A team of Buchalter Nemer attorneys including Barbara E. Lichman, Paul J. Fraidenburgh, Steven Brower, Shawn Cowles, and Joanne Davies, members of Buchalter’s Aviation, Airports and Aerospace Industry Group, recently prevailed in an action for Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Taking Without Compensation: Inverse Condemnation, and Violation of Equal Protection, in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho, on behalf of our client, Bonner County, Idaho, owner and operator of Sandpoint Airport.  As prevailing party we obtained an award of $727,025 in attorneys’ fees and $14,000 in costs.  Of particular note was the following statement by the Court:

“The Court recognizes that the amount awarded in this case is quite large, particularly in this District.  However, given the unique and difficult issues presented, time and labor involved, the necessity to hire specialized and skilled counsel, and the high degree of success achieved in the defense in this case, the Court finds this final amount to be reasonable.  Further, the Court finds it appropriate to have considered rates and awards in this region, i.e. outside this District, given the unique nature of the legal issues presented in this case.”

The “unique and difficult issues” to which the Court refers, include federal preemption and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights issues, and, particularly, their relationship to Interstate Commerce and Airport Regulatory issues.

Buchalter Nemer’s Aviation, Airports and Aerospace Industry Group is one of the few of its kind in the United States, and brings together the firm’s extensive regulatory and transactional expertise with a dynamic litigation team that is frequently called upon to serve as lead counsel in high-profile, precedent-setting cases. Our aviation and aerospace attorneys, a number of whom have advanced degrees in planning and engineering, are uniquely positioned to navigate the front lines in a changing regulatory environment, including the burgeoning field of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).