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David L. Martin

Washington, D.C.

David L. Martin

Although David Martin has over 16 years of experience practicing before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the telecom industry has actually been part of his life since birth — his parents met while working as Bell System employees. And while David honors this heritage by collecting vintage telephone paraphernalia, his regulatory-focused legal practice looks to the future by concentrating on cutting-edge wireless spectrum issues.

In a sector where the speed of technological and market changes can outpace the ability of the regulator to keep up, David is highly experienced in obtaining waivers from existing rules that would otherwise prevent the most productive use of a client's spectrum assets. And as demand for mobile communications increases rapidly, David's practice also has a heavy emphasis on spectrum acquisition and leasing transactions. He routinely assists clients in evaluating spectrum opportunities, negotiating the regulatory-related provisions of the purchase agreement, and obtaining FCC approval of the transaction.

In a practice niche that could be described as "planes, trains, and automobiles," most of David's clients now come from the transportation sector, where mobile communication technologies are being used to improve safety and enhance the passenger experience. David's current clients include the leading provider of in-flight broadband and a consortium of the nation's seven Class I railroads.

Representative Experience

Regularly advises the leading U.S. provider of in-flight communications on a wide range of FCC regulatory compliance issues.

Obtained expedited FCC approval of a new ownership structure for a wireless carrier involving ultimate control by a foreign entity.

Worked with an automobile industry coalition in obtaining new FCC rules permitting the introduction of automotive collision avoidance radar.

Successfully defended an American Samoa-based wireless carrier accused of violating the FCC's anti-collusion rules in a wireless spectrum auction.

Advised a foreign-flagged cruise ship operator on the operation of its on-board cellular system in U.S. territorial waters.

Assisted mobile broadband provider in acquiring spectrum at auction and obtaining FCC approval related to its initial public offering.

Obtained FCC approval for rule waivers and spectrum acquisitions related to the deployment of Positive Train Control by U.S. freight railroads.

Education and admissions


  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1998
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Texas Christian University, 1988
  • Institut für Europäische Studien, Freiburg, 1987


  • Member, Federal Communications Bar Association

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • District of Columbia
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