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Frost Brown Todd is pleased to announce the addition of member James E. Mackler. Mackler joins the firm’s growing Nashville office and regulated business practice, where he will specialize in advising businesses on the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly known as “drones.” He will work with clients on various regulatory and compliance elements of drone usage across a spectrum of industries, including agriculture, real estate, construction, video production, entertainment and surveying.

In addition to his drone-related practice, Mackler will defend clients facing criminal prosecution or civil action by state and federal authorities. He has 15 years of experience successfully defending and prosecuting a wide range of cases at the state, federal and military level. He has also served eight years of active duty in the U.S. Army, including three as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot. After a deployment with the 101st Airborne Division to Iraq, he joined the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps and became a legal adviser and supervising criminal prosecutor, trying some 40 highly contested courts-martial and countless administrative hearings.

“James’s unique background positions him well to grow our work with the still largely unchartered legal facets of drones,” says Mekesha Montgomery, FBT’s Member-in-Charge in Nashville. “He will be collaborating closely with other attorneys across the firm’s seven-state footprint and practice groups in responding to the increasing demand of clients in this area, while also continuing his long practice in criminal defense.”

UAS, or drones, have long been considered strictly military vehicles, but they are becoming progressively common in the private sector. The rising demand for advice on privacy, the environment, intellectual property and other aspects, calls for a multidisciplinary approach and a network of attorneys working across multiple areas of the law.

While in the Army, Mackler earned the Parachutist Badge, Combat Action Badge, Air Medal and an Army Achievement Medal. He continues to serve as an attorney in the Tennessee Air National Guard. Most recently, Mackler was a member at Bone McAllester Norton in Nashville.

FBT’s Nashville team of attorneys and legal staff has a wide range of knowledge and skills. The group has specialized industry experience representing clients in the automotive, government relations, payments industry, financial institutions, technology and international sectors.