David G. Richards
The Richards Law Firm, L.L.C.
2973 Hardman Court N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30305-3424
(404) 846-3351 (Work); (404) 816-4642 (Fax); (404) 825-5828 (Cell)
Significant Skills & Experience
- Lead federal regulatory counsel for largest US wireless service provider as well as mid-size carrier and cellular start-up
- Lead FCC counsel for largest wireless acquisition and billions worth of other wireless acquisitions
- Lead FCC counsel for clients participating in numerous FCC spectrum auctions
- Advised clients in all areas of federal telecommunications compliance and regulation
The Richards Law Firm, L.L.C., Atlanta, GA
Member, January 2006 – Present
- Advising telecommunications clients concerning federal and state regulatory issues, mandate compliance, spectrum auctions and FCC license transfers and assignments.
Cingular Wireless LLC, Atlanta, GA
Chief Counsel-Federal Regulatory, April 2001 – December 2005
- Spearheaded legal effort that obtained FCC approval of numerous spectrum-related transactions including $41 billion acquisition of AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., and $1.4 billion purchase of NextWave Personal Communications’ spectrum out of bankruptcy;
- Advised in-house clients on all aspects of FCC compliance particularly E911 and CALEA obligations, do-not-call complaints, Wireless Local Number Portability, public safety interference and Department of Homeland Security issues;
- Directed the activities of outside counsel in advocating Cingular’s positions on matters before the FCC and various federal appellate courts while managing a multi-million dollar legal budget;
- Worked on all aspects of spectrum auctions resulting in net winning bids in excess of $2.5 billion; activities included application filings, structuring and implementing agreements with designated entities, and designing and implementing prophylactic measures to preclude any violations of FCC anti-collusion rules;
- Provided input into strategic decisions about all federal regulatory activities;
- Reviewed all SEC filings for telecommunications related disclosures and state regulatory filings for consistency with federal statutes and regulations in particular federal preemption standards;
- Represented Cingular in interactions with FCC and industry organizations.
BellSouth Corporation, Atlanta, GA
General Attorney, June 1997 – March 2001
- Provided federal regulatory input to and participated on the team that negotiated with SBC Communications (now AT&T Inc.) the agreements creating Cingular Wireless LLC and obtained FCC approval for one of the largest mergers of wireless assets and operations;
- Represented BellSouth Long Distance in state public service proceedings seeking authority for BellSouth and BellSouth Long Distance to provide interLATA services;
- Advised mergers and acquisitions group on spectrum acquisitions and dispositions and successfully prosecuted related FCC applications;
- Represented BellSouth and various subsidiaries in a broad range of FCC wireless proceedings including spectrum allocations and assignments, spectrum auction structures and related bidding rules, satellite licensing and public safety matters.
BellSouth DC, Inc., Washington, DC
General Attorney, May 1989 – May 1997
- Acted as primary federal regulatory counsel for subsidiary that held paging assets;
- Obtained unconditioned FCC approval for $980 million sale of paging assets;
- Contributed as federal regulatory counsel and authorized bidder on bid team involved in first FCC spectrum auction (nationwide paging licenses), first wireless broadband auction (PCS A & B Blocks) and other auctions for licenses totaling over $135 million;
- Advised in-house clients on wireline and wireless issues before the FCC and related compliance obligations and counseled federal regulatory contact staff and congressional relations staff on the Communications Act and FCC regulations;
- Represented cellular subsidiary in obtaining FCC approval of a renewal expectancy for cellular providers.
Mobile Communications Corporation of America, Washington, DC
Vice President-Federal Regulatory, June 1987 – April 1989
- Participated on team that negotiated the $725 million sale of company’s cellular and paging assets to BellSouth and successfully prosecuted the related FCC applications;
- Acted as primary contact with FCC on all regulatory matters concerning the company’s wireless assets and advised in-house clients on related federal regulatory obligations.
Charisma Communications Corporation, Washington, DC
Executive Vice President & General Counsel, December 1983 – May 1987
- Negotiated agreements for acquisition of cellular partnership interests that led to control of clusters of top-90 cellular systems in the southeastern US;
- Worked on the design and construction of eleven non-wireline cellular systems;
- Negotiated turn-key agreements with major equipment vendor for the construction and financing, including working capital, for those systems;
- With CEO, CFO and outside counsel, successfully negotiated and concluded sale of company for over $80 million;
- Obtained FCC approval for the sale.
Dutton, Kappes & Overman, Washington, DC
Associate, September 1982 – November 1983
- Prepared and filed wireline and non-wireline applications for the initial cellular systems in the top 31-90 cellular markets;
- Tried comparative hearing for the initial non-wireline cellular license for the Houston, TX, market.
Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC
Various Positions, August 1971 - July 1974 & August 1975 - September 1982
- Duties included management responsibility for issues concerning domestic and international transport facilities, telephone equipment, telecommunications reseller authorizations and private and public safety radio matters; and administrative trial work concerning mass media and wireless common carrier license proceedings and wireline common carrier tariff issues.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Atlanta, GA
Trial Attorney, July 1974 – August 1975
- Reviewed discrimination complaints and recommended legal actions to be taken;
- Engaged in settlement discussions concerning federal discrimination complaints filed against various business organizations.
- Notre Dame Law School - Juris Doctor, 1971
- University of Notre Dame - Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, 1967
Bar Admissions & Professional Associations
- Georgia – 2001; District of Columbia – 1983; Indiana - 1971 (currently inactive); United States Supreme Court - 2003
- Federal Communications Bar Association; Atlanta Bar Association; The Lawyers Club of Atlanta
- Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps Reserve (Retired)