Dorothea M. Capone
Thea Capone, a member of the firm, has been part of Baumeister & Samuels since its inception and has worked with Mitch Baumeister for 35 years. She has been involved in every major case handled by the firm, including Continental Connection Flight 3407, Comair Flight 5191, the World Trade Center September 11th Litigation, and the Pan Am Flight 103 Libya terrorist litigation. Thea represented the families of more than 50 individuals who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in hearings before the Special Master for the federal Victims Compensation Fund, a legislative alternative to litigation, and has extensive experience interacting with and assisting family members involved in a catastrophic disaster, working closely with each of the firm's clients.
Thea was recently elected Secretary and Diversity Officer for the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (“TIPS”) of the American Bar Association for the 2015-2017 term. Prior to her serving in this officer position, she held a three year position as a member of the Section’s governing Council, and continues as the Section’s Liaison to the American Bar Association's Commission on the American Jury Project. Thea has been a faculty member for National Trial Academy sponsored by TIPS and The American Board of Trial Advocates. She is a member of several of TIPS’ standing and general committees, is the former Chair of the Aviation and Space Law Committee and has been a member of its conference planning committee for many years.
In addition to her service to the American Bar Association, Thea is also a member of Southern Methodist University's Air Law Symposium’s Board of Advisors which annually hosts the nation’s premier aviation conference bringing together the world’s foremost practitioners and experts.
Thea earned her Juris Doctorate degree from St. John’s University School of Law in 1998.
Thea Capone is frequently called upon to lecture in the area of aviation litigation and other complex litigation. The following is a list of recent seminars and conferences at which Thea has participated.
• Speaker, Panel on “Communicating with Millennial Jurors,” ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Spring Section Conference, Atlanta, GA, May 2016;
• Moderator, Panel on “Changes in Aviation Litigation in the Past 50 Years,” Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law 50th Annual Air Law Symposium, Dallas, TX, March 2016;
• Speaker, “Who’s Flying the Aircraft - the Pilot, ATC or a Cyberterrorist?” Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium, Orlando, FL, January 2016;
• Faculty Member, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section and the American Board of Trial Advocates 2015 National Trial Academy, Reno, Nevada, March 2015;
• Speaker, “Accidents Abroad: New Realities in International Aviation,” Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium, Orlando, Florida, January 2015;
• Speaker, “Messaging, Posting, Tweeting, Blogging and Streaming: How the Explosive Use of Social Media May Affect Litigation,” Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium, Orlando, Florida, January 2014;
• Moot Appellate Argument: Carrier Liability for Parental-Child Abduction, McGill Conference on International Aviation Liability and Insurance, Institute of Air and Space law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, October 2013;
• Speaker, Panel on “Why Retaining Women Attorneys is Good Business,” ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation & Space Law Committee, Washington, D.C., October 2011;
• Chair, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation & Space Law Committee, Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., October 2008;
• Moderator, ATC Litigation Panel, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation and Space Law Committee, Washington, D.C., October 2007;
• Judge, ABA Student Division Region 2 Negotiation Competition, St. John’s University School of Law, Jamaica, NY, November 2006;
• Moderator, Southern Methodist University Air Law Symposium, Dallas, TX, February 2006;
• Moderator, Panel on “Recent Developments in Aviation Law,” ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Aviation and Space Law Committee, Washington, D.C., November 2005;
• Family Assistance Foundation, Second Annual Symposium, Atlanta, GA, March 2003.
Thea Capone authored or co-authored the following:
• “A Look at Punitive Damages From the Plaintiffs Perspective,” Litigating the Aviation Case: From Pre-Trial to Closing Argument, Third Edition, Ed. A. J. Harakas, ABA Publishing, 2008;
• “Admissibility Standards As Politics - The Imperial Gate Closers Arrive,” co-authored with Mitch Baumeister, 4 Seton Hall Law Review 33, 2003;
• "Criminalizing Aviation Misconduct: ValuJet and Beyond – The Trend and Issues Faced by the Aviation Community," co-authored with Mitch Baumeister, Journal of Air Law and Commerce, Southern Methodist University Air Law Symposium, February 2001;
• "The Application of Current U.S. Product Liability Law to Commercial Aviation Disasters - In The End Does It Really Matter?" co-authored with Mitch Baumeister, and presented at the Aviation Product Liability Conference sponsored by Barlow, Lyde & Gilbert, London, England, May 2000;
• “DOHSA – The Impact the Second Circuit Court of Appeals Decision and the Recent Amendment Will Have on the TWA Flight 800 Litigation” published in the Spring/Summer 2000 newsletter of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America;
• “Issues Confronting Plaintiffs' Lawyers Handling Product Liability Actions Arising Out of Aviation Mass Disaster Actions Now and Into the Next Century” co-authored with Mitch Baumeister, and delivered at the Aviation Law/Insurance Symposium conducted by Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida in January 1999; and
• “The Unique Causation Burdens Facing the Toxic Tort Plaintiff - An Argument for Application of the Substantial Factor Test,” New York Environmental Lawyer, Vol. 17, No. 1, Winter 1997, New York State Bar Association. Ms. Capone won a distinguished writing award for this piece.