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FAA Oral Arguments - May 11, 9:30 am

posted May 7, 2009, 11:46 AM by Joe Abele   [ updated May 7, 2009, 11:58 AM ]
A reminder that oral argument for our consolidated appeal of the FAA's Airspace Redesign is scheduled for Monday, May 11 at 9:30 at the courthouse for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 333 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC.  The argument will last approximately one-hour, with each side getting 30 minutes to address the following three issues that were raised in our briefing: (1) NEPA; (2) Section 4(f), 49 U.S.C. sec. 7506; and (3) Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. sec. 750.  Those issues will be argued in that order per the court's instruction.
Getting to this point and the process for this complex and multi-state, multi faceted appeal has been arduous.  As you are all aware, this appeal involves thousands of constituents across five states.  Many of the petitioners have positions that are aligned with ours for purposes of challenging the FAA's Record of Decisions regarding the airspace redesign.   To that end, the court determined to limit the time of the appellant arguments on the issues as a whole to 30 minutes.  Further, the Court has decided that in the interest of time and coherence, it will not permit all 40 of the lawyers involved to make an argument.  Simply, the Court, and the global committee, with the Court's guidance, have selected three individuals to present argument to the Court.  At the Court's direction, these decisions were guided by the size of the geographic area represented, the complexity of the issues presented by a particular area, and the knowledge that no argument on behalf of any petitioner would be waived merely because each and every argument had not been addressed orally in Court.  Unfortunately, not only for us, but for the co-petitioners as a whole, Mike will not be arguing.  Presenting oral argument on Monday on behalf of all petitioners will be as follows:
1.    Attorney General for Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal - AG Blumenthal will be making the NEPA argument.  He is a five-term Attorney General, and a former state Senator, state Representative, and U.S. Attorney.  He has argued several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and the court that we are presently before.  You can view his bio at: http://www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/view.asp?A=2178&Q=295440
1.    Larry Liebesman - Larry will be making the Section 4(f) argument. He is a former FAA lawyer, and has practiced before the appellate court in DC for close to 40 years. Larry represents Rockland County NY, and all its constituency including certain nature preserves.  You can view his bio at: http://www.hklaw.com/id77/extended1/biosLLIEBESM/
2.    Barbara Lichman - Barbara will be making the Clean Air Act argument.  She is an attorney who specializes in aviation issues.  She has argued many of these cases nationwide.  She represents Delaware County, and for purposes of our appeal here, their position is aligned precisely with ours.  She will mention our case specific issue, historic preservation, during her argument.  You can view her bio at: http://www.calairlaw.com/Lichman.htm
If any of you are planning to attend, I would suggest getting there early as there is limited seating.  The courtroom itself probably won't open until around 9:00, but I'm sure it's going to fill up quickly.