Thomas M. Pennington is a highly skilled and driven associate attorney at Marashlian & Donahue, PLLC who previously served at the District of Columbia’s Office of the Attorney General as a trial attorney.
Thomas was selected for the Charles F. Ruff Fellowship with the Legal Counsel Division at the Office of the Attorney General, where he has been tasked with researching a variety of topics, including marijuana legalization and the taxation of welfare benefits. In addition to his research responsibilities, Mr. Pennington also provided legal advice on administrative proceedings and jurisdiction to other divisions of the Attorney General’s office.
While on detail with the Civil Litigation Enforcement Section, Mr. Pennington had the opportunity to represent the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, and other District agencies before the Office of Administrative Hearings in cases ranging from wrongful benefits claims to violations of liquor licenses.
Mr. Pennington is no stranger to the firm, as he previously worked as a law clerk at Marashlian and Donahue, PLLC. During his time here, Mr. Pennington conducted legal research, drafted client advisories for publication, and prepared court writings for state and federal matters. He also assisted telecom corporations with a variety of regulatory compliance matters, including the Universal Service Fund, E911, Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity applications, and telecommunications tariff matters.
Thomas is a member of the DC Bar Association, admitted in January 2022.
- Advising RF equipment manufacturers, importers, and vendors on the most efficient means of ensuring compliance with U.S. and international regulatory requirements in their advertising, marketing and distribution practices, as well as testing, regulatory classification, and authorization procedures
- Representing clients in federal rulemaking proceedings to protect them from the encroachment of government overreach, streamline existing regulations, and preserve their access to 5G spectrum
- Assisting commercial businesses, including the hospitality industry, on wireless broadband & private network deployment
- Defending clients in all phases of FCC Enforcement Bureau proceedings, safeguarding clients’ rights when the FCC alleges rule violations
- Advising clients on Congressional and state actions, as well as DoT proceedings, in the ever-changing autonomous vehicle regulatory environment
- Advocating on behalf of clients in FCC formal and informal complaint proceedings
- Representing clients before the FCC and DoJ in merger proceedings, focusing on antitrust and FCC license transfer matters
- Defending clients in notice and audit proceedings before the Universal Service Administrative Company (“USAC”)
- Representing clients in negotiating and drafting of spectrum sharing agreements
- Assisting clients in gaining access to necessary infrastructure, such as rights-of-way, utility poles and conduits, commercial buildings, and wireless structures
- Advising clients on compliance with FCC Customer Proprietary Network Information (“CPNI”) rules and assisting with implementation of CPNI compliance plans
- Assisting clients in FCC spectrum auction proceedings
- Representing clients in federal rule waiver and Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) proceedings
- Obtaining federal and international authorizations for wireless & satellite services
Mr. Quirk has published several articles and white papers on various topical telecommunications issues, including: FCC compliance, spectrum auctions, wireless telecommunications tax, unlicensed telecommunications, state and federal privacy laws, equipment authorization and marketing, and bankruptcy.
- Author: “Maintaining HIPAA Compliance While Preparing for HIPAA Audits,” Health IT Security, June 24, 2015;
- “Much Ado About Spectrum,” Wireless Design and Development, May 2008;
- “Open Access at 700 MHz: Opening Doors for Mobile Devices,” Wireless Design and Development, January 2008;
- “The DTV Transition: Unlimited Equipment Opportunities,” Wireless Design and Development, July 2007;
- “Unlicensed Communications Products and the FCC: Deploy Carefully – the Network you save could be your Own,” Wireless Design and Development, February 2007;
- “Barcodes on Steroids; The Perceived Mandatory Microchip Implant Threat and Other Reasons for RFID Privacy Laws,” Techlink, August 2006;
- “FCC Compliance Challenges,” RFID Journal, May 25, 2006; “Don’t Get Behind the Regulatory Eight-Ball,” RFID Journal, April 11, 2005;
- “FTC Doesn’t Want to Get Involved in Rulemaking for now, Neither Do GOP Senators,” RFID Operations, May 2005;
- “Regulatory Roundup” Monthly Column, RFID Operations, April 2005 – August 2005;
- “RFID: Rapid Implementation and Regulatory Challenges,” White Paper, Venable LLP, January 2005;
- “Preventing a Haven for Wrongdoers, The Regulatory Exemption to Bankruptcy’s Automatic Stay,” The Bankruptcy Strategist, March 2003;
- “States’ Mobile Tax Rules: Creating Order Out of Chaos?” State and Local Communications Report, December 7, 2001;
- “Internet Access Providers: Common or Uncommon Carriers?” FCC Report, April 9, 1997;
- “Republicans Urge Broadcast Deregulation” Radio Ink, January 2, 1995;
- “Creative MCI Uses Marketing, Courts to Carve Out Market Shares,” Washington Telecom News, April 25, 1994;
- “Professors Trade Views on Constitutionality of Brooks Bill,” Telephone Week, June 8, 1992.
- Executive Editor, Frequency (Venable LLP’s telecommunications law and policy newsletter) 2003-2008; Wavelength (Alston & Bird LLP’s telecommunications law and policy newsletter) 2001-2003
Mr. Pennington earned his Juris Doctor at the George Mason University School of Law with a concentration in Financial Services and Administrative Law in 2021.
Mr. Pennington is currently barred in the District of Columbia.
- Internet of Things & Connected Devices
- Telecommunications, VoIP, and Advanced Communications Services
- Satellite: Land Mobile, Marine and Aero
- Internet Law & E-Commerce
- International Telecommunications
- Corporate, Contracts and Commercial Transactions
- Broadband Networks and Internet Applications
- Cloud Computing and Communications (SaaS / CaaS / IaaS)
- Wireless Communications and MVNOs