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Matthew L. Leibowitz, Esq.

Matthew L. Leibowitz is the founder and principal of Leibowitz & Associates, P.A., a Miami-based law firm dedicated exclusively to the practice of communications and telecommunications law. Mr. Leibowitz received his B.A. in business administration with Honors in Law and Public Policy from Syracuse University in 1972 and his J.D. from the University of Miami in 1975. Prior to founding the firm, he served as a staff attorney and trial attorney for the Federal Communications Commission from 1975 – 1979. He represented the Broadcast Bureau in numerous complex comparative renewal and revocation cases.

Mr. Leibowitz has represented clients in radio, television, cable and wireless matters. He has represented broadcast clients in acquisitions worth over $3 billion, including the first radio consolidator, Chancellor Broadcasting Corporation. Mr. Leibowitz has been involved with complex broadcast issues such as foreign ownership, network TV affiliations and consolidation issues. He represented the Florida Broadcasters at the FCC in the contentious "radio war" with Cuba and subsequently participated in international negotiations with Cuba. In cable television, he represented Time Warner and Rogers Cable Communications, Inc. in franchising and regulatory matters. In addition, Mr. Leibowitz served as counsel to Florida Governor Bob Graham’s Task Force on Cable Television in the early 1980’s. More recently he has represented over 70 local franchise authorities in complex renewal and transfer cases, telecommunications ordinances, wireless tower siting ordinances, and 800 MHz rebanding. Mr. Leibowitz has played a major role in protecting local government’s interests in Tallahassee on communications issues.

With respect to wireless radio, Mr. Leibowitz has over 29 years of experience. In 1980, he represented the eleven (11) local radio common carriers, each of whom were involved individually in FCC litigation with each other, and with two (2) new national carriers, with respect to the first shared mobile telephone service authorized by the FCC. Mr. Leibowitz was successful in crafting a resolution to the twelve (12) years of litigation. Subsequently, he represented numerous local radio common carriers throughout Florida. In approximately 1982, Mr. Leibowitz brought together four (4) of the local common carriers to prepare for a new mobile telephone service soon to be authorized by the FCC. Through his efforts, he merged these parties with the Washington Post to form the Florida Cellular Telephone Company (“FCTC”). During months of local meetings, Mr. Leibowitz and his team prepared an application for the non-wireline cellular system serving Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. The application included complex engineering, demand studies and business models. Engineering issues included maximum loading capacities, interference, mission critical performance reliability and system survivability during and after hurricanes. After extensive litigation lead by Mr. Leibowitz, the FCC granted the FCTC license. Moreover, the FCTC system operated during and survived Hurricane Andrew, while the Bell South system failed and remained off the air for an extended period. From 1982 until the mid-1990’s, he continued to represent FCTC and several local radio common carriers until each were sold. Since that time, Mr. Leibowitz has represented numerous local governments in Florida on wireless issues, including tower siting and 800 MHz interference.

Mr. Leibowitz has served as General Counsel of the Florida Association of Broadcasters since the mid-1980’s. In this capacity, he has been involved with emergency alert and response systems at the local and state levels, as well as at the FCC and with Congress. Specifically, he has been involved with issues of system reliability, systems survivability in, and after, disasters, system capacities and system reconstruction after hurricanes.

Mr. Leibowitz has authored several books including The Political Handbook, The Radio Acquisition Handbook and The 5-Minute License Protection Plan, as well as articles on all facets of the communications industry including articles on 800 MHz interference. Mr. Leibowitz has been a featured speaker on broadcasting, wireless (including but not limited to 800 MHz matters) and cable matters, appearing before numerous state and national meetings and conventions.

He is a qualified arbitrator under the rules of the Supreme Court of Florida, and a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association.

Joseph A. Belisle, III, Esq.

Joseph A. Belisle, III, Esq. received his B.A. degree with Honors from the University of Notre Dame du Lac in 1973. He went on to receive his J.D. from George Washington University in 1976.

Mr. Belisle has devoted his entire legal career to the practice of communications law. He began his career in 1978 at the FCC in Washington, D.C. as an Attorney/Adviser in the Television Branch. In 1980 he became a Trial Attorney in the Broadcast Bureau Hearing Division, where he participated in over 40 FCC licensing hearings.

Mr. Belisle left the FCC in Washington and joined the Law Firm in Miami in 1983. During his tenure at the Law Firm, Mr. Belisle has represented radio and telecom clients throughout the Country. The scope of his work has included, but not limited to, compliance with all FCC rules and regulations; preparation, filing and prosecuting applications before the FCC; litigating before FCC administrative law judges and appeals before the Commission; assistance with day-to-day operational issues, including engineering, acquisition and financing.

Soon after his arrival at the Law Firm, Mr. Belisle began representing wireless clients. In addition to representing local radio common carriers, he was instrumental in the cellular litigation at the FCC and before the DC Court of Appeals on behalf of the Washington Post.
He has also represented local governments on wireless matters, including tower issues and 800 MHz interference.
Mr. Belisle was responsible for negotiating and drafting the 1994 Unified ITFS/MMDS Wireless Cable Agreement on behalf of the Miami-Dade County Public School District. This agreement, one of the first such agreements in the nation, was for systems that would use digital television technology to increase the ITFS capacity available to educators, while still providing sufficient channels for wireless cable. Subsequently, he worked with Mr. Leibowitz in representing the School Board in negotiating and drafting the 2008 Lease of Excess Capacity Agreement with Clearwire. Not only did this agreement provide $213 million dollars of funding over 30 years, but it provided for sufficient capacity to continue the School Board’s operations, while providing future wireless opportunities to enhance education.
Mr. Belisle has considerable working knowledge of both theoretical and practical engineering which has enabled him to better assist clients with communication issues.
Mr. Belisle is a member of the Florida Bar since 1987, the District of Columbia Bar, and the New York Bar since 1977. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and the U.S. Court of Appeal, District of Columbia Circuit. He is a member of both the American Bar Association and the Federal Communications Bar Association.