In The News

James Mackler Honored with Veterans Award

Congratulations are in order to Bonelaw attorney James E. Mackler, who has been chosen for inclusion in the inaugural class of the Nashville Business Journal’s Veterans Awards. Nominations were submitted by the public, and a panel of judges scored nominees on a variety of factors, including professional accomplishments and community involvement. The 29 winners were announced today. They will be honored at an awards luncheon on Sept. 9 and profiled in the Sept. 11 print publication and online.

James, a member of the Army and Air National Guard, concentrates his law practice in the areas of federal criminal defense, regulatory compliance and civil litigation. He is also the founder of the firm’s unmanned aerial systems focus and leads veteran and military law efforts.

Read more here.

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

James Mackler Addresses Drone Laws at American Railway Development Association Annual Meeting

Bone McAllester Norton attorney James E. Mackler spoke about drone laws at the American Railway Development Association’s (ARDA) annual meeting in Denver today. The founder of the firm’s unmanned aerial systems (UAS, or commonly "drones") focus, he was part of a panel that discussed inspections and imaging using UAS.

ARDA is a not-for-profit educational trade association founded to promote economic development, real estate development, technology and environmental activities of North American railroads.

 

 

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

New Criminal Drone Laws Take Effect

By James E. Mackler

James Mackler Unmanned Aerial Systems Attorney

Tennessee recently passed a bill making it a crime to fly an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, commonly known as a “drone,” over large, ticketed public gatherings of 100 or more people, into fireworks displays, or over jails. The law will take effect on July 1st. Although it might seem at first like this law is a solution looking for a problem, it turns out that the legislation was prompted by actual events.

In the past year, the FAA has investigated numerous drone sightings over professional stadiums sporting events. Also, on July 4th of last year, a man flew a drone into Nashville’s largest fireworks display, gaining national attention. There has also been a rash of incidents involving attempted air-drop deliveries of contraband by drones to jails.

It is dangerous and reckless to fly a drone over a large crowd, into a fireworks display, or over a jail to deliver contraband. Under current law, however, it has been difficult for the police to charge drone operators engaged in these activities. For example, although the FAA restricts flights over large outdoor events, there has been some question about whether these restrictions apply to drones. Flight into fireworks is not an obvious violation of any particular state law.  Delivering contraband to a jail is already a crime, but until the payload is dropped, the flight itself is in a gray area.

Under the new law, drone operators can be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail for violations. Although there is no question that this law addresses serious safety concerns, the law raises some interesting legal issues. For example, the Federal government has long held exclusive jurisdiction over the “navigable airspace” above the surface of the earth. The law defining “navigable airspace,” however, developed before the widespread use of drones. Drones can and do navigate all the way down to the ground. The FAA, consequently, insists that its jurisdiction over drones extends to the ground. This means that Tennessee, through this law, is asserting a claim to govern the same space that the FAA claims the exclusive power to control.

Drone operators should not view this legal uncertainty as an opportunity to challenge the new law. They should, instead, understand that the law prohibits such flights for good reason.  Operators who would violate the law are reckless and irresponsible. They risk injuring spectators. They also add to the undeserved public distrust of the large community of responsible drone enthusiasts. Increased distrust can only result in restrictions and regulations, which are likely to be much less reasonable than the law taking effect in July.

 

James Mackler will Present Unmanned Aerial Systems Regulations at Upcoming Summit

Bonelaw attorney James E. Mackler is slated as a speaker at the upcoming Tennessee Digital Government Summit, where he will present “UAS—A New Frontier?”

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is an emerging hot topic for both technologists and enthusiasts, but unless regulations are followed, these systems can remain grounded. James will cover the many drone activities taking place in Middle Tennessee and what UAS operators need to know in order to be legally compliant.

James is the founder of the firm’s UAS focus, the first of its kind in the region. He began practicing law in 1997 and has focused on regulatory compliance, civil litigation and federal criminal defense. His UAS clients range across industries, including agriculture, surveying, videography, military and government agencies.

The Tennessee Digital Summit will be held Thursday, June 11, 2015, at the Nashville Airport Marriott. Click here for more information.

 

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Bone McAllester Norton will Host Draft Drone Regulations Meeting, March 17

Firm Seeks Input for Federal Aviation Administration Rules

Nashville, Tenn.—(March 10, 2015) Nashville-based law firm Bone McAllester Norton PLLC will host a meeting regarding draft regulations released by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS, or commonly, “drones”). The free meeting, open to the public, will be held the morning of Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Business owners and decision makers in all fields that might either use UAS or be impacted by their use are encouraged to attend.  There will be an opportunity to learn more about the proposed regulations and provide input on their development.

“The proposed UAS rules provide both challenges and opportunities for new and for well-established businesses,” said James Mackler, attorney and founder of Bone McAllester Norton’s UAS focus. “Our firm has a long history of guiding entrepreneurs through complicated regulations. We look forward to working with our clients to help them leverage the potential of this emerging technology.”

Mackler will be joined by Lt.Gen. John Castellaw, USMC (Retired), CEO of Farmspace Systems. “Unmanned Aerial Systems Federal Regulations Meeting” will provide an overview of UAS technology and how it is being used in the U.S. marketplace. The FAA’s proposed regulations will also be addressed. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments to the proposed ruling. Continuing Legal Education credits are available.

"Unmanned aerial systems have the potential to transform several industries,” Castellaw said. “In agriculture, they can help increase crop production to meet the needs of nine billion people by 2050 while reducing costs for farmers and consumers."

Time: 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Date: Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Location: Bone McAllester Norton’s Nashville office – 511 Union Street, Suite 1600

 

To register, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information on Bone McAllester Norton, visit http://bonelaw.com/.

 

 

About Bone McAllester Norton PLLC

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

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Media Contact:

Ann Dee McClane, (615) 742-6889, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Unmanned Aerial Systems Federal Regulations Meeting, March 17

Bone McAllester Norton will host a federal regulations meeting concerning the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS or, commonly, “drones”) at its Nashville office on Tuesday, March 17. Attorney James E. Mackler and Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, USMC, Retired and CEO of Farmspace Systems will lead the discussion.

“Unmanned Aerial Systems Federal Regulations Meeting” will provide an overview of UAS technology and how it is being used in the U.S. marketplace, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposed regulations will be addressed. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments to the proposed ruling. CLE credits are available.

This event will take place from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Find out more including how to register, here.

 

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

James Mackler will Address UAS in Law Enforcement Webinar

Bone McAllester Norton attorney James E. Mackler is part of a panel discussion on the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS or, more commonly, “drones”) in law enforcement. As a relatively new technology, law enforcement agencies are seeking to better understand which platforms and sensor payloads will best meet their needs. Users of this emerging tool also have to consider training requirements, Federal Aviation Administration regulations, legal issues and public reaction.

The webinar, “Aerial Assets: UAS in Law Enforcement,” will take place at 2 p.m. Central, Thursday, March 5. Joining Mackler will be the lead instructor of the Unmanned Aerial Institute and the deputy as well as chief UAS pilot from Grand Forks County (N.D.) Sheriff’s Department. Patrick C. Miller, staff writer with UAS Magazine, will serve as the moderator.

Mackler is the founder of the firm’s UAS focus, the first of its kind in the region, and has become a go-to source for the legalities surrounding the use of drones.

For more on the webinar, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

James Mackler Discusses New Drone Law Enforcement Guidelines with UAS Magazine

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently released new guidelines to law enforcement agencies regarding the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly known as drones. UAS Magazine interviewed Bone McAllester Norton attorney James E. Mackler about these new rules, which he says are off target.

The FAA is requesting assistance from the law enforcement community to crack down on the increased, unauthorized use of drones by those who do not understand rules of the air and those who endanger airspace.

“Law enforcement is busy enough investigating crimes, and police should know that they have no authority of any kind to investigate civil violations of administrative regulations,” he told the magazine.”

Read the full interview here.

In another story with UAS Magazine, he explained that law enforcement officials have every right to investigate possible law violations within their jurisdictions—regardless of whether a UAS is involved—but they have no jurisdiction when it comes to enforcing the FAA’s UAS regulations.

“To me, this is another example of the FAA really struggling to keep up with facts on the ground instead of getting ahead of things and creating the appropriate regulations,” he said.

Read that article here.

James concentrates his practice in the areas of federal criminal defense, regulatory compliance and civil litigation. He is also the founder of the firm’s UAS focus, the first of its kind in the region.

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 40 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Uncertainty with Drones can Translate into Opportunity

If, like me, you have been following the developments in both the law and technology surrounding Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS, or commonly known as "drones"), you know the area is fraught with uncertainty. This uncertainty can be translated into opportunity for bold entrepreneurs and investors with the risk-tolerance to move to the front of the line in this evolving industry.

A recent article in The Economist highlights how venture capitalists are emerging from the fear of being displaced by startups utilizing advancing technologies like drones. Of course, as the article  shows, having deep pockets helps as well.

Intel and Google are leading the way by investing in growing technologies whose business value is still largely speculative.  They believe, as I do, that the uncertainty lies in the application and timing of the systems, not in their eventual success.

Click here to read the article.

James Mackler Talks Drones, NTSB Ruling with the Media

Bone McAllester Norton attorney James E. Mackler talked with UAS Magazine last week about the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) ruling on the Raphael Pirker case. Pirker flew an unmanned aerial system (UAS), more commonly known as a “drone,” over the University of Virginia campus in 2011, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) required him to pay a $10,000 civil penalty for operating the aircraft in a careless or reckless manner. A law judge with the NTSB dismissed that order, citing the FAA had not enacted an enforceable regulation for the aircraft.

“. . .I don’t think it makes very much practical difference in terms of the way the industry and the law are progressing,” James said in the article. “Congress has already told the FAA that they have to come up with regulations governing the commercial use of UAS. Congress has essentially preempted this issue, making it clear that they do expect unmanned systems to be treated as aircraft and operated in a safe manner.”

Earlier that day, James commented in a separate article for the magazine about dispelling a UAS myth. He explained that the Pirker case is more about when the flight occurred and that it had little to do with the current state of UAS regulations.

James served as a panelist in Mind2Marketplace’s event on UAS last week, held at the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport. “I think it’s going to be another 10-20 years before we see larger UAV’s integrated into airspace. The FAA needs to move a little bit faster in order for it to be allowed to be used in a commercial manner,” he told a reporter from Fox17.

James is the founder of Bonelaw’s UAS focus, the first of its kind in the region. He also leads the firm’s veteran and military law efforts.

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 40 attorneys and offices in Nashville, Sumner and Williamson counties, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 18 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

James Mackler will Speak on Unmanned Aerial Systems, Nov. 20

Bone McAllester Norton attorney James E. Mackler is slated to speak on a panel discussion Thursday, Nov. 20 about unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The exploration of current UAS technologies and their future will be outlined, including how FAA regulations are shaping up the way the units can be used. Attendees will have a chance to get hands-on experience with some of the vehicles while hearing from academic, government and private sector experts. Those interested in investing in UAS technologies, using UAS in educational settings or to get jobs done and hobbyists interested in learning more should attend.

James is the founder of the firm’s UAS focus, the first of its kind in the region. He also leads the firm’s veteran and military law efforts.

Mind2Marketplace is the host of this event. It will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport. Registration is $30 and includes a light dinner and drink ticket.

Get more information here.

 

 

 

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 39 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 17 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

James Mackler Talks about Staying Power of Drones with the Nashville Scene

Bone McAllester Norton attorney James E. Mackler spoke with Steve Haruch, reporter for the Nashville Scene, about the complexity of the laws and regulations surrounding the use of drones. But despite the difficulty in traversing those rules, the reporter points out that drones are here to stay.

James’s comments appeared in two articles in this week’s Scene. In the cover story, he explains that the rules are confusing, so he tends to be cautious in his reading of what the FAA says is allowed and what isn’t allowed. The current law starts with a blanket ban on the use of drones and then includes exceptions, such as for authorized military use, search and rescue and scholarly research. “I would never tell a client to violate FAA regulations. . .but if someone came to me and said the FAA was trying to enforce those regulations, I would work very hard to defend them by arguing that those regulations are not enforceable. That particular person may or may not have violated the law, or the regulation, but there’s probably an argument to be made either way,” he said.

And in a supporting story on how two Tennessee companies are using drones legally, James points that “a strict reading of the regulation” hints that a commercial organization utilizing drones for commercial purposes “would be included in the regulations, unless you’ve got a COA (certificate of authorization) or you’re flying at an FAA test site.”

James concentrates his law practice in the areas of federal criminal defense, regulatory compliance and civil litigation. He is the founder of Bonelaw’s unmanned aerial systems (UAS) focus, the first of its kind in the region.

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 17 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Axios LLC Builds Platform for More Companies

Bone McAllester Norton client Axios LLC, an 18-month-old start-up led by U.S. military veterans, has reported generating revenue and is now looking to expand its portfolio to include a corporate IT talent-development company. Axios serves as an aggregator for veteran entrepreneurs, helping them transition from military to civilian life. Currently, the company has four businesses under its umbrella, including FarmSpace Systems, RangerUp Logistics, AxiosTEC and Yad Consulting LLC.

Mike Jones, co-founder, majority owner and CEO of Axios, spoke with Venture Nashville Connections. Read the story here.

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 39 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 17 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Bonelaw Attorney James Mackler will Make Presentation on How New and Changing Laws on Drones will Impact Your Clients

Bone McAllester Norton attorney James E. Mackler will speak at an upcoming Nashville Bar Association presentation on drones and how new and developing laws will impact clients. The lunch and learn program, “Drones: How New and Evolving Federal and State Laws on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) will Impact Your Clients,” will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at the Nashville Bar Association’s office in downtown Nashville. The course has been approved for 1.0 CLE hours.

James will discuss proposed legislation on drones and how it is expected to ban all use by civilian, except as specifically authorized, as well as how businesses and law enforcement are increasingly using the devices in ways that are outside of, or in violation of, the legal framework. Corporate counsel, civil rights attorneys, criminal defense, insurance defense and plaintiff attorneys, government attorneys and prosecutors are encouraged to attend.

James concentrates his practice in the areas of federal criminal defense, regulatory compliance and civil litigation, where he has 15 years of experience defending and prosecuting criminal cases at the state, federal and military levels. He is the founder of Bonelaw’s unmanned aerial systems focus, the first of its kind in the region.

More information on the presentation, including how to register, can be found here.

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 17 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

James Mackler Discusses Ban on Drones for Farmers with SmartPlanet

Bone McAllester Norton attorney James E. Mackler, who leads the firm’s unmanned aerial systems focus, recently talked about the government’s ban on drones for farmers with SmartPlanet, an online magazine that covers business, technology and design. Currently, Federal Aviation Administration regulations prevent farmers from using drones for precision agriculture applications, proactively monitoring all crop activities. Hobbyists are the only people allowed to use drones now, and the main concerns about them concern airspace safety and privacy.

“Typically you’re talking about a farmer flying in a very sparsely populated area over his own property, at low altitudes,” he told the magazine. “So there’s very little risk of collision. . .and much-reduced privacy issues.”

 

 

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 38 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 17 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit www.bonelaw.com.

Bone McAllester Norton Expands Practice with Focus on UAS

News Release

Thursday – April 10, 2014

Law firm is the only Tennessee firm providing services in area of UAS


 

Nashville, TN — Bone McAllester Norton PLLC today announced an expansion of the Entrepreneurial and Emerging Business Law practice group to include legal services in the area of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones.

The law firm is the only one in Tennessee covering UAS and issues surrounding the use of drones. Bone McAllester Norton attorneys in the Entrepreneurial and Emerging Business Law practice group focus on company formation, capital strategies, trademark registrations, copyright protection, intellectual property, social media law, privacy issues and now the unique regulatory and legal issues impacting the commercial use, legal enforcement and privacy of this emerging technology in UAS.

James E. Mackler, veteran attorney and Bonelaw member, is the lead attorney focused on the increasingly complex system of state and federal laws regarding the commercial use of drones. Joining Mackler with a focus in the area of UAS are attorneys Richard J. Nickels. These attorneys have extensive experience in entrepreneurship, commercial law, aviation, protection of intellectual property, privacy concerns and regulatory compliance.

Many states, including Tennessee, have passed laws regulating the use of drones. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is under a mandate to fully integrate them for commercial use.

“With the FAA’s injunction to integrate drones into commercial airspace and the designation of 16 test sites nationwide, the growing opportunities—and risks—associated with drones cannot be ignored,” Mackler said. “We have a strong group of attorneys with sophisticated experience that will be able to provide counsel to individuals and corporations wanting to leverage the power of UAS within existing business models or seeking to start a new venture within the UAS sphere.”

The firm’s first UAS-centered client is Farmspace Systems, LLC, created to help farmers obtain a high level of situation awareness of threats to their crops, much like that of military commanders who need to detect threats to their troops. Farmspace was founded by a team of military veterans, who, in previous careers, applied UAS technology on the battlefield.

For more information, visit Bonelaw.com.

ABOUT BONE MCALLESTER NORTON PLLC

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 37 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 17 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, call 615-238-6300 or visit bonelaw.com.

 

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Understanding Certificates of Need

By James Mackler

As their practice grows, many physicians find themselves in a position where they would like to grow and expand their practice but are intimidated by the red tape involved in obtaining approval from the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency (THSD) for their dream facility. It is important, therefore, for you to have some understanding of the “certificate of need” (CON) program.

What is a “certificate of need?”

A CON is a permit that must be granted by the THSD before a person can establish or modify a healthcare facility.

How does this apply to physicians?

Physicians who simply intend to establish or modify their private professional practice office do not need a CON.

Who will receive the CON?  

The CON is typically issued to the property owner.

What “healthcare facilities” require a CON?  

Senator Mark Green recently introduced House Bill 854, which would remove medical imaging equipment from the requirement to have a Certificate of Need.  As the law currently stands, you will usually need a CON for:

    • • nursing homes
    • • recuperation centers
    • • hospitals
    • • ambulatory surgical treatment centers
    • • birthing centers
    • • mental health hospitals
    • • intellectual disability institutional habilitation facilities
    • • home care organizations
    • • outpatient diagnostic centers
    • • rehabilitation facilities
    • • residential hospices
    • • nonresidential substitution-based treatment centers for opiate addiction

How do you get a CON? 

Obtaining a CON requires strict compliance with THSD regulations. It requires careful completion of an application with THSD. You will also need to pay an application fee, file a detailed letter of intent with THSD and publish that letter for public comment. In many cases, it is helpful to file supporting documentation as well.

What does THSD consider when deciding whether to issue a CON?

THSD is required to consider many factors in determining whether the proposed facility meets a healthcare need in the area, including:

    • • the need for the facility in the particular area
    • • the economic feasibility of the project
    • • the contribution which the project will make to the development of the healthcare system

Do I need an attorney in order to obtain a CON?

There is no legal requirement that you be represented by counsel. Bear in mind, however, that the process is time-consuming and complicated and that THDS requires strict compliance with its rules. An experienced attorney can help you navigate this process and, if your application is denied, can assist with an appeal.

What To Do When the Feds Come Calling

By James Mackler

It is a harrowing yet increasingly common experience for healthcare providers to find themselves face-to-face with federal investigators. The U.S. Attorney’s office has announced that the investigation of healthcare fraud will continue to be one of its highest priorities. This means that you or your staff could literally have your relaxing evening at home interrupted by a knock on the door from a law enforcement agent. There are two key points to remember should you become the focus of an investigation: First, don’t talk to law enforcement agents without an attorney; second, preserve your documents but don’t alter them.

James Mackler is a member of Bone McAllester Norton’s Criminal Defense and Government Investigations group. He is an experienced criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor at the firm. James has this very simple advice for the moment you are first confronted by an investigator: “Do not talk to anyone until you speak with your own attorney.” Although this advice is very easy to give, it can be difficult to follow. Most law-abiding citizens want to cooperate with the authorities. Moreover, people tend to assume that if they refuse to answer questions, it will look like they have something to hide. This could not be further from the truth. The fact is that investigators and prosecutors respect and, to some extent, admire people who can think clearly enough to assert their right to counsel.

This is not to suggest that you should forever refuse to assist in a law enforcement investigation. The point is you need to make sure that your rights are protected. Even if you are being interviewed as a witness, there is always a chance that, as the investigation develops, a prosecutor might begin to see you as an accomplice. If you have retained counsel, your lawyer may be able to protect you ahead of time from this possibility. Although you have every right to refuse to answer questions, it is a crime to impede an investigation or lie to authorities. An attorney can also help you navigate these treacherous waters.

You may be tempted to start reviewing billing or treatment records to make sure your files are in good order in case they are ever subpoenaed. While it is fine to review your records, be careful to neither create nor destroy documents in response to an inquiry from law enforcement agents. In today’s digital age, nothing ever goes away completely. The best approach is to preserve what you have without making any changes. It is much easier for a good attorney to deal with records that might portray you in a bad light than it is to deal with allegations of evidence tampering or obstruction.

You are also likely to begin trying to figure out what is really behind the questioning. The chances are that you will be given little or no information by the investigating agent. Furthermore, the agent does not have to be truthful or forthcoming with you. You might be a potential witness or, worse, a potential target. The investigation might be civil in nature, or it might be leading toward criminal prosecution. The reality is that these distinctions don’t really matter in terms of your response.

Now if a law enforcement official shows up at your door, you have the perfect reply to the question, “Do you mind answering a few questions?”

With all sincerity, you can say, “I have no problem speaking with you, but my attorney has told me never to answer questions without talking to him first. I will get back in touch with you.”

Winter 2013 Newsletter Features Super Lawyers, New Attorneys and an MLK Save-the-Date

2013 has been a tremendous year for Bone McAllester Norton, and we have you, our valued clients and friends, to thank. Our latest newsletter has important updates and announcements, including new attorneys and a save-the-date for our annual MLK Fellowship Breakfast.

Click here to read more.

Yarbrough and Little Join Bone McAllester Norton’s New Practice of Criminal Defense and Government Investigations

NASHVILLE – Charles W. Bone, founder and chairman of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC, today announced that attorneys Ed Yarbrough and Alex Little have joined the firm. They, along with current firm member James Mackler, are creating a new practice of Criminal Defense and Government Investigations.

“Our new practice has been created to serve individuals and corporate clients facing criminal charges, investigations by federal and state authorities, regulatory enforcement actions, internal investigations and compliance audits,” Bone said. “Ed is a seasoned veteran and a champion of the courtroom, and Alex brings extensive knowledge of criminal law and technology. Together, with James Mackler, their experience and proficiency will be essential to the strength of our new division.”

Ed Yarbrough is a former United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee appointed by President George W. Bush. He is an award-winning lawyer with more than 40 years of experience. He practices Criminal Defense and Government Investigations, Personal Injury Law and Litigation and Dispute Resolution.

Mr. Yarbrough has tried more than 150 jury cases to verdict, including more than 40 homicide cases. He has served as both prosecuting attorney and defense attorney in matters involving white collar crime, wrongful death, personal injury, public corruption and a variety of criminal charges at the state and federal levels.

A former infantry lieutenant in the United Sates Army, Mr. Yarbrough’s desire to be on the front lines has served him well in his civil and criminal law practice. He has been recognized on numerous listings among the nation’s top lawyers, like SuperLawyers and Best Lawyers in America. He has been elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and received the first Criminal Justice Section Service Award from the Tennessee Bar Association in 2011.

Alex Little is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, where he prosecuted cases involving national security, white collar crime, drugs and violent crime. As a former prosecutor, he draws on extensive trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts to aggressively represent clients facing investigations or defending against criminal charges.

During his time with the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Little developed a deep understanding of criminal law and technology, including the legal issues implicated by Title III wiretaps, GPS tracking, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), video surveillance and evidence obtained from social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram.

Before his time as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Little worked on a broad range of foreign policy matters in the United States and abroad. He has served as a law clerk and consultant to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency and as an adviser to former President Jimmy Carter in the Conflict Resolution Program at The Carter Center. In those roles, he assisted in the development of the first indictments issued by the ICC for war crimes in Uganda, drafted intelligence briefings for senior U.S. policymakers and facilitated negotiations between governments and rebel groups in Africa.

Mr. Little also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School, instructing a course on “The Law of Secrets and Lies,” which covers everything from perjury, defamation and fraud to the Espionage Act, grand jury secrecy and the Fourth Amendment.

James Mackler, attorney with Bone McAllester Norton and a former Senior Trial Counsel in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, is a member of the newly created practice of Criminal Defense and Government Investigations.

The practice, made up of a former U.S. Attorney, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, and a former JAG Corps attorney, provides clients with the broad courtroom and trial experience of these attorneys, their first-hand knowledge of how state and federal agencies investigate cases and the reputation they have built as strong advocates of their clients' interests.

 

About Bone McAllester Norton PLLC

Bone McAllester Norton PLLC is a full-service law firm with 35 attorneys and offices in Nashville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Our attorneys focus on 16 distinct practice areas, providing the wide range of legal services ordinarily required by established and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. Among our practices, we represent clients in business and capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, securities matters, commercial lending and creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and development, governmental regulatory matters, commercial litigation and dispute resolution, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, entertainment and environmental matters. Our client base reflects the firm’s deep understanding and coverage of today’s leading industry and business segments. For more information, visit http://www.bonelaw.com.