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Live Seminar

Drone Law



Friday, June 16, 2017


9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Product ID#:



Crowne Plaza Providence-Warwick (Airport)
801 Greenwich Avenue
Warwick, RI 02886


$339 / Each Additional

Registration Includes Course Book

Credit Information

Continuing Legal Education

  • RI CLE - 7.00


  • IACET - 0.60

Program Description

Legal Best Practices for the Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems

The use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, is becoming much more common, but how confident are you in your ability to provide clients with answers to their most pressing legal questions regarding the use of this emerging technology? In this comprehensive overview of the current legal landscape, our experienced faculty will illuminate the many pitfalls that exist and provide you with the information you need to provide practical legal advice to government, commercial and recreational UAS users. Ensure your clients understand the legal aspects of responsible drone usage - register today!

  • Understand the legal and practical definitions of what is - and is not - a drone.
  • Get the latest updates on drone legal requirements that your clients need to remain compliant.
  • Determine when and where drones can be used for commercial or hobby purposes.
  • Advise public users of drones on best practices to protect the 4th Amendment rights of citizens.
  • Know what constitutes aerial trespass in the space above homes and businesses.
  • Confidently navigate state and local UAS laws, rules, regulations and zoning codes.
  • Establish when drone footage is discoverable for litigation purposes.

Who Should Attend

This basic-to-intermediate level course on unmanned aircraft system legal issues is for the following professionals:

  • Attorneys
  • Paralegals
  • Real Estate Professionals and Surveyors
  • Government Officials
  • Police Officers
  • Insurance Professionals

Course Content

  1. Overview of Classification and Terminology
  2. Registration: The New FAA sUAS Requirements and Exceptions
  3. The Federal UAS Regulatory Environment: Hobby Use vs. Commercial Use
  4. Drone Use by Public Entities - Police Surveillance and the 4th Amendment
  5. Trespass, Nuisance and Privacy: More Questions Than Answers?
  6. New State and Local Laws, Rules, Regulations and Zoning Codes
  7. The Discoverability of Drone Footage and Admissibility of Surveillance in Court Proceedings
  8. Ethics

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 7.00 *

International Association for Continuing Education Training – IACET: 0.60

* denotes specialty credits

Agenda / Content Covered

  1. Overview of Classification and Terminology
    9:00 - 9:30, Guy R. Bissonnette
    1. What is a Drone? The History of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Regulation
    2. Is a Drone an Aircraft? Are Model Aircraft Drones?
    3. Definitions and Terminology
    4. UAS Operations
    5. Case Law Update
    6. Q&A
  2. Registration: The New FAA sUAS Requirements and Exceptions
    9:30 - 10:00, Guy R. Bissonnette
  3. The Federal UAS Regulatory Environment: Hobby Use vs. Commercial Use
    10:15 - 11:30, Guy R. Bissonnette
    1. Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act
    2. Spacing and Distance Requirements
    3. Aircraft Requirements
    4. Operating Rules
    5. Law Enforcement Engagement with Suspected Unauthorized UAS Operations
    6. Pilot Requirements
    7. Applying Recent Case Law
  4. Drone Use by Public Entities - Police Surveillance and the 4th Amendment
    12:30 - 1:45, Robert Ellis Smith
    1. Applying Case Law: Drones, the Constitution and Privacy Concerns
    2. What Requirements Govern When a Warrant is not Necessary?
    3. What Law Enforcement Can and Cannot Do
    4. What Municipalities, Schools and Park Districts Can and Cannot Do to Limit/Ban Their Use
    5. Reasonable Search Requirements and Warrantless Surveillance
    6. What Type of Surveillance Equipment is Lawful?
    7. 1st Amendment Concerns: Surreptitiously Recording Individuals in Public
  5. Trespass, Nuisance and Privacy: More Questions Than Answers?
    1:45 - 2:15, Guy R. Bissonnette
    1. Commercial vs. Recreational Use: Legal Issues and Liability
      1. Noise, Nuisance and Safety Considerations
      2. Liability Concerns
      3. Real Estate Lease Issues and Violations
    2. Nuisance Laws
    3. State Civil and Criminal Laws
    4. Trespass Case Law
    5. Private Property Protections for Low Altitude Airspace
    6. What Constitutes Aerial Trespass?
    7. Current Case Law and Legislative Updates
  6. New State and Local Laws, Rules, Regulations and Zoning Codes
    2:30 - 3:00, Guy R. Bissonnette
  7. The Discoverability of Drone Footage and Admissibility of Surveillance in Court Proceedings
    3:00 - 3:30, Guy R. Bissonnette
  8. Ethics
    3:30 - 4:30, Guy R. Bissonnette and Robert Ellis Smith
    1. Ethics in Government Conflicts of Interest with Government Officials
    2. Technology's Impact on Privacy and Confidentiality Issues
    3. Attorney-Client Privilege - Identifying the Real Client
    4. Participation in Political Activities

GUY R. BISSONNETTE has been engaged in the general practice of law in Rhode Island since 1977. His practice has included the handling of criminal, civil and administrative matters, which have involved both jury and non-jury cases. Mr. Bissonnette has argued appeals before the Rhode Island Supreme Court, as well as, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, Massachusetts. From 1997 - 2001 he was appointed an assistant solicitor for the town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, which involved prosecuting the various misdemeanor criminal matters which occurred in the town in the Second Division District Court in Newport, Rhode Island. Mr. Bissonnette is a professor of legal studies (and prior to that an associate, assistant and adjunct professor beginning in 1995) at Johnson & Wales University. Since 2012 he has been the moderator of the Law & Technology Symposium at Johnson & Wales University, an annual event which brings in subject matter experts to discuss current issues relating to the intersection of technology and law. Some of the topics the Symposium has explored are: "Social Media & the Courts," "Sexting: Innocent Fun or a Crime?," "Is Privacy Dead?," "Drones: valuable tools, dangerous toys or an invasion of privacy?," and "Surveillance: Do cameras stop crime or invade privacy?." Mr. Bissonnette is the author of "Eyes in the Skies: Regulating Drones," The Rhode Island Bar Journal, Volume 64, Number 3, November/December 2015. He earned his B.A. degree from the University of Rhode Island and his J.D. degree from the New England School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts.

ROBERT ELLIS SMITH is a journalist who uses his training as an attorney to report on the individual’s right to privacy. Since 1974, he has published Privacy Journal, a monthly newsletter on privacy in a computer age based in Providence, R.I. Mr. Smith is a frequent speaker, writer, and Congressional witness on privacy issues and has compiled a clearinghouse of information on the subject: computer data banks, credit and medical records, the Internet, electronic surveillance, the law of privacy, and physical and psychological privacy. His first book, Privacy: How to Protect What’s Left of It, was nominated for a National Book Award in 1980. Mr. Smith is the author of Ben Franklin’s Web Site: Privacy and Curiosity from Plymouth Rock to the Internet (2004), the first and only published history of privacy in the U.S. He is also the author of Our Vanishing Privacy (1993), The Law of Privacy Explained (1993), Privacy: How to Protect What’s Left of It; Workrights, a book describing individual rights in the work place; and The Big Brother Book of Lists. Privacy Journal also publishes Compilation of State and Federal Privacy Laws, Celebrities and Privacy (2006), War Stories, a collection of anecdotes on privacy invasions and an electronic guide to privacy laws called Consumer’s Handheld Guide to Privacy Protections. From 1970 to 1973, Mr. Smith was the assistant director of the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. A graduate of Harvard College, Mr. Smith received his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. He served as a member of the District of Columbia Human Rights Commission until 1986. In 1997, Vice President Gore named him to the Civil Liberties Panel of the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security.

Please refer to Continuing Education Credit FAQ for general information about seeking credit for your participation in one of our continuing education programs.

Additionally, our team of credit specialists are here to answer your specific credit-related questions weekdays 7am - 5pm Central:

Phone: 866-240-1890


Accreditation Details

Continuing Legal Education

RI CLE: 7.00 Including - Ethics: 1.00
National Business Institute is an accredited sponsor with the Rhode Island MCLE Commission. This program is approved for 7.0 hours of CLE credit in Rhode Island, including 1.0 of ethics.

International Association for Continuing Education Training

N IACET: 0.60
NBI, Inc. is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. NBI, Inc. is authorized by IACET to offer 0.6 CEUs for this program. At the end of the program, participants must complete a self-assessment in order to receive credit. 100% attendance is required. (Provider #1004558)

Upon completion of this course, attendee will be able to: 1. State the definition of a drone. 2. Review the new FAA UAS requirements and exceptions. 3. State what the federal UAS regulatory environment currently is. 4. State two 4th Amendment concerns. 5. State two issues with trespass, nuisance and privacy. 6. State one new state or local law. 7. Review the discoverability of drone footage and admissibility of surveillance in court proceedings. 8. State one ethical issue regarding technology's impact on privacy and confidentiality issues.

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