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Mark A. Dombroff

2318 Mill Road
Suite 1100
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Phone:  703.248.7002
Mobile Phone:  703.795.3858
Fax:  703.647.5962


Mark Dombroff concentrates his practice on the aviation and transportation industries, including litigation, regulatory administrative and enforcement matters, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigations, airport and aircraft security, and employment issues.

Mark has handled numerous safety, enforcement and regulatory matters before the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the NTSB and other administrative agencies, whether arising from an accident or incident or other material compliance matter, including issues involving the Departments of State, Justice, the Treasury and Homeland Security, and the Transportation Security Administration.

Over the course of a career spanning more than four decades, Mark has tried dozens of jury and non-jury cases, ranging in length from one day to several months, and argued before state and federal appellate courts at all levels. He represented Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. in the landmark Supreme Court case Boyle v. United Technologies, which established the government contractor defense, and in Mounsey v. Allied-Signal, a "friendly fire" litigation, winning the manufacturer's dismissal from the case after the government invoked the state secrets doctrine to avoid responding to third-party subpoenas.

Mark counsels and represents airlines, including Arrow Air, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Colgan Air, National Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Mesa Airlines, SkyWest Airlines, Trans State Airlines, Virgin America, Spirit Airlines, and Empire Airlines and aviation service providers, including airports, fuelers, ground handlers, fixed base operators, maintenance and overhaul companies, catering companies, security companies, and airframe and other aerospace manufacturers.

In 2006, recognizing that there was virtually no experience base within individual aviation companies concerning emergency response, Mark founded the annual Airline Symposium to address best practices in the wake of an accident or incident. The program, which draws hundreds of attendees from all segments of the aviation industry, covers NTSB, FAA and criminal investigations; family/survivor matters; civil litigation; employee and union issues; financial and shareholder concerns; and emergency preparedness issues. More than 400 aviation professionals attended the 11th annual symposium, which included a showcase panel of emergency responders and family assistance personnel of Malaysia Airlines, a virtual reality simulation of an airplane crash, and presentations by the chairman of the NTSB and current and former senior staff members and investigators from the NTSB and FAA.

In 2014, Mark founded the annual UAS Symposium to address the growing body of drone laws and regulations. Panels composed of FAA, insurance and industry representatives discussed such topics as FAA appropriation issues, legal and regulatory obstacles in deployment of anti-drone technologies, the Part 107 waiver process, state and local drone laws, buying and selling UAS services, and other contractual, commercial and insurance issues.

Mark is outside general counsel to the Aviation Emergency Response Organization (AERO), which focuses on informing, educating, sharing and providing a forum for emergency response professionals from all aspects of the aviation industry worldwide, as well as the UAS Insurance Association, comprised of the leading aviation insurers providing insurance coverage to the rapidly growing drone industry.

Representative Experience

  • 9-11 Civil Litigation
  • Representation of the FAA Administrator in 9-11 Commission Hearings
  • Arrow Air Disaster at Gander, Newfoundland
  • Air Florida Disaster at Washington, D.C.
  • Alaska Airlines Flight 261, Los Angeles, California
  • Operation “Babylift” – Crash of Lockheed C-5A at Saigon, Vietnam
  • Harduvel v. General Dynamics – Defense of General Dynamics in F-16 Crash
  • Derailment of Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus Train
  • Korean Airlines 007 Shoot Down by Soviet Union
  • Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 – Midway Airport Overrun, Chicago, Illinois
  • Payne Stewart Learjet Crash
  • Swissair Flight 111 Crash
  • TWA Flight 514 Crash at Mt. Weather, Virginia
  • Crash of The Galloping Ghost at the 2011 National Championship Air Races at Reno, Nevada
  • TWA Flight 800 Crash
  • United 232 at Sioux City, Iowa
  • US Airways Flight 405 at La Guardia Airport, New York, New York
  • US Airways Flight 427 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • US Airways Flight 1016 at Charlotte, North Carolina
  • US Airways Flight 1549: The Miracle on the Hudson River
  • Scaled Composites/Virgin Galactic Spaceship, Mojave, California
  • Representation of Sikorsky Aircraft/UTC in Boyle v. United Technologies (Government Contractor Defense), US Supreme Court and Friendly Fire Litigation, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Liability Counsel for Cessna Aircraft, Piper Aircraft and Commander Aircraft in Numerous Cases throughout the United States
  • Liability Counsel for over 400 airports including Meigs Field, Palwaukee, Charlotte, Dulles, Livermore
  • National Counsel for 3SI Security Systems, Inc. handling all products liability, commercial and employment matters
  • National Liability Counsel for Piper Aircraft Irrevocable Product Trust
  • Empire Airlines Accident in Lubbock, Texas
  • Trans States Airlines Accidents in Ottawa, Canada
  • Counsel for Avantair, Clearwater, Florida in FAA Regulatory and Enforcement Matters
  • Crash of Presidential Airways, CASA 212 aircraft in Afghanistan
  • Colgan Air Crashes near Hyannis, MA and Buffalo, New York
  • National Airlines crash at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, International Association of Claims Professional, New York, New York, 2017
  • Moderator, Aviation Law & Insurance Symposium, Orlando, Florida, 2017
  • Panelist, Transportation and Operations, International Association of Korean Lawyers, Washington, D.C., 2016
  • Panelist, Crisis Aviation and Accident Management, American Bar Association Air and Space Law Forum, 2016
  • Webinar speaker, Exploring Drone/Unmanned Aircraft Legal and Liability Issues, Perrin Conferences, 2015
  • Speaker and instructor on aviation, trial advocacy, products liability, evidence and trial strategy at more than 250 bar association, CLE and other educational forums throughout the world

Legal Experience

  • LeClairRyan, Alexandria, Virginia, 2017 - Present
  • Dentons US, LLP / McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP, McLean, Virginia, 2013 - 2017
  • Dombroff & Gilmore, PC, McLean, Virginia, 1994 - 2013
  • Department of Justice - Director, Aviation and Admiralty Section, Washington, D.C., 1971 - 1985
  • Federal Aviation Administration - Trial Attorney, Washington, D.C., 1970 - 1971

Memberships and Affiliations

  • DRI Aviation Law Committee, Chair of UAS Subcommittee
  • Flight Safety Foundation, Director and Legal Counsel
  • UAS Insurance Association
  • ABA Tort/Insurance Practice Section
  • ABA Litigation Section
  • ABA Forum on Air & Space Law
  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Aviation Insurance Association
  • Conrad Foundation, Board Member
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • NTSB Bar Association
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • The Virginia Bar Association


  • Chambers USA, Recognized Practitioner
  • World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers (Euromoney Publications)
  • The Legal 500: Top Aviation Lawyers
  • Attorney General’s Award for Meritorious Service
  • Civil Air Patrol Award for Special Achievement
  • Assistant Editor, The American University Law Review
  • Editorial Advisory Board Member, Law360 Transportation, 2018

Related Industries


  • J.D., American University, Washington College of Law
  • B.A., American University

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • US District Court for the District of Arizona
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Military Appeals
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia