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Johnlee S Curtis

Aviation Attorney at Miami, FL

5.0   5 reviews

also known as John Curtis

  • State Years
    New York - NY 7 years
    Dist. of Columbia - DC 15 years
    Florida - FL 16 years
  • Licensed for 7 years
    State NY
    Acquired 2016
    Currently Registered No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 15 years
    State DC
    Acquired 2008
    Good Standing No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 16 years
    State FL
    Acquired 2007
    Member in Good Standing No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Johnlee

Learn Johnlee’s areas of practice.

JOHNLEE CURTIS studied business at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, from which he earned an Master of Business Administration; international trade regulations at the World Trade Institute at the University of Bern (Switzerland), from which he holds a Master of International Law and Economics; law at the Stetson University College of Law, from which he earned a Juris Doctor; and Political Science at Furman University, from which he earned a Bachelor of Arts on a full music scholarship. He was also awarded a Ph.D. fellowship from the University of Lucerne (Switzerland), where he taught graduate level law students the regulation of international trade, as a member of the University's faculty of law. Through NCCR:TRADE , a trade-advisory program sponsored by the Swiss government, Mr. Curtis served as an international trade law consultant in coordination with the International Communications and Art Law Lucerne at the University of Lucerne, the Berkman Center at Harvard University, and other centers of research in the field. Thereafter, Mr. Curtis practiced law for several years at a prestigious Miami-based law firm. Over the course of his practice, Mr. Curtis has handled a wide variety of business and asset acquisition deals, as well as disputes in state and federal courts and before international arbitration tribunals. He has served in-house in senior roles for companies serving the aviation industry both private and publically-traded. Johnlee founded Aviation Transaction Advisors, P.A., and focuses on aviation asset sales, purchase, and leasing transactions.



Representing AeroTurbine, Inc. the Florida subsidiary of AerCap (NYSE: AER), a leading commercial aviation asset management company with $240M+ of assets under management for five (5) years, concluding on average $500M of annual commercial transactions, and serving as the company’s SVP of the Legal Department as well as the Assistant Corporate Secretary

Representing a Seller in the sale of twenty-four (24) aircraft engines (worth ~$85M) subject to separate operating leases to separate foreign and domestic operators

Representing a Buyer in the purchase of the beneficial interest in an ownership trust concerning three (3) Boeing aircraft

Representing Seller in a joint-venture type transaction involving the sale of an aircraft engine repair station, licensing access to facility, and consultancy agreements

Representing Lessors in the negotiation of aircraft and aircraft engine leases with flagship carriers

Representing a Seller and Lessor in the lease and sale of an aircraft leased to a foreign operator and negotiating the lease and sales contracts (in-person) with both the counsel for Buyer and the counsel for Seller

Representing a company in the conclusion of a strategic partnership with a major airline

Representing celebrities and high net-worth individuals in connection with the purchase, financing and sale of private planes and helicopters

Representing Buyers, Sellers, and Brokerage Firms in connection with the purchase, financing, and sale of mega-yachts and super-yachts, among which are the 20 largest private vessels in the world



Luther v. M/V Ouro Do Brasil, et al. (Brief Description: In Rem negligence action brought in federal court arising from damage and personal injury resulting from a vessel’s wake. Result: won a plaintiff's verdict)

El Dorado Trading Corporation (Brief Description: A dispute with Customs and Border Protection over the seizure of gold bars (worth millions of dollars) transported into the United States with inaccurate disclosure documentation. Result: won the release of seized gold with minimal penalties.)

H&R Yacht Service v. M/Y SERQUE (Brief Desciption: An In Rem vessel arrest and action for recovery of labor and material charges incurred in the course of a yacht re-fit project. Result: won a recovery of full claim.)

Addario et al., v. Jupiter Wreck (Brief Description: An action on behalf of the State of Florida to claim rights to certain assets recovered from a shipwreck. Result: successfully asserted the rights of the State of Florida.)

IYC v. Donnick (Brief Description:  Litigating an appellate action for attorneys’ fees. Result: reduced the attorney fee award from over $2,500,000 to under $12,000.)


PBYB v. Donnick (Brief Description: Result: won a lucrative arbitration award)

Confidential Client v. Royal Denship AS (Brief Description: Yacht construction dispute. Result: Winning a sizeable award in a case before the Danish Arbitration Institute.)

AeroTurbine, Inc. v. Orient Thai Airline (Brief Description: Lessor aviation asset repossession action in multiple jurisdictions and arbitration in New York before the AAA. Result: successful repossession of assets and collection of claim.)







Aviation Transaction Advisors, P.A.
1200 Brickell Avenue
Ste. 1950
Miami, FL, 33131
Aviation Transaction Advisors, P.A.
225 Rector Place
New York, NY, 10280
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5.0 / 5.0
  5 customer reviews
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1 Star
Posted by Samantha | January 29, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Smart, straightforward
Johnlee solved a contract problem for me with reasonable billing. He did just what a lawyer is supposed to do by providing "a lawyer's stock in trade" which is good advice and direction based on his education and experience. I thought his extensive education in other fields was a big help as well.
Posted by Cammie | November 8, 2013
Honest and very knowledgeable
I contacted Johnlee and he was very helpful, knowledgable , and informative . I would highly recommend anyone looking for a attorney that is going to go the extra mile for you to hire Johnlee he is an amazing attorney!! And if he doesn't specialize in the area you are needing he will point you in the right direction on who would be best to help you in that area ! Thanks Johnlee you are the best :)
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Posted by anonymous | June 15, 2012
We had a consultation with Mr. Curtis, we were very impressed with his compassion and understanding of what we were going through. After reviewing the situation, he proved his integrity by suggesting that we do not file suit, even though we could. He could have made a lot of money on fees whether we won or lose, but he suggested it isn't the right way to go. He was very thorough in his explanation of the issues. We very much appreciated his knowledge, integrity, and understanding of what we are going through. We will definitely select him in the future if the need arises. We highly recommend him.
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Posted by anonymous | May 15, 2012
Top Notch Attorney
I have known Johnlee Curtis for over 10 years now and I have always found him to be a man of his word, which is not as common as it should be these days. I have worked with Mr. Curtis on business projects and found him to be reliable, creative, intelligent, professional, and kind. I have to say he is a fantastic attorney, and I feel very comfortable recommending him.
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Posted by Richard | May 1, 2012
The International SeaKeepers Society
The International SeaKeepers Society is the yachting industry's charity with a focus on ocean restoration and preservation. Johnlee Curtis helps us on many levels including contract reviews, 501(c)(3) questions, and liability issues. We are a non-profit and his pro bono work is much appreciated.


  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.8 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Shareholder
  • Aviation Transaction Advisors, P.A.
  • 2019 - Present
  • Senior Director and Counsel
  • Global Eagle Entertainment, Inc.
  • 2017 - 2019
  • Vice President, Corporate Counsel
  • AeroTurbine, Inc.
  • 2015 - 2017
  • Senior Associate Counsel
  • AeroTurbine, Inc.
  • 2013 - 2015
  • Chairman, Art Law Practice Group
  • Moore & Company, PA
  • 2007 - 2012
  • Attorney
  • Moore & Company, P.A.
  • 2007 - 2012
  • Faculty Member
  • University of Lucerne
  • 2005 - 2006
  • International Trade Law Consultant
  • NCCR (Swiss Government)
  • 2005 - 2006
  • Holland & Knight, LLP
  • 2001 - 2001
View all work experience


  • Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Management
  • MBA
  • 2017
  • Universität Bern - World Trade Institute
  • Master of International Trade Law & Economics
  • 2005
  • Stetson University College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2004
  • Furman University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 2001
View all education

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Luther v Ouro Do Brasil, et al.
  • Plaintiff's Verdict
  • El Dorado Trading Corp.
  • Release of cargo
  • Sea Tow Key Biscayne v OSG
  • Settled
View all legal cases


  • LegalArt Miami
  • Attorney Contributor
  • 2011 - Present
  • The International Seakeepers Society
  • Attorney
  • 2010 - Present
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • Member
  • 2009 - Present
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • Member
  • 2008 - Present
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • Member
  • 2008 - Present
  • Florida Yacht Broker's Association
  • Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • American Bar Association, International Law and Practice Section
  • Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • Customs and International Trade Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • United States Court of International Trade
  • Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • American Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • International Communications and Art Law Lucerne
  • Attorney Contributor
  • 2006 - Present
  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • Member
  • 2002 - Present
  • Florida Bar Journal
  • Editorial Board
  • 2012 - 2014
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • French
  • German
  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Aviation 100 - Lessor of the Year: ILFC
  • Airline Economics Magazine
  • 2013
  • Florida Legal Elite - Top Up & Coming Attorneys
  • Florida Trends Magazine
  • 2012
  • Ph.D. Fellowship
  • University of Lucerne
  • 2005
  • William F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award
  • Stetson University College of Law
  • 2004
  • Music Scholarship (4 year)
  • Furman University
  • 1998
View all awards


  • The Assistance A Maritime Lawyer Provides In Share Transfer Yacht Transactions
  • 2012
  • FYBA Compass Magazine
  • Chartering in Italy and France: Query whether VAT can be avoided
  • 2010
  • Yacht Council
  • IYC Defeats Motion for 1.79 Million in Attorney’s Fees
  • 2009
  • ArtPulse - The Law of Art and the Art of Law column
  • No Work of Art is Truely "Un-Titled": The Role of Title Insurance in the Art World
  • 2009
  • FYBA Compass Magazine
  • New Yacht Ownership Structures in a Changing Ownership Environment
  • 2008
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Law Clinic for Artists
  • Art Law
  • 2011
  • World Trade Forum
  • International Trade Law
  • 2005

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (10)
Endorse Johnlee
Admiralty and maritime Attorney | Jul 05
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer."
Contracts and agreements Attorney | May 15
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have known Johnlee Curtis for many years and I am happy to endorse him. We have worked together on projects in the past and I can say from personal experience that he is a very hard-working attorney who truly cares about doing a great job for his clients."
Admiralty and maritime Attorney | May 15
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Johnlee Curtis is an absolute pleasure to work with. He is committed to creating high quality work product. Johnlee goes above and beyond to provide helpful advice and put in the extra work that is needed to get a project done well. I worked with Johnlee on maritime and non-profit law matters and I highly recommend him and his work."
Admiralty and maritime Attorney | May 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have known Attorney Curtis for over 10 years. He is dedicated, hard working and committed to doing a good job for his clients."
Unknown Attorney | Apr 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have had the pleasure of working with Johnlee Curtis on a variety of legal matters, and from these experiences I have found that, in addition to being an excellent attorney, Johnlee is also a consummate professional and a true intellectual. His keen understanding of the law, and of a wide variety of related disciplines (art, economics, international trade, etc.), is rivaled only by his shrewd business acumen and practical approach to representing and counseling clients. Moreover, Johnlee is a very genuine and approachable person, someone who inspires trust. In short, Johnlee is a true lawyer's lawyer, and I highly recommend him to anyone seeking stellar legal representation."
Aviation Attorney | Mar 12
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"As LegalLink Coordinator of LegalArt, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicating itself to providing artists with affordable legal services, grants and educational opportunities, I was fortunate enough to work with Johnlee on a SeminArts "Contracts for Artists" presentation he gave to our members on March 7, 2011. From the time we first spoke on the phone, Johnlee was willing and eager to lend his services to help educate the Miami arts community. Johnlee gave a phenomenal lecture that received rave reviews from all those in attendance. I look forward to working with Mr. Curtis on future projects."
View more endorsements
Intellectual property
Defective and dangerous products
Admiralty and maritime
Environmental and natural resources