Litigation & Appeals


For more than 25 years, Stites & Harbison has handled aircraft-related matters throughout the United States. Representative clients have included aviation manufacturers, parts manufacturers, airlines, maintenance facilities, airports, fixed base operators, and pilots in aircraft-accident and product-liability litigation, both rotary and fixed-wing.

Our firm has represented aviation insurers in insurance coverage litigation, and aircraft lenders in litigation involving aircraft foreclosure and bankruptcy matters. We have also represented aviation manufacturers and aviation businesses in general business and intellectual property matters.

Among the most recent cases our firm has handled have been multi-fatality accidents involving Medevac and privately-owned helicopters in which product liability and piloting issues were at the forefront. We have also handled personal injury defense of commercial airlines and private aircraft owners.

Stites & Harbison’s aviation law team combines specific, hands-on aviation experience with a tradition for top-notch litigation defense.

  • Doug Bates acts as counsel for major aviation liability insurers in airport and aircraft accident litigation. He is licensed in both Indiana and Kentucky and has more than 20 years of litigation experience in representing clients in aviation related matters.
  • Clarke Keller draws upon his experience as an Air Force helicopter pilot, and later as a pilot in the Kentucky National Guard, to supplement his 25 years of litigation experience in these cases.
  • Doug Farnsley has more than 30 years of trial experience, including 50 plus matters successfully tried to verdict. He has argued cases before state and federal appeals courts.

Stites & Harbison has also developed a reputation as counsel to airport sponsors. This has included work on Hartsfield International (ATL) and airports in Louisville (SDF), Nashville (BNA) and Lexington (LEX).

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Press Releases

Tom Halbleib Named Stites & Harbison's Louisville Office Executive Member

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC has named attorney W. Thomas Halbleib, Jr., as its Louisville Office Executive Member.

by W. Thomas Halbleib Jr. May 09, 2023
Press Releases

Stites & Harbison Promotes Seven Attorneys

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC announced today that seven attorneys have been promoted: five to Member (Partner) and two to Counsel. The promotions are effective January 2023.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC January 06, 2023