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Two U.S. Law Firms Creating Drone Practices

Two United States law firms have announced that they are creating drone practice groups due to the increasing popularity of the technology, according to the Washington Post.

The two firms are LeClairRyan, from Richmond; and McKenna Long & Aldridge, from Atlanta.

Tim Adelman and Doug McQueen are the head of the LeClairRyan drone group, which is headquartered in Annapolis. Adelman is a flight instructor and McQueen is a United Airlines pilot. They are both aviation attorneys.

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Mark Dombroff is the head of the drone practice for McKenna Long. Dombroff is the partner in the law firm’s McLean office and a former in-house attorney for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The announcements from the firms come not long after the FAA said that it plans to issue rules that regulate civil, unmanned aircraft at some point this year.

“We want to help [companies] shape rulemaking and get a seat at the table, then actually operate in a world they had a hand in creating,” Dombroff said.

Thousands of companies build and market drones, but they find trouble because no regulations have been created by the federal government yet.

“They’re they’re having a hard time expanding their business,” Adelman said. “But as we see these new rules come out in next year or two, you’ll see an explosion of manufacturers and end users.”

Adelman said that drone usage in the real estate and the agriculture industries could be very helpful.

“If someone stole my tractor and it’s on a 1,500-acre farm, if you were to get 20 patrolmen to walk all over the farm, it would take all day,” Adelman said. “I could fly a [drone] in half an hour and scan the area quickly. If real estate agents wanted to take a picture of a house, they could pay a pilot and it could cost $500, whereas if I had a [drone], it would cost cents.”

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