Robert Siegel


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Bob Siegel is a labor lawyer who focuses his practice on representing major companies in federal court litigation under the Railway Labor Act and the National Labor Relations Act, arbitrations, labor negotiations, National Mediation Board and National Labor Relations Board matters, and employment law litigation and counseling. Representative past and current clients include: American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Air, US Airways, Republic Airways, Atlas Air, Southern Air, Envoy Air, Airlines For America, Astar Air Cargo, AirTran Airways, Pan American World Airways, America West Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Atlas Air, Flying Tigers, Pacific Southwest Airlines, Polar Air, Delphi Corporation, and Mylan Laboratories.

Bob has also been labor counsel to several airlines regarding mergers, asset acquisitions, and ESOP transactions. Bob was formerly Co-Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Railway and Airline Labor Law Committee and is a former Senior Editor of The Railway Labor Act (BNA).


Honors & Awards

  • Named a California - Litigation Star in Antitrust and Labor & Employment by Benchmark Litigation (2023)
  • Named to the Corporate Employment Lawyers Hall of Fame in Lawdragon’s Guide to The Most Powerful Corporate Employment Lawyers for Traditional Labor (2018, 2021)
  • Recognized as a Local Litigation Star and Labor & Employment Star in Antitrust and Labor & Employment by Benchmark Litigation (2020-2023)
  • Recognized as a Transportation MVP by Law360 (2019)
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers® for Employment Law - Management in Los Angeles, CA (2022-2023); Robert has been listed in Best Lawyers® since 2013
  • Selected by Law360 as Transportation MVP (2016, 2018)
  • Ranked by Chambers USA (2007-2023)
  • Selected by the Daily Journal as a Top Labor & Employment Lawyer (2010-2012, 2014-2019)
  • Selected by HRE Executive and Lawdragon to its “Most Powerful Labor Attorneys” list (2017)
  • Named a “Leading Lawyer” by Legal 500 US in Transport: Aviation and Air Travel (2017-2023)
  • Recognized by Legal 500 US for Labor and Employment: Litigation (2011-2014), Labor and Employment: Labor-Management Relations (2013-2023), and Labor and Employment: Labor and Employment Disputes (2017-2019)
  • Named an “Employment MVP” by Law360 (2012-2013)
  • Named one of “The Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys” by Lawdragon (2011-2016)
  • Named a Southern California Super Lawyer (2008-2017)
  • Selected as “Dealmaker in the Spotlight” by The American Lawyer (2013)


Bar Admissions

  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals, Second, Fifth & District of Columbia Circuits
  • US District Court, Western District of North Carolina, Eastern District of Wisconsin


  • University of Michigan, J.D.: magna cum laude; Order of the Coif
  • University of California at Berkeley, B.A.: with great distinction; Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Activities


  • American Bar Association, Litigation and Labor and Employment Law Sections
  • Former Member of the Governing Board, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Inc.
  • Past Co-Chairman, American Bar Association, Railway and Airline Labor Law Committee


  • Former Senior Editor, The Railway Labor Act (BNA)


  • The American Arbitration Association
  • Practicing Law Institute


  • “Modernization for Aviation and Railway Industries,” Employment Law360, co-authored with Natasha Waglow and Sloane Giddon (February 2012)


  • “Airline and Railroad Labor and Employment Law,” American Law Institute (September 27-28, 2018)
  • “Current Trends in Arbitration, Mediation and Upcoming Bargaining Issues in the Airline Industry,” National Academy of Arbitrators Annual Meeting (May 24, 2018)
  • “Major Disputes in the Airline Industry,” ABA Section of Labor & Employment Law, Railway & Airline Labor Law Committee’s Midwinter Meeting (March 8, 2018) 
  • “Throw Out the Devil and Deal with the Details in Complex Airline Arbitration,” National Academy of Arbitrators Annual Meeting (May 26, 2017)
  • “Bargaining, Mediation, Status Quo, and Work Stoppages”; “Interest Arbitration and Grievance Procedures,” 26th Annual ALI-CLE Airline and Railroad Labor and Employment Law (April 27-28, 2017)
  • “Election Campaigns,” "Management and the Mediation Process and Emergency Boards,” “Judicial Enforcement of the Railway Labor Act and ‘ULP’s’: Is There ‘Protected Activity’ under the RLA?,” “Affiliations, Mergers, and Consolidations,” The American Law Institute’s Airline and Railroad Labor and Employment Law: A Comprehensive Analysis (October 2012)
  • Air Transport Association v. Massachusetts (U.S. District Court, Mass.) (Civ. Action No. 10651 – ADB) – Successfully represented ATA in lawsuit to invalidate state paid sick leave law on Airline Deregulation Act preemption grounds.
  • American Airlines Inc. v. Transport Workers Union of America et al., Case No. 19-cv-00414 (N.D. Tex. 2019) – Won a permanent injunction for American Airlines requiring the carrier’s mechanics unions to end an illegal work slowdown that resulted in thousands of flight cancellations and delays.
  • Atlas Air, Inc. et. al. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters et. al., Case No. 17-7172 (D.C. Cir. 2019) – Represented Atlas Air in a DC Court of Appeal decision affirming a district court’s issuance of a preliminary injunction prohibiting the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and its member pilots from engaging in any slowdown activities designed to give the union greater leverage in ongoing collective bargaining negotiations.
  • Beckington, et al. v. American Airlines, Case No. 18-15648 (9th Cir. 2019) – Represented American Airlines in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal decision finding that airline employees cannot bring a claim of collusion against a carrier for “colluding” with a union that breached its duty of fair representation to its members.
  • Horner et al. v. American Airlines, Case No. 18-10036 (5th Cir. 2019) – Represented American Airlines in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal decision affirming the district court dismissal of a lawsuit challenging an arbitrator’s award concerning the integration of pilot seniority lists as part of American’s mergers with Trans World Airlines and US Airways.
  • Spirit Airlines, Inc. vs. Air Line Pilots Association, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81596 (S.D. Fla.) – Obtained a temporary restraining order prohibiting pilots from disrupting Spirit Airlines’ operations, and requiring the union and individual defendants to stop the pilots’ illegal job action.
  • Atlas Air, Inc. et al. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters et al., Case No. 7:17-cv-00903-NSR (S.D.N.Y.) – Won summary judgment for Atlas Air and an order compelling the Atlas pilots’ union to arbitrate its refusal to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Ballard et al. v. American Airlines, Inc., Case No. 17-cv-02534 (N.D. Ill.) – Won full dismissal for American Airlines of a purported class action brought by the airline’s mechanics regarding changes to premium pay rates that American negotiated with the mechanics’ union following American’s merger with US Airways.

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