Thompson Hine Welcomes Premier Mobility and Automotive Team to Transportation Practice in Washington

Timothy H. Goodman, Former NHTSA Assistant Chief Counsel for Enforcement, and William L. Godfrey, Former NHTSA Division Chief, Join Firm

Date: November 14, 2019

Publication: Thompson Hine LLP

Thompson Hine LLP is pleased to announce that it has added a prominent transportation safety team to its Washington office. Timothy H. Goodman has joined the firm’s Transportation practice group as a partner and William L. Godfrey has joined the group as Director, Mobility, Automation and Safety.

Goodman and Godfrey have the technical and engineering knowledge and legal insight to address high-profile mobility, vehicle safety and related regulatory matters, including standards enforcement, defects investigations, government inquiries and enforcement proceedings, recall implementation, self-certification of standards, homologation, safety and regulatory compliance, innovative mobility and safety approaches. They regularly assist clients by advising about best practices and emerging trends. They counsel manufacturers, suppliers, startups and technology companies on a broad range of mobility, transport and safety matters, including those related to electric vehicles, ridesharing enterprises and automated/autonomous driving systems, while promoting innovation, efficiency and cost savings.

“Tim and Will comprise a formidable multidisciplinary team that expands our already-deep transportation offerings into significant new areas. Their decision to join us underscores that our transportation practice is second to none. They have a unique approach to partnering with clients that addresses not only the legal, but also the engineering, technical and communications aspects of client problem-solving,” said David Wilson, partner-in-charge of Thompson Hine’s Washington office. Tim and Will help clients navigate obstacles and expand business and policy opportunities to achieve their goals by applying a current and detailed understanding of the federal government’s approach to transportation safety regulation and market priorities. The unique combination of a lawyer and an engineer – both of the highest caliber – provides clients in the transportation sector with outstanding and unmatched value.”

Goodman, a former federal senior executive, spent nearly a decade at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), where he served in various capacities, including at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and in the Secretary of Transportation’s Office of the General Counsel. As NHTSA’s Assistant Chief Counsel for Litigation and Enforcement, Goodman was the chief legal officer for enforcement for the 600-plus employee federal agency, overseeing the agency’s litigation and enforcement matters and leading numerous high-profile enforcement actions, landmark consent orders and litigations (including matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and D.C. Circuit). As a senior trial attorney in the Secretary of Transportation’s Office of the General Counsel, he managed teams throughout the DOT and across multiple transportation modes that handled cases including pipeline safety, hazardous materials, federal environmental, urban transit, motor carrier, aviation economic regulatory and maritime matters.

Before joining DOT/NHTSA, Goodman litigated on behalf of companies and individuals in various high-value matters. He was also a seagoing officer in the U.S. Navy.

Godfrey spent nearly a decade at DOT/NHTSA, where he served in various leadership capacities. As NHTSA’s Trends and Analysis Division Chief, he was in charge of the oversight and analysis of more than 1,100 vehicle, equipment, tire, motorcycle and child car seat manufacturers globally, including the TREAD Act/Early Warning Reporting Program and the integration of new data-driven techniques. As a senior policy advisor to the NHTSA Administrator, he directed the agency’s comprehensive reorganization of its Office of Defects Investigation. Prior to his federal service, Godfrey worked at General Motors as a vehicle engineer and production manager for various vehicle and equipment platforms. Among other things, he oversaw programs in quality control, research and development, production, distribution licensing, sales and service.

“Thompson Hine is renowned for its nationally ranked transportation practice, (Chambers USA,) and we are excited to join such a high-caliber group of collaborative lawyers,” said Goodman of his and Godfrey’s decision to join the firm. “We were drawn by so many things, particularly the firm’s innovative approach to project management and the delivery of legal services and the ability to provide clients with the access to a full spectrum of top-tier expertise in, among other areas, product liability litigation, environmental (particularly Clean Air Act Mobile Source matters before EPA and CARB) and intellectual property.” Godfrey added “Thompson Hine is a perfect fit for us. The firm has represented major OEMs and the auto industry for decades. Our expertise adds another pillar to the firm’s long-standing depth and support in transportation sector.”

Goodman earned his J.D., cum laude, from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and his B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. Godfrey received his B.S. in Automotive Engineering and Technology from Southern Illinois University