Our Attorneys - Biographical Backgrounds
James T. Crouse has been a pilot for thirty-two years, during which time he has performed as a U.S. Army aircraft maintenance officer, maintenance test pilot, and research and development test pilot. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army's Aviation Maintenance Officer's Course and Test Pilot School. This technical background, together with his education and experience, enhance the firm’s unique position in aviation and product liability litigation.
Mr. Crouse was graduated from Davidson College in 1971 and from Duke Law School in 1980. From 1971 to 1977 he was on active duty with the U.S. Army, where he served as an infantry officer and aviator. As an aviator, he performed research and development and maintenance test flying duties.
Mr. Crouse was admitted to practice in 1981 in Louisiana, and subsequently has been admitted to practice in New York (1983), the District of Columbia (1987), Texas (1989), North Carolina (1996) and Virginia (1997), as well as Federal and State Courts in those jurisdictions.
Mr. Crouse has litigation experience involving major air carriers, general aviation, helicopter, and military crashes, as well as non-aviation mass disaster litigation. He has served as plaintiffs' lead counsel in the British International Helicopter's Boeing Model 234 crash (the world's largest civilian helicopter disaster) and as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the Lockheed C-5A crash at Ramstein AB, Germany (1990), the British Midlands 737-400 crash in England (1989), the U.S. Army's Chinook crash in Mannheim, Germany (1982), and the Piedmont/Henson Airline Beech 99 crash in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia 1985). Mr. Crouse's other airline crash experience includes membership on the Plaintiffs' Steering Committees in the Comair EMB-120 crash near Detroit, Michigan (1997), American Eagle ATR-72 crash in Indiana (1994), the ASA Carrollton, Georgia Crash (1995), the U-S. Air B-737 crash near Pittsburgh (1994), the TAN/SAHSA Boeing 727 crash in Honduras (1989) and the LAN/Chile BAE 146 crash in Chile (1991).
Mr. Crouse's experience also includes in-flight fires on Fairchild Metro II and Mooney M20C aircraft; engine-failure/pilot error on Piper Navajo and Aerostar, Bell 206, Aerospatiale 350 and Douglas DC-3 aircraft; Bell 206/Cessna Seaplane, Piper Saratoga/Mitsubishi MU-2, and World War I vintage bi-wing mid-air collisions; pilot error crashes involving Boeing 727,737, BAe146, Cessna 172,310, Robinson R22, Bell 206 and AS-350 aircraft; drive system failures on Enstrom, Chinook (military & civilian), Bell UH-1 and AS350 aircraft: air traffic controller negligence; flight control system failures on Lockheed C5A, Sikorsky UH-60, S-58 (logging), Bell 212. Bell UH-1, Bell AH-1S and AH-1W Cobra aircraft; propeller failure on the Embraer 120, icing on the ATR-72, EMB-120, and Beech C-12, and the Entebbe hijacking. Mr. Crouse also has defended pilots in certificate actions brought against them by the FAA.
In addition to being lead counsel in the world's largest civilian helicopter crash, Mr. Crouse was also lead liability counsel in two high profile cases, one involving the death of blues singer Stevie Ray Vaughn we represented the families of two other passengers on that aircraft and were the first to take discovery and go to trial and the helicopter crash involving model/actress Christy Brinkley.
Mr. Crouse is the founder of the Crouse Law Offices Law Firm in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is a member of the American Trial Lawyers’ Association, North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, Lawyer Pilots’ Bar Association, National Transportation Safety Board Association, the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics, the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI) and the First Flight Society. Mr. Crouse has published numerous law articles and is a frequent public speaker on aviation law. He has taught aviation law at the graduate and undergraduate level and is Adjunct Professor of Aviation Law at Duke Law School. He is co-author of the critically acclaimed Aviation Law, a comprehensive casebook used in aviation law courses throughout the country. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U .S. Army Reserve in 1997, holds commercial and instrument rotary wing ratings (1973), and is rated in the Bell UH-1/205, Bell OH-58/206 and Hughes/Schweizer 269/300 series aircraft. He is married with three children and a member of the Edenton Street United Methodist Church.