Joseph Van Eaton represents government agencies on a broad range of communications issues in federal and state courts, before federal and state agencies, and at the negotiating table. Mr. Van Eaton is a partner in Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Municipal Law practice group in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Prior to joining the firm in 2011, he was a founding partner of Miller & Van Eaton, a nationally-recognized telecommunications law firm.
Mr. Van Eaton has helped communities develop wireline and wireless communications ordinances, negotiated franchises for cable and telecommunications service providers, assisted communities in developing their own communications networks, and successfully defended local government efforts to establish and operate municipally-owned systems. He has been a leading advocate for local governments before the FCC, including in key rulemakings affecting local authority to regulate placement of wireless facilities.
Mr. Van Eaton has been involved in development of publicly-owned and non-profit fiber networks, and has played an active role in the regulatory and legal debates regarding the development of open, neutral networks. He has negotiated contacts requiring the deployment of infrastructure that can be used by multiple providers to offer communications services, in return for rights to use municipal infrastructure.
Mr. Van Eaton has significant litigation and appellate experience, and has successfully argued cases in most of the U.S. Courts of Appeal and before several state Supreme Courts. He has served as a special appointee to the board of directors of the Alliance for Community Media and is the recipient of the George Stoney Award, the International Municipal Lawyers Association President's Award, and the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors’ Ovation Award.
Mr. Van Eaton received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979 and his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University in 1975.