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Michael C. Sloan

Mike Mike SloanMichael
Michael C. Sloan is a business lawyer who focuses on communications and health care matters. He also serves as outside General Counsel to several mid-size companies that do not have in-house counsel.

Mike’s communications law experience encompasses most of the important issues that have confronted the industry since the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He has represented new entrant and start-up providers of communications services (telecom, cable, VoIP) in all phases of the business life-cycle, from start-up to industry dominance. For several years, he has represented the nation’s largest cable provider on state regulatory and interconnection matters.

Mike also represents health care providers seeking to leverage information technology to improve the delivery of health care, especially in rural and underserved communities. In this capacity, Mike assists clients with the FCC’s Health Care Connect Fund and represents physician groups providing telemedicine services.

Mike is also a general corporate lawyer who counsels clients in various industries—including a consulting firm, a real estate developer, a software developer, and a political action committee—on matters ranging from transactional (vendor and service contracts; entity sales; restructuring; and dissolution); corporate governance; succession planning; employment; executive compensation; litigation (and litigation avoidance); intellectual property, and other issues that typically confront small and medium-sized businesses. A brief description of Mike’s "outside general counsel" practice can be found here.

National Counsel
Mike has long served as lead outside counsel for state regulatory and interconnection matters to one of the largest voice, video, and Internet service providers in the country. In addition to providing counsel on the full range of regulatory issues, Mike has first-chaired more than three dozen contested matters (arbitrations and complaint proceedings) since 2009 before state regulatory commissions, the FCC, and private arbitrators around the country (including Washington State, Washington, D.C., Texas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Michigan, Vermont, Georgia, Florida, California, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Minnesota).

Path-Breaking Cases
Mike has led the successful effort to maintain the carrier status and interconnection rights of carriers that provide wholesale service to voice over internet protocol (VoIP) service providers. In addition to regulatory and legislative advocacy on this issue, Mike has prevailed in contested proceedings before the FCC and state public utility commissions (and federal district courts) in Pennsylvania, Washington, New Hampshire, Michigan, Vermont, Georgia, Florida, and Indiana.

Since 2004, Mike has been involved in matters related to the (still) unresolved regulatory classification of interconnected VoIP services. Earlier in his career he was responsible for developing the legal theory and wrote all the briefs in the landmark Vonage preemption cases before the FCC and the 8th Circuit. See Vonage Holdings Corp. v. Minn. PUC, 290 F.Supp.2d 993 (D. Minn. 2003), aff’d Vonage Holdings Corp. v. Minn. PUC, 483 F.3d 570 (8th Cir. 2007); Vonage Holdings Declaratory Ruling, 19 FCC Rcd. 22404 (FCC 2004). More recently, Mike has represented clients in VoIP classification proceedings in Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Missouri, and Maine.

Mike is highly familiar with the regulatory, privacy, and business issues surrounding directory publishing, directory assistance, privacy, and the Internet domain name assignment process. He recently (2012) obtained a favorable ruling for a client in the 11th Circuit, holding that telecommunications carriers may use wholesalers to distribute directory information under Sections 222(e) and 251(b)(3) of the Act.

Mike advises communications providers, banks, venture capital firms, and other investment companies on the regulatory aspects of mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions, as well as financing and debt arrangements. He has managed regulatory transfer-of-control matters in all 50 states and before the FCC.

Health Care Connect Fund
Mike has significant expertise on the FCC’s Universal Service Health Care Connect Fund. He is helping clients apply for funding to implement more robust telemedicine services under the new program. A paper describing this program can be found here.

Prior to his legal career, Mike worked in Congress and the White House Office of Management and Budget. He clerked for United States District Court Judge Juan M. Perez-Gimenez, in the District of Puerto Rico, immediately after law school.

Representative Experience

Arbitration for telecommunication providers

Arbitration proceedings before state public utility commissions and private arbitration panels.

General counsel for startup companies

General outside counsel to startup companies in a variety of fields, including health care, education, media and telecom, helping these companies navigate the full range of early-stage issues, including business formation, employment, financing, and dispute resolution.

Litigation for telecommunication providers

Administrative arbitration proceedings and appeals in federal courts around the country.

Telecommunication regulation for telecommunication providers

Represented the first nationally known VoIP provider in successful campaign to pre-empt state regulators from imposing state telecom regulation on the provider's VoIP service; Mike Sloan conceived and developed the strategy and drafted the petition that led to the FCC's definitive preemption ruling.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Chair, Communications Law Committee, Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, American Bar Association
  • Federal Communications Bar Association