Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also referred to as drones, are now mainstream in society, and everyone from Fortune 500 companies to recreational hobbyists are developing new commercial and personal uses for this rapidly-evolving technology. As companies discover myriad new uses for this technology, they are faced with a seemingly equal amount of uncertainty and ambiguity from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about how and where they are allowed to legally utilize these revolutionary, cost-effective capabilities.

This new era of UAS use presents issues and challenges for both UAS developers and  users, such as: FAA certification and authorization for UAS designs, operators, and operations; regulatory compliance and enforcement actions; risk management; and data collection and privacy. With each technological improvement or proposed regulation, we remain acutely aware of the diverse needs of our clients by actively monitoring the developments that impact their interests and by helping shape relevant rules and regulations on their behalf.

As the regulatory environment for UAS continues to evolve, industries as varied as agriculture, aviation, construction, insurance, mining, motion picture and television filming, natural resources, news media, oil and gas, pipeline operations, real estate, telecommunications, and utilities continue to advance new applications for drones in their respective lines of work.

Our multidisciplinary team is comprised of attorneys from practices including Aviation, Administrative Law, Corporate and Securities, International Business Law (including Export Controls), Government Contracts, Government Relations, Insurance, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Regulatory Compliance, who advise clients on the following issues:

  • FAA Section 333 Petitions for Exemption
  • Certificates of Waiver or Authorization (COA)
  • Special Airworthiness Certificates
  • FAA UAS rulemaking
  • FAA and other federal and state regulatory compliance and enforcement
  • UAS operations, guidelines and training
  • Insurance and risk management concerns
  • Intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyright, and trade secrets)
  • Export controls (including ITAR)
  • Licensing, contracts and other transactional matters
  • Private property rights
  • Privacy and data collection issues
  • Litigation

Business Transactions

Joel C. Fry
Joel C. Fry
Partner
Denver
jfry@​lrrc.com
303.628.9547 / vCard

Intellectual Property

Art Hasan
Art Hasan
Practice Group Leader, Partner
Los Angeles, Silicon Valley
ahasan@​lrrc.com
626.795.9900 / vCard
Thomas J. Daly
Thomas J. Daly
Partner
Los Angeles
tdaly@​lrrc.com
626.795.9900 / vCard
Peter C. Hsueh
Peter C. Hsueh
Partner
Los Angeles, Silicon Valley
phsueh@​lrrc.com
626.795.9900 / vCard
Constantine "Gus" Marantidis
Constantine "Gus" Marantidis
Partner
Los Angeles
cmarantidis@​lrrc.com
626.795.9900 / vCard
Anne Aikman-Scalese
Anne Aikman-Scalese
Of Counsel
Tucson
aaikman@​lrrc.com
520.629.4428 / vCard
Mike Koplow, Ph.D.
Mike Koplow, Ph.D.
Associate
Los Angeles
mkoplow@​lrrc.com
626.795.9900 / vCard
Martin W. Regehr, Ph.D.
Martin W. Regehr, Ph.D.
Associate
Los Angeles
mregehr@​lrrc.com
626.795.9900 / vCard
Dustin R. Szakalski
Dustin R. Szakalski
Associate
Los Angeles
dszakalski@​lrrc.com
626.795.9900 / vCard

Litigation

Ross L. Crown
Ross L. Crown
Partner
Albuquerque
rcrown@​lrrc.com
505.764.5402 / vCard
E. Martín Enriquez
E. Martín Enriquez
Partner
Denver
menriquez@​lrrc.com
303.628.9585 / vCard
Dennis E. Jontz
Dennis E. Jontz
Partner
Albuquerque
djontz@​lrrc.com
505.764.5405 / vCard
J. Christopher Jorgensen
J. Christopher Jorgensen
Partner
Las Vegas
cjorgensen@​lrrc.com
702.474.2642 / vCard
William D. Nelson
William D. Nelson
Partner
Colorado Springs
wnelson@​lrrc.com
719.386.3057 / vCard
Ben M. Ochoa
Ben M. Ochoa
Partner
Denver
bochoa@​lrrc.com
303.628.9574 / vCard
Brian Blakley
Brian Blakley
Associate
Las Vegas
bblakley@​lrrc.com
702.474.2687 / vCard

Regulatory & Government

Jeffrey H. Albright
Jeffrey H. Albright
Partner
Albuquerque
jalbright@​lrrc.com
505.764.5435 / vCard
Gregory Y. Harris
Gregory Y. Harris
Partner
Phoenix
gharris@​lrrc.com
602.262.0218 / vCard

Building on our experience representing clients in the aviation and other leading edge, high-tech sectors, our attorneys practice at the forefront of legal issues impacting businesses involved in the development of UAS and their various applications, including:

  • Advising energy and utility companies regarding Section 333 exemptions and compliant UAS programs
  • Assisting clients with preparation of comments in connection with FAA rulemaking for operation and certification of small unmanned aircraft systems
  • Representing an aviation industry client with regard to government contracts, UAS manufacturing agreements, and matters related to conversion of manned aircraft to unmanned applications
  • Presenting educational programs to various clients and industry groups regarding UAS regulations and operations
  • Preparing and prosecuting patent applications on UAS and related technologies
  • Acting as attorney-of-record for clearance and prosecution of UAS trademark registrations
  • Advising clients regarding state-level UAS-related legislation
  • Representing clients on a wide variety of FAA matters including registration and compliance filings

Related News

06/22/2016
FAA releases final rules for commercial drone operations
Rules will replace Section 333 waiver process, says Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie attorney
03/31/2016
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie achieves Top 15 ranking for patent allowances
Law firm included in Top 100 U.S. Patent Firms based on performance before USPTO
03/22/2016
Pro bono service awards presented by Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie
Annual awards honor memory of lawyer dedicated to equal justice and professionalism
01/05/2016
Equity partners, elections to partnership announced
Gordon, Patton named equity partners; Enriquez, Erb, Light elected to partnership
12/14/2015
Lewis Roca Rothgerber saluted as 2015 Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year
Also recognized by Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada for Most Hours Donated by a Law Firm
8/27/2015
Congratulations to Jeffrey Albright who will receive the New Mexico State Bar's Distinguished Bar Service Award.
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Partner received the New Mexico State Bar's Distinguished Bar Service Award

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Primary Services

Environmental & Natural Resources

Key Contacts

Gregory Y. Harris
Gregory Y. Harris
Partner
602.262.0218
Dennis E. Jontz
Dennis E. Jontz
Partner
505.764.5405
Thomas J. Dougherty, II
Thomas J. Dougherty, II
Partner
303.628.9524