erik slechta

slechta@skinnerlawgroup.com
Office: (818) 710-7700
Direct: (818) 710-7707

SERVICES

  • Aviation

  • product liability

  • business solutions

  • tax

 

NARRATIVE

Erik is Senior Counsel with Skinner Law Group. He currently focuses his litigation practice on aviation, product liability and business disputes in state and federal court. He also advises corporate clients on tax matters.

He has over 15 years of experience working as in-house tax executive for a Fortune 500 company and for two of the major accounting firms. Erik has a wide range of experience in the corporate indirect tax area as well as leading teams representing clients. His handles tax controversy matters from pre-audit management through completion of the administrative hearing process of state tax authorities. He also has significant experience with tax planning, compliance, merger and acquisition due diligence and advising senior corporate leadership on tax matters.

Erik has a broad range of corporate leadership experience with a deep understanding of how corporate departments, business processes and information and technology systems function. This experience allows him to efficiently gather, understand and filter relevant information and documentation needed to defend cases. This knowledge also uniquely positions him as a valuable business partner in not only resolving cases, but also changing business processes or procedures to mitigate potential future liability exposure.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  • Co-counsel on behalf of engine manufacturer in an 11-week jury trial, the King County Superior Court in Seattle, Washington where the jury found that a fatal June 1, 2010 aircraft accident at Merrill Field in Anchorage, Alaska was caused solely by the negligence of the aircraft’s pilot, Preston Cavner.
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in a general aviation product liability case on behalf of an engine manufacturer.
  • Prevailed on a motion to bifurcate damages and liability portions of trial ultimately resulting in a favorable settlement for an aviation engine component manufacturer in a general aviation product liability case.  
  • Won partial summary judgment for an engine manufacturer based on federal preemption of design defect claims in a general aviation product liability case. 
  • Successfully remanded complex multinational business litigation case to state court on behalf of an aviation engine manufacturer resulting in a favorable strategic position. 
  • Resolved a general aviation product liability action on behalf of an aviation engine manufacturer through summary judgment based on lack of causation, federal preemption and GARA.
  • Successfully defended a large aerospace defense manufacturer in a tax controversy that involved several independent companies spanning multiple tax periods due to merger and acquisition activity. The case involved several issues including Federal Supremacy related to a state’s ability to impose tax.
  • Prevailed on an appeal related to the taxability of ancillary customer charges related to linen supply services resulting in the elimination a multimillion dollar liability assessment.
  • Received a favorable result on appeal resulting in a reduction in tax liability related to ancillary customer charges in association with leases of tangible personal property.
  • Negotiated software licensing and consulting support, and led the business implementation of complex transaction tax software for a $1.6 billion organization.  several Fortune 1000 companies at various stages of tax controversies. He has substantial experience handling large, complex cases.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • Institute for Professionals in Taxation
  • Aviation Insurance Association
  • International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association
  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association

HIGHER EDUCATION

  • Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., 1999
    • Syracuse Law and Technology Journal, founding member, Chief Article Editor
    • Journal of Legislation and Policy, Associate Editor
  • University of California, San Diego, B.S., 1996

ADMISSIONS

  • California
  • California federal courts