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Aviation Law

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  1. Aviation Law AVM 375

  2. Legal Aspects of Aviation An Introduction Professor Greg Schwab

  3. Course Highlights • A detailed examination of aviation law as it relates to the pilot, air traffic controller, airport manager, or other aviation professionals • This course is a practical approach to dealing with legal issues in the operations world. Special emphasis is placed on how to avoid legal problems and how to recognize when it’s necessary to seek the advice of a qualified aviation attorney • This course is not just about aviation law; it’s about aviation AND the law.

  4. Course Requirements • Testing (midterm, final) • Presentation (~ 10 minutes) • Point paper outlining presentation • Attendance and participation • News Article, Case Studies

  5. …in the present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?

  6. …in the present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? Ronald Reagan

  7. Terms to Know… • Case Law • Evolves from similar court decisions from prior similar cases and establishes precedent for future cases • Plaintiff • Party that brings forward complaint • Brings “suit” against defendant

  8. Terms to Know… • Defendant • The guy “on-the-spot” • Must defend himself against complaint • Party • This is easy—anyone involved in a case

  9. Terms to Know • Civil Law • Laws to protect a person (or society) and property • Criminal Law • Protects community against harmful acts • Crime • Offense against the State or people of the State • “State of Indiana vs. John Q. Public”

  10. Terms to Know… • Venue • Place or country in which injury happened • Normally associated with where the trial will occur • Does not refer to jurisdiction • Clients will look to most favorable location

  11. Terms to Know… • Public Prosecutor • Brings suit against defendant • Felony • Crime punishable by death or prison sentence • Reserved for serious crimes • Misdemeanor • Less serious crimes—sometimes considered petty • Always less than 1 year jail time

  12. Terms to Know… • Statutory Law • Acts made by those guys in the State Capital or Washington D.C. • Remedy • Makes person damaged whole again

  13. Common Law • Law made by judges over the years, as distinguished from statutory law made by legislators and regulations adopted by administrative agencies • Court give high priority to protecting the health and safety as public policy • Based on precedent or previous court decisions

  14. Terms to Know… • Jurisdiction • The right to act • Must have: • Power • Authority • Capacity • Who/where a case can be heard • States have jurisdiction over cases occurring in their area that do not involve federal issues

  15. Section I Overview of the history of law

  16. U.S. Legal Philosophy • What is aviation law? • Broad in scope: • Federal Aviation Regulations • Labor Relation Law • Product Liability Law • Fair Credit Law • Transportation Law

  17. Origin of Western Law • Well-rooted in English law and history • Magna Carta • “You can’t do that, it’s against the law” • Common Law • No specific beginning • Constitutional Law • From an organized political body

  18. U.S. Historical Development • 1775: American Revolution began • 1776: Declaration of Independence drafted • Stated why the colonists wanted to separate from Great Britain • 1781: Articles of Confederation drafted • Gave form to the new government but was too weak to bind the colonists together • 1787: U.S. Constitution drafted • 1788: U.S. Constitution adopted as basic law of the land • Ratified by all states in 1790 • 1791: First 10 amendments added to the Constitution

  19. Preamble to the Constitution We the people of the United States, In order to form a more perfect union, In order to establish justice, In order to insure domestic tranquility, To provide for the common defense, To promote the general welfare, To secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, Do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America

  20. Constitutional Powers • Article One • Legislative powers assigned to two houses • Senate with equal representation from each state • House of Representatives with representation by populace • Article Two • Executive power is administrative power resting with the President and Vice-President • Article Three • Judicial Power is vested in the Supreme Court and other such inferior courts which Congress creates • Article Four • Established states’ rights

  21. The Bill of Rights First Amendment Freedom of Speech, Press, and Peaceable Assembly Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms (recent court decisions afirm this as an individual right) Third Amendment Government can not quarter soldiers in homes, and people have the right to oppose it Fourth Amendment The people protected against unreasonable search and seizure Fifth Amendment Due process of the Law, Protects against self-incrimination

  22. The Bill of Rights (Con’t) Sixth Amendment Speedy and public trial by impartial jury Seventh Amendment Right to trial by jury in civil cases Eighth Amendment Excessive bail shall not be required, nor cruel and unusual punishments imposed Ninth Amendment Other rights retained by the citizen Tenth Amendment Powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved for the states

  23. Federal Courts • U.S. Supreme Court • 1 Chief Justice • 8 Associate Judges • How they got their jobs • Political appointment by the President • Advice and Consent of the Senate • Appointment is for life • What they do: • Constitutional interpretation, expressly stated or implied

  24. U.S. Supreme Court (Con’t) • Once power applied (established), then can be widely interpreted • But…All powers not granted by the Constitution to the federal government are retained by the states • How they do their jobs: • Majority decision prevails • But… dissenting decisions are not without importance and are widely argued in many cases

  25. U.S. Supreme Court • Can pass judgment on Constitutional issues on state laws, thus making federal government superior to states • Also decides if acts passed by Congress are Constitutional • Court selects cases to be “heard” • About 80 cases per year • Individuals petition for Writ of Certiorari • Must present constitutional issue of importance • “Fascinating legal issue of nationwide importance that cry out for the Courts attention”

  26. U.S. Supreme Court • Reversals • Courts can and does reverse itself from time to time • Why? • Passage of Time • Circumstance • Public Perception • The above causes change in the national outlook • Future cases are argued both ways

  27. U.S. Court of Appeals • Just below U.S. Supreme Court • “Hear” cases referred by the states • Limit on the types of cases heard • Sums of money • Two or more states involved • Some Federal factor or issue

  28. U.S. District Court • Hey! You can’t sue the Government! • Yes, you can… • Have original jurisdiction with Court of Claims against the United States • Most aviation cases start/or end at this level • Have power to remand cases to an administrative body • FAA • NTSB • DOT

  29. Congressional Role • Set broad policies • Delegates authority to administrative agencies • Regulatory control • Power of the purse • Senate and House of Representatives • Negotiate differences through committee

  30. Executive Role • Appoints Board Members • NTSB—FAA—DOT • May order investigations • Drafts national budget • Nominates Supreme Court Justices

  31. State Court System • Whatever right not given to the Federal Government is reserved to the States (U.S. Constitution) • Government is least harmful when it is nearest the citizens • State courts have consistently became more specialized • All States have at least these levels of courts: • Local Trial Courts • State Trial Courts • State Intermediate Appellate Courts and Supreme Courts

  32. Local Trial Courts • Limited jurisdiction (Civil cases only) • Traffic offenses, estate cases, juvenile court) • Other minor cases (small claims, wills, orphans) • Also referred to as: • People’s Court • Conciliation Court • Magistrate’s Court • Hear cases involving less than $5,000 • Other Types • Probate Court • Family Court (Divorce)

  33. State Trial Courts • General jurisdiction to hear wide variety of cases • Initial aviation issues are heard at this level • “State versus Defendant” • Examples: • District Court of Common Pleas • Circuit Court of … • Superior Court of … • Local trial court cases can be appealed to these courts • Decisions are important because few cases are appealed to a higher level • Civil and Criminal Cases heard

  34. State Intermediate Appellate Courts • Cases referred to them from courts of lower limited jurisdiction • If satisfactory decision is reached then no further appeal is necessary • Must consider time and money involved • DOES NOT deal with Trial courts finding of fact • Rather decides if Trial Judge correctly applied the law • Civil and Criminal Cases heard

  35. State Supreme Court • All states have one Supreme Court • Some states allow a case to move from the local court directly to the State Supreme Court • State jealously guard their powers • Citizens wish to retain control of their lives and laws • States differ in preferences • i.e. French versus English orientation • States protect local interpretation of laws • i.e. oil production, tobacco, grain, fishing • Aviation is concerned with many state laws due to wide variation of legal interpretations

  36. Section IIContract Law Reasons and Implications

  37. Types of Contracts • Written • Verbal • Implied

  38. Verbal Contract • Not written but understood • Can imply action • ACFT maintenance (implied) • Should have written contract • Many transactions do not

  39. Parts of the Contract • Subject • Goal of contract • Must be lawful • Frivolous contract not enforceable • Exploitive or abuse of bargaining power • Agreement • All parties agree • Consideration • Agreed upon consideration • An offer with serious intent and made in good faith is binding

  40. Contracts • Enforceable in contracting state requirements • Must be clear to all parties • Entered without fraudulent intent • Contracts won by unwarranted pressure or threats are unenforceable

  41. Section IIILiability and Negligence

  42. Liability Concepts • Liability is a broad legal term that includes many areas • Liability law is divided into three types: • Administrative • Civil • Criminal

  43. Basic Principles of Liability • Purpose of this section is to ensure that you have a working knowledge of the kinds of behavior you must refrain from to avoid liability.

  44. Liability • Liability includes: • Obligations • Debts • Assumption of risks • Liable means a person is: • Answerable • Chargeable • Compelled to make restitution

  45. Liability, Con’t. • Civil law is divided into: • Tort Law • Contract Law • Liability determined by: • Limited Liability • Strict Liability

  46. Tort Law • What is a tort? • A statement, writing, or print against a person • Must damage his/her reputation • Diminishes his respectability • Discredits him • Act or omission that causes injury to another person by breach of a legal duty not arising out of a contract that subjects the “actor” to liability for damages in a civil lawsuit

  47. Tort Law, Cont. • In Latin, tort means “to twist” • A tort represents a civil wrong • Can be property damage or loss • Injury to individual • Tort law is not contract law • Tort law imposes human relations • Types of torts: • Intentional torts • Negligence

  48. Intentional Torts • Trespass • In aviation: landing aircraft on the wrong field • Conversion—act of assuming rights of the owner or person entitled to personal property that are inconsistent with the rights of the owner or person entitled to possession • In society: joyriding with someone else’s car • In aviation: FBO apprehending equipment for debts owed

  49. Intentional Torts • Mental Distress • False Imprisonment • Falsely holding someone against their will • In aviation—FBO using force to collect debt owed physically blocks aircraft from departure • False Arrest • False imprisonment carried out by erroneous assertion of legal authority to detain another person • Authority to do a citizen’s arrest is generally limited to felonies (murder, robbery, or burglary)

  50. Intentional Torts • Battery – harmful or offensive contact with another person without consent • Punching a person, sexual contact • Assault – a battery attempt that missed • He ducked when I tried to hit him