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On March 6, 2014, Kramer Levin won dismissal of all claims against its client Raphael Pirker, in the country’s first-ever federal litigation concerning the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (commercial drones). The Federal Aviation Administration had sought to impose a penalty against Mr. Pirker, the world’s foremost civilian drone pilot, in connection with his operation of a model aircraft (drone) for purposes of recording commercial aerial video. The Administrative Law Judge ruled that at the time of that operation, “there was no enforceable FAA rule or FAR Regulation applicable to model aircraft or for classifying model aircraft as [unmanned aircraft systems].”
Mr. Pirker was represented by special counsel Brendan M. Schulman, head of Kramer Levin’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems practice group. The full decision is available at: http://www.kramerlevin.com/files/upload/PirkerDecision.pdf.
The decision has been covered extensively by, among other media outlets, ABA Journal, CNN, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.