7-9, 1988).