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Helicopter and Plane Crash Lawyer

Prominent Aviation Attorney, James T. Crouse, Co-Authors Aviation Law Book

editor photo

Editor: James T. Crouse
Profession: Aviation Accident Attorney

October 04, 2008

By Frieda Flyer

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Although this may not be the novel with which one snuggles up on a cold rainy day beside the roaring fire, it is setting the academic world of aviation on fire. Mr. Crouse and the other authors did not intend for this to be an engaging book for the general public, but instead they set out to produce a product that is academically correct and challenging, relevant to the field of aviation law, comprehensive, and yet not bore the read out of the cockpit! The book is entertaining for both the professor and the student and has received glowing reviews. Two of the authors are full time professors of law, one is an adjunct professor who still practices, and Mr. Crouse has his own law firm in N.C. specializing in aviation law and has taught this subject at the prestigious Duke University Law School.

While Frieda doesn't even attempt to make you think she has read this fascinating book - or even intends to, she has read the reviews by those far more knowledgeable, qualified, and capable to understand the "legalese" and case studies found in this 976 page tome.

According to the Carolina Academic Press:

The text--fresh and crisply written--is organized into six chapters that can be taught as sequenced or in an instructor's preferred order. After an introductory chapter that explains the principles of flight, identifies the sources of aviation law, and reflects on the ethical challenges faced by aviation practitioners, the book proceeds to look at the legal issues surrounding aircraft, airmen (pilots, mechanics, flight attendants), airlines (both passenger and cargo), and airports.

A particularly distinguishing feature of the book is its focus on the social history of aviation. Thus, sprinkled liberally throughout the notes are references to the men and women who have become part of aviation lore, including the Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes, Chuck Yeager, D.B. Cooper, and Jessica Dubroff. Also covered are notable historical incidents, such as the 1948 Berlin Airlift, the 1960 U-2 spy plane crisis, the 1976 Entebbe Airport raid, and the 1983 U.S.S.R. shoot-down of a civilian airliner. As one would expect, special attention is paid to 9/11 and its aftermath--from the renaming of Newark International Airport to the numerous changes that have been made in boarding procedures to the dispute over how to compensate the victims and their families.

The notes also draw heavily from popular culture. Thus, students learn not only from treaties, cases, and statutes, but from such varied and fun fare as Erica Jong's Fear of Flying, Donald Trump's The Apprentice, and that TV show "about nothing" (Seinfeld). As a result, students are far more likely to come to class prepared, excited, and eager to participate.

Lastly, the Teacher's Manual will help both new and experienced instructors get the most out of the book. In addition to comprehensively analyzing the text, it offers tips for preparing extra credit assignments, leading field trips, tapping guest speakers, and incorporating video clips into class presentations.

Other reviews also praise this remarkable work on the complex and intriguing subject of aviation law.

"All told this is an extremely comprehensive and ambitious project which succeeds in providing the student with readily available materials for a vast assortment of topics in a vast and interesting field. This book - and its accompanying teacher's manual - will surely make the life of any aviation law instructor considerably easier. I highly recommend it." --Transportation Law Journal (Spring 2006)

"Aviation Law is an outstanding text reflective of the collective practical experience, knowledge and quality of its authors. The textbook captures the excitement and compassion that most of us share in this profession through its presentation, organization, case law, notes and problems. It is academically stimulating and includes a very helpful and insightful teacher's manual. . . ." --ABA Air & Space Lawyer (Spring 2006)

"This is a great book. It includes a seven-page table of contents, a five-page table of cases, 676 pages of text and notes, followed by thirty appendices (259 pages), and a five-page index. A ninety-page Teacher's Manual supplements the case book and provides users with insight into the selection and editing of cases." --Journal of Air Law and Commerce (Fall 2006)

On second thought, anyone interested in teaching or becoming a student of aviation law, will find this find this book fascinating - roaring fire or not!

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