Justine M. Kasznica
Area of Emphasis
Justine Kasznica is a shareholder in the Mobility, Transport and Safety, Transportation Safety, Corporate and Commercial and Energy and Natural Resources groups. She currently serves as the chair of the Firm’s Emerging Technologies Group. Ms. Kasznica is a technology and commercial transactions attorney who represents technology companies, investor groups, universities and research institutions seeking to commercialize new technologies. Her clients are customers and vendors of software, SaaS, IoT, AI and robotics products and services in the retail, aerospace, autonomous vehicle (AV), oil, gas and pipeline, healthcare, education, emergency management and system safety/security industries, among others. In addition, she has experience in general corporate and commercial law matters, and supports clients with their entity formation, corporate governance, venture capital and private equity investments, and commercial contract needs.
Ms. Kasznica specializes in supporting the legal and regulatory needs of clients in the autonomous mobility industries, and represents AV technology, last mile logistic and warehouse/logistics robotics, commercial space and drone (unmanned aircraft systems – UAS), and she also advises universities, research centers and large commercial institutions with respect to the development and deployment of autonomous mobility technologies and the industry impacts of such technologies. In this role, she regularly participates in speaking engagements and leads workshops on legal and regulatory topics related to AV, UAS and commercial space, as well as robot-as-a-service (RaaS) and mobility-as-a-service (Maas) business models and serves as an advisor to various UAS and space technology companies and projects.
Ms. Kasznica currently serves as a member on the UL Standards Technical Panel (STP) charged with reviewing UL-4600, a technical standard for the evaluation of autonomous products, and is a member of the PennDOT AV Policy Task Force.
- Drafts, negotiates, and advises on agreements for technology companies in the IT, mobility, robotics, banking, oil and gas/energy, healthcare and security and logistics industries.
- Advises domestic and international businesses on a wide range of data protection and network/data security compliance and risk management issues, including GDPR and other international (EU, German) data transfers and information governance issues.
- Assists technology clients in developing internal policies related to privacy and terms of service and use, with experience in COPPA, FERPA, HIPAA/HITECH and FinTech regulatory compliance.
- Advises companies on liability exposure with respect to trademark/copyright infringement and other statutory claims and issues.
- Represents investors and investment funds with respect to convertible debt, angel and venture financing deals with technology companies.
- Assists high growth emerging technology companies with formation, capitalization, and general business operational needs.
- Serves as outside general counsel to several robotics and autonomous systems companies in the mobility, autonomous vehicle and smart cities, homeland security and defense, aerospace, and commercial space industries.
- Advises on legal issues surrounding UAS, including commercial drones.
- Negotiates technology commercialization licenses and funding agreements on behalf of robotics companies with universities, government agencies, and technology development laboratories.
- Assists robotics companies with capitalization, including state and federal funding, accelerator funding, angel investment, and corporate, private equity or venture capital financing.
- Supports and develops campus drone and new technology policies for universities.
Aerospace and Commercial Space
- Negotiates payload launch services contracts, NASA Space Act Agreements, SBIRs, STTRs, BAAs, and other technology development agreements.
- Advises on regulatory and policy issues related to UAS and commercial space activities, including FAA approvals and certifications, payload acceptance requirements, and other regulatory compliance requirements.
Ms. Kasznica graduated from Yale University (Branford College) with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and earned her Juris Doctor from Rutgers School of Law-Camden. She served as a law clerk for Judge Thomas M. Hardiman on the U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Memberships and Affiliations
Ms. Kasznica is currently admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey (inactive).
Ms. Kasznica has been actively involved in Pittsburgh’s innovation economy since she moved to Pittsburgh in 2008. She served as Executive Director of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law Innovation Practice Institute and remains active on the boards of several community and entrepreneurship-focused organizations and programs, including Ascender, an accelerator and co-working hub, and the Yale Club of Pittsburgh. She is a founding member of ReefBot, a collaborative partnership between Carnegie Mellon’s Robotic Institute, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium to develop autonomous underwater vehicles for the purpose of oceanographic exploration and coral reef conservation.