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Jonathan Stern is counsel in the Litigation Department and a member of the Aviation, Insurance Services, and Appellate Groups. His practice focuses on aerospace-related litigation, including civil rights cases against airlines, insurance coverage and claims handling matters involving aerospace insurance, and personal injury and wrongful death litigation involving aviation products or aviation operations.

Jon regularly represents airlines, aerospace manufacturers, aerospace insurers, airmen, and other aviation businesses and individuals. Jon brings to the law practical experience in, and knowledge of, the aviation industry. He has worked as an aviation research analyst, writing amendments to the Federal Aviation Regulations, a flight instructor, preparing students for their private and commercial pilot and instrument rating exams, and an air traffic controller, guiding airliners to a safe landing at Washington National Airport.

News & Publications

Community & Pro Bono

Jon 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 Oasis, where he teaches senior citizens on uses of technology.


  • American University, Washington College of LawJ.D.magna cum laude1986
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical UniversityB.S.1981

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland, 1987
  • Virginia, 1997
  • District of Columbia, 1988
  • Pennsylvania, 2004
  • Mississippi, 2014

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia, the District of Maryland, the Eastern District of Virginia, the Northern District of Illinois, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the District of Colorado, and the Northern District of Mississippi

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

Other Distinctions

  • Recognized by Chambers USA for nationwide aviation litigation, 2012-present*
  • Listed as Leading Aviation Attorney by Aviation Expert Guides 2014-present
  • Listed in The International Who’s Who of Aviation Lawyers (Transport: Aviation-Contentious), 2015-2022
  • Named as a ‘Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer’ variously for aviation, insurance coverage, and civil litigation defense, 2016-2022*, and numerous previous years
  • Named as a one of ‘Washington DC & Baltimore’s Top Rated Lawyers,’ Martindale-Hubbell in 2016 and numerous previous years 
  • Rated AV® Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • National Law Journal “Defense Win of the Month,” May 2002

*No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Further information on methodologies is available via these links.

Martindale Preeminent



Representative Matters

  • Represented air carrier sued by passenger removed for suspicious behaviors (who turned out to hold a security clearance), obtaining defense verdict at trial.
  • Defended air carrier sued for traumatic brain injury following oxygen tank falling from overhead bin, obtaining very favorable settlement.
  • Defended air carrier against claims that amputee should have been assisted disembarking from aircraft, obtaining defense verdict at trial.
  • Defended governmental operator of med-evac helicopter following multi-fatality accident at Andrews Air Force base, obtaining favorable settlements and substantial contribution from the United States for air traffic control negligence.
  • Represented owner of a corporate jet hangaring facility that collapsed under a major snowfall, the largest single general aviation loss in history. Assembled a multi-disciplinary team of lawyers and experts, ultimately settling all claims against our clients and obtaining substantial recoveries from those responsible.
  • Represented the pilot of a Cirrus SR22 who, using his airplane’s ballistic parachute, walked away from a fatal mid-air collision with a helicopter.
  • 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.
  • Guided aerospace insurers through coverage issues arising from the 9/11 attacks on America.

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