Tim, a former senior U.S. Department of Transportation official, focuses his practice on advising clients on a broad range of transportation-related operational, business, regulatory and legislative issues. After nearly a decade leading matters of national and global significance at the U.S. Department of Transportation, he uses his experience and knowledge to help clients marshal resources, achieve their goals and expand business and policy opportunities. Tim helps clients adapt and bring order to constant disruption by applying lessons learned from leading numerous high-profile enforcement actions, landmark consent orders and litigations (including matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and D.C. Circuit) as well as overseeing DOT legal teams across multiple transportation modes in handling cases including pipeline safety, hazardous materials, federal environmental, urban transit, motor carrier, aviation economic regulatory and maritime matters.
Tim provides business-focused, strategic leadership and insights on matters of national and global significance to manufacturers, suppliers, startups and technology companies, including those related to, among other things, electric vehicles, ridesharing enterprises, and automated and autonomous driving systems, while promoting innovation, efficiency and cost savings. He brings a creative approach to solving problems related to high-profile mobility, vehicle safety and related regulatory matters, including self-certification of standards, homologation, regulatory compliance, innovative mobility and safety strategies, best practices and emerging trends, standards enforcement, defects investigations, government inquiries and enforcement proceedings, and recall implementation.
While at the DOT, Tim 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, Tim was the chief legal officer for enforcement for the 600-plus employee federal agency, leading the agency’s litigation and enforcement matters. As a senior trial attorney in the Secretary of Transportation’s Office of the General Counsel, he led DOT legal teams in handling a wide variety of significant litigation matters and administrative proceedings.
Before joining DOT/NHTSA, Tim litigated on behalf of companies and individuals in various high-value matters. He was also a seagoing officer in the U.S. Navy.
Tim received his J.D., cum laude, from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he served as the executive articles editor for the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, and his B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He also completed the Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies Program, Executive Education at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Examples of Tim’s experience include:
Regulatory & Safety Compliance
- Providing unmatched legal and industry knowledge to a broad spectrum of U.S. and international mobility and automotive clients, including automobile original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), suppliers, ridesharing enterprises, startups and technology companies, encompassing passenger vehicles, motorcycles, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, buses, RVs, tires, trailers, off-road vehicles (ORVs), specialty equipment, and the full spectrum of aftermarket equipment.
- Representing clients before U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) agencies, including (among other DOT operating administrations) the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA); as well as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California Air Resources Board (CARB) and others.
- Providing comprehensive problem-solving services in high-profile mobility, vehicle safety and related regulatory matters, including, among other things, self-certification of standards (including U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs), EU standards and standards in other markets), homologation, regulatory compliance, innovative mobility and safety strategies, electric vehicles, ridesharing enterprises, emerging technologies, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), automated and autonomous driving systems, best practices and emerging trends, standards enforcement, defects investigations, government inquiries and enforcement proceedings, and recall implementation.
- Developing and maintaining, on a day-to-day basis, comprehensive automotive safety compliance programs for several global automobile OEMs and other Fortune 500 mobility and technology companies.
- Providing ongoing advice and counsel to the corporate technical/product safety committees of several U.S. and global companies responsible for the determination of defect, compliance, field action and recall issues for the companies’ respective vehicles and equipment.
- Creating first-of-their-kind regulatory and legislative strategies for several prominent U.S. and international mobility and automotive clients to advance automated/autonomous driving system development and deployment in the absence of regulatory certainty.
- Leading a multi-month comprehensive legal and engineering analysis and assessment for a Fortune 500 mobility OEM on pre-production and design issues for new vehicle products and associated lines that avoided potentially costly safety and quality issues, promoted increased teamwork within the company’s relevant engineering and business units, and promoted the company’s market objectives.
- Conducting an internal regulatory and safety compliance review for a Fortune 50 multinational corporation and technology company, resulting in key business insights and recommended process improvements for operations and sales in the U.S. and global mobility and automotive sectors.
- Working with the firm’s Environmental practice group to advise mobility and automotive clients on environmental legal issues, particularly regulatory issues under the Clean Air Act and CARB mobile source emission regulations, and attendant matters before EPA and CARB.
- Providing clients with common-sense interpretations of federal statutes and regulations, including, among other things, FMVSSs, early warning (EWR)/TREAD Act reporting, foreign recall reporting, registration, labeling, VIN requirements, vehicle importation, prototypes and other NHTSA regulatory requirements that give clear business direction for company engineering and business units.
- Conducting root cause determinations, incident inspections and NHTSA/industry precedent analysis, including associated processes to mitigate risks for product issues, and assisting clients with FMEA and DFMEA reviews to manage safety outcomes, routine safety evaluation processes and industry benchmarking (both quality and safety).
- Preparing clients’ petitions for determinations of inconsequential noncompliance, requests for temporary exemptions from federal safety standards, requests for agency interpretation of existing federal statutes and regulations, and requests for protection of confidential business information (CBI).
- Working collaboratively with the firm’s trade and technology teams to advise clients on international trade issues (including tariffs, import and export regulations), cybersecurity matters, privacy issues and the full range of related corporate governance and compliance needs.
- Providing U.S. and global clients with business development advice and counsel on growth opportunities, including identifying new product segment and content feature opportunities, and guidance for startups with go-to-market strategies for novel mobility solutions.
- Assisting clients with risk management programs and conducting internal audits to create sustainable U.S. and global quality and safety organizational departments, including in-house legal and business-oriented training and ongoing support.
- Facilitating business partnerships and joint ventures among leading automotive companies, technology and product suppliers, mobility startups and applicable regulators.
- Drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts and contract language on safety determination reporting responsibilities and recall cost recovery and risk allocation.
- Drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts and contract language on mobility and emerging technology research projects and analysis of product usage, human factors, human machine interface (HMI) considerations and safety system integrity.
Litigation & Enforcement
- Representing U.S. and international mobility and automotive clients in countless NHTSA enforcement proceedings, defect and compliance investigations and recalls, and a host of other NHTSA administrative proceedings.
- Working with clients and the firm’s litigators in NHTSA investigations, product liability matters and class action litigations to cost-effectively identify, preserve, collect, process and produce relevant and material electronic data and documents involving hundreds of custodians, millions of documents and documents in foreign languages, including managing review teams for large document review projects in a centralized document review center, drafting and reviewing discovery responses to NHTSA, other federal agencies and courts.
- Working closely with the firm’s litigators in product liability cases, class action matters and cases involving judicial review of federal regulatory decisions, including issues regarding, among other things, associated compliance with federal safety standards, emerging technologies, ADAS, automated/autonomous driving systems, associated standards of care and preemption.
- Creating, in the absence of crisis and in collaboration with the firm’s litigators, modern and innovative approaches for clients that integrate regulatory issues arising in civil actions to benefit product liability litigation, class action litigation, and government inquiries and enforcement cases.
Legislative & Policy
- Providing strategic leadership for U.S. and global automotive and mobility OEMs in crisis management situations for recent high-profile government enforcement matters with significant congressional and media scrutiny, including proactive measures to build relationships with key federal regulators and other stakeholders.
- Developing client successes in connection with pending federal and state legislative proposals and policy issues, including, among other things, strategic advice and insights, legislative and regulatory monitoring, analyzing comments in federal rule-making proceedings, and day-to-day legal and engineering counseling that helps navigate the administrative and legislative processes.
- Preparing legislative testimony and comments in federal rule-making proceedings.
- Drafting legislative and regulatory language, with an eye to providing leadership to advance clients’ business goals and policy objectives.
- Representing clients before relevant trade associations and industry forums.
- “Liability Standards and Artificial Intelligence,” PLAC Fall 2020 Conference, October 2020
- “Infotainment Systems & Evaluating Driver Attention Events/Distraction,” PLAC Webinar Series, August 2020
- “Navigating the Regulatory Morass to Advance Emerging Technologies,” American Bar Association (ABA) Administrative Law Conference, Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice, November 2019
- “Interview with NHTSA on Regulatory Oversight, Recalls, and Safety Standards,” ACI Product Liability Litigation, July 2019
- Presenter and chair, “Automated/Autonomous Driving Systems (ADS) Innovation Boot Camp for Automotive Product Liability Litigators,” ACI National Advanced Forum on Automotive Product Liability Litigation, July 2018
- “Smart Products: Evolving Liability and Coverage Issues,” International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Annual Meeting, July 2017
- “Self-Driving/Autonomous Vehicles: Advancements in Technology, Complex Insurance Issues, Shared Vehicles, Engineering Design, Regulatory Concerns, Ethical Considerations, and Litigation Risk,” ACI National Forum on Automotive Product Liability Litigation, June 2017
- Federal Senior Executive Service (key positions just below top presidential appointees, the highest-ranking 1% of career federal workforce)
- NHTSA Manager of the Year
- DOT Lawrence R. Schneider Award (DOT’s highest recognition of outstanding legal achievement)
- DOT General Counsel’s Award for Exceptional Performance (General Counsel’s highest award)
- DOT Gold Medal (Department’s highest award)
- NHTSA Administrator’s Superior Achievement and Superior Accomplishment Awards
- U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
- D.C. Bar, member
- PLAC (formerly the Product Liability Advisory Council), sustaining member
- The George Washington University Law School, professorial lecturer (litigation and advocacy skills)
- Georgetown University Alumni Admissions Committee, Annapolis/Anne Arundel County, chair
November 14, 2019
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
November 14, 2019