Magana Cathcart & McCarthy

William H. Wimsatt, Retired

William H. Wimsatt Cases of Note

William Wimsatt has devoted his practice to the representation of plaintiffs in aircraft litigation arising out of major airline accidents, general aviation accidents and military accidents, involving both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. Mr. Wimsatt has also represented seriously injured plaintiffs in many non-aviation cases. He joined the firm in 1975 as an associate attorney and became a partner in 1992. Mr. Wimsatt is a commercial pilot, rated single-and multi-engine land aircraft and helicopters, and owns an A-36 Bonanza. He is a former Captain in the U.S. Army rotary wing aviation and served as an on-scene aviation accident investigator for six years. Mr. Wimsatt has lectured extensively on issues related to aviation law.


  • B.A., St. Louis University, 1965
  • Safety Course, University of Southern California, Institute of Aerospace Safety & Management, 1968
  • M.S.B.A., Cum Laude, Boston University, 1972
  • J.D., Loyola University of Los Angeles, 1975


  • State Bar of California, 1975
  • Los Angeles County Superior Court, Western District, Settlement Conference Referee, 1985 – 1989
  • Los Angeles County Superior Court, NW District, Settlement Conference Referee, 1989 – 1994
  • California Supreme Court and all intermediate and trial courts in California, 1975
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1976
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 1990
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1990
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 1996
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, 1988
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit, 1996
  • Admitted pro hac vice in the U.S. District Courts located in Milwaukee and Madison, WI; St. Louis and Kansas City, MO; Akron, OH; Boise, ID; Salt Lake City, UT; Harrisburg, PA; Phoenix and Tuscon, AZ; Albuquerque, NM; Portland, OR; San Antonio, TX
  • Admitted pro hac vice in State Courts in Spokane and Yakima, WA; Phoenix, AZ; Norfolk, VA; Pocatello, ID; Portland, OR; Hamilton, OH; Anchorage & Ketchikan, AK; Minneapolis, MN; Dallas, TX; Reno, NV; Globe, AZ; Miami, FL; San Antonio, TX


  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
  • Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association (CA State Chair, 1989; Western Regional Vice President, 1990 – 1994; Board of Directors, 1994 – 1998; Treasurer 1998 – 2000; Presdent, 2001 – 2002)
  • Aerospace Technical Support Foundation, Director and Officer, 1991 – 1994
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association (Vice Chairman, Law & Technology Section, 1980)
  • San Fernando Valley Bar Association
  • International Society of Air Safety Investigators
  • Airplane Owners & Pilots Association
  • American Bonanza Society

Professional and Teaching Experience:

  • Instructor, Aviation Law, California State University, Los Angeles, 1980 – 1987
  • Lecturer, Safety & Systems Management, USC, 1990
  • Lecturer, Orange County & San Diego County Bar Associations, Aviation Law & Insurance Symposium, 1996
  • Lecturer, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Aviation Law & Insurance Symposium, 1997
  • Lecturer, Pacific Northwest Aviation Law & Insurance Symposium, 1997, 1999 & 2001
  • Lecturer, Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, Winter Meeting 1998
  • Lecturer, American Trial Lawyers Association, 2001
  • Lecturer, Consumer Attorneys of California, 2004
  • Rated A.V. (highest possible rating for preeminent legal ability and ethics) by Martindale Hubbell, the national directory of attorneys
  • Six years as on-scene aviation accident investigator
  • Captain, U.S. Army, rotary wing aviation, 1966 – 1972, DFC, BM, ACM, AM
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