Timothy J. O'Connell


Tim is a partner in Taft’s Aviation and Aerospace, Appellate, and Commercial Litigation practice groups.

Tim’s broad experience began in Chicago, where he defended aviation clients in complex civil litigation for more than 10 years. During this time, Tim gained extensive practice experience in federal, state, and appellate courts nationwide, including pro hac vice admissions in more than 10 jurisdictions.

Tim has represented numerous, varied clients including major airlines, regional airlines, Part 139 and general aviation airports, aerospace product manufacturers, governmental entities, and contracted air traffic controllers. He also has experience in insurance coverage matters related to airport losses.

His extensive experience in aviation law includes the defense of many major wrongful death and personal injury cases, numerous product liability and commercial matters, and a wide variety of contract and property disputes. Tim has handled several cases of first impression issues of federal preemption.

All Service Areas


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Northwestern University
  • DePaul University


  • State - Illinois
  • State - Michigan
  • State - Ohio
  • Federal - Northern District of Illinois
  • Federal - Southern District of Illinois
  • Federal - Eastern District of Michigan
  • Federal - Western District of Michigan
  • Federal - Northern District of Ohio
  • Federal - Southern District of Ohio

Notable Matters

  • Prevailed on issue of first impression in Michigan regarding federal preemption and the scope of airline service under the Airline Deregulation Act.
  • Prevailed on issue of first impression within the Eighth Circuit regarding federal preemption of duties under the Federal Aviation Act.
  • Prevailed on issue of first impression in Ohio regarding limitations period in contract of carriage.
  • Obtained summary judgment in defense of two wrongful death actions with underlying $50 million liability limitations and policy implications for nearly 2,500 airports nationwide.
  • Successfully defended French manufacturer in a landmark four-year personal jurisdiction case in Illinois.

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of Michigan


  • American Bar Association


  • Illinois State Bar Association


  • Ohio State Bar Association


  • Chicago Bar Association

    Former Co-Chair, YLS Insurance Coverage Committee