HomeWebcastDrone Law: Flying into Troubled Skies in 2016

Drone Law: Flying into Troubled Skies in 2016

Live Webcast Date: Monday, June 13, 2016 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm (ET)

Drone Law CLE/CPE

Join us for this Knowledge Group Drone Law CLE/CPE Webinar. The civilian, commercial, and military use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, is becoming much more common and will continue to increase in volume and across industries. A drone is a model flying aircraft under 55 pounds in weight. These should not be confused with military drones.

Drones and other new technologies represent incredible opportunity for aerial analysis, agriculture, transportation, and many other uses, but also raise many new challenges.  Sharing the skies with other aircraft, especially small and autonomous vehicles, raises many serious safety and regulatory issues for the FAA.

In November 2014, the NTSB ruled that drones are aircraft as defined under federal statutes and regulations, and thus, FAR 91.13 regulations applies to their use.  However, currently, there are no enforceable federal statutes or regulations that apply to the general public other than FAR 91.13 and all other FAR regulations that prohibit or restrict all aircrafts from flying within certain airspaces.

Under the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, there is a special section for model aircraft and includes Advisory Circular 91-57 of 1981 encouraging 'voluntary compliance.'  In the June 2014 FAA Interpretation of Section 336, it is stated that flying a drone in a manner that is “in furtherance of a business” is illegal even though no currently enforceable statute or regulation exists that would forbid it. Other restrictions include flights within 5 miles of any airport and operating a drones using “first person view” (FPV) also are prohibited.

In 2011, Raphael Pirker, a foreign drone pilot was fined by the FAA for the flight of a drone over the University of Virginia campus to obtain video footage for which he was compensated. The charge was for reckless flight. On February 15, 2015, the FAA issued its Small Drone Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), proposing permitting only limited commercial drone operations. State and local governments also have passed legislation to regulate drone flights. But, if challenged in court, they could be pre-empted by the federal laws.

Recently, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a law suit against the FAA asking the Washington, DC federal appeals court to declare the regulations un-lawful due to the lack of privacy protections. Additional litigation and enactment of new laws will be inevitable. Manufacturers, sellers, users, and lawyers will have to become informed about the complex uses of drones and the varied risks of litigation. Ranging from federal aviation regulations to criminal statutes and personal injury cases, the legal implications of drone use will be enormous, and will continue to grow in number and complexity as fast as the drone industry has grown.

In this two hour, Webcast, a seasoned panel of thought leaders and professionals assembled by The Knowledge Group will review the history and recent developments in Drone Law, discuss the pitfalls, help ensure that you understand the laws and litigation risks, and provide practical legal advice to public, private, and commercial UAS users.

Key topics include:

  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones): Classification and Terminology
  • FAA Modernization and Reform Act (FMRA) of 2012 (Sec. 336)
  • Low Altitude vs. High Altitude Airspace Federal Rules
  • History of UAS Regulation
  • Proposed sUAS Rule
  • Huerta v. Pirker, Equusearch Definitions of UAS
  • FAA Enforcement, Letters, & Response
  • Section 333 Exemptions
  • Federal vs. State Law Conflicts
  • Navigable Airspace and Federal Pre-emption of Local Regulations
  • New Drone Laws
  • Air Rights Property Law, Endangerment, and Aerial Trespass
  • Anti-drone defenses and technologies - the legal issues surrounding development and use
  • Police Surveillance, Search, Privacy, and Restrictions (1st and 4th Amendments)
  • Export Issues
  • State Civil and Criminal Laws and Violations
  • Current Case Law and Legislative Updates
  • Compliance and Litigation Risks
  • Best Practices

Who Should Attend

  • Lawyers and Attorneys (Aviation, Litigation, Product Liability, Insurance)
  • FAA Regulators
  • Public Safety Officials
  • Municipal Officials
  • Aircraft Insurance Officers
  • Aviation Risk Specialists
  • Corporate Aviation Officials
  • Drone Manufacturers
  • Commercial Drone Pilots
  • Drone Hobbyists
  • Consultants
  • Interested Parties


Drone Law CLE/CPE
Jeremiah L. White, Esq.
Chair, Drone Liability Practice
Geoff McDonald & Associates, P.C.
Drone Law CLE/CPE
Steven D. Miller, Esq.
Hanson Bridgett LLP
Drone Law CLE/CPE
William J. Murphy
Professor of Law and Chair, Commerce and Technology Law Graduate Program
University of New Hampshire School of Law

Click Here to Read Additional Material

Drone Law CLE/CPE

Jeremiah L. White, Esq., Chair, Drone Liability Practice
Geoff McDonald & Associates, P.C.
  • Overview if needed.
  • Up and coming issues on tracking down liability coverage in using drones.
  • Practice personal injury and plaintiffs work – branching into injuries from unmanned vehicles.
  • Underscores reliance on GPS systems.
  • A drone hobbyist himself.

Steven D. Miller, Esq., Partner
Hanson Bridgett LLP

Report From California:

  • 2015 (mostly failed) efforts at California state level to regulate drone use and current status of numerous 2016 efforts
  • Local regulation
  • Prediction of future use of trespass law as method of regulating and enforcing violations of regulations
  • Specific examples of use in California about which the legality is presently unknown

William J. Murphy, Professor of Law and Chair, Commerce and Technology Law Graduate Program
University of New Hampshire School of Law
  • Counter drone industry growing almost as fast as the drone industry 
  • Counter drone industry is facing regulatory issues of its own – from testing to use
  • Some promising technologies are emerging but will regulations encourage or discourage development
  • Should regulation be more focused on airspace and machine rather operators?

Drone Law CLE/CPE

Drone Law CLE/CPE

Jeremiah L. White, Esq.Chair, Drone Liability PracticeGeoff McDonald & Associates, P.C.

Jeremiah White is an associate with Geoff McDonald & Associates, P.C., and chairs the firm’s Drone Liability Practice. Jeremiah has extensive experience litigating personal injury matters and has also practiced in federal regulatory matters in Washington, D.C. He is a passionate UAS enthusiast in his own right, and is both a trained small UAV pilot and a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics. He is eager to help mold a safe and comprehensive legal framework for unmanned aircraft in the U.S., both commercial and recreational. In his spare time, Jeremiah is a musician and an amateur chef. Jeremiah and his wife live in Richmond, VA.

Drone Law CLE/CPE

Steven D. Miller, Esq.PartnerHanson Bridgett LLP

Steven Miller is a partner in the Government Group at Hanson Bridgett where he represents both public and private clients in the public arena. His general areas of expertise include public contracts and procurements, regulatory compliance, intergovernmental agreements, constitutional issues, election law, and government ethics. Steven has extensive experience in public sector contracting issues, including representing both public and private entities in the area of public works contracts, contract negotiations of all types, and bid protests relating to complex state and local procurements. Steven has special expertise assisting public transportation agencies that provide bus, rail, and ferry service. Steven also has an expertise in the developing legal landscape of unmanned aircraft systems (i.e. drones) – including the increasing opportunities for commercial use and the legal issues presented to government agencies seeking both to regulate and make use of this emerging technology. He blogs on the topic at www.hoverlaw.com.

Drone Law CLE/CPE

William J. MurphyProfessor of Law and Chair, Commerce and Technology Law Graduate ProgramUniversity of New Hampshire School of Law

Dr. William J. Murphy is a Professor of Law and Chair of the Commerce and Technology Law Graduate Program at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and since 2014 he has also been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Limerick, Ireland. He is the author of R&D Cooperation among Marketplace Competitors and co-author of Patent Valuation: Improving Decision Making through Analysis as well as numerous articles and book chapters.  Over the years he has held teaching positions at the University of Massachusetts - Boston, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Maine School of Law, and in Ireland at University College Cork.  Prior to becoming an academic Professor Murphy was an antitrust trial attorney for the Bureau of Competition at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC.  Professor Murphy earned a JD degree from Pennsylvania State University's Dickinson School of Law, and he holds master and doctorate degrees from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration.  He is a member of AUVSI and has been an avid recreational drone pilot for a number of years as well as a lecturer on the rapidly changing legal landscape surrounding commercial and recreational UAS use.

Drone Law CLE/CPE

Course Level:

Advance Preparation:
   Print and review course materials

Method Of Presentation:
   On-demand Webcast


Course Code:

NASBA Field of Study:
   Specialized Knowledge and Applications

NY Category of CLE Credit:
   Areas of Professional Practice

Total Credits:
    2.0 CLE

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About the Knowledge Group

The Knowledge Group

The Knowledge Group has been a leading global provider of Continuing Education (CLE, CPE) for over 13 Years. We produce over 450 LIVE webcasts annually and have a catalog of over 4,000 on-demand courses.

About the Knowledge Group

The Knowledge Group

The Knowledge Group has been a leading global provider of Continuing Education (CLE, CPE) for over 13 Years. We produce over 450 LIVE webcasts annually and have a catalog of over 4,000 on-demand courses.

Geoff McDonald & Associates is a plaintiff's law firm in Richmond, Virginia. From automobile accidents and workers' compensation, to product defects and drone liability, they have been helping clients get the compensation they deserve for more than 20 years.

Website: https://www.mcdonaldinjurylaw.com/

Founded in 1958, Hanson Bridgett has more than 150 attorneys located in offices in San Francisco, the North Bay, Sacramento and the East Bay. Our clients range from multinational Fortune 500 corporations to individuals, including a number of public retirement systems and public agencies in California.

Website: https://www.hansonbridgett.com/

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