President, Baller Stokes & Lide, PC

Baller Stokes & Lide is a national law firm based in Washington, DC.  Jim represents clients in a broad range of communications matters before the federal government and in more than 35 states. He was the founder and president of the US Broadband Coalition, a consortium of more than 160 organizations of all kinds that forged a national consensus on the need for a comprehensive national broadband strategy and recommended the framework reflected in the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan. Jim also served as a consultant to Google on its Fiber for Communities initiative and is now a co-founder and president of the Coalition for Local Internet Choice, an alliance of more than 400 organizations and individuals that works to preserve and protect local decision-making in critical broadband infrastructure matters.

The Fiber to the Home Council has recognized Jim as "the nation's most experienced and knowledgeable attorney on public broadband matters." He was named the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors’ Member of the Year in 2001 and its first “Community Broadband Visionary of the Year” in 2007, for "almost single-handedly putting the need for a national broadband strategy to the forefront of public consciousness." In 2009, Ars Technica included Jim on its list of the 25 “Top Names in Tech Policy” and FiberToday honored him as its Person of the Year. In 2012, he received the FTTH Council’s Chairman’s Award “for his relentless promotion and pursuit of community broadband and of faster networks for everyone. His efforts have paved the way for the deployment of all-fiber networks across the country.” In 2014, he was a recipient of SEATOA’s Community Broadband Advocacy Award for “beating back (two years in a row) anti-municipal broadband legislation in Georgia.” In 2016, American Registry included him in its list of America’s “Most Honored Professionals (top 1%).” In 2016 and 2017, Super Lawyers recognized him in its Washington DC Super Lawyers list. He also holds Martindale-Hubbell’s top peer-reviewed rating of “AV Preeminent.”

Jim is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Cornell Law School.