Tony has nearly 30 years experience representing clients in the internet, communications, arts and entertainment industries. He helps for profit and non-profit clients with transactional, regulatory, policy, intellectual property and litigation matters. He serves as outside general counsel to many of his clients within and outside the communications, arts and entertainment industries.

Tony began practicing communications law just before the internet became a “thing.” He regulated the telecommunications industry for four years just after the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. From rural broadband deployment to data privacy to net neutrality to 911 and 811, there are few issues Tony has not handled for his internet and communications clients.

The only thing Tony has done longer than internet and communications law is perform music. Since his days as a McDonald’s All-American high school saxophone player, and self-taught bass player, Tony has been a member of bands that have recorded and released two albums, performed in the U.S. and U.K., and still performs locally with his band The Long Goodbyes. Having “paid his dues” and “learned the hard way” in the arts and entertainment industry, Tony incorporates that experience into his arts and entertainment law practice—representing his clients on business and intellectual property matters.



  • Helped clients navigate and comply with regulations and program requirements for multiple federal and state broadband infrastructure grants funded by federal COVID-relief laws and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
  • Represented multiple clients on issues pertaining to state 811 or “call before you dig” laws.
  • Represented state trade association regarding federal and state regulations governing the operation of Minnesota’s 911 statute.
  • Negotiated video franchising agreements with metropolitan local governments on behalf of the country’s largest cable communications provider.
  • Negotiated Minnesota’s “small cell” right-of-way statute on behalf of a state trade association.
  • Obtained regulatory approval for client entering the alarm system business in Minnesota.
  • Represented clients to resolve data breach and business identity theft incidents.
  • Represented clients on music licensing, including mechanical, synchronization and public performance.
  • Negotiated artist recording, publishing and producer agreements.
  • Provided counsel to start-up and established companies regarding entity formation, governance, succession planning, operating, shareholder/membership, nondisclosure, employment and independent contractor agreements.
  • Negotiated sale of a closely held international beverage company upon founder’s retirement.
  • Negotiated the spin off (asset transfer, including real property and intellectual property) of a division of a nonprofit organization into a new nonprofit organization, obtained tax exempt 501(c)(3) status for the organization and prepared all governance documents for the new organization.



  • Drake University Law School, 1993, cum laude
  • University of St. Thomas, B.A., 1989


  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota


  • Graduate Judicial Clerkship, Honorable Bruce M. Snell, Iowa Supreme Court


  • British-American Project, Fellow
  • Small Business of the Year (for Tony’s former law firm Mendoza Law), Midway Chamber of Commerce, 2019
  • Distinguished Service Award, Minnesota Cable Communications Association, 2012
  • Collins-Fieldseth Award for Exceptional Volunteerism, Friends School of Minnesota
  • Volunteer of the Year Award, Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, 1996

Civic & Professional

Professional Activities

  • UCare, Board of Directors
  • Midway Chamber of Commerce, Board Member, Treasurer, and immediate past Board Chair
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
    • Communications Law Section, Chair
    • Sports, Arts & Entertainment Law Section, Vice Chair
  • American Bar Association
    • Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries
    • Forum on Communications Law
  • Federal Communications Bar Association
  • State of Minnesota, Deputy Commerce Commissioner for Telecommunications, 1999-2002


  • St. Paul Area Chamber, Board of Directors
  • UCare Foundation, Board Chair
  • Midway Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Committee
  • Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, Donor Engagement Committee
  • Volunteer Lawyer for the Arts, Springboard for the Arts

News & Insights

Publications & Presentations

  • Mentioned in “UCare Board Is Enhanced with Four New Directors,” November 1, 2023
  • Moderator, Representing Student Athletes and Athletic Organizations: A Panel Discussion on Ethical Issues Impacting Amateur Sports, MSBA Sports, Arts & Entertainment Section CLE, May 16, 2023
  • Moderator, Digital Equity and Inclusion, MSBA Communications Law Section CLE, February 24, 2023
  • Moderator, Breakfast and 2023 Legislative Panel, Midway Chamber of Commerce, February 13, 2023
  • Author, “Minnesota’s New Broadband Line Extension Program Will Help Close the Gap for Minnesotan’s Without Broadband Service,” LinkedIn, January 18, 2023
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