Michel F. Baumeister
A renowned trial attorney for more than 35 years, Mitch Baumeister has concentrated his practice in the field of aviation accident and complex tort litigation. Prior to his entry into private practice, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan. During his tenure in this office, he handled dozens of major trials including several high visibility cases involving murder, robbery and rape. Following his term as a trial attorney at the state prosecutor's office, Mitch was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. While serving as a federal prosecutor, he conducted an international investigation that resulted in the first successful tax fraud indictment and verdict in the commodity futures field.
Combining his extensive trial background with more than 40 years of aviation experience as a pilot, Mitch's career has been dedicated to helping air crash victims and their families receive proper and adequate compensation, as well as to making improvements in aviation safety. He has served as a leading Member of the Plaintiffs' Steering and Executive Committees in every major airline disaster in which the firm has represented victims and their families.
In the aftermath of an aviation mass disaster, Mitch is routinely contacted by media organizations for his analysis of the incident. He has made numerous appearances on both television and radio broadcasts in the U.S. and internationally, and is frequently quoted in the print media as well.
Mitch holds a commercial pilot's license with an instrument rating for various aircraft. He received his J.D. from Seton Hall University Law School where he was an Editor of the Law Review, and earned an LL.M. in International Law from New York University School of Law. He recently earned a Masters Degree in Political Science from Rutgers University. He has been an Adjunct Professor of aviation law at Seton Hall University for many years, and is the former Chair of the school’s Board of Visitors. Mitch was recognized for his years of service to Seton Hall with the School of Law Distinguished Graduate Award in 2007.
Mitch Baumeister is frequently called upon to lecture in the area of aviation litigation and other complex litigation. The following is a list of a few of his presentations.
• Speaker, Panel on “Liability and Safety Issues Surrounding Pilot Over-Dependency on Automation Features”, American Conference Institute, Eighth Annual Forum on Defending and Managing Aviation Claims and Litigation, New York, NY, June 2016;
• Speaker, Panel on “Difficulties of Settlement and Emerging Insurance Issues”, McGill University, Ninth Annual McGill/PEOPIL Conference on International Aviation Law and Insurance, Edinburgh, Scotland, May 2016;
• Speaker, Panel on “Changes in Aviation Litigation in the Past 50 Years”, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law 50th Annual Air Law Symposium, Dallas, TX, March 2016;
• Speaker, Panel on “Planes, Trains & Bus Accidents: Litigation Transportation Case”, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, West Orange, NJ, February 2016;
• Speaker, Panel on “What Do We Really Know? Reporting of Pilot Medical Conditions: An International Perspective”, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation & Space Law Committee, Washington, D.C., October 2015;
• "How Did We Get Here? The Development of International and Domestic Aviation Law and Regulation", International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association Conference, New York, New York, November 2014;
• Speaker, Panel on “Jury Consultants: Learn About the Effective Use of Jury Consultants and Jury Panel Questionnaires”, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation & Space Law Committee, Washington, D.C., October 2011;
• Moot Trial Presentation, Institute of Air and Space Law, McGill University 2011 Liability Conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 2011;
• Speaker, Panel on “Ethics: The Ethical Issues That We All Confront and Their “Best Practices” on How to Deal With the Ethical Considerations Unique to Aviation Law and Litigation”, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation & Space Law Committee, Washington, D.C., October 2010;
• “Punitive Damages in Aviation Cases - The Lessons Learned in the Comair Flight 5191 Litigation”, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation & Space Law Committee, Washington, D.C., October 2008;
• “Federal Tort Reform - States and Trends”, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation & Space Law Committee, Washington, DC, October 2003;
• “September 11th Report”, ABA Litigation Section Aviation Litigation Seminar, New York, NY, June 2003;
• Trauma and Grief presentation to the Second Annual Family Assistance Foundation, Atlanta, GA, March 2003;
• “Expert Reality Standards - Too High, Too Low, or Just Right?” Seton Hall University School of Law Symposium, Newark, NJ, February, 2003;
• September 11th, 2001 Panel discussion, United States Aviation Underwriters Airline Symposium, New York, NY, January, 2003;
• “The Aftermath of 9/11”, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation & Space Law Committee, Washington, DC, October 2002;
• “World Trade Center and the Liability Consequences of 9/11", Beaumont Garnault 5th International Aviation Conference, London, England, July 2002;
• Victim Compensation Fund Panel, ABA Litigation Section Aviation Litigation Seminar, New York, NY, June 2002;
• “Legal Issues Arising from Acts of Terrorism and Anti-Terrorism Efforts”, Association of the Federal Bar of the State of New Jersey, United States Judicial Conference for the District of New Jersey, March 2002;
• "The Ins and Outs of Aviation Litigation", ABA Litigation Section Aviation Litigation Seminar, New York, NY, June, 2001;
• "The Aftermath of an Air Disaster: Action, Reaction and Interaction", IATA Annual Meeting, New York, NY, April, 2001;
• "Criminalizing Aviation Misconduct", Southern Methodist University School of Law, February, 2001;
• "AVCON 2000 - Legal Issues", a panel discussion highlighting issues in the field of international aviation litigation, London, England, October 2000;
• "Status Report on Major Air Crash Litigation", Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Aviation Law Committee, Chicago, IL, July, 2000;
• "Challenges in the New Millennium", ABA Litigation Section Aviation Litigation Seminar, New York, NY, June 2000;
• "The Future of Multidistrict Litigation", at the ABA Section of Litigation Aviation Litigation Seminar, New York, NY, June, 2000;
• "The Application of Current U.S. Product Liability Law to Commercial Aviation Disasters - In The End Does It Really Matter" at the Aviation Product Liability Conference sponsored by Barlow, Lyde & Gilbert, London, England, May, 2000;
• "From the Trial Masters: Questions and Answers on Litigation Techniques and Tactics", ABA Aviation Litigation Committee Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, April 2000;
• Moderator, Aviation Insurance Panel at the Annual SMU Air Law Symposium, Dallas, TX, February 2000;
• "Effective Jury Communication", Federal Bar Council's Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, February 2000;
• Family Member Representative at the National Transportation Safety Board/Rand Institute for Civil Justice research study.
• “Admissibility Standards As Politics - The Imperial Gate Closers Arrive,” co-authored with Thea Capone, 4 Seton Hall Law Review 33, 2003;
• "Criminalizing Aviation Misconduct: ValuJet and Beyond – The Trend and Issues Faced by the Aviation Community," co-authored with Thea Capone, and delivered at Southern Methodist University School of Law Air Law Symposium in February 2001;
• "The Application of Current U.S. Product Liability Law to Commercial Aviation Disasters - In The End Does It Really Matter?" co-authored with Thea Capone, and presented at the Aviation Product Liability Conference sponsored by Barlow, Lyde & Gilbert, London, England, May 2000;
• "The Impact of the Recent Second Circuit Court of Appeals Decision and the Amendment to the Death on the High Seas Act on the TWA Flight 800 Litigation," published by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 2000;
• "Issues Confronting Plaintiffs' Lawyers Handling Product Liability Actions Arising Out of Aviation Mass Disaster Actions Now and Into the Next Century" coauthored with Dorothea Capone, and delivered at the Aviation Law/Insurance Symposium conducted by Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida in January 1999;
• "The Role of Expert Witnesses in Aviation Disaster Litigation" published by the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association, 1998;
• "The Development of Federal Common Law in Warsaw Convention Cases and Specifically Non-Pecuniary Recovery Under the Warsaw Convention's Damage Limitation" published by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1995.