Moot Court Appellate Argument

Moot Court Appellate Argument

This session consists of a mock US Supreme Court argument of the recent US Court of Appeals decision in eid v. Alaska Airlines, 621 F.3rd 858 (9th Cir. 2010). Eid addressed an issue of elevated importance in the aftermath of September 11, holding that under the Tokyo Convention, liability for an airline captain’s decision to divert a flight and deplane allegedly unruly passengers should be based on a simple lack of reasonable care and not on the more deferential “arbitrary and capricious” standard. The decision arguably exposes carriers to increased liability, and potentially circumscribes flight crew discretion in dealing with unruly passengers. In this session, two prominent aviation tort lawyers will cross swords before the only US appellate court judge to have published law review articles on aviation regulatory issues.

Judge: Hon. Richard D. Cudahy (Us Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit)

- Attorney for Petitioner: Andrew J. Harakas (Clyde & Co US Llp, New York)
- Attorney for Respondents: Steve Pounian (Kreindler & Kreindler Llp, New York)


Tokyo Convention
Alaska Airlines Amicus Brief
Eid v. Alaska Airlines

Pictures (click here)

Hon. Richard D. Cudahy

Richard D. Cudahy is a senior circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Prior to his appointment to the Court, he was the resident partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the former Chicago firm of Isham, Lincoln and Beale.

Judge Cudahy received his B.S. degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and his J.D. from Yale University Law School. He then served as law clerk to Charles E. Clark, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, and in the Office of Legal Advisor, Department of State. He is a member of the Wisconsin, Illinois, District of Columbia, and Connecticut Bars. From 1961 to 1971 Judge Cudahy served as Chief executive Officer of Patrick Cudahy, Inc., a meat processing concern employing more than 800 people.

From 1972 to 1975 he served as Commissioner and Chairman of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, where he participated in many important decisions involving the energy crisis, pricing of utility services, environmental issues, nuclear power and so on. He has been active in government, politics, and civic affairs in his home state of Wisconsin.

Judge Cudahy participated in the proceedings of the ABA’s Commission on Professionalism as a representative of its Appellate Judges Conference. He was also a member of the ABA’s Special Committee on Energy Law and has served on the Councils of the Public Utility Law, Administrative Law and Natural Resources Sections. He is a member of the American Law Institute. He was a visiting professor in law at the University of Wisconsin, and a Lecturer in Law at Marquette University, a Professorial Lecturer at the George Washington University National Law Center, and is now a Lecturer in Law at the DePaul University College of Law. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, including one on deregulation in the Yale Journal on Regulation and one in the Journal of Air Law and Commerce.

Judge Cudahy has served as President of the Milwaukee Urban League; as a trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund; as President of the Law Club of Chicago; and from 1990 to 1998 as Chairman of the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University. Judge Cudahy is currently a member of the Advisory Committee to the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University and a member of the Foundation Advisory Board of the International Aviation Law Institute at DePaul University. He serves on the Visiting Committee of the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and is a member of the Judicial Advisory Board for the American Society of International Law. In 2010 he received the President’s Award from the Energy Bar Association for his lifetime work in the field of energy law.

Judge Cudahy was appointed by Chief Justice Rehnquist to the panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the purpose of appointing independent counsels and served four years from 1998-2002.

He has received the honorary LL.D. degree from Ripon College, DePaul University, Wabash College and Stetson University. He is also the recipient of the David Peck Award for 1989.

Andrew J. Harakas

Andrew Harakas Andrew joined Clyde & Co US LLP as a partner in June 2006.

He concentrates his practice in insurance, aviation, complex tort, bankruptcy and products liability litigation. Andrew also regularly advises clients on insurance wordings, commercial and regulatory matters.

Andrew has published articles on a variety of issues relating to domestic and international aviation and insurance law and has participated as a speaker in numerous conferences sponsored by the International Air Transport Association, the American Bar Association, the Institute of Air & Space Law, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association and various bar organizations throughout the world.

He is a member of the American Bar Association (Vice-Chair, Aviation and Space Law Committee, Tort and Insurance Practice Section, 1995-1996), Defense Research Institute (Vice-Chair, Aerospace Law Subcommittee, 2006-2007) and the Institute of Air and Space Law Association. Andrew is included in the International Who's Who of Aviation Lawyers and the Aviation Counsel Guide, and recently was selected for inclusion in the Manhattan edition of New York Super Lawyers.

Andrew was admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars in 1988, and the Michigan Bar in 1986. He also is a member of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Eleventh and District of Columbia Circuits, United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Andrew received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan (B.A., 1982) and his law degrees from the Michigan State University College of Law (cum laude, J.D., 1986) and McGill University, Institute of Air & Space Law (LL.M., 1987).

Steve Pounian

Steven Pounian Steven R. Pounian joined the firm of Kreindler & Kreindler LLP in 1980 and became a partner in 1987 focusing on aviation litigation. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University with Honors (1977) and received his J.D. degree from New York University (1980). At law school, he was Senior Editor of the Review of Law and Social Change.

He is admitted to the bar of New York, the Federal Courts of Appeals of the Second, Third, Fifth, and D.C. Circuits and the United States Supreme Court and has appeared pro hac vice in numerous state and federal courts throughout the United States.

He has been involved with numerous aviation mass disaster cases, including:
- the litigation involving the crash of Korean Air Lines flight 7 in the Sea of Japan, in which he was appointed as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Trial Committee
- the Pan American flight 103 disaster at Lockerbie, Scotland, in which he was appointed as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and served as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Trial Committee the crash of an Air Force CT-43 (Boeing 737) at Dubrovnik, Croatia, in which he was appointed as Chairman of the Plaintiffs’ Committee
- the TWA 800 disaster off Long Island, New York, in which he was appointed as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Committee and as Liaison Counsel
- and, most recently, the crash of American Airlines flight 587 in Belle Harbor, New York, in which he was appointed Chairman of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee.

He has worked on numerous trials resulting in favorable verdicts, most notably:
- Pan Am 103 Lockerbie Disaster (E.D.N.Y. 1992) (wilful misconduct and damages verdicts)
- Korean Air Lines Disaster (D.D.C. 1989) (wilful misconduct and damages verdicts)
- Texasgulf Disaster (S.D.N.Y. 1985) (series of damage trials)
Eastern Airlines Disaster at Kennedy Airport (E.D.N.Y. 1982) (damages verdicts)
- McClendon v. First Tennessee Bank (Shelby Co., Tennessee 1996) (largest death award in Tennessee history)
- Cogar v. Central Mountain Air Services (Vancouver, British Columbia 1991) (largest death award in Canadian history)
- Conway v. Cessna (New York Supreme Court 1996) (product liability verdict)

He has argued many legal issues in cases around the country, including the following reported cases:
- Densberger v. United Technologies Corp., 283 F.3d 110 (2d Cir. 2002)
- In re Air Crash off Long Island, New York on July 17, 1996,209 F.3d 200 (2d Cir. 2000)
- United States ex rel. Kreindler & Kreindler v. United Technologies, 985 F.2d 1148 (2d Cir. 1993)
- Baumgart v. Fairchild Aircraft, 981 F.2d 824 (5th Cir. 1993)
- In re Korean Air Lines Disaster, 932 F.2d 1475 (D.D.C. 1991)
- Wyler v. Korean Air Lines, 928 F.2d 1167 (D.D.C. 1991)
- Rodriquez v. United States, 823 F.2d 735 (3d Cir. 1987)
- Woodling v. Garrett, 8 13 F.2d 543 (2d Cir. 1987)
- In re Air Crash Disaster at Warsaw, Poland, 748 F.2d 94 (2d Cir. 1984)
- In re Air Crash Disaster at John F. Kennedy Airport, 687 F.2d 626 (2d Cir. 1982)
- Vargas v. Insurance Co. of North America, 651 F.2d 838 (2d Cir. 1981)

He has also been involved in many other aviation crash cases, including numerous commuter, military, product liability and general aviation cases.

He was elected and served as Chair of the Aviation and Space law Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) Tort and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS); Chair of the Trial Techniques Committee of ABA TIPS and has also served as a Vice-Chair of the Litigation Committee of ABA TIPS. He has served as a Court appointed mediator in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and as a Court appointed arbitrator in the Eastern District of New York. He has delivered several papers and given lectures at ABA Conventions and National Institutes, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America Convention, New York State Bar Litigation Seminars and the Southern Methodist University Air Law Symposium.

Click on the thumbnail to view a larger version of the pictures.


Andrew Harakas and Steven Pounian
Richard Cudahy

Paul Stephen Dempsey
Steve Pounian

Andrew Harakas
Allan Mendelsohn


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