Welcome to AIRLAWYER.COM,
the official Web site of THE FRENCH FIRM Co., L.P.A.
The AIRLAWYER is:
RICHARD H. FRENCH, JR.
THE FRENCH FIRM Co., L.P.A.
101 Seminary Street
Berea, Ohio 44017
Phone (440) 826-1616
Fax (440) 826-1617
Attorney French is a pilot and
an attorney licensed to practice law in Ohio, California, New York and Washington, D.C., and licensed to practice law
before the United States Supreme Court, various United States Courts of Appeals and various United States District Courts.
He is a Federal Aviation Administration-licensed Commercial Pilot, with an Instrument Rating and over 1800 hours of flight
time logged. Attorney French earned his first pilot's license in 1974.
H. FRENCH, JR.
THE FRENCH FIRM CO., L.P.A.
101 Seminary Street
Berea, Ohio 44017
Phone (440) 826-1616
Fax (440) 826-1617
1999 - Internationally Judicially Proclaimed Expert in United States Aviation Law.
1992 – Judicially Declared Expert In Major Tort Disaster Litigation.
1985 – Present:
THE FRENCH FIRM CO., L.P.A. (Formerly
French & Associates Co., L.P.A.)
OhioLitigation Attorney - Civil litigation, emphasizing representation of plaintiffs. Full conduct of all phases of investigation,
pretrial, discovery, negotiation, settlement, and trial in all courts. 1983 - 1985
GALLAGHER, SHARP, FULTON & NORMAN, Cleveland, Ohio: Litigation Attorney - Civil litigation, emphasizing
defense of aviation-related matters. Full participation in all phases of pretrial, discovery, negotiation, settlement, and
trial in state and federal courts. 1980 - 1983
AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, Washington, D.C. Trial Attorney - Air crash and administrative
claims, participate in pretrial and discovery, conduct federal court and administrative trials. Draft Federal Aviation Regulations
and federal Orders. 1979 - 1980
PRIVATE LEGAL PRACTICE, Los
Angeles, California: Aviation and general practice, sole practitioner. 1979
SANTA MONICA AIRPORT ASSOCIATION, Marina del Rey, CA: Law Clerk - Prepare evidence
and briefs in major aviation, constitutional law, and noise litigation. 1977 - 1978
TUCKER & CODDINGTON, Los Angeles, California: Law Clerk - Prepare pleadings
and memoranda of law; analyze depositions in air crash litigation. 1976 - 1977
LOS ANGELES CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Los Angeles, CA: Legal Intern - Law Clerk to city attorney in
aviation litigation for Los Angeles airports.
Bar Memberships: California; Ohio;
Washington, D.C.; and New York
SOUTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
Los Angeles, CA.,
Juris Doctor, 1978
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles, CA., Bachelor
of Arts, 1974
CASES & MATERIALS ON AVIATION LAW
Sherman & French, 1978
Aviation law casebook.
Commercial pilot, instrument rated; Over 1800 hours of pilot flight time. Owned and operated Mooney M20E high performance
single-engine 4-seat aircraft) and Cessna 150 (two-seat, single-engine) aircraft for many years.
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)
Legal Services Plan, Attorney Service Provider
Air crash litigation, the emphasis of Attorney French's law practice since 1980, is normally conducted
by highly-trained, aviation litigators who commonly are also aeronautical engineers or pilots, such as Attorney French.
Attorney French has handled aviation law matters or aircraft crash litigation in federal and state
courts around the United states, Canada and Europe while representing the United States Government, American and European
aircraft, engine, avionics and component manufacturing and service organizations, pilots, passengers, ground victims, widows,
orphans, and executors of innocent people killed or injured in air crash disasters.
an air crash disaster strikes, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and/or the Federal Aviation Administration's
(FAA) aircraft accident investigators go to the site of the accident and conduct an accident site and wreckage examination,
commonly assisted by representatives of the aircraft manufacturer, engine manufacturer, subcomponent manufacturers or other
technically oriented people whose employers may be target defendants by the victims of the tragedy. The FAA and NTSB do not
investigate aircraft crashes for purposes of providing evidence in court for the victims of the crash. The victims' legal
representatives perform that function, as well as suing the responsible party to obtain full, fair and adequate compensation
for the innocent injured victims and the families of the victims killed in the crash. It is important for the victims to obtain
their own attorney representative(s) who will work with technical representatives and investigators with the goal of assisting
the victims of the crash. The government investigators have a goal of determining the "Probable Cause" of the crash
for purposes of attempting to avoid future mishaps caused by the same thing. The victims' AIRLAWYER must prove to a reasonable
degree of scientific certainty the cause of the crash, and that each injury sustained by the victim was proximately caused
by the crash, and not by some other event or condition. It is a heavy burden of proof to sustain. The NTSB and FAA do not
have a goal of proving the ACTUAL CAUSE of the crash, but merely the Probable Cause of the air crash disaster.
The victim is well advised to retain an attorney such as Attorney Richard H. French, Jr., the AIRLAWYER,
a highly skilled, highly trained and experienced air crash litigation attorney who is capable and willing to represent the
innocent victim of the tragedy against the people or companies that caused the preventable tragedy and who must compensate
the victim(s) and their families under our system of aviation litigation laws in the United States of America.
Few attorneys consistently spend much of their time in aircraft accident wrongful death, personal
injury and damages investigation, discovery and litigation, defense of FAA-licensed airman certificate holders (such as pilots
and aircraft mechanics).
The AIRLAWYER, Richard H. French, Jr. has devoted a substantial
portion of his time over his entire career to aircraft crash litigation. Attorney French also handles vehicular crash cases
(automobile accidents, truck crashes, motorcycle accidents, etc.), fire claims and litigation and general litigation.
Attorney French has handled claims or litigation arising from at least 75 separate aircraft crash
disasters involving commercial jet aircraft, business jet aircraft, single-engine aircraft, multi-engine piston and jet, turbine-powered
large and small airplanes, helicopters, gyroplane, kit plane and homebuilt aircraft. Causes of aviation disasters handled
by the AIRLAWYER, RICK FRENCH have included:
1. Midair collisions;
2. Icing, including ground and in-flight engine and airframe icing;
3. Aircraft-truck collision;
4. Engine failures
5. Fuel system failures;
6. Mechanical and electronic failures;
7. Pilot negligence;
9. Air Traffic Controller negligence;
10. Defective or illegal maintenance;
11. Bogus parts, and many other causes.
Some of the types
of aviation disasters the AIRLAWYER has handled include:
1. Commercial jet transport
2. Charter aircraft accidents;
3. Business jet crashes;
4. Single-engine aircraft accidents;
5. Multi-engine airplane crashes;
6. Helicopter crashes;
7. Gyroplane crash;
8. Kit built aircraft crash;
9. Skydiver disaster;
10. Floatplane or seaplane crash;
11. Trainer airplane crashes;
12. High Performance airplane
13. Airliner (transport aircraft) crashes;
Some of the types of aviation clients who the AIRLAWYER has represented include:
1. Passengers in airplane crashes;
2. Ground victims of aircraft accidents;
5. Air Traffic Controllers;
6. Flight Service Station Specialists;
7. Widows, orphans, administrator and executors of the estates of victims killed in aircraft accidents,
family members, wives and husbands of air crash victims;
8. American and European
9. Aircraft Jet engine
10. The United States government;
11. Aircraft maintenance facilities; and
12. Aircraft avionics (electronics)
Aircraft Accident Investigators work closely with AIRLAWYER French to determine the actual cause of
the crash and to unravel the mysteries surrounding the reason(s) why the preventable tragedies occurred. The AIRLAWYER and
private aircraft accident investigators such as those who work with AIRLAWYER French are responsible for helping and requiring
aircraft manufacturers to build safer aircraft, pilots conducting safer flight operations, mechanics conducting more reliable
maintenance and inspection procedures (a particularly important area where safety improvements are needed, considering the
aging of the aircraft fleet and resulting higher aircraft maintenance requirements, along with many "Bogus Parts,"
components sold as aircraft parts, but which do not meet the FAA's strict requirements for aircraft parts because of poor
quality, improper licensing or paperwork, improper quality of materials or workmanship, possible illegal recycling of unairworthy
Lawsuits are filed in federal or state court (if a suitable settlement
cannot be negotiated) against the people and companies responsible for causing the air crash tragedy by the AIRLAWYER, Rick
French. The AIRLAWYER's goal is to obtain full and fair monetary compensation for the victims of air crash tragedies through
the legal system. The AIRLAWYER believes that it is common that insurers and attorneys for the people and companies that caused
the air crash disaster refuse to negotiate a settlement in good faith without the pressure, expense, time and inconvenience
of major litigation. Defense attorneys, those who represent the people and companies who may have caused the aviation tragedy,
are commonly paid by the hour for their legal services, offering a strong disincentive to defense counsel recommending an
early settlement. Defense attorneys make more money if they bill out more hours. If a defendant settles early, the defense
attorney cannot bill out as many hours as if a settlement is effectuated late in the life of the case. The defense attorney
has no personal risk of losing a case until the trial. Thus, settlements immediately before, or during a trial are common.
Attorneys sometimes aggressively solicit the business of the victims of air crash disasters. Some
of those attorneys are qualified to handle the air crash litigation; most are not. Many of the attorneys who are able to enter
into a fee agreement (contract to provide legal services for the victim, commonly on a contingency fee basis - the attorney
keeps a certain percentage of the money ultimately collected for the victims, and does not earn a legal fee if the attorney
does not collect money for damages suffered by the victims) with air crash victims, their families or the executor of the
Estate of the victim are not themselves experienced and skilled in air crash litigation. These non-aviation attorneys may
then retain an experienced air crash attorney such as the AIRLAWYER, Rick French, and split the contingency fee with the aviation
attorney. The AIRLAWYER and many of the AIRLAWYER's colleagues who handle air crash litigation accept cases with a "referring"
Air crash victims can often arrange a more advantageous
(to the victim) legal fee agreement directly with the experienced aircrash litigator who has knowledge of the special laws,
science and physics of aircraft accident litigation and investigation, such as the AIRLAWYER, RICK FRENCH. This is because
there is no need to pay a portion of the legal fee to the non-aviation "referring" attorney if the victim contracts
directly with the aviation attorney. Just because an attorney can competently handle a divorce, an automobile accident, business,
general or criminal litigation does not mean that the attorney is also qualified to handle an air crash claim and litigation.
Web page is not intended to, and does not provide legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This
Web page is provided to offer a general overview of aircraft accident claims and litigation. Each crash is individual and
unique, with many unique factual and legal issues, making the giving of aviation law advice specific to the reader of this
Web page impossible.