As both a pilot and an attorney, I have a strong bond with my aviation clients. My background and my passion allow me to relate to my clients on a meaningful level and assist them with a variety of needs. I have represented everything from aircraft accidents to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enforcement actions, FAA medical safety violations, international aviation cases, and even airport closing battles.
One particular case is near and dear to my heart, and it’s a case that involves the Smith Field Airport (KSMD) here in Fort Wayne. I learned to fly at Smith Field, soloing in the summer of 1976 while in college and later obtaining my private pilot’s license. Though I always planned to become an attorney, aviation has been a lifelong interest of mine, and I have forever looked back on the Smith Field Airport with fond memories of my first flight lessons there.
Much to my dismay, I was later notified in 2003 that the airport would be closing. Fortunately, a group known as “Smith Airfield ForEver” (SAFE) reached out to me for legal representation. Together, we were able to fight to save the airport. We benefited from ample support from the community, too, as people throughout the city helped convince the Fort Wayne Allen County Airport Authority of Smith Field’s value and potential. I’m proud to say that nearly 15 years later, the airport is still alive and growing. It was an honor to help preserve Smith Field, and it’s simply one example of why I practice aviation law.