Robert F. Hedrick, J.D., LLM
Robert practices aviation accident law. He handles a wide variety of complex aviation cases involving U.S. and international accidents. Robert represents victims and their families. He has spent nearly 25 years litigating cases against small and large corporations, aircraft component manufacturers, airlines, charter and fixed base operators, maintenance and overhaul facilities, and other at-fault parties.
In 1982, Robert received a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Aeronautical Studies from the University of North Dakota’s Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. Robert received his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 1988, where he was a law review editor and member of moot court. Robert also obtained a Masters of Law Degree (LLM) in International Aviation Law from the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University, where he graduated with highest honors. Since 1999 Robert has been an adjunct professor at Seattle University Law School where he teaches Aviation Accident Law.
Robert is a multi-engine rated commercial pilot, ex-flight instructor (commercial and instrument), seaplane pilot, and FAA certified airframe and power plant mechanic. He worked as a professional pilot for three years before becoming an attorney.
Robert is active in many organizations including the Lawyer Pilots Bar Association and past chairman of the Aviation Sections of both the King County Bar Association and the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. Robert is a regular speaker at aviation seminars and conferences throughout the U.S, Canada, and overseas. He has published more than thirty legal articles in various publications including law reviews and aviation law periodicals. He is admitted to practice law in federal and state courts, including the states of Washington, California, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Presentations and Articles
Drone Technology For Helicopters And Beyond: The Legal Landscape, Canadian Bar Association, Air and Space Law Section, Vancouver, British Columbia (October, 2019)
Court Is In Session: Analyzing The Importance Of Trial In Aviation Accident Cases, Eleventh Annual McGill University/PEOPIL Conference On Internatitonal Aviation Law & Insurance, Dublin, Ireland (October, 2018)
Does The Law Ensure Fair Civil Trials? An International Panel Perspective, Bar of Ireland and Law Society of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland (October, 2018)
Air Carrier Liability, Ninth Annual McGill University/PEOPIL Conference On International Aviation Law & Insurance, Edinburgh, Scotland (May, 2016)
From History’s Greatest Trial: The Cross Examination of Hermann Goering, Scotland Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh, Scotland (May, 2016)
Aircraft Engines, Regulations and Federal Preemption: Spontaneous Combustion For Judges and Juries, 42nd Annual Pacific Northwest Aviation Law Seminar, Seattle, Washington (October, 2015)
Aviation Insurance Claims Panel: Aircraft Accidents That Make You Wonder, Plaintiff’s Counsel, Northwest Aviation Insurance Association Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington (October, 2015)
Recent Developments In U.S. International Aviation Law, 33rd Annual ALAANZ,(Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand) Conference, Melbourne, Australia (May, 2014)
Seaplane Safety After The Seair Flight 106 Tragedy, Northwest Aviation Insurance Association, (April, 2013)
Evidentiary Issues In Aviation Accident Jury Trials, 40th Annual Pacific Northwest Aviation Law Seminar, Skamania, Washington (September, 2013)
Seair Flight 106: A Test Case For Seaplane Safety And Claims In The Northwest, Lawyer Pilots Bar Association Annual Seminar, Whistler, B.C., Canada (July, 2013)(Panel Moderator)
From History’s Greatest Trial: The Cross Examination Of Hermann Goering, Lawyer Pilots Bar Association Annual Conference, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho (July, 2011)
Who is Pilot in Command and Why it Matters, 13th Annual Alaska Aviation Trade Show, Anchorage International Airport, Anchorage, Alaska (May, 2010)
International Aviation Accidents: The Montreal/Warsaw Convention Regime, International Law Section, Washington State Bar Association, Seattle, Washington (April, 2009)
U.S./Canada Cross-Border Aviation Accidents: International Liability Issues, Northwest Aviation Insurance Association, (November, 2009)
The Very Light Jet Boom: A Few Thoughts On What’s To Come, Aviation Section, British Columbia Bar Association, Vancouver, Canada (March, 2008)
Alaska Airlines Flight 261: Lessons Learned in Maintenance and Engineering, The Boeing Company, Seattle, Washington (2007)
Alaska Airlines Flight 261: Liability and Choice of Law Issues, CLE, William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN (September, 2006)
The Law of the Sea and Aviation Accidents: Breaking Water on the Conundrum, 33rd Annual Pacific NW Aviation Law Seminar, Seattle,, Washington (September, 2006)
Aviation Accident Litigation: Liability of Private Entities, Lewis & Clark Law School, Visiting Lecturer (2005 – Present)
The Very Light Jet Boom: Risk and Liability Considerations, 31st Annual Pacific Northwest Aviation Law and Insurance Seminar, Blaine, Washington (October, 2004)
Helicopters and Logging: A Dangerous Mix, Lawyer Pilots Bar Association Annual Seminar, Sunriver, Oregon (July, 2004)
From Warsaw To Montreal: Mental Injury And “Accident” Survive The One-Way Flight, Worldwide Conference on Current Challenges in International Air Law, Montreal, Canada (September, 2004)
The 9/11Victim Compensation Fund: Is It The Right Step?, Northwest Aviation Insurance Association, (Spring, 2003)
Legal Issues of Seaplane Operations: From Sea to Shining Sea, Lawyer Pilots Bar Association, Summer Seminar, Whistler, B.C., Canada (July, 2002)
Recoverable Injuries Under The Warsaw/Montreal Convention Regime, International Air and Space Law Conference, Montreal, Canada (September, 2002)
Alaska Flight 261: Complex Product Liability and Mass Tort Litigation, Biannual presentation, Seattle University School of Law, (2003-present)
Alaska Airlines Flight 261: Liability and Choice of Law Analysis, Lawyer Pilots Bar Association, Annual Seminar, Brainerd, Minnesota (July, 2001)
Alaska Air Litigation: Maritime Law Applies, 29th Annual Pacific Northwest Aviation Law and Insurance Seminar, Victoria, B.C., Canada (September, 2001)
Alaska Bush Operations: From A Historical and Legal Perspective, Northwest Aviation Insurance Association, Annual Seminar, (Seattle, WA November, 2001)
Moderator and Co-Chairman, 28th Annual Pacific Northwest Aviation Law and Insurance Seminar, Lake Chelan, Washington (2000)
Suspend My Pilot Certificate? But I Didn’t Do Anything Wrong? What Are Your Rights During An FAA Investigation. Arlington Airport, Washington EAA Fly-In (July, 1999 and July, 2000)
From The F.A.R. (Federal Aviation Regulation) Side: Parts I & II, Keynote Speaker, FAA Wings Programs in Western Washington, 4 hour presentation (Continuing Series, 1999)
Could Your Home-Built Cost You Your House? Amateur Built Aircraft and Product Liability: Should You Be Concerned? Arlington Airport, Washington EAA Fly-In (July 1999 and July, 2000)
Chairman, 27th Annual Pacific Northwest Aviation Law and Insurance Seminar, Skamania, Washington (October,1999)
Aviation Accident Law, Three Credit Law School Course, Adjunct Professor, Seattle University School of Law (1999-Present)
Whoever Thought The General Aviation Revitalization Act Would Apply to Military Aircraft? 26th Annual Pacific Northwest Aviation Law and Insurance Seminar, Sun Mountain, Washington (September, 1998)
Aviation Law and Your Mechanic Certificate, Graduation Commencement Speaker, Colorado Aero-Tech, Broomfield, Colorado (1997)
Domicile Damage Law and the Implementing Provisions to the New Intercarrier Agreement on Passenger Liability, International Air and Space Law Conference – The Challenges Confronting Tomorrow, Montreal, Canada (October, 1996).
Legal Issues and Considerations for Aircraft Mechanics: What They Don’t Teach You In Mechanic School, Regular Presentation (1996-1999).
Legal Issues and Considerations for Flight Instructors: What They Don’t Teach You In Flight School, Regular Presentation (1996-2000).
From History’s Greatest Trial: The Cross Examination Of Hermann Goering, Presentations before various audiences in Idaho, Minnesota, and numerous law schools in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia.
A Close and Critical Analysis of the New General Aviation Revitalization Act, 62 SMU Journal of Air Law & Commerce 385 (1997).
The New Intercarrier Agreement on Passenger Liability: Is it a Wrong Step in the Right Direction?, 21-II Annals of Air & Space Law 135 (1997).
The New Single Process Initiative-Does It Threaten to Erode the Boyle Military Contractor Defense?, 24 Transportation Law Journal 129 (University of Denver) (1997).
Recoverable Compensatory Damages Under IIA and the Implementing Agreements – A Critical Legal Analysis from a U.S. Trial Lawyer, 22-I Annals of Air & Space Law 153 (1997).
Bogus Aircraft Parts: Legal Problems and Considerations in Anticipation of Aircraft Accident Litigation, 21-I Annals of Air & Space Law 105 (1996).
Aviation Law Periodicals
Congress Acts To Preclude DOHSA Application To Aircraft Accidents, ABA Forum On Air And Space Law, The Air and Space Lawyer, v.12 no.3 (Winter, 1998).
Can I Interest You In Some Bogus Aircraft Parts? Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association Journal (Winter, 1998).
Surplus Military Aircraft and Parts: Are They Afforded GARA Protection? The Air and Space Lawyer, v.13 no.1 (Summer, 1998), ABA Forum On Air And Space Law.
Helicopters and Logging: A Dangerous Mix, Lawyer Pilots Bar Association Magazine
Three Up: Three Down: The General Aviation Revitalization Act is Pitching a No Hitter, 15:17 Lloyd Aviation Law (15 May 1996).
Bar Association Periodicals
When Things Go Wrong: Helicopter Accident Litigation in Washington, Washington State Bar News Magazine (2007)
Helicopters and Logging: A Dangerous Mix, King County Bar Bulletin, (July, 2004)
Alaska Airlines: Investigation Update – The Causal Mystery, Washington State Bar News Magazine, (February, 2001)
The Death On The High Seas Act Conundrum, Washington State Bar News Magazine, (June, 2000)
Aviation Law and Flight 261: A Few Thoughts on What’s to Come, Washington State Bar News Magazine, (April, 2000)
NTSB Bar Newsletter, Author, Editor-in Chief, (1998-2001)
Aviation Trade Periodicals
Northern Pilot Magazine, Aviation Law Columnist (2000-2003)
Wings, Washington Pilots Association, Author Of Numerous Articles