Stuart R. Fraenkel

Nelson & Fraenkel LLP
Nelson & Fraenkel LLP
601 South Figueroa Street, Suite 2050, Los Angeles, CA 90017 United States

Mr. Fraenkel has a broad range of experience in civil litigation, including complex, high profile aviation, admiralty/maritime, auto, bus, truck, motorcycle, premises, personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, insurance bad faith, business litigation, mass tort, patent and entertainment matters.

Having handled numerous high-profile personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout his career with notable results, Mr. Fraenkel’s litigation experience has spanned the World, including Africa, Asia, Canada, Central America, Europe, Mexico, the Middle East, South America and just about all 50 states of the U.S. He is well versed in State and Federal Tort claims procedures and requirements in addition to being an authority in national and international conflicts and choice of law issues. He has reached the height of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity as a “preeminent-rated” attorney through the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell ® Peer Review Ratings™.

Mr. Fraenkel has litigated numerous international and domestic airline, commuter, military and general aviation crash cases. He was a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee on the China Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Korean Airlines cases. Mr. Fraenkel was one of the lead attorneys in the landmark Silk Air matter.

Some of the commercial airline matters he has been involved with include:

Aero Peru, Flight 603, Ancon, Peru;

Aeromexico Flight 498, Cerritos, California;

Alaska Airlines, Flight 536, Seattle, Washington;

Alaska Airlines, Flight 338, Long Beach, California;

Asiana Airlines, Flight 214, San Francisco, California;

China Air CI 642, Hong Kong, China;

China Air, Flight 611, Over the Straits of Taiwan;

Ethiopia, Flight 302, Addis Ababa, Africa;

Faucett Airlines, Flight 251, Arequipa, Peru;

Gulf Air Flight 072, Bahrain;

Korean Air, KAL Flight 801, Agana, Guam;

Korean Air, KAL Flight 1533, Pohang, Korea;

Malaysia Airlines, MH 17, Ukraine;

Malaysia Airlines, MH 370, South China Sea;

Millon Air, B 707, Manta, Ecuador;

Singapore Airlines Flight SQ006, Taipei, Taiwan;

Silk Air Flight MI 185, Palembang, Indonesia;

TAESA Flight 725, Michoacan, Mexico;

Yemenia Flight 626, crash over Indian Ocean.

Mr. Fraenkel has also handled numerous general and commercial aviation cases involving Airbus, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Aero Vodochody, Aerospatiale, Beech Cessna, Citabria, Foland, Gulfstream, Icon, Marchetti, Mitsubishi, Pilatus, Piper, Westwind, and various experimental fixed wing airplanes, Augusta-Westland, Bell, Eurocopter, and Robinson helicopters, and blimps.

The military accidents Mr. Fraenkel has handled involved Sikorsky CH-53 Super Stallion, EH-101 Merlin, McDonnell Douglas F/A 18 Hornet, Agusta Westland EH 101 Merlin, and UH-1N Huey aircraft.

Some of the more high-profile general aviation matters Mr. Fraenkel worked on were the:

1989 Chuck Norris movie, Delta Force 2 helicopter crash, Tagaytay, Philippines;

1990 Stevie Ray Vaughn helicopter crash, near Elkhorn, Wisconsin;

1991 Col. Donald Madonna, Foland Gnat crash, Shreveport, Louisiana;

2010 Senator Stevens plane crash, Dillingham, Alaska;

2012 Michael DeGruy, Robinson R44 crash, Berry NSW, Australia.


Mr. Fraenkel is also often called upon to participate as an aviation and legal source by numerous media, radio and television companies worldwide and has been quoted in various publications on numerous occasions. An article featuring Mr. Fraenkel was written for the Cessna Pilot’s Association magazine and another for an ABA TIPS publication. Mr. Fraenkel was also featured as an aviation law expert on a special NBC segment on Hawaiian Air Tour Safety.

Mr. Fraenkel is a United States Marine Corps veteran. He served as a CH-46 Sea Knight crew chief and A-4 Skyhawk plane captain, receiving numerous commendations during his tour. He also has extensive experience in aviation and vehicle maintenance—including combustion, diesel and turbine engines, electrical systems, hydraulics, structures, avionics systems, ejection systems and airframes. It is this extensive avionic background that has helped Mr. Fraenkel successfully litigate numerous international and domestic airline, commuter, military and general aviation crash cases during a career that has spanned more than two decades.

Mr. Fraenkel has also litigated numerous first party bad faith actions in cases arising out of the failure of insurance companies to defend and/or indemnify its insured, low-balling, fire loss, etc. Specifically, he was part of the team that received the landmark settlement against State Farm arising out of the Northridge Earthquake.

Mr. Fraenkel was also part of the team that litigated the famous, landmark case against PG&E which ultimately was made into the academy award winning movie, “Erin Brokovich.”


Bachelor of Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 1989

Juris Doctorate, Southwestern University School of Law, 1994

National Transportation Safety Board, Aviation Accident Investigators School

Associate Adjunct Professor for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


California Supreme, Appellate and Trial Courts

United States District Court for the District of Arizona

United States District Court for the Eastern, Central, Southern and Northern Districts of California

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

United States District Court for the Western District of Washington

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

United States Supreme Court


AVVO, 10 out of 10 rating

Best Lawyers in America since 2013

Best Lawyers in America – Aviation Lawyer of the Year (2020)

Lead Counsel Review Board, Lead Counsel Rated – Personal Injury Law, Plaintiff

Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent Rated

National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 Lawyers in California, Top 10 Aviation Lawyers and Top 25 Mass Tort Lawyers

Southern California Super Lawyer since 2007

Who’s Who Legal: Transport

Who’s Who Legal: Aviation


Served on the Barristers Executive Committee, Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA)

Appointed to and served as a Trustee on the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Board of Trustees

Board Member for the Los Angeles County Foundation

Chair for the Lawyer Referral and Information Services

Member of the Access to Justice committee

Member of the American Association for Justice (formerly ATLA) and served as the Secretary/Treasurer, Vice Chair, Chair-Elect and Chair for the Aviation section

Served as a California State Delegate

Member of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Litigation, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice (TIPS), and Air and Space Law sections

Member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) where he serves on the Board of Governors, the Consumer Association of California (CAOC), and the Public Justice Foundation (PJF)(formerly TLPJ)

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