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Artificial Intelligence & Autonomous Vehicles

Providing intelligent counsel for tomorrow's innovators


As autonomous vehicles and other artificially intelligent devices adapt to the world around them, so do Tucker Ellis’s lawyers in this revolutionary field. Artificial intelligence presents issues never before encountered in the legal world. This is because artificially intelligent devices learn how to react and adapt to their surroundings based on their training – not a set of rules developed by a human. That presents unique challenges never before faced in the legal environment. Who is responsible for a car that teaches itself in a manner that eventually causes an accident? The user? The car manufacturer? The software designer? These questions may sound simplistic now, but prescient scientists believe that artificially intelligent devices have the potential to become self-aware and ignore human commands. They already have the ability to alter their operation and decision-making processes without any human approval.

Tucker Ellis built this specialized service area to weave together a variety of legal backgrounds to evolve with this exciting technology. Our staff includes scientists and nationally and peer-recognized lawyers specializing in trial, business, and intellectual property issues. Despite the uncertainty as to how technology and policy will transform industries touched by artificial intelligence, our group’s ability to pivot and adapt sets us apart from other law firms.


  • “‘The Perils of Dabbling’: AI and the Practice of Law” by Anthony Petruzzi and Helena Guye, Reuters Legal News and Westlaw Today (September 2023)
  • “Rise of the Machines” by Christine Snyder and Ariana Bernard, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal (May 2023)
  • “Your AI Is Scary: Explainability and Interpretability in Artificial Intelligence” by Tod Northman (and Brad Goldstein), The Legal Intelligencer (February 2022)
  • “Experimenting Thoughtfully with Artificial Intelligence,” by Tod Northman (and Brad Goldstein), Westlaw Expert Analysis (June 2021)
  • “Your AI Is Racist. An Accusation That Is Probably More Accurate Than You Think” by Tod Northman (and Brad Goldstein), Westlaw Today (March 2021)
  • Chapters 4 and 5, Driverless Cars, Urban Parking and Land Use by Tod Northman (and Jeff Carr) (April 2020)
  • “DOT Grants Back Development of Autonomous-Vehicle Industry” by Tod Northman (and Lex Ehrenschwender), WardsAuto (January 2020)
  • “Green Means Go: DOT Grant Fuels Development of Ohio’s Autonomous Vehicle Industry,” Tucker Ellis Client Alert (November 2019)
  • “Just the Facts: AV Legislation Is Necessary, but It Can’t Happen Without Research” by Tod Northman (and Zachary Adams), Inter Alia, Federal Bar Association Northern District of Ohio Chapter (Winter 2019)
  • “Proposed FAA Rules Would Facilitate Drone Use to Save Lives and Make Money” by Tod Northman (and Savannah Fox), Westlaw Journal Aviation (May 2019)
  • “How Successful AV Development Might Play Out” by Tod Northman (and Zachary Kasnetz), Automotive News (April 2019)
  • “Off We Go Into the Wild Intergalactic Yonder – Defense Department Submits Proposal for ‘Space Force’” by Tod Northman and Christine Snyder, Westlaw Journal (April 2019)
  • “Stop, Drop, and Think: A Futurist’s Plea for Caution in the Age of AI” by Tod Northman and Elisa Arko, Legaltech News, New York Law Journal (March 2019)
  • “Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence Seeks to Maintain Global Leadership for United States,” Tucker Ellis Client Alert (February 2019)
  • “The Regulatory Road for Autonomous Vehicles: Absence of Federal Law Hampers U.S. Development,” Tucker Ellis White Paper (December 2018)
  • “Maturing Industry Landscape Reshapes Autonomous Vehicle Transactions” by Tod Northman, Helpful Mechanic (November 2018)
  • “Send in the Drones: How UAVs Are Becoming Important Tools” by Tod Northman, Electrical Contractor (November 2018)
  • “USPTO Invalidates Patent in High-Profile Autonomous Vehicle Technology Case,” Tucker Ellis Client Alert (October 2018)
  • “DOT Releases Updated Guidance on Future Regulation of Autonomous Vehicles,” Tucker Ellis Client Alert (October 2018)
  • “Time to Jump-Start Stalled Autonomous Vehicle Regulation” by Tod Northman, Law360 (October 2018)
  • “What Makes Autonomous Vehicles Autonomous?” by Jay Campbell, WardsAuto (July 2018)
  • “CPSC Sets Public Hearing on Internet-Connected Consumer Products,” Tucker Ellis Client Alert (May 2018)
  • “DOT Selects 10 Drone Operations Test Sites for Pilot Program,” Tucker Ellis Client Alert (May 2018)
  • “Ohio Governor Kasich Signs Executive Order Allowing Autonomous Vehicle Testing,” Tucker Ellis Client Alert (May 2018)
  • “New Era of Falling Space Debris, Old Treaties on Liability” by Tod Northman and Christine Snyder, Law360 (May 2018)
  • “Risk Management in the Air: What You Need to Know About Insuring Your Drone” by Tod Northman, Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage (March 2018)
  • “FAA Regs Still Apply to ‘Commercial’ Drone Use” by Tod Northman, Law360 (August 2017)
  • “FAA Approves Expanded Commercial Operations for Drones; Senate Version of 2016 FAA Reauthorization Makes It Out of Committee,” Tucker Ellis Client Alert (April 2016)
  • “FAA Reauthorization Bill Seeks Comprehensive Modernization of U.S. Aviation,” Tucker Ellis Client Alert (February 2016)
  • “Transportation Bill Funds Research for Autonomous Vehicles and Safety Technology,” Tucker Ellis Client Alert (December 2015)
  • “Hobbyists Required to Register Drones,” Tucker Ellis Client Alert (December 2015)
  • “Federal Task Force Recommends Drone Registration,” Tucker Ellis Client Alert (December 2015)
  • “Legal Update on Drones: FAA Provides Needed Guidance to Model Airplane Hobbyists,” Tucker Ellis Client Alert (September 2015)

Speaking Engagements

  • “Setting the AI Table: Leave a Seat for Legal,” Deloitte Webinar (September 2023) – Jennifer Steinmetz
  • “The Rapid Evolution of AI: How to Protect Your Clients Into the Future,” Trial Attorneys of America, 52nd Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois (June 2023) – Jennifer Steinmetz
  • “The Future of Artificial Intelligence and What It Means for the Legal Industry,” Ignite: Legal Tech Innovation 2021, Case Western Reserve University School of Law (July 2021) – Tod Northman
  • “The Halachic Implications of Driverless Car Adoption,” Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio (December 2019) – Tod Northman
  • “Legal and Insurance Issues Related to the Development of Automated, Autonomous, and Connected Cars,” Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, Ohio (October 2018) – Tod Northman
  • “A Look at the Future of Autonomous Vehicle Litigation,” OSBA WebCast (July 2018) – Clifford Mendelsohn
  • “Legal Issues Related to the Development of Automated, Autonomous, and Connected Cars,” OSBA WebCast (June 2018) – Jay Campbell and Tod Northman
  • “Third Wave of Legal AI,” 2017 In-House Counsel Summit, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (October 2017) – Tod Northman
  • “Dos and Don’ts of Drones,” 2016 In-House Counsel Summit, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (October 2016) – Tod Northman

Media Quotes

  • “Calif. Trucking Bill Has Autonomous Vehicle Industry on Edge,” Tod Northman quoted in Law360 (May 2023)
  • “DOT’s Autonomous Vehicle Crash Stats Leave Questions,” Tod Northman quoted in Law360 (June 2022)
  • “Who’s Liable When Self-Driving Cars Crash?”, Tod Northman quoted in Law360 (April 2021)
  • “NHTSA Eyes New Self-Driving Car Regulatory Framework,” Tod Northman quoted in Law360 (November 2020)
  • “Straight from the Experts: How Will AI Fit into Health and Safety in the Workplace?”, Tod Northman quoted in Safeopedia (June 2019)
  • “Monthly Deep Focus: What Impact Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) Have on Clinical Trials?”, Tod Northman quoted in Rx Data News (June 2019)
  • “AI Bias: 9 Questions Leaders Should Ask,” Tod Northman quoted in The Enterprisers Project (January 2019)
  • “What Can We Learn from Australia’s Tech-Based Human Rights Challenges?”, Tod Northman quoted in IDG Connect (January 2019)
  • “7 Things to Know About AI in the Data Center,” Tod Northman quoted in CIO (December 2018)
  • “Artificial Intelligence and the Coming of the Self-Designing Machine,” Tod Northman quoted in Ars Technica (December 2018)
  • “The Drones Are Coming,” Tod Northman quoted in MarineLink (October 2018)
  • “Drone Test Sites Give States Expanded Regulatory Role,” Tod Northman quoted in Law360 (May 2018)
  • “Provisions to Watch in the House’s FAA Reauthorization,” Tod Northman quoted in Law360 (May 2018)
  • “4 Things to Watch in FAA Reauthorization Talks,” Tod Northman quoted in Law360 (March 2018)
  • “Autonomous Future Could Question Legal Ethics,” Tod Northman quoted in Cleveland Jewish News (November 2017)
  • “3 Provisions to Watch in the FAA Authorization Bills,” Tod Northman quoted in Law360 (June 2017)
  • “3 Things to Watch in the Next FAA Reauthorization Bill,” Tod Northman quoted in Law360 (May 2017)
  • “Airline PR Woes Spotlight Air Traffic Control Reform Fight,” Tod Northman quoted in Law360 (May 2017)
  • “Senate’s Vanilla FAA Funding Fix Skirts Tough Issues,” Tod Northman quoted in Law360 (March 2016)
  • “5 Things to Know About the FAA Reauthorization Bill,” Tod Northman quoted in Law360 (February 2016)

Key Contacts

Our Team

Our experience allows our clients to worry less about protecting themselves and focus more on shaping the future. We have handled:

  • jury trials related to artificial intelligence, neural networks, adaptive reasoning, and image navigation systems
  • multiple national products liability multidistrict litigations and class actions
  • litigation management of nationwide commercial vehicle fleets
  • complex negotiations and business arrangements in the aerospace industry

Key Contacts