Sean Stokes is a Principal of Baller Stokes & Lide, PC, a national law firm based in Washington, DC. The only law firm in the United States to be named to Broadband Community Magazine’s FTTH Top 100, Baller Stokes & Lide specializes in representing public sector entities including State and local governments and public power utilities on a wide range of regulatory, administrative, legislative, and judicial matters involving broadband, telecommunications, cable television, wireless communications, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, barriers to the public-sector entry into communications, bankruptcy, privacy, and antitrust. His clients include the American Public Power Association, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), regional and state utility associations and municipal leagues and public and private entities in more than 35 states, including the majority of publicly-owned fiber-to-the-home networks in the country.
As a litigator, Mr. Stokes has been involved in numerous competition cases involving complex factual, legal and policy issues, multiple parties, and large amounts in controversy. He also regularly works with multi-disciplinary teams of legal, financial, engineering and other technical experts, assisting government entities and utilities in making comprehensive telecommunications and cable plans; developing state-of-the-art communications systems; complying with state and Federal communications requirements; drafting, negotiating and enforcing cable and telecommunications franchises; drafting integrated right-of-way and zoning ordinances, licenses, and permits; and negotiating pole, fiber, and tower agreements.
Prior to joining Baller Stokes & Lide, Mr. Stokes served as the Associate General Counsel for the Utilities Telecommunications Council (UTC), where he helped develop and implement the legislative and regulatory strategy of the nation’s electric, gas and water utilities regarding spectrum policy and the adoption and implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
A frequent speaker and author, his writings and speeches include: “Key Legal and Regulatory Issues Affecting Community Broadband” (Broadband Communities Summit, Apr. 2014); “APPA Pole Attachment Workbook (Winter 2013-214)(co-author); “Pole Attachment Issues for Municipal Utilities” (APPA Legal Conference, Oct. 2013); “FirstNet and Public Safety Wireless Broadband” (NATOA Annual Conference Sept. 2013); “Leveraging Your Assets and Creating Partnerships for Broadband Development” (Broadband Communities Summit, Apr. 2013); “A Practical Primer on Pole Attachments” (March 2102)(co-author); New Developments in Communications Law” (APPA Legal Conference, Oct. 2010); “Technology, Competition and the Changing Regulatory Environment,” (IMLA’s Mid-Year Seminar, Apr. 2008); “Key Legal and Regulatory Developments Affecting FTTH,” (FTTH Conference, Oct, 2007); “WiFi Legal Overview”(APPA Community Broadband Conference, Oct. 2006); “Municipal Broadband in the States,” Presentation to the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et Postales, (Embassy of France, Nov. 2005). “Keynote Speaker: Triple Play the Rules of the Game,” (Light Reading Triple Play Dec. 2004); “Anticipating Anticompetitive Practices,” (LSI’s Municipal Broadband Conference, Jul. 2003); “Community Broadband Guidebook” (APPA Apr. 2003) (co-author); The Case for Municipal Broadband Networks: Stronger Than Ever,” NATOA J. of Mun. Telecom. Policy (Fall 2001) (co-author).
Mr. Stokes is a graduate of Denison University and the National Law Center at George Washington University. He is a member of the Bar of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits as well as the Federal District of Columbia; and the local courts of the District of Columbia. He holds an “AV” rating, the highest peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and is a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the National Association of State Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.