Aviation attorney Pierce speaks on “Buying and Selling Private Aircraft: What Could Go Wrong?”

Austin aviation attorneys Mark Pierce and Jason Flaherty have presented and recorded a State Bar of Texas-sponsored program on pitfalls in aircraft buy-sell transactions.

Mr. Pierce and Mr. Flaherty shared their experience and expertise at the State Bar of Texas on March 29, 2017, on a wide range of issues that may arise for buyers and sellers of airplanes and helicopters.

Mr. Flaherty, whose expertise is in assisting buyers and sellers in dealing with tax, regulatory, financing, and title issues in aircraft acquisitions, spoke about “myths” in the aircraft sales process and common mistakes that buyers and sellers make. He spoke at length about the right way to go about buying or selling private aircraft to avoid costly surprises.

Mr. Pierce, an aviation attorney who is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, spoke about aircraft “transactions gone bad” with an emphasis on breach of contract, fraud, warranty claims, and aviation insurance claims. He outlined some of the remedies that aggrieved owners may seek in aircraft litigation between buyers and sellers and the challenges of being involved in aviation-related business lawsuits.

The ability of aircraft to cover large distances and cross borders means that international treaties and conventions, in addition to federal aviation regulations and state laws, must be taken into account by counsel handling purchases and sales of aircraft. Aircraft owners often find that they need legal representation by an attorney experienced in aviation transactions and disputes, Mr. Pierce and Mr. Flaherty agreed, because a company’s counsel in general business matters may not have the expertise to deal with the unique challenges presented by aircraft ownership.

“Buying or selling an airplane or helicopter can create a legal nightmare for business owners who don’t anticipate the kinds of problems that can arise,” Mr. Pierce said.  “I’m usually retained after a dispute arises about the condition or history of an aircraft, or when damage to an aircraft occurs that may or may not be covered by insurance.”

—by Mark Pierce © 2018

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