Cinnamon Mueller boasts a team of attorneys with extensive experience in the communications and technology sector.

“Their in depth knowledge of the topics that matter most to me in my cable business is valued and appreciated.”
- Janet Beilfuss,
Springport Telephone Company
“I like dealing with knowledgeable people who are responsive—this is what I have experienced with Cinnamon Mueller.”
- Jason Smith,
Rainbow Communications
“They focus their attention on your issue 100% and I feel confident in their advice.”
- Sandra Munsey,
BVU Authority
“With just an email or a call, I am able to get a complete and timely answer to my questions.”
- Alan Severson,
Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative
“Cinnamon Mueller places the upmost importance on all issues by thoroughly researching them and completing each project in a timely manner.”
- Matt Overland,
Pottawatomic Telephone Company
Contact our Attorneys

The Cinnamon Mueller Team

Bruce E. Beard

 

Bruce Beard is the managing partner with the law firm of Cinnamon Mueller, and head of the firm’s St. Louis, Missouri office.  He is an expert with over twenty-seven years of telecommunications law experience involving regulatory advocacy and compliance, transactional expertise, litigation and operational matters.  His experience includes telephone, wireless, video and broadband.

Practice Overview

Mr. Beard’s practice focuses on representing cable, wireless, broadband and landline telecommunications companies on a wide variety of operational, compliance and transactional matters. He also assists the firm’s advocacy for the American Cable Association.  Mr. Beard provides M&A assistance for buyers and sellers of cable systems. To date, he has assumed full deal responsibility and served as regulatory and consent/assignment counsel on over 75 transactions. Some of these deals have involved more than 125 franchises.

Mr. Beard also provides comprehensive FCC and contractual due diligence reviews associated with sales, financing and corporate compliance matters.   On operations, he advises clients on retransmission consent contracts, programing agreements, compulsory copyright compliance, infrastructure agreements, pole attachment agreements, leases, sales agent agreements, non-compete agreements and other contractual matters. He provides representation at every stage of the customer relationship, ranging from service contracts and privacy matters to compliance with regulatory obligations.

He has over fifteen years of experience in counseling clients on franchise matters, leased access matters, rights-of-way issues, must-carry requests and local origination programming matters.  This representation has brought Mr. Beard before the FCC, the Illinois Commerce Commission, Missouri Public Service Commission and other state agencies.  He also advises companies on the launch of VoIP services and compliance with voice related regulatory requirements such as Universal Service obligations.  He also represents companies and individual land-owners in tower leases. 

Personal History 

Mr. Beard has been with Cinnamon Mueller for 8 years.  Immediately prior to joining Cinnamon Mueller, he served as General Counsel to Millennium Digital Media (a/k/a Broadstripe), a cable triple-play provider. During his tenure at Millennium, he oversaw the company’s launch of VoIP, the acquisition and sale of various systems, managed over 130 local franchise relationships and orchestrated the sale and liquidation of MDM iNet. 

Prior to joining Millennium, Mr. Beard had a 12 year career with SBC Communications. In 1988, he joined the Procurement and Marketing Department, reviewing contracts and providing legal analysis to clients.  Two years later, he joined Southwestern Bell Telephone’s Federal Regulatory Legal group where he handled regulatory accounting, the Cost Allocation Manual, and affiliate transaction issues.  In 1994, he transferred to Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems to provide counsel on general operational matters, advertising and marketing reviews, tower leases, roaming agreements, litigation management and personnel issues.  He was also responsible for wireless regulatory matters at the state and federal level, including advocacy related to the implementation of the 1996 Telecommunication Act and wireless issues at the FCC including non-structural separation issues, launch of long distance and wireless E911 issues. 

Mr. Beard then entered the field of wireless acquisitions after his appointment as General Attorney for the Midwest operations following the Ameritech merger. He oversaw the integration of the Ameritech wireless operations with SBC’s Cellular One-Chicago operations and legal departments.

Prior to joining SBC, Mr. Beard was an associate attorney with Thompson & Mitchell (k/n/a Thompson Colburn) from 1985-1988. He served in the litigation department handling barge line and railroad personal injury defense, business litigation and appellate matters.  He handled numerous appeals at Thompson, including briefing and oral advocacy before the United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit on an international contract dispute matter. He also appeared before the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District on a Jones Act intervention matter. 

Mr. Beard previously served as an Adjunct Professor at Webster University teaching a Telecommunications Law class for the University’s Telecommunication MBA program. Before that, he was a teaching assistant for the Dale Carnegie Effective Communications and Human Relations Course.

Judicial Clerkships 

Illinois Supreme Court, Law Clerk – Chief Justice Howard C. Ryan 1984-1985.

Education 

J.D. summa cum laude, Southern Illinois University School of Law, Carbondale, Illinois 1984; B.A. with honors, History Major- Political Science and Economics Minor, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois 1981.

Industry Activity  

Mr. Beard was a member of the American Cable Association Board of Directors during his tenure as General Counsel at Millennium Digital Media. 

Events/Presentations/Speaking Engagements 

Mr. Beard is a regular speaker before industry groups and also hosts webinars about FCC regulation and operational matters.  Mr. Beard has provided guidance on the following topics: retransmission consent negotiations, closed captioning obligations, EAS responsibilities, CALM Act compliance, Accessibility compliance, broadband stimulus opportunities, and general regulatory updates.  He is a regular speaker at independent cable industry events including the National Cable Television Cooperative/ACA Independent Show, the Montana Cable Telecommunications Association, and the Iowa Communications Alliance. 

Publications                                                                                      

  • Cable and Telecom Deals-a Lawyers Perspective, Independent Cable News, July 2014, with Jake Baldwin.
  • CALM Act- What You Need to Know, Independent Cable News, November 2012, with Jake Baldwin.
  • The Heavy Hitting Cost of Unauthorized Pay-Per-View Broadcasts, Independent Cable News, April 2012, with Andrea Person.
  • Implied Warranty of Habitability in the Sale of a New Home, Redarowicz v. Ohlendorf (1982), 92 Ill.2d 171, 1982 Southern Illinois University Law Journal 447.

Awards

Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America; SBC 1994 Best Regulatory Brief Award “Equal Access for Commercial Mobile Radio Service Providers”; SBC 1995 Best Regulatory Brief Award “In the Matter of Interconnection and Resale Obligations Pertaining to Commercial Mobile Radio Services”.

Professional Affiliations 

Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis; Missouri Bar Association; Illinois Bar Association. 

Community Activity 

Board of Directors-Chaminade College Preparatory School Club Lacrosse, Director and Past President (2006-Present); Villa Duchene Fathers Club (2009-Present); St Louis CYC Youth Basketball Coach (2002-2012).

Contact

bbeard@cinnamonmueller.com

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