“At fourteen I took my first flying lesson and at fifteen I was inspired to become an attorney. At sixteen I began working after school for Richard Schaden. My nearly lifelong devotion to law and aviation is firmly founded in my deep and abiding respect and commitment to the pursuit of justice for people in need of an attorney as a result of the death of their loved one or from injuries due to no fault of their own.”
– David I. Katzman
DAVID I. KATZMAN
You may email Mr. Katzman at
David Katzman is one of the world’s foremost aviation lawyers and aviation law experts, with extensive litigation experience in complex personal injury, wrongful death, and commercial product liability claims. He has successfully litigated numerous cases, winning favorable judgments and settlements involving product design, component failure, pilot error, and airplane crashworthiness.
In addition to aviation lawsuits involving product liability law, Mr. Katzman has successfully litigated common air carrier cases including:
- The ground collision accident of Northwest Flights 229 and 1482 at Detroit
- Northwest Flight 255 at Detroit
- The Arrow Air disaster at Gander, Newfoundland
- Comair Flight 3972 at Monroe, Michigan
- American Eagle Flight 3379 at North Carolina
- USAir Flight 427 near Pittsburgh
Mr. Katzman pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan and Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Before graduating from the University of Detroit School of Law in 1982, Mr. Katzman worked as a clerk with the Schaden aviation law firm and then as a Legislative Correspondent in the U.S. House of Representatives. After graduating from law school, Mr. Katzman practiced aviation law in Miami, Florida, before returning to the firm in 1987.
Interested in aviation from an early age, Mr. Katzman completed his first flying lesson at the age of fourteen, piloted his first solo flight at sixteen, earned his pilot’s license at seventeen and has been a certified commercial pilot since he was twenty. He now has his airline transport certificate and logs several hundred flight hours a year piloting the firm’s aircraft. He holds a jet aircraft type rating from the FAA and has accumulated several thousand hours of flight time.
Mr. Katzman is a member of the American Association for Justice (f/k/a ATLA), the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association (where he serves on the executive committee), the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, and the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. He lectures regularly on aviation law, its emerging legal theories, doctrines, and case law.
Licensed to practice law in Michigan and Florida, Mr. Katzman has also appeared before courts throughout the United States, in Argentina, Costa Rica, and the Cayman Islands. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on proposed aviation legislation and has published articles on the subject of aviation trial tactics.