James E. Mackler has joined LeClairRyan as senior counsel on the firm’s aviation and corporate services teams. He practices in Nashville.
James focuses his practice on advising businesses, governments, and investors on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). He works with clients on various regulatory, compliance, and litigation elements of UAS usage (“drone law”) across a variety of applications including hospitality, real estate, insurance, construction, security, video production, energy, manufacturing, and surveying.
Previously, James served eight years of active duty in the U.S. Army. After spending seven years developing a successful private legal practice in Colorado, James was inspired by the events of 9/11 to join the military. He spent three years as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot with the 101st Airborne Division, including a one-year deployment to Iraq. James earned his Parachutists Badge, Combat Action Badge, Air Medal and an Army Achievement Medal during his time in the Army.
James continues to serve as an attorney in the Tennessee Air National Guard, and he also holds a commercial helicopter pilot’s certificate. In 2017, he briefly left practice to campaign for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, garnering national headlines for his Believe in Service initiative.
A graduate of Duke University (B.A.) and the University of Washington (J.D.), James is admitted in Tennessee and Colorado.