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Former Congressman Rick Boucher Joins Sidley Austin

WASHINGTON: Former Congressman Rick Boucher has joined Sidley Austin LLP as a partner in the Washington, D.C. office. The Virginia Democrat will lead Sidley’s government strategies practice.

Boucher was elected to represent Virginia’s 9th Congressional District in 1982 and served until January 2011. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce and the Judiciary Committees, he was involved in key legislation affecting the broadcast industry, including the Satellite Home Viewer Reauthorization Act, the Free Flow of Information Act of 2009, and the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act.

Boucher also called for a radio frequency spectrum inventory following last year’s introduction of the National Broadband Plan, which proposed redesignating 120 MHz of broadcast spectrum. At the same time, he was instrumental in bringing about the nation’s first municipal wireless broadband system that used unoccupied broadcast channels. The community of Claudville, Va., launched a white-space broadband network in October of 2009. (See “Viriginia Town Exemplifies White Space Usage.” )

“Rick has earned the respect of Democrats and Republicans alike for his intelligent approach to complex technology and energy issues and the even-handed leadership he displayed in the crafting of pivotal legislation,” said Thomas Cole, chair of the Sidley Austin’s executive committee. “He will provide invaluable guidance for the growth of the firm’s public policy work.”

During his tenure, Boucher wrote the 1992 law that permitted the first commercial use of the Internet. He was one of two founders of the Congressional Internet Caucus, and served as co-chairman of the 170 member group for 15 years.

Before he was elected to Congress, Boucher was a lawyer in private practice for 12 years in New York and in Virginia. He also served seven years in the Virginia Senate. He earned a J.D. from the University of Virginia and a B.A. from Roanoke College. Boucher is admitted only to the bars of New York and Virginia. His D.C. practice is limited to developing federal legislative and public policy strategies.
~ Deborah D. McAdams
See. . .
Dec. 3, 2009:
“House Approves Satellite Bill”
The bill defines and extends the rights of satellite TV providers to carry broadcast TV signals in and out of market. 

July 13, 2009:“Boucher Proffers House Spectrum Bill”
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have rolled out a bill that would initiate a radio spectrum inventory.

June 9, 2009:“Legislator Wants to Outlaw Loud TV Commercials”
The law would require the FCC “to prescribe a standard to preclude commercials from being broadcast at louder volumes than the program material they accompany.”

April 1, 2009: “House Passes Media Shield Law”
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Free Flow of Information Act of 2009, a law that will protect journalists who refuse to name confidential sources.