By Eleanor Snite

The complexity of telecommunications law demands access to specific knowledge during negotiation, infrastructure development or litigation, and the Saul Ewing LLP law firm is structured to meet those needs. Involving various teams of attorneys with telecommunications industry focus and experience, Saul Ewing advises clients on changes needed to conform and succeed in an environment of evolving case law, legislation and regulations. The firm provides counsel on all things telecommunication: systems acquisitions, dispositions and mergers, zoning and municipal approvals, environmental permitting and litigation, government relationships, finance and more. Zoning is a hot spot that isn’t going to change any time soon. But telecommunications practice co-chair for Saul Ewing, Greg Rapisarda, pointed out improvements related to the federal government’s release of the 2012 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act and section 6409 on wireless facilities.

Rapisarda said the new federal law requires approvals of modifications to an existing structure as long as there is no substantial change to the structure. That’s the law. “Section 6409 has helped us obtain dozens of approvals, and avoid litigation, just by educating and working with the local jurisdictions on the content of the new law,” he said. Rapisarda said the key to successful zoning is to get involved as early as possible, be prepared and responsive. Early communication and good relationships build credibility. In most cases, an application for a facility won’t be the last in that jurisdiction, and nobody wants to alienate those who will be reviewing future applications. “If you have a working, honest, and good relationship, you will get the right results in the end, even if it means a delay.” he said. “Because your reputation and track record go a long way towards client satisfaction.” Saul Ewing does transactional work anywhere, but primarily operates in the Northeast to Virginia, with 11 offices from Boston to D.C., including its headquarters in Philadelphia.