Edward A. Maldonado, Esq.
Primary Counsel and Founding Attorney
- Admitted to Florida Bar- October 23, 1997
- United States 11th Circuit Federal Bar- January 15, 1999
- United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit- October 14, 1999
- B.A. Political Science- DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois.
- J.D.- Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois.
- J.D. Certificate- International and Comparative Law-IIT, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois.
English and Spanish
Mr. Maldonado is a Florida and federal attorney practicing since 1997. His early career focused primarily on state and federal civil and criminal trial litigation with his first solo trial as defense counsel in March of 1998. Although versed in business, technology, intellectual property and regulatory matters, his practice still includes federal and state litigation of civil claims, complex technology litigation, and arbitration. Mr. Maldonado has successfully defended and resolved patent infringement claims, trademark infringement claims, competing software claims, telecommunication carrier disputes, collection claims between distributors and POS system providers, actions against government agencies, federal labor claims particular to communications and radio businesses, corporate shareholder actions, contract breaches, as well as investigations and probes by the FCC and state attorney generals for statutory violations and unfair trade practices.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Maldonado has assisted more than 500 companies with licensure before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and State Utility Commission. He has worked with foreign-owned communication clients to obtain consent from the U.S. Department of Justice, National Security Division to acquire FCC 214 licensure in the U.S., and obtain FCC approval for the transfer of control of ownership in mergers and acquisitions, and VSAT operations. In addition to licensure, Mr. Maldonado has successfully defended and negotiated voluntary compliance agreements (Consent Decrees) with the FCC for technical violations of compliance reporting, and violations of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
In 2004, Mr. Maldonado was consulted for and participated in the drafting and passage of, the Illinois Phone Card Fraud Act (effective July 1, 2005), a law aimed at curbing consumer fraud by unstable and uncertified providers. Since then, Mr. Maldonado has been consulted with on a number of proposed bills and prospective legislation throughout the US. He has also written extensively in trade magazines including being the founding author of a regular telecom legal column called Legal Line published by “The Prepaid Press” which addressed legal issues related to the prepaid calling and stored value service industries. Mr. Maldonado is proficient in Spanish.
Since 2003, Mr. Maldonado has worked with e-commerce businesses, online publications, bloggers, and internet entrepreneurs with legal issues and matters atypical to the internet. This has included: internet defamation, online branding and trademark dilution, CAN-SPAM issues, copyrights and copy infringement of websites, I-CANN disputes, web designer contracts, terms and conditions for electronic contracts, security policies, hacking events and the prosecution of hackers, as well as a variety of other legal issues related to the internet and this medium of communications.
Mr. Maldonado’s Practice Areas:
- Federal Communication Commission (FCC) licensure including complex 214, satellite, VSAT and FCC 312 Earth station licensure and authorizations
- FCC Transfer of Control of Ownership as a part of Mergers and Acquisitions and Pre-Transaction review of conditions the FCC may impose on a Merger or Acquisition
- Mergers and Acquisition Representation of E-Commerce, Communication and Telecommunication businesses and start-ups
- FCC AM and FM radio licensure
- FCC licensure for Commercial Mobile Radio Services (CMRS) for MVNO providers
- FCC Equipment Authorization and Certification for existing and emerging technologies, including pre-launch regulatory review of verification, declaration of conformity, and certification requirements
- Wireless MVNO representation
- VoIP and state certification for CLEC, IXC and ETC carriers.
- Internet, Privacy and E-Commerce Law
- Federal and State Administrative law & regulatory affairs and regulatory defense
- Federal and State (Florida) civil litigation and appeals
- Pro Hac Vice Counsel or Co-Counsel in Federal Cases involving complex communication service matters, Internet law, Carrier Disputes, and Technology matters including Patent and Trademark infringement.
- Service as Lead Negotiating Counsel in Active Litigation in the Federal Courts based on the Federal Communication Act of 1934, as amended, or between FCC licensees and carriers.
- Representation in Arbitration
- Representation of Mobile Applications, and Online start-ups including referral to affiliated Patent Attorneys
- Defense of claims before the FTC and State Attorney Generals on Marketing Practices, Internet Marketing, and Unfair Trade Practices
- International Transactions procurement of OFAC, FCC or other regulatory licenses and permits to do business in foreign countries of related it FCC International Settlements
- Opinion Letters on new technologies; Clearance to Operate Letters for Foreign Providers of Communication and Media content; and Compliance Reviews (entry and post-fine for violations of rules or law).
- Representation of Internet and Communication Services doing business in Latin America and the Caribbean
- Representation as External Corporate Counsel for Telecommunication Companies, VoIP Companies, E-Commerce and Internet start-ups, and new technologies or online technology innovations
- Money service business (MSB) and stored value card licensure law and regulation
- Trademark and Copyright procurement and defense
- Intellectual Property Planning and Defense for Communication
- Corporate Structuring of online and technology Businesses
Sample of Published or Publicly Available Cases
In the Matter of Laser Technologies d/b/a Laser Tech, Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau Case No.: EB-TCD-12-00000223: Firm mitigated a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) fine in the amount of $252,000 USD for Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”) violations, 26 FCC Rcd. 10792 (2011), to $20,000 USD in form of Voluntary Contribution based upon economic hardship and particular factual grounds with Commission review thereof. 29 FCC Rcd. 2658 (2014).
Bellsouth Telecom, LLC v. Azul Tel, Inc. US District Court Southern District of Florida Docket No. 1:13-cv-20562-MGC. Firm defended and settled Federal Statute Violation Claim on Local Access Charges owed by Prepaid Calling Card Provider for use of Local Access Numbers for Long Distance Prepaid Calls and substantially mitigated damages.
Lylle Araya-Solorzano vs. Government of the Republic of Nicaragua et. al. 562 Fed. Appx. 901; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6565 (2014). Firm served as Defense Counsel in Federal District Court Case, the dismissal of case, and as Federal Appellee Counsel on behalf of the Government of The Republic of Nicaragua and The INSS (Instituto Nicaraguense de Seguridad), Prevailed on Motions and Appeal to uphold Dismissed Claim against a sovereign state in excess of $12 Million.
Lozano v. Caribbean Broadcasting Systems, Inc. et al. Case No.: 09-46461-CA-01, Circuit Court of Miami-Dade County, Florida (2011), Served as Lead Trial Counsel. On-Air Radio personality and Disc Jockey sued a Miami, Florida based FM Radio Station under a five count complaint under Fla. Minimum Wage Act, Fla. Stat. 448.110, seeking class status past hourly work and commissions for sales of commercials and “air-time.” Plaintiff sued the Station, Station Manager and Station CFO pursuant to the state statute. Attorney Edward A. Maldonado was brought into the case as Defense Counsel only weeks before trial and represented all Defendants throughout trial. Case concluded after a three-day Jury Trial. Upon resting of the Plaintiff’s case, Defense Counsel successfully moved for dismissal of two of the Defendants and for dismissal of four of the five counts alleged. Jury awarded Plaintiff damages only to single count with less than the threshold jurisdictional damages of $15,000 USD.
Exigent Technology v. Prepaid Network, et al Case No.:1:03-CV-23400 (2003-2009) Served as Defense Counsel for Prepaid Network in Federal District Court Case of alleged Patent Infringement, until consolidation and transfer of case from the U.S. District Court for the Southern Jurisdiction of Florida, and served again post-transfer as Lead Settlement Counsel for Defendant Prepaid Network in final settlement.
Sample of Other Federal Cases, Federal Agency Defense and State Cases Served
AT&T vs Prepaid Calling Companies for Local Access Charge Claims. Federal Litigation. Served as Defense Strategy Counsel and Lead Negotiator (appeared Pro Hac Vice in the federal courts outside the State of Florida) in federal litigation between ILEC and Prepaid Calling Companies on claims of unpaid Local Access Charges – firm’s efforts resulted in the settlement of claims, voluntary dismissal of lawsuit, and mitigating damages in excess 65%.
FCC vs. Prepaid Calling Companies for Unfair Marketing Practices Cases. Regulatory Defense. Served as Regulatory Counsel to Prepaid Calling Companies on FCC claims of Unfair Trade Practices; engaged Commission in Consent Decree Negotiations to resolve issues and proposed fines in excess of 5 million USD and raised Constitutional issues related to subject matter.
FCC vs. Various Telecommunications and VoIP Providers for CPNI Certification Violations. Regulatory Defense. Served as regulatory counsel for ninety (90) various small to medium sized telecommunication and VoIP providers in relation to Annual CPNI Certification, Omnibus Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 25 FCC Rcd 1795 (Enf. Bur. 2010) (Omnibus NAL). All cases settled through Consent Decree Negotiations. Telecommunication carriers settled with substantial fine reductions, VoIP providers settled with issuance of Citations (Warning) or substantial fine reduction. Cases related to customer proprietary network information (CPNI) and violations or compliance with Section 222 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
FCC vs. Small-Sized and Community Radio Stations for Technical Violations. Served as Regulatory Defense Counsel for various small-sized and community Radio Stations (AM/FM/LPFM/ and Translators) on Technical Violations cited and found by the FCC and Commission Field Offices. Firm mitigated proposed fines and provided consultation of compliance changes, post-violation.
Administrative Subpoenas, Letters of Inquiry, and Agency Investigations. Served as Regulatory Defense Counsel during Agency Investigations for various companies in the Communications, Technology, Product, E-Commerce and E-Learning industries before the Federal Communications Commission, FCC Inspector General, Federal Trade Commission, the Florida Attorney General, and various state Attorney Generals during investigations for violations of Regulatory Compliance, and Unfair Trade Practices, False Advertising, and Taxation of Communications Services.
Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) v VoIP and Telecommunication Resellers on Florida Communication Service Tax (CST) and Florida Sales Tax (FST). Served as Regulatory Counsel (in conjunction with Florida Tax Counsel and Florida Certified Public Accountants) for pre-audit and post-audit administrative representation and appeals of assessments of the CST and FST against Telecommunication carriers and VoIP Carriers operating in and from Florida as related to prepaid and post-paid transactions and for the negotiation of settlement with the DOR.
Legal Support for the Reporting of Hacking Events and Civil Claims for theft of Communications Services. Served as Legal Counsel for various companies during post hacking events of communication services, proprietary information, and data breaches for various communication providers, both wholesale level and retail level, in the assessment of damage, information compromised, offender tracing via subpoenas, and coordination of reporting to federal law enforcement.