University of Michigan Law School
Ann Arbor, Michigan
J.D., magna cum laude, 1975
New Haven, Connecticut
M.A., magna cum laude, 1972
B.A., magna cum laude, 1970
All Michigan state courts
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
United States Supreme Court
Cell Tower and Telecommunications Attorney
John represents property owners nationally (35 states and counting) on cell tower leases. Since 1996, he has led the firm’s practice in this area.
Most of John’s work is on the sale of cell tower leases and future leasing rights, which as of mid-2022 sold for around twenty times annual revenues. He brings his experience to bear on helping clients decide whether to sell, getting bids for the best price and terms, and negotiating the document (typically a long term “easement”) selling the lease and future leasing rights. He also represents clients on the grant, renewal and amendment of cell leases. John emphasizes making sure the lease or sale does not harm the current use, future development or value of the property with the lease.
John has helped clients sell over 100 cell leases. Many of these were “rooftop” cell antenna leases, such as on the roof of a commercial building, or on a water tower or other municipal structure. These are particularly complicated in order to protect the building/structure, its future use, repair, maintenance, rehab and replacement for the long duration (50 years or more) of the sale, and for municipal properties, to protect essential services.
John’s clients include businesses of all kinds, including real estate investors, schools, cities and counties as well as individuals with a cell tower on their property. He has worked on cell lease sales to most of the major purchasers, such as American Tower, Crown Castle, SBA, Landmark, Everest and Tarpon as well as leases with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and others.
Before becoming a lawyer, John held a Federal Communications Commission license to work on radio, TV and ship radar transmitters. The resulting knowledge about electronic matters helps him in his practice.
John has represented municipalities for decades on cell tower and telecommunications matters and is knowledgeable on their unique requirements and procedures. As a municipal prosecutor, he had a perfect record of jury convictions in drunk driving cases.
Honors and Recognitions
Martindale-Hubbell® Distinguished™ Peer Review Rated
Michigan Municipal League, Special Award of Merit in 2006, in recognition of work for municipalities on telecommunications and cable matters
National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors: Member of the Year Award in 1996 for work on the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, the first major overhaul of federal telecommunications laws in 60 years.
Federal Communications Bar Association
National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors
State Bar of Arizona
State Bar of Michigan, past Chair of Government Law Section
American Public Power Association, past Chair of Legal Section
Grand Rapids Bar Association
International Municipal Lawyers Association
Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys
Beach Comber Condominium Association (MI), Secretary-Treasurer
Child and Family Resource Council (MI), past Board Member
Harvard Glee Club Foundation (MA), past Trustee
Hilltop House (now Bradley House) (VT), past Board Member
Madera Reserve Homeowners Association (AZ), President
The Good Shepherd UCC Church (AZ), past Finance Chair
Many seminar and webinar presentations to real estate groups, municipal groups, attorneys, churches, disability rights organizations and seminar companies. Three representative presentations include:
Cell Tower Leasing and Sales for Attorneys, Commercial Landlords, Municipalities, etc. Many versions from 2006 to the present; presented to Lorman Education Services, International Municipal Lawyers Association, municipal groups, attorneys, church groups and others.
Federal Laws and FCC Rules Preempting Local Zoning for Cell Towers and Communications Towers. Many versions from 1996 to the present as laws changed; presented to Lorman Education Services, International Municipal Lawyers Association, municipal groups and municipal attorneys in several states.
Federal Emergency Broadband Discount Program (free/reduced cost Internet service and devices during COVID for people on Medicaid, food stamps, etc. or who lost jobs or with special needs), Spring 2021, presented to International Municipal Lawyers Association, Lorman Education Services, Dale Disability Rights Law Firm