David Kirstein

  • Lecturer

David M. Kirstein has been actively engaged in aviation legal and policy matters for 40 years. He served in a variety of positions at the Civil Aeronautics Board, including executive assistant to the chairman and general counsel. He also served as majority counsel to the Aviation Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce. Kirstein represents domestic and foreign air carriers, repair stations, airports and aviation suppliers in a broad spectrum of commercial transactions such as negotiations and documentation of aircraft leases, purchases, charters, aircraft crew maintenance and insurance and joint service arrangements, ground handling and maintenance agreements.

Kirstein represents companies and individuals in a variety of general aviation business aircraft matters including, e.g., fractional ownership, joint ownership and time share agreements. Kirstein represents aviation clients in a wide range of issues before the Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration including the start-up of new airlines, structuring of ownership and control of U.S. carriers to meet U.S. law, competition, enforcement (e.g., consumer protection), maintenance, hazardous materials, federal airport funding, and federal, state and local environmental and regulatory compliance. In addition, he has represented and advised aviation and other transportation clients on a range of federal policy issues, administrative law, antitrust, security and international data privacy.

In 2012 he argued a case in the D.C. Circuit on behalf of the airlines challenging new Department of Transportation regulations as arbitrary and capricious and in violation of First Amendment free speech. He has drafted congressional testimony for government officials and private companies, represented clients before congressional and special prosecutor criminal investigations, and supported clients on a range of legislative matters before Congress. He has conducted commercial litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts.


  • J.D.
    University of Virginia School of Law
  • B.A.

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