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Eric Strain is an experienced international aviation attorney.

What do you focus on?

I am national product liability counsel for some of the world’s largest foreign and domestic aviation manufacturing companies, and I represent them and other aviation clients in litigation throughout the U.S. I also provide regulatory advice to international clients, including foreign air carriers. My courtroom experience includes jury trial defense verdicts, many successful motion arguments, and appeals all the way up to petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court. I am a member of NP Trial® along with our firm’s other most experienced trial attorneys.

What do you see on the horizon?

The U.S. court system continues to draw aviation accident claimants from around the world, even in cases having little or no connection with this country. In many cases, forum and jurisdictional challenges can provide defendants with significant early advantages, particularly for international matters. I have been closely monitoring legal developments in this area for more than a decade, and I have obtained jurisdictional dismissals for clients on multiple occasions. With much at stake for both sides, such issues will continue to be commonly litigated, particularly with respect to “stream of commerce” jurisdiction, which the Supreme Court has yet to clearly define.


  • “Personal jurisdiction: Is no news from the Supreme Court good news for foreign product manufacturers?” Nixon Peabody Aviation Law Alert, June 30, 2011
  • “The ‘Nexus’ Requirement for Specific Jurisdiction in Product Liability Cases: What Do Federal Courts Require Before a Forum Can Exercise Specific Jurisdiction Over a Foreign Manufacturer Who Did Not Place the Product Into the Stream of Commerce in the United States,” Product Liability 360, March 2009 (co-author)
  • “Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act: Assessing the Immunity of Foreign States in U.S. Litigation,” published in the American Bar Association’s The Brief, Fall 2004
  • “Recent Developments in Aviation Law,” Southern Methodist University Journal of Air Law and Commerce, Winter 1999
  • Editor of Nixon Peabody Aviation Law Alert


  • Panel Moderator: “The View from the Regulators: NTSB and FAA Speak Out on the Latest Aviation Litigation Trends,” ACI Third Annual Forum on Defending and Managing Aviation Litigation, June 22, 2011, Boston, Massachusetts
  • “The Nexus Requirement for Specific Jurisdiction Over Foreign Aircraft Manufacturers,” Speech Presented at 44th Annual Southern Methodist University Air Law Symposium, February 26, 2010, Dallas, Texas

Representative Experience

  • Takacs v. American Eurocopter Corp., Texas State Court, El Paso (November 2012).

    Obtained defense verdict for helicopter distributor on product liability wrongful death and serious personal injury claims arising from the crash of a U.S. Border Protection helicopter.

  • National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania v. American Eurocopter Corp., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18152 (5th Cir. 2012).
    Obtained unanimous decision for  Eurocopter and its U.S. affiliate, American Eurocopter, from a three-judge Fifth Circuit panel in a published opinion that fully affirmed the summary judgment dismissal by the Northern District of Texas of a multi-million dollar contribution claim against them.

  • Martinez v. Aero Caribbean, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56041 (N.D. Cal., Apr. 20, 2012).
    Obtained dismissal on personal jurisdiction grounds of Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) in connection with wrongful death lawsuit arising from the November 5, 2010, crash of Aero Caribbean S.A. Flight #883, an ATR-72-212 turboprop aircraft, near Guasimal in Sancti Spiritus Province, Cuba, which resulted in 68 fatalities.

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  • Harry Newman, et al. v. European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS N.V., et al., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63503 (D. Mass., June 16, 2011).
    Represented Socata SAS; Socata North America, Inc.; European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS N.V.; EADS North America, Inc.; Compagnie Daher, S.A.; Daher, Inc. in a product liability and negligence lawsuit arising from the fatal crash of a Socata TBM-700 airplane in bad weather during an attempted landing at an airport in Massachusetts. The court granted motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction for each client.

  • Counsel for ATR-42-320 Empire Airlines (Federal Express) accident at Lubbock, Texas on January 27, 2009. Accident involved flightcrew error in icing conditions resulting in two injuries and a hull loss.
    Counsel for ATR-42-320 Empire Airlines (Federal Express) accident at Lubbock, Texas on January 27, 2009. Accident involved flightcrew error in icing conditions resulting in two injuries and a hull loss. Represented the manufacturer ATR for the NTSB Public Hearing. The ATR aircraft was completely exonerated.

  • Jerpe v. Aérospatiale Helicopter Corporation, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (September / October 2008).
    Obtained a complete defense jury verdict for helicopter distributor that was the sole defendant in a wrongful death case arising from an emergency medical services helicopter crash.

  • Mezaki v. Eurocopter, S.A.S., U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (July 2008).
    Obtained a complete pretrial dismissal of all claims brought against a French aircraft manufacturer and its U.S. distributor who were the sole defendants in a wrongful death case arising from a tour helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon.

  • Watson v. Société Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 225 Fed. Appx. 716, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 7246 (9th Cir., Mar. 23, 2007).
    Successfully argued personal jurisdiction and agency issues to obtain affirmance of district court’s dismissal of French aircraft manufacturer from wrongful death litigation.

Media Clips

  • Post-Daimler Decisions Confirm the High Bar for General Jurisdiction over Product Manufacturers
    TerraLex Connections | July 15, 2015
    This column discusses a survey of lower court decisions in the sixteen months since the Supreme Court's decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman. This survey confirms that courts are applying a high bar with more uniform results as to when general jurisdiction will be found. Partner and co-leader of the Commercial Litigation practice Joe Ortego, San Francisco Commercial Litigation partner Eric Strain and New York City Commercial Litigation associate Zack Stillings co-authored the piece.




Eric C. Strain