Robert L. Bowman



(206) 373-7239

(206) 621-8783

Robert L. Bowman has significant experience in aviation litigation matters, complex civil litigation matters, including the defense of claims for construction defects, personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, negligence, and breach of contract.

Robert earned his undergraduate degree in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy, an MBA from the University of South Florida, and his law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis. Prior to attending law school, Robert served for six years as an officer and helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army.



Pilots Association Wants SCOTUS Review of Airplane Product Liability Issue

November 21, 2016

Robert Bowman and Rachael Wallace comment on the recent request of an aircraft pilots association of the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that allowed states to impose their own safety standards in place of federal law.


Split Third Circuit Decision Revives Claims Arising From Fatal 2005 Cessna Crash

November 09, 2018

Robert L. Bowman and Robert F. Foster discuss the Third Circuit's decision in Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp., that held state-law claims brought against an aircraft engine manufacturer were not conflict preempted by federal law. This decision places equipment manufacturers and other defendants at greater risk of being held liable for state law-based accident claims and other related cases.

AOPA Asks Supreme Court to Review Sikkelee Decision; Urges FAA Preemption [Aviation Alert]

October 25, 2016

Rachael Wallace and Robert Bowman discuss AOPA's amicus curiae brief that asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which allowed states to apply state standards of care to the field of aviation product liability.

“Auto-Pilot” May Not Be Perfect, But It May Be Better [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

July 27, 2016

Virtually every day there are media reports regarding the introduction of driverless cars to mainstream consumers.  As driverless cars rapidly accelerate from concept to commercialization, it is becoming increasingly apparent that technological refinements remain necessary and are ongoing in...

U.S. DOT Moving Closer to Certification of Driverless Cars [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

June 13, 2016

Motor vehicle design continues to make significant technological leaps incorporating a number of automated features, with many manufacturers pioneering the concept of driverless cars. What was once the stuff of science fiction is making significant headway towards full-scale production and...

Federal Preemption Narrowed For Aviation Suppliers In Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp. [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

May 02, 2016

On April 19, 2016, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion on the issue of federal preemption in Sikkelee v. Precision Airmotive Corp.  The sixty-one page opinion effectively narrowed the scope of federal preemption and held that aviation product liability claims are to be controlled...

POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca Cola Co.: legal battle nearly over, but industry litigation landscape forever changed… [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

April 07, 2016

On March 18, 2016, Pom Wonderful LLC made closing arguments in its trial against Coca-Cola for the alleged misleading marketing of a pomegranate-blueberry juice which contained only trace amounts of either pomegranate or blueberry juice. Pom’s attorneys argued that Coca-Cola was attempting to...

Washington Court Upholds Preemption Ruling for Aircraft Component Manufacturer [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

January 11, 2016

Last week, in the Estate of Virgil Becker v. Forward Technology Industries, Inc., a Washington appellate court upheld a lower court decision affirming the dismissal of claims against an aircraft component manufacturer on grounds of federal preemption.  This decision represents a significant victory...

Texas Court’s Writ of Mandamus Relieves Discovery Pressures on Tire Manufacturer [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

December 16, 2015

A court in Harris County, Texas provided relief to Michelin North America Inc. in a case involving allegedly defective tires when it threatened to issue a writ of mandamus in favor of the tire manufacturer. The Texas appellate court conditionally granted Michelin’s request for the extraordinary...

When Good Food Goes Bad: Contamination and Product Liability [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

November 13, 2015

Last week, lunch came back to bite dozens of unsuspecting diners throughout Washington and Oregon. Something in Chipotle’s fresh, healthy, and responsibly-sourced fast food caused uncharacteristic sickness for those partaking. The likely culprit, E. coli bacteria, left Chipotle patrons seriously ill...

Not Driving in America: Navigating New Territory in Product Liability [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

October 09, 2015

Driving in America: It’s a task almost universally reviled by those with hour-long commutes, practically a right-of-way to adulthood, a pastime romanticized in films, and – maybe – a soon extinct activity? Ever since Google debuted the driverless car, people have questioned whether the technology...

Manufacturer Liability for Drones on the Horizon [Products Liability Prevention & Defense Blog]

September 15, 2015

Practically every day there are media reports of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, making unfortunate landings at concerts, parades and sporting events.  In October of 2014, Albania was awarded a victory in a European Championship soccer match against Serbia when a...

Industry Sectors


  • University of St. Thomas School of Law — Minneapolis, J.D., 2006
  • University of South Florida, M.B.A., 1999
  • United States Military Academy, B.S., 1987
  • Minnesota
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court -- Western District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Washington Bar Association
  • Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association