Fort Worth-based law firm Cantey Hanger LLP has hired five attorneys with Smith & Moore PLLC, a general civil litigation and transactional practice based in Dallas and known for its representation in the aviation industry. The attorneys are members/owners Charles H. Smith, who founded the firm in 1991 with the late John W. Moore, and J. Michael Colpoys, along with members Stephanie L. Millett, Bryan S. David and David V. Denny. Their expected start date is Jan. 1, 2014.
Smith & Moore’s aviation practice includes air carrier litigation, aviation product manufacturer litigation, aerial applicator/toxic tort litigation, fixed base operator and aircraft owner/operator litigation, aviation insurance defense, aviation commercial litigation, aviation accident litigation and aircraft products liability. Clients include Textron Inc.; Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.; Cessna Aircraft Co.; Lycoming Engines, a division of Avco Corp.; FlightSafety International; ALLIANZ Aviation Managers LLC; GLOBAL AEROSPACE; United States Aviation Underwriters; and XL Aerospace.
The firm’s aviation practice “is particularly appealing,” said Steve Tatum, Cantey Hanger’s managing partner. “It enables us to broaden our practice area with attorneys expert and experienced in many facets of aviation litigation.” Smith’s practice is focused on litigation and business transactions. A 1974 graduate of Southern Methodist University School of Law, he obtained an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, a Learjet Type Rating, a Cessna Mustang Single Pilot Type Rating, Flight Instructor, Ground Instructor Certificates, and Airframe and Power Plant Mechanic Certificate, is an FAA Accident Prevention Safety Counselor, and is a member of the International Society for Air Safety Investigators. From 1976 to 1991, he was appointed Accident Prevention Safety Counselor by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Professionally, Smith has memberships in the State Bar of Texas, American Bar Association, Dallas Bar Association and Lawyer-Pilot Bar Association. He is a member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, The Wings Club, Texas Association of Defense Counsel, National Business Aviation Association and the American Board of Trial Advocates. Colpoys’ 34 years of experience as a civil trial lawyer includes the trial of aviation, transportation, product liability and insurance coverage disputes. These representations have included major airframe manufacturers, motor freight carriers, fixed-based operators, property owners, property management companies, airlines, attorneys, dentists and insurers.
Colpoys graduated in 1978 from Baylor University School of Law and is a member of the Dallas Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, American Bar Association, Texas Association of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute. Millett is a litigation attorney who has practiced in courts across the United States. Her practice includes representation of defendants and plaintiffs in product liability, aviation and general negligence cases. Millett’s aviation practice includes defense of personal injury and wrongful death claims made against owners, operators and lessors of general and commercial aviation aircraft, including manufacturers’ products liability claims involving airplanes and helicopters. Millett, a 1996 graduate of South Texas College of Law, has taken general aviation pilot ground school, flown simulator aircraft and attended client-based aircraft and product schools. David, a trial lawyer, focuses on commercial litigation and tort actions ranging from litigation involving aircraft accidents to government contracts, aircraft transactions and indemnity actions. He is certified as a Commercial Pilot for Single and Multi-Engine Land Aircraft, Instrument Rating for Single and Multi-Engine Land Aircraft, and Flight Instructor for Single Engine Land Aircraft. He also has had aerobatics training and emergency maneuvers training. David received his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2001.
Denny, also a trial lawyer, has in recent years focused on wrongful-death and commercial cases for aviation clients, including improper engine repair by a foreign repair station, lender-liability, helicopter accidents, fixed-wing aircraft accidents, e-commerce copyright litigation, breach-of-contract and tort claims, trade-secret cases regarding aircraft-design information and indemnity claims. He graduated from the University of Houston School of Law.