Katherine knows the American operations, and combines that knowledge with her years of aviation litigation experience to secure successful results for American.
Marrissa Goss, American Airlines, Inc.
Katherine embraced the Southwest culture and operations, and she has honed her skills to consistently provide Southwest with differentiated counsel and successful results in a highly regulated industry.
Chris Priebe, Southwest Airlines Co.


Katherine A. Staton is a litigator with more than 25 years of experience, serving large and small aviation and corporate clients and companies in Texas and nationally.  Katherine has a unique legal, financial and practical background.  She is a CPA and represented plaintiffs before joining Jackson Walker.  She is also a private pilot and she completed an aircraft engine airframe and power plant course to better understand her clients’ operations and case issues.  This diverse background gives Katherine an advantage in understanding complex litigation issues, and in helping clients with strategic decisions and challenging legal issues.

Katherine has developed particular experience in Aviation Litigation.


Practice Experience


Katherine has expertise in aviation law which has afforded her the opportunity to work on numerous aviation cases involving major air carriers, general aviation aircraft and operations, pilot-error accidents, mid-air collisions, air traffic controller cases, class actions, and products liability cases.  Katherine handles cases across the United States and in countries around the globe.  Katherine also represents corporate aircraft owners and operators, as well as fixed based operators.

Outside General Counsel

Katherine coordinates legal work for individuals and companies, using efficiencies in staffing and resolving legal issues. Katherine advises clients on all types of legal matters and provides strategic counseling for their legal decisions.

Career Highlights

  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Transportation: Aviation: Litigation – Nationwide, 2015
  • Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers, 2013
  • Who’s Who Legal: Texas, 2007-08


Representative Matters

  • Directed verdict secured in Cause No. 236-271663-14; Pamela Lee Meinzer v. American Airlines, Inc. and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Board, in the 236th Judicial District Court, Tarrant County, Texas on March 10, 2016.
  • Successful appeal for CJ Systems Aviation Group in a contractual indemnity claim stemming from a wrongful death accident lawsuit,  American Eurocopter Corporation v. CJ Systems Aviation Group; Cause No. 05-10-00342-CV;  In the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas at Dallas, Texas in 2014.
  • Coverage counsel for one of the aviation insurers that insured the aircraft that carried passenger Lauren Scruggs, a fashion model and blogger, who got out of and then walked into the running propeller on December 3, 2011. Ms. Scruggs lost her left eye and hand in the incident. The claims were resolved without litigation as to Katherine’s insurer.
  • Counsel for aviation insurer for the aircraft Joseph Stack flew into the IRS building in Austin, Texas, on February 18, 2010 – successfully resolved all claims asserted against the aviation policy related to the incident.
  • Successfully defended international airline in federal district court in litigation arising from accident in Little Rock, Arkansas.
  • Successfully defended regional airline in federal multi-district and state court litigation arising from accident in Missouri.
  • Successfully defended airline in lawsuits brought by airline pilot claiming airline’s failure to advise of health issues discovered in pre-employment examination which resulted in pilot’s death.
  • Lee v. American Airlines, Inc.; 355 F.3d 386 (5th Cir. 2004) affirming dismissal of claim for loss of convenience in Warsaw Convention putative class action.

Secured summary judgments pertaining to a variety of issues, including:

  • Deborah Driscoll and Joseph Driscoll v. Oriental Building Services, Inc., Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board v. American Airlines, Inc. (Cause 348-270932-14, in the 348th Judicial District Court of Tarrant County, Texas, 2016) Personal injury – successfully secured a summary judgment in favor of American Airlines, Inc.
  • Doris Nell Magee v. Southwest Airlines Co., et al. (Cause No. 2010-41217, in the 215th District Court of Harris County, Texas, 2012) Personal Injury – Successfully secured summary judgment in favor of Southwest Airlines.
  • Marjorie Masterson v. City of Austin Aviation Department and the City of Austin, Texas (Cause No. D-1-GN-11-000989 in the 261st Judicial District Court of Travis County, Texas, 2012) Personal Injury – Successfully secured summary judgment in favor of Southwest Airlines.
  • Daniell vs. Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, Inc. and American Airlines, Inc. (Cause No. 3-09-CV-0652-BD, Northern District of Texas United States District Court, Dallas Division, 2010) Contribution negligence claim dismissal for American Airlines, Inc.
  • Collins v. Dooley and Southwest Airlines Co. (Bexar County, Texas 2009) Contribution claim involving worker’s compensation / negligence claims dismissal.
  • Diaz v. Southwest Airlines Co., 2006 WL 2051379 (Tex. App. – Amarillo 2006) Air Carrier Access Act / negligence claims dismissal.
  • Rachal v. American Eagle Airlines, 2005 WL 675566 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth 2005) Negligence and premises liability claims dismissal.
  • Blanca Elizabeth Alvarez de Catota, et al. v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., et al. (Cause No.153-195665-2 in the 153rd Judicial District of Tarrant County, Texas, 2005) Product liability claim dismissal.
  • Scroggs v. American Airlines, Inc., 150 S.W.3d 256 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2004) Negligent activity claim dismissal.


  • Texas State Bar – Aviation Section, Past Chair
  • International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA)
    • Past President
    • Program Co-Chair, 2008-09
  • Texas Women Lawyers, Past President
  • Pilots Bar Association, Lawyer
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel
  • 99s International Organization of Women Pilots – Dallas Chapter, Past Chair
  • American Bar Association
  • Women in Aviation International, Dallas Chapter Past President
  • WHO Foundation (Women Helping Others)
    • Past Board of Directors
    • Past Treasurer
  • Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce – Women’s Business Conference
    • Chair, 2005-06
    • Conference Underwriting Chair, 2004
  • Outside General Counsel, Dreams Soar, Inc.

News & Events

  • News & Publications
  • Speeches
  • Attorney News

    Chambers USA Recognizes Jackson Walker Attorneys and Practices

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  • Spotlight

    Jim Struble Adds Jackson Walker Decal to Dreams Soar A36 Bonanza Aircraft

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  • Spotlight

    Jackson Walker Congratulates Its 2016 Chambers-Ranked Partners and Practice Groups

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  • Attorney News

    Serious about client service

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  • Spotlight

    Jackson Walker Congratulates Its 2015 Chambers-Ranked Partners and Practice Groups

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  • Press Releases

    Katherine Staton Named a 2014 Winning Woman by ‘Texas Lawyer’

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  • Press Releases

    Katherine Staton Speaks on Aviation Law

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  • Attorney News

    Bob Ruckman and Katherine Staton Named Leading Aviation Lawyers

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"What is Trending in the Aviation Industry and Cooperation Amongst Parties in Insurance Claims," Embry-Riddle Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium, 2015

“DOT Regulations as to Passenger Delays and Rights and their Ramifications,” Embry-Riddle Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium, 2011

“Opening Statement Strategy and Considerations,” Embry-Riddle Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium, 2010

“Recent Developments in Aviation Law,” Embry-Riddle Aviation Law/Insurance Symposium, 2009

“Challenges in the Aviation/Transportation Industry for Women: The Last 20 Years,” WTS – Advancing Women in Transportation, 2008

“Germs on a Plane: U.S. Litigation Considerations for Airline Food Borne Illness Claims,” International Air Transport Association Food Safety Forum, 2008

“Nonrefundable Airline Ticket Class Action: How Preemption Under the Airline Deregulation Act Precluded Claims,” International Association of Defense Counsel, Newsletter, 2007

“What Happens After The Sun Sets: NTSB Investigations and Recommendations for Action and the FAA’s Response,” Embry-Riddle Aviation Law/Insurance Symposium, 2006

“FAA Oversight of Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing to Certified and Non-Certified FAA Repair Stations,” IADC Newsletter, 2006

“The Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft Certifications Take Flight,” Journal of Air Law & Commerce Symposium, 2005

“The New Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft Regulation,” IADC Newsletter, 2004

“Professionalism and Civility in the Practice of Aviation Law – The VORs and GPSs Which Guide Our Practice,” 64 Journal of Air Law & Commerce 811, 1999

“The Americans With Disabilities Act as it Relates to Employment in the Aviation Industry: Navigating Through Uncontrolled Airspace,” 64 Journal of Air Law & Commerce 459, 1999

“The Warsaw Convention’s Facelift: Will It Meet the Needs of 21st Century Air Travel?,” 62, Issue 4, at 1083, Journal of Air Law & Commerce, 1997

“Wisely Choose or Lose, Critical Forum Considerations in Aviation Cases,” The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, July 1995 Annual Convention

“How Can You Be Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All?” co-authored, Vol. 10 No. 6, at 81, Texas Personal Injury Law Reporter, 1993

“Frequent Flyer Coupon Brokering: A Valid Trade?,” Volume 55, Issue 3 at, 727, Journal of Air Law & Commerce, 1990