Timothy H. Goodman

Area of Emphasis

Tim Goodman is a member of the Firm’s Washington, D.C. office and shareholder in the Transportation Safety and Energy and Natural Resources groups.

Mr. Goodman leads the Motor Vehicle Safety, Regulatory and Compliance practice and brings a wealth of experience in transportation, litigation and regulatory matters of national significance. A seasoned litigator and counselor, he helps clients solve problems, navigate government inquiries and enforcement proceedings, and expand business and policy opportunities, including those related to automated driving systems and mobility solutions.

Mr. Goodman provides companies (including manufacturers, suppliers, start-ups and technology companies) with strategic leadership and advice to promote safety, innovation, better oversight, efficiencies and cost-savings. He works with clients in high-profile motor vehicle safety and related regulatory matters, including self-certification of standards, homologation, compliance, standards enforcement, defects investigations, recall implementation, automated driving systems, innovative safety approaches, best practices and emerging trends. Mr. Goodman also helps companies across a broad spectrum of transportation modes create proactive risk management, compliance and integrity programs, including internal compliance assessments. The objective is to mitigate the risk of government enforcement actions, improve the bottom-line and strengthen corporate safety culture.

Mr. Goodman brings to clients a current and detailed understanding of the federal government’s approach to transportation safety regulation (particularly motor vehicles), including its programs and personnel. He spent nearly 10 years at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), where he served in various roles, 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, Mr. Goodman was the chief legal officer for litigation and enforcement matters of a 600-plus employee federal agency. At other points in his DOT career, he served as a senior trial attorney in the Secretary of Transportation’s Office of the General Counsel and as a senior trial attorney for NHTSA’s Litigation and Enforcement Division.

Recognized for effectively working with corporate executives, senior officials and engineers to achieve practical and efficient results, Mr. Goodman led numerous high-profile enforcement actions, landmark consent orders, litigations (including matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and D.C. Circuit), rulemakings and special projects to successful resolution. He collaboratively led some of the largest civil enforcement actions and recalls in the history of NHTSA – including the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history – involving nearly 70 million airbag inflators and tens of millions of vehicles subject to recall by 2019. Mr. Goodman also led teams in matters throughout DOT and across multiple transportation modes, including pipeline safety, hazardous materials, federal environmental, urban transit, motor carrier, aviation economic regulatory, and maritime matters. As a result, he understands the agency’s priorities, emerging initiatives and enforcement approaches in key programs.


Mr. Goodman received a 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. He earned a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Certificate of Completion from Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education, in the Strategic Management of Regulatory & Enforcement Agencies Program.

Before joining Babst Calland, and after his federal government service at DOT/NHTSA, Mr. Goodman worked for a prominent global law firm focusing on transportation regulatory and litigation matters, including automated and autonomous vehicles.

Before joining DOT/NHTSA, Mr. Goodman litigated on behalf of companies and individuals in various high-value matters. He was also a seagoing officer in the U.S. Navy.

Memberships and Affiliations

Mr. Goodman is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the D.C. and Sixth Circuit, and various U.S. District courts.

He is a member of the D.C. Bar, a Professorial Lecturer in Law (Legal Research and Writing Program) at The George Washington University Law School, and Chair of the Georgetown University Alumni Admissions Committee, Annapolis/Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

Mr. Goodman’s honors include appointment to the Federal Senior Executive Service (key positions just below top presidential appointees, the highest-ranking one percent of career federal workforce), the DOT Lawrence R. Schneider Award (DOT’s highest recognition of outstanding legal achievement), the DOT General Counsel’s Award for Exceptional Performance (General Counsel’s highest award), the DOT Gold Medal (Department’s highest award), NHTSA Manager of the Year, the NHTSA Administrator’s Superior Achievement and Superior Accomplishment Awards, and the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. 

  • Presenter, “Fundamentals of U.S. Motor Vehicle Safety & The Road Ahead for Automated Driving,” In-House Continuing Legal Education Program, Babst Calland, Pittsburgh, PA, September 14, 2017.
  • Presenter, “Smart Products: Evolving Liability and Coverage Issues,” International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Annual Meeting, Quebec City, QC, July 11, 2017.
  • Presenter, “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, Chicago, IL, June 16, 2017.