Profile

With more than 25 years of experience in the communications industry, Bennett is a trusted advisor to communications providers, equipment manufacturers, technology companies, and other clients seeking to navigate the complexities of the U.S. communications regulatory regime.  He represents clients in litigation matters in the federal courts as well as before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and state public service commissions.  His administrative experience includes representing clients in rulemakings, enforcement proceedings, and transactions involving regulated entities. Bennett also prepares and negotiates commercial agreements in the communications sector, providing regulatory, compliance, and commercial advice.

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Served as lead regulatory counsel for Bluebird Network, LLC, a fiber network operator in the Midwest, in its acquisition by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners.
  • Successfully defended Wi-Fi operators in FCC enforcement actions, including securing withdrawal of a Notice of Apparent Liability.
  • Served as legal counsel for magicJack VocalTec, Ltd., a leading Voice over IP (VOIP) cloud-based communications company, in a merger with B. Riley Financial.
  • Secured dismissal of FCC enforcement action against a wireless carrier.
  • Successfully defended incumbent local exchange carrier in state commission proceedings seeking approximately $10 million in rate reductions.
  • Successfully represented client in breach-of-contract action in federal bankruptcy court that resulted in a recovery in excess of $20 million.
  • Successfully represented clients in acquiring and disposing of telecommunications carriers, including obtaining regulatory approvals at the federal and state level.
  • Successfully represented trade association in securing forbearance from legacy telecommunications regulations.
  • Represent clients before the FCC and state commissions in rulemaking and enforcement proceedings on broadband, universal service, network interconnection, and unbundling matters.
  • Prepare and negotiate fiber IRU agreements, Internet peering agreements, and voice and data service agreements on behalf of clients in the United States and abroad.
  • Counsel clients on federal and state regulatory requirements governing voice, video, and broadband services, as well as emerging technologies such as VoIP and cloud communications.
  • Advise clients on privacy issues and federal E-rate program compliance.

Professional Experience

  • BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc
    • General Counsel, Washington, DC and Georgia
    • Senior Attorney, Regulatory and Governmental Affairs Section
  • Partner, Bass, Berry & Sims (Nashville, TN)

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA)
  • Board of Trustees, Washington and Lee University (2009-2018)
  • Board of Trustees, The George C. Marshall Foundation (2018-Present)

Recognitions

  • Listed by Chambers USA as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite (2019)
  • Named by The Legal 500 US a "recommended lawyer" in Telecom and Broadcast Regulatory Law (2014-2018)

Credentials

Education

J.D., Vanderbilt Law School; Order of the Coif

B.S., magna cum laude, Washington and Lee University

Law Journals

Editor in Chief, Vanderbilt Law Review

Bar and Court Memberships

  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Eleventh, and District of Columbia Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Middle District of Tennessee, and Northern District of Georgia
  • Supreme Court of Georgia

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