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David K. Tochen

815 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 620
Washington, District of Columbia 20006
Phone:  202.659.6704
Fax:  202.659.4130


David Tochen joined LeClairRyan in December 2017. He provides legal advice to major corporations on a broad array of transportation issues, including autonomous vehicles, aviation matters, automotive and commercial motor vehicle safety, pipeline safety, and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigations.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Tochen served as general counsel at the NTSB; deputy chief counsel at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT); and deputy assistant general counsel for environmental, civil rights, and general law at the DOT. As NTSB general counsel, he led the effort to revise agency regulations, including investigative procedures, and prepared an agreement regarding the sharing of aviation safety data among air carriers.

During his tenure at the DOT, he served as the lead attorney in the establishment of the Transportation Security Administration following 9/11. He also was the lead attorney in establishing drug and alcohol testing programs for over 19,000 USDOT/FAA employees performing safety-sensitive duties.

Legal Experience

  • LeClairRyan, Washington, D.C., 2017 - Present
  • National Transportation Safety Board, General Counsel, 2011 - 2017
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Deputy Chief Counsel, 2008 - 2011
  • Department of Transportation, Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Environmental, Civil, Rights, and General Law, 1991 - 2008 

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Bar Association: Administrative Law Section; Forum on Air and Space Law; Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section; Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section; Litigation Section; Labor and Employment Law Section
  • DRI: Aviation Law Committee; Trucking Law Committee; Governmental Liability Committee
  • International Air and Transportation Safety Bar Association (Treasurer)
  • Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association


  • Transportation Lawyer of the Year, Federal Bar Association, 2002
  • Award for Meritorious Achievement, Secretary of Transportation, 1987


  • J.D., George Washington University, 1977
  • B.A., economics, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1974

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia, 1977