Paul Alp is a counsel in the firm's Aviation and Torts groups in Washington, D.C. His practice concentrates on providing advice and representation with respect to aviation law, disputes, regulatory compliance, technical and operational issues, government investigations, and risk assessments for aircraft operators, manufacturers, repair stations, and trade associations. He is an experienced litigator with a track record of success handling government enforcement actions, liability litigation, and commercial arbitrations. He provides clients with comprehensive analysis and guidance on regulatory, liability, technical, certification, operational, and commercial issues.
An active certified flight instructor, Paul combines an in-depth knowledge of the aviation industry, operations, and the regulatory environment with substantial experience at the front lines of litigation and arbitration. He represents aviation clients in connection with regulatory compliance, government investigations, rulemakings, and legislative initiatives He advises on a wide variety of aviation regulatory and legal issues as well as flight operations, technical, certification, and safety matters. He also represents product manufacturers, maintenance providers, and operators in air accident litigation.
A large part of Paul's practice focuses on resolving complex aviation matters involving interconnected issues of design and manufacturing defects, product conformity, quality management systems, regulatory compliance, liability and risk assessment, crisis management, corrective actions, notice and recall programs, government investigations, and commercial disputes. He has lead internal investigations, compliance audits, and risk assessments; defended government investigations; managed voluntary disclosures; and advised manufacturers, repair stations, and operators to help them identify, analyze, and mitigate regulatory, legal, and commercial risks.
Paul also handles disputes at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts throughout the country. He represents clients in complex, high-stakes, multi-party cases. He has lead joint defense groups in billion-dollar litigation, been the first-chair attorney in major commercial arbitration, handled product liability, mass tort, and environmental cases, and negotiated complex structured settlements in class actions. For aviation clients he has handled air accident litigation, international commercial arbitrations and litigation, and the defense of enforcement actions and grand jury investigations. Paul has extensive experience managing litigation teams in document and discovery-intensive disputes. He often serves as national strategic counsel in complex civil cases and matters involving air accidents.
Paul graduated in 1991 from the University of Virginia. He graduated with high honors and the Order of the Coif from the George Washington University National Law Center in 1995. While in law school, he served as notes and projects editor of the George Washington Law Review. Paul recently completed an LL.M. with a specialization in administrative law and regulatory practice at the Center for Law & Government of American University.
Paul joined Crowell & Moring after practicing from 1995-1997 with the firm of Ice Miller Donadio & Ryan in Indianapolis. A member of that firm's Trial Practice Group, he gained substantial first chair litigation experience in product liability and tort defense, defending cases involving industrial accidents, product defect, premises liability, toxic tort, and other types of personal injury claims. He also served on a national litigation team that defended a major pharmaceutical class action involving extensive document discovery and complex expert issues.
Paul is certified as an advanced ground instructor and flight instructor-instrument for single and multi-engine aircrafts. He is a member of the American Bar Association's Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, the Section of International Law (Aerospace and Defense Committee), and Forum on Air & Space Law. He is also a member of the International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association, the Aviation Insurance Association, the Lawyer-Pilot Bar Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the National Association of Flight Instructors, the Aero Club of Washington, the International Aviation Club of Washington, and American Mensa. He regularly writes and speaks on cutting-edge issues in aviation and space law.
Paul currently serves as a vice-chair of the American Bar Association's TIPS Aviation & Space Law Committee, and is a member of the National Business Aviation Association's Regulatory Issues Advisory Group.
- Represented aircraft component manufacturer in defense of DOT and DOD grand jury investigation with respect to allegations involving quality management, traceability, certifications, and product conformity; conducted investigation, developed risk assessment, and represented client before government agencies.
- Represented airline in commercial dispute with design and manufacturing firm in a confidential international arbitration arising under contract for completions of multiple airliners; also advised with respect to product certification, conformity, and installation issues with respect to subject parts.
- Represented aircraft component manufacturer in connection with regulatory, safety, certification, and exposure issues arising from product lines that encountered service difficulties; representation included working with regulators, advice about testing and product replacement programs, promulgation of FAA and EASA airworthiness directives, and development of instructions for continued airworthiness.
- Represented aircraft operator in dispute arising under contract for large aircraft completion under non-U.S. law; lead negotiations, drafted settlement and contract documents, and provided legal and technical advice to accomplish completion of aircraft and regulatory approvals of same.
- Represented avionics manufacturer in connection with investigation, strategy, and response actions arising from alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- Represented Airlines for America in developing the comprehensive industry response to the FAA's Flight and Duty Time rulemaking.
- Represented component manufacturer and repair station in connection with nonconformances and potential regulatory exposure, criminal liability, and commercial risk; developed strategy; conducted investigation, research, and risk assessment; advised with respect to voluntary disclosure, response actions, and development of instructions for continued airworthiness.
- Represented Caribbean airline in defense of personal injury claims arising out of an emergency landing.
- Advised jet engine manufacturer as to comprehensive revisions to product-wide instructions for continued airworthiness to ensure conformity with FAA and EASA regulations.
- Served as national strategic counsel for operator in defense of government investigations and multiple personal injury lawsuits arising from fatal accident.
- Lead counsel in multi-million dollar arbitration involving claims of breach of contract, misappropriation of confidential information and proprietary technology, and fraud; after 14 days of hearings negotiated a settlement that saved client substantial litigation costs and eliminated risk of adverse award.
- Represented fixed base operator in defense of commercial claims arising from ground handling and maintenance of jet aircraft.
- Member of team representing product manufacturer in defense of personal injury litigation arising from the Air France Flight 447 accident and the Qantas Flight 72 incident.
- Prepared CEO of regional airline to testify before Senate subcommittee investigating air safety issues; drafted testimony and provided strategic advice in connection with same.
- Represented European airline in defense of FAA investigation arising from alleged deviation in North Atlantic airspace.
- Advised major airframe manufacturer about regulatory and liability issues arising in connection with allegedly defective aftermarket parts designed for manufacturer's aircraft.
- Member of arbitration team that represented a major railroad in series of multi-million dollar arbitrations; drafted settlement and operational documents governing critical rail operations in the Northeast Corridor.
- Defended Part 135 operator against FAA enforcement action involving allegations of improper maintenance.
- Advised major component manufacturer in commercial dispute with competitor and about related FAA and EASA regulatory issues in connection with life-limited parts on Airbus aircraft.
- Represented operator in international litigation with repair station over commercial issues.
- Represented estate of pilot in a matter arising out of the fatal crash of a private twin-engine aircraft.
- Represented repair station in defense of claim arising from accident alleged to have been caused by sudden in-flight engine stoppage.
- Advised airframe manufacturer about testing, certification, and communications with the FAA arising from investigation and response activities in the aftermath of a fatal accident.
- One of lead attorneys directing a multi-phase environmental case involving 39 contaminated sites; after taking case through fact and expert discovery, won several summary judgment rulings knocking out the most costly sites; settled case in final stages of trial preparation.
- Represented aircraft component manufacturer in defense of FAA Part 13 complaint.
- Advised major U.S. airline with respect to drug, alcohol, OSHA, and pilot certification issues.
- Drafted briefs to state supreme court resulting in landmark ruling abrogating Seventh Circuit precedent with respect to the incorporation doctrine as to defective products.
- Provided advice about FAA and DOT regulatory issues arising from acquisition of a flight school.
- Advised trade association in connection with Congressional investigation of air safety issues; developed testimony of president of trade association for hearings about same.
- Represented client in complex multi-jurisdictional dispute involving product liability class actions, insurance coverage, and bankruptcy. Conducted bench trial; served as leader of joint defense group; led intense negotiations resulting in $52 million settlement; negotiated and drafted settlement and funding agreements.
- Represented aircraft owners and operators in defense of FAA investigations of operational control issues.
- Advised corporate flight department regarding FAA surveillance of employees and maintenance procedures.
- Provided advice and conducted due diligence investigation for acquisition of manufacturer of flight simulators.
- Represented African aircraft owners in commercial dispute arising from transaction involving defective aircraft.
- Advised fixed base operator and flight school in connection with litigation and government investigations arising out of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Maryland, Indiana (inactive)
Highlights, News & Knowledge
Speeches & Presentations
"Training in Aviation Regulations Applicable to Manufacturers and Repair Stations," Major Parts Manufacturer Seminar
Presenter: Paul Alp.
"Aftermath of Flight 3407: Future Flight Duty, Rest & Other Regulations," National Business Aviation Association
(October 31, 2012).
Presenter: Paul Alp.
Annual Meeting of the ABA Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Aviation & Space Law Committee
(October 20, 2011).
Moderator: Paul Alp.
"Training in Aviation Regulatory, Technical, and Insurance Issues," Major Aviation Insurer Seminar
Presenter: Paul Alp.
Commercial Space Flight: Recent Turbulence and Promising Future?
(June 5, 2013).
Co-Authors: Raymond F. Monroe, Gerald F. Murphy, Jonathan Linde, Paul Alp, Stephen J. McBrady, and Jonathan M. Baker.
'Limitations On Liability As To Space Tourists," Newsletter of the Aviation & Space Law Committee, American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
Author: Paul Alp.
On The Radar: Noteworthy Regulatory Developments
Author: Paul Alp.
Helicopter EMS: Safety Issues and Regulatory Outlook
Author: Paul Alp.
You've Been Served! Practical Considerations When Responding to a Subpoena
(2nd Quarter 2008).
Author: Paul Alp.
Joint-and-Several Allocation and Policy Provisions Governing the Stacking of Limits
Co-Authors: Paul Alp and Leslie A. Davis.
It's Not Just a Technicality
(March 8, 2008).
Co-Authors: Paul Alp and Jonathan H. Pittman.
Out of Thin Air: A Causation 'Requirement' In Aircraft Liability Policy Exclusions?
Author: Paul Alp.
How New Jersey Courts Handle Common Discovery Disputes Between Policyholders and Insurers
Author: Paul Alp.
The Limits of Morton: The Resistible Force of Regulatory Estoppel Meets The Immovable Object of New York's Insurance Statute
Co-Authors: Mark D. Plevin and Paul Alp.
The End of Eljer v. Liberty Mutual
Co-Authors: Mark D. Plevin, Paul Alp and Jennifer E. Schlosser.
Client Alerts & Newsletters
In the News
Drone Law Practices Are Beginning to Take Flight
January 26, 2015 — National Law Journal
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