Introduce myself…Today I am going to speak briefly about the role of an attorney in an “entrepreneurial” field, like that of UAV’s.
Many of the entrepreneurs in the UAS field will be embarking on something that is NEW to them, so I'm going to try to cover topics that relate to potential pitfalls that they may face as they begin a business venture in the Unmanned Systems field.
Lot of bright, ambitious entrepreneurs involved. Your business may start out small, but could grow to be fairly large and complex in short order!Business Formation: If your business is new, you will have to make some decisions early on about what form your business will take – Sole proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Corporation, Corporation. Some organizations may be non-profits – social welfare orgs., etc.Acquisition / Divestiture: Either side of the transaction will want to understand the legal ramifications of what they are doing.Due Diligence: Whether you use lawyers, accountants, engineers, make sure you know what “diligence” you are getting. What assurances are being made about the diligence that is being provided?Financing: As a new business, you are probably going to need seed money. There are a host of issues related to where and how you obtain that money.Venture Capital? What type of control are you ceding to your investor, and will it affect your corporate form?Loans vs. Investment – A common dilemma. Uncle loans nephew startup money. Venture fails. Uncle asks for “repayment” of his “loan.”
When something listed previously goes wrong…The dreaded “YOU HAVE BEEN SERVED”.Regulations may have an effect on strict liability – “ultra-hazardous activity” or “dangerous instrumentality”.Typically an aircraft operator is ALWAYS liable to uninvolved third parties on the ground, regardless of whether the operator’s conduct is negligent.Products liability – Potential for “learned intermediary” and “sophisticated user” defenses, but not if purchasers are average consumers.
2 legal considerations for uav entrepreneurs
of the LeClairRyan Law Firm
Newark, New Jersey
Legal Considerations for
Hiring an Attorney?
Why hire an attorney?
When to hire an attorney?
Don’t wait until you have a problem!
Acquisition / Divestiture
o Due Diligence
o Venture Capital
o Loans vs. Investment
o Leases on equipment and real property
o Purchaser/Supplier contracts
o Service Contracts
o Government Contracts
PROTECTING THE FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR!
Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks
Insurers WANT to underwrite this industry
Developing a “risk profile”
Need to understand:
o Nature of the regulations
o Types of operations
Developing UAV Regulations
o FAA / DOT Compliance
International Trade in Arms Regulations
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Risk Assessment / Safety Consulting
Safety Training / SMS Requirements
Government Contract obligations