Living In the Gray

Whecropped-logo-2048px.jpgn Part 107 came out last year, I wondered whether this podcast would still be useful. I wondered if it would still serve the purpose we started with – to clear up “drone law” issues that the world seemed confused about.

With the FAA’s regulations on commercial use *finally* coming out last August, I thought that the misunderstandings might clear up. That the confusion might die away. That the community would have less of a need for a clear, trusted legal perspective. At least in a podcast form.

Two recent events have convinced me that this resource is needed now, more than ever. They have shown me that the gray areas in drone law haven’t gone away. The confusion persists – just about different things than before.

The first thing that happened was in the “Drone Slayer” case. A federal judge “dismissed” a lawsuit brought by a man who’s drone was shot down in Kentucky. The lawsuit sought a ruling from the court that drones are aircraft, just like the FAA says (but no judge has agreed with, yet), and therefore shooting down a drone is just like shooting down a Cessna.

The dismissal of the lawsuit was disappointing. A real missed opportunity for the drone industry to get some clarity on this issue.

But the reaction to this dismissal? That shocked me. People were actually making comments to the effect that bringing the lawsuit was legal malpractice.

That’s so silly. So off the mark.

Comments like that are an indication of misunderstanding. And it is those kinds of misunderstandings that we are here to clear up.

The second thing that happened was news of Bard College putting out a list of local drone laws. The reactions I saw were predictable, though disappointing. The same old lines about local drone ordinances being illegal for some reason, or that the FAA’s “preemption” of local law would be automatic and easily predicted.

That’s not true. Not even close.

Everything out there is just shades of gray. Black and white answers don’t really exist.

All of that has convinced me that this podcast is still needed. That it is still necessary to continue providing you, Drone Law Nation, with the clearest and best information possible.

That’s what we are doing here today. And that’s what we will do every quarter.

We will see you again in July.

A Note About Support

Thank you to everyone that has clicked the “Support” link at www.dronelawtoday.com/support before doing your Amazon shopping. It costs you nothing extra, and a few pennies are thrown back our way. Enough of you have done this that we have covered two months of hosting fees. That’s huge, because it’s an indication that this podcast can be self-sustaining. If it is, then we can continue for as long as the audience is there. As long as you are there, Drone Law Nation.

Thank you all for your support.

Links for You:

Part 107

Who Owns the Air?

The State Drone Law Book

Amazon Support Link

Don’t Shoot That Drone!

Section 333 and You

The Pirker Case and FAA Drone Regulation

James Mackler Interview (“Government Drones” & the Boggs Case)

Professor Froomkin: Self Defense Against Robots & Drones

Troy Rule: Drone Zoning Paper (SSRN Download)

Our brief for Angel Eyes UAV in Huerta v. Pirker

Dismissal Order in the Boggs Case

 

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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

Learn more about our law firm, Ausley McMullen, at www.ausley.com or www.dronelawyers.com.

Keep on Flying,

-Steve

Constitutional Challenges to State Drone Laws, with Carlos Soltero!

Logo 600 x 600Welcome back, Drone Law Nation! Today our guest is Carlos Soltero of the McGinnis Lochridge firm in Austin, Texas. Long time members of Drone Law Nation will remember that we interviewed Jessica Palvino from the same firm a while back to talk about Texas Drone Law.

Carlos is on the show today to talk about an “equal protection” challenge his firm has brought against a part of Texas’ Drone Law. An “equal protection” challenge against a state law is lawsuit arguing that a state is treating some citizens unfairly in a way that violates the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit Carlos and his firm is litigating may have far-reaching implications for challenges to state “drone laws” around the nation.

Listen in as we talk about the limits on state authority to regulate drones, the “culture clash” between drone entrepreneurs and aviation regulators, and cross-border issues in the drone world.

Links for you:

Carlos Soltero’s Contact Information

Our interview with Jessica Palvino

Our interview with James Mackler about the Boggs case

 

Listen in iTunes!

Listen in Stitcher!

Listen in your browser!

 

Follow @DroneLawToday on Twitter!

What questions do you have about Drone Law? Click here to let us know!

Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

Download your FREE copy of “The Drone Revolution: How Robotic Aviation Will Change the World,” right here: CLICK FOR BOOK!

Check out the FREE Drone Law Course at www.dronelawtoday.com/course!

Keep on flying,

Steve