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For Immediate Release: October 1, 2021
BB&K Media Contact: Bethany Chieffallo •

Best Best & Krieger LLP is pleased to congratulate Partner Joseph Van Eaton, who was awarded the International Municipal Lawyers Association’s prestigious Charles S. Rhyne Lifetime Achievement in Municipal Law Award, the highest award given by IMLA. The award was formally announced on September 30 at IMLA’s Annual Conference.
“I can’t think of another lawyer more deserving of this award. I have had the honor of witnessing Joe’s dedication to advocating for municipal and local government authorities for more than 16 years,” stated BB&K Partner Gail Karish. “Joe’s list of decades-long accomplishments is inspiring, in addition to his tremendous skills as an educator and thought leader. He is always approachable and encouraging discussion. He has an amazing talent for seeing a creative way forward to resolve a given issue where others see no path. He has made me a smarter and more thoughtful lawyer, and I know many others can say the same.”
The award is not intended to be bestowed on a regular basis, but rather is intended to be a recognition “bestowed only occasionally and then only upon a truly uncommon individual,” according to IMLA. The award was established to honor the recipient's lifetime achievements in municipal law and serves as a lasting commemorative to Charles S. Rhyne's founding of the International Municipal Lawyers Association and his life's work.
“Joe is incredibly worthy of this honor,” said BB&K Partner Gerard Lavery Lederer. “He has earned this recognition through a lifetime dedicated to not just municipal law, but the professionals who populate the municipal legal world and the citizens who are the ultimate beneficiaries of these efforts. I believe Mr. Rhyne would join with all of us in celebrating Joe’s work that has been dedicated to protecting municipalities.”
In his practice, 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. Van Eaton leads BB&K’s Telecommunications practice and is also a registered federal lobbyist and member of the firm’s Government Relations team. Before joining BB&K in 2011, he was a founding partner of Miller & Van Eaton, a nationally recognized telecommunications law firm. He has significant experience working with Congress, federal agencies and state legislatures on legislation and regulations affecting municipalities. He has successfully argued cases in most of the U.S. Courts of Appeal and before several state Supreme Courts.
Van Eaton 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.


Best Best & Krieger LLP is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With more than 200 attorneys, the law firm has 10 offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter or @bestbestkrieger on LinkedIn.

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