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Speiser Shumate Geoghan Krause & Rheingold Records

An inventory of its records at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: circa 1972

Biographical History

Speiser Shumate Geoghan Krause & Rheingold was a New York City law firm, specializing in transportation law as it related to commercial aviation. Among other things the firm has acted as counsel for plaintiffs seeking damages in air crashes.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Speiser Shumate Geoghan Krause & Rheingold Records consist of case files and a section relating to the Warsaw Convention's provisions on international aviation and carrier liability.

The Case files consist of materials relating to specific airplane crashes and the resulting investigations and/or litigation. The cases are organized alphabetically, either by the name of the first party to a suit or, in cases where no suit was brought, by the name of the airline whose plane was involved in an accident. Most cases are also identified by a Civil Aeronautics Board docket number. Case file materials are subdivided within each case into two sections labeled General and Evidence. The general material includes accident reports, associated cases, Civil Aeronautics Board Hearing materials, correspondence, discovery materials, memoranda, research and technical information, clippings, and the like. Evidence consists of depositions and exhibits. The depositions are organized alphabetically by the surname of the individual who gave the testimony. Transcripts of depositions are present, as well as some supporting materials, which were apparently used in preparing questions for the witnesses. The exhibits consist largely of reproductions of various airline company records which were introduced as evidence. These are usually arranged in the original numbered series, although some exhibits were unnumbered and have been so labeled. Case files, 1972 additions contains additional case files acquired in 1972; these have not been integrated with the rest of the collection.

The Warsaw Convention materials stem from Stuart M. Speiser's role in attempting in the 1960s to obtain a revision of the 1929 Warsaw Convention on international aviation. Mr. Speiser took a leading role in a lobbying effort to convince federal policy-makers of the need for unlimited liability of the carrier in international crashes. Included here are correspondence, memoranda, press releases, newspaper clippings, magazine separates, writings, as well as materials from the Civil Aeronautics Board, the Interagency Group on International Aviation, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and other organizations. Among the correspondence in this section are incoming letters from a number of United States Senators, including J. William Fulbright, Everett Dirksen and Hubert Humphrey.

Arrangement of the Collection

Case files are organized alphabetically, either by the name of the first party to a suit or, in cases where no suit was brought, by the name of the airline whose plane was involved in the accident. 1972 additions are listed in the inventory by docket number, although the material physically remains in original order as received. Warsaw Convention materials are arranged alphabetically.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Speiser, Stuart M.

Corporate Bodies

International Conference on Private Law Affecting Air Questions.
Spieser, Shumate, Geoghan, Krause & Rheingold -- Archives.


Aeronautics -- Law and legislation.
Aeronautics -- Safety measures.
Aeronautics, Commercial -- Law and legislation.
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States.
Aircraft accidents.
Law firms -- United States.
Liability for aircraft accidents -- Law and legislation.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Press releases.


Law firms.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Speiser Shumate Geoghan Krause & Rheingold Records,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Speiser, Shumate, Geoghan, Krause & Rheingold, 1971.

Table of Contents

Case files

Case files, 1972 additions

Warsaw convention