Michal Nowicki is an Associate Attorney at Marashlian & Donahue, PLLC, The CommLaw Group. His practice focuses primarily on helping clients comply with a wide range of telecommunications laws. Mr. Nowicki has recently advised clients on exemptions from Universal Service Fund (USF) contribution requirements, new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules strengthening access to E911 emergency services, and regulation of telecommunications carriers by state public utilities commissions (PUC). He has also given software developers and service providers guidance on telemarketing and call recording laws.
Mr. Nowicki is also interested in, and has significant practical experience with, transactional matters. Mr. Nowicki prepares and reviews various types of contracts, including data services, non-disclosure, resale, and joint venture agreements. He reviewed complex software purchase, licensing, and maintenance agreements between Fortune 500 companies for Axiom Global Inc., a legal consulting company, and the gift agreement templates for the University of Illinois Foundation. Additionally, in law school, Mr. Nowicki took two contract drafting courses, in which he drafted a promissory note, security agreement, personal guarantee, and an asset purchase agreement.
Mr. Nowicki also supports the firm’s Dispute Resolution and Litigation practice. Mr. Nowicki advises clients at all stages of litigation on a wide array of topics ranging from Telecommunications and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to breach-of-contract, data privacy, and other commercial claims.
Mr. Nowicki has a strong personal interest in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). Even well before joining Marashlian & Donahue, Mr. Nowicki helped the National Federation of the Blind convince the FCC to deny Amazon’s petition for a permanent exemption from CVAA accessibility requirements for e-book readers. He has also worked closely with Comcast and DirecTV to ensure that both companies comply with FCC regulations requiring audio description for the blind and visually impaired. Recently, Mr. Nowicki responded to the FCC’s request for public comments on how audio description rules have been implemented, hoping that the FCC will expand the requirements to cover video-on-demand programming.
Mr. Nowicki closely monitors changes to the CVAA and other disability access laws affecting every sector of the telecommunications and information technology industries, including:
- Access to advanced communications services and the equipment used to provide such services by persons with sensory, physical, learning, and psychological disabilities;
- Closed captioning of television broadcasts and online video programming;
- Audio description, access to emergency information conveyed in live video programming, and the accessibility of set-top boxes and other video playback equipment;
- The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program;
- Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) for persons with hearing and speech impairments; and
- Updates to Information and Communication technology accessibility generally, including enhancements to the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and procurement requirement developments under Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Mr. Nowicki explained how the CVAA benefits blind professionals at the 2019 National Association of Blind Lawyers annual business meeting, and he will provide an in-depth overview of audio description requirements under the CVAA, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act at the 2021 Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium.
Mr. Nowicki served as Staff Writer, and later as a Notes Editor, for the Illinois Business Law Journal during law school. He wrote two notes for the journal, both of which were published. Mr. Nowicki also recently wrote an article on the business opportunities for the automobile industry stemming from making fully autonomous vehicles accessible to persons with disabilities, which was published in the RFID Journal.
Mr. Nowicki graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Illinois at Chicago, majoring in Spanish and minoring in Russian; he also speaks Polish fluently. He earned his Juris Doctor degree at the University of Illinois College of Law.
Mr. Nowicki is admitted to practice law in the state of Illinois.