Peter Davidson is Senior Vice President - Federal Government Relations for Verizon, a position he has held since April 2003. Davidson is responsible for federal government policy and advocacy matters affecting Verizon's interests and for the company's relations with Congress and the Executive Branch.
Before joining Verizon, Davidson served as General Counsel at the United States Trade Representative supporting negotiation and implementation of trade agreements and supervising litigation at the World Trade Organization.
Prior to becoming General Counsel to the USTR in February 2001, Davidson was Vice President for Congressional Affairs at USWest, and then Quest, coordinating all federal legislative activities for that company.
From January 1995 until June 1999, Davidson served as the General Counsel and Policy Director to the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dick Armey. In this capacity, he advised the Majority Leader on a broad range of legal matters and led the legislative planning team in charge of developing leadership priorities, working with committees, and negotiating with the Senate and the White House.
Davidson also served as General Counsel and Policy Director for the House Republican Conference and as Attorney-Advisor in the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel. Before that, he was law clerk to Judge John Porfilio on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, CO.
He is a 1984 graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., and received his J.D. degree in 1990 from the University of Virginia, where he served on the Virginia Law Review as Notes Editor.
Davidson is a native of Minnesota and now resides in Virginia with his wife, Kari. They have three children, Madeleine, Sophie and Bjorn.
Mr. Erickson is the co-chair of the premier annual seminar on the legal and regulatory developments in the broadband and cable industries. He served as the first general counsel to the Internet Association, where he advised the association’s president and CEO, as well as its members, on industry-impacting regulatory and legislative initiatives. In addition, he has represented Internet companies and Internet service providers since the beginning of the commercial Internet.
Mr. Erickson is Steptoe's Chief Diversity Partner, responsible for the firm's initiatives surrounding diversity and inclusion. He also is co-chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Committee and a member of its Technology Committee.
Chambers USA, Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite (DC), 2016
Legal 500 US, Media, Technology & Telecoms: Telecoms & Broadcast – Regulatory; Media, Technology & Telecoms: Telecoms & Broadcast – Transactional, 2015-2016
Appointed, “Global Leader Mentor,” by the Republic of Korea, May 2014
Serves as the Internet Association's counsel on telecommunications, trade, copyright, and intermediary liability matters before the Federal Communications Commission, Department of Justice, Copyright Office, Patent and Trademark Office, and federal courts. The Internet Association is the primary trade group for leading Internet companies.
Represents Netflix, Inc., on a wide-range of regulatory matters before the Federal Communications Commission, including in the open Internet docket, video and broadband matters, and accessibility issues. Previously represented Netflix in successfully opposing the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
Represents INCOMPAS, the leading industry association representing competitive communications service providers and their supplier partners, before the Federal Communications Commission in the open Internet docket and dockets relating to broadband infrastructure issues.
Represents Level 3, Netflix, and INCOMPAS before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in intervening to support the FCC’s Open Internet Rule and Order.
Represented Bloomberg Television before the Federal Communications Commission in a major cable merger proceeding and secured a first-ever channel “neighborhooding” condition, which required the cable provider to place Bloomberg TV in certain news neighborhoods on the provider’s channel lineups. Represented a coalition of leading Internet companies before the office of the United States Trade Representative in successfully promoting a first-ever modification to the trade template for copyright.
Represented a coalition of leading Internet companies in drafting amicus briefs in Cartoon Network, LP v. CSC Holdings, Inc., 536 F.3d 121 (2d Cir. 2008) (Cablevision DVR case).
Represented a coalition of leading Internet companies in drafting an amicus brief in MGM v. Grokster, 380 F.3d 1154 (9th Cir. 2004).
Represented a coalition of federally recognized Indian tribes before the Bureau of Indian Affairs to successfully advocate for rules limiting “reservation shopping” for gaming purposes.
Represented a federally recognized Indian tribe before the United Nations in its deliberation of the Draft Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Select Seminars & Events
Open Internet Program, February 7, 2017, A Steptoe-sponsored event
Rethinking The Future of Communications Policy, January 23, 2017, 13th Annual State of the Net Conference (SOTN)
Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2016, PLI, April 11, 2016
“The Disruptors, Innovators and Investors Panel,” INCOMPASS Policy Summit, February 10, 2016
Future of Broadband Competition Conference, The Capitol Forum, December 17, 2015
“Net Neutrality: Past, Present, and Future,” NAPABA, November 7, 2015
Exporting Internet Law Through International Trade Agreements: Recalibrating US Trade Policy in the Digital Age May 25, 2016
On the Intelligence Authorization Bill July 31, 2015, Steptoe Cyberblog
Why ‘Exporting’ US Copyright and Communications Law Through Trade Agreements is a Good Idea May 11, 2015
"Groundhog Day" for Data Breaches June 2, 2014
Michigan Draws a Bottom Pair, But Indian Country Does Not Have a Straight Flush May 29, 2014, SCOTUSBlog
TARGETed for a Breach – and Now TARGETed for Litigation December 30, 2013
Argument preview: A tale of two sovereigns November 27, 2013, SCOTUSblog
Co-chair, Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2016, Practising Law Institute, New York, NY
American Bar Association
Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Policy
Section on Intellectual Property Law
Chair of the Intellectual Property and Legislation Committee
Federal Communications Bar Association
The George Washington University Law School, J.D., with honors, 1993
Wheaton College, B.A., English Literature, 1989
Bar & Court Admissions
District of Columbia
US Supreme Court
US Court of Appeals
Second Circuit US Court of Appeals
Fourth Circuit US Court of Appeals
Sixth Circuit US Court of Appeals
District of Columbia Circuit
Samuel (Sam) Feder is managing partner of the firm’s DC office and co-chair of the Communications, Internet & Technology Practice. He represents cable, telecom, media and technology companies in a wide variety of matters including litigation, proceedings before regulatory agencies and transactions. Mr. Feder’s practice is enhanced by the knowledge and experience gained from serving as General Counsel to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and, before that, as a senior legal and policy advisor to two FCC Commissioners.
Mr. Feder has been named among the top lawyers in his field by Chambers USA, Legal 500, Washingtonian, Washington DC Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America. He is a member of the Media and First Amendment Practice, the firm’s Hiring Committee for the Washington, DC, office and the Hiring Executive Committee. An active member of the Federal Communications Bar Association, he co-chaired the group’s Judicial Practice Committee from 2005 to 2011.
Mr. Feder has represented clients on numerous significant matters before the FCC, including net neutrality, broadband classification, universal service, and intercarrier compensation. He has also litigated a wide range of cases, including disputes over the compensation carriers pay to each other for carrying voice traffic, exclusive arrangements between cable providers and programmers, the regulatory classification of VoIP service and retention marketing. Additionally, Mr. Feder has worked on a number of significant transactions, including Comcast-NBCU and CenturyTel-Embarq, and, while at the FCC, SBC-AT&T, Verizon-MCI and AT&T-BellSouth. As General Counsel of the FCC, Mr. Feder advised the Chairman and the other Commissioners on all significant issues facing the agency. He represented the FCC in litigation before the federal courts of appeals and coordinated agency review of all transactions requiring FCC approval.
Best Lawyers in America -2014-2017
Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite: Regulatory (District of Columbia) - 2010- 2016
Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Telecoms and Broadcast: Regulatory - 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 (Leading Lawyer)
Media, Technology and Telecoms: Telecoms and Broadcast: Transactional - 2016
Top Lawyer - Communication – 2013
Washington DC Super Lawyers
Communications - 2013-2016
Federal Communications Bar Association
Co-chair, Judicial Practice Committee, 2005-2011
Legal Aid Society of District of Columbia Board Member, 2014-present
College of William & Mary Public Policy Program Board Member, 2013-present
Client Alert: Here Comes Sunshine: FCC Transparency Rule Guidance, May 26, 2016
Client Alert: FCC Imposes Comprehensive Data Security Requirements in Settlement with Cable Company, November 11, 2015
Co-Author, Communications: Regulation and Outsourcing in United States: Overview,” Practical Law, November 2015
“Data Security Has a New Sheriff in Town,” Daily Journal, November 17, 2014
“Verizon Settlement Signals FCC’s Growing Privacy Focus,” Law360, September 11, 2014
Client Alert: Verizon Privacy Settlement Signals FCC’s Growing Privacy Focus, September 9, 2014
Co-Author, “City of Arlington v. FCC: The Death of Chevron Step Zero?”
Federal Communications Law Journal, January 2014
"FCC Open Internet Order: Is Net Neutrality Itself Problematic for Free Speech?" Communications Lawyer, June 2011
Co-Author, "Cell Phone Litigation Advisory: Calling for Coverage," Mealey's Litigation Report: Insurance, Vol. 24, No. 11, January 20, 2010
Insurance Counselor, Winter 2010
Client Advisory: Calling for Coverage, November 20, 2009
“The New Net Neutrality Rules: How Have Other Regulated Fields Tackled Similar Issues?” American Bar Association, March 03, 2015
“19th Annual Comprehensive Conference on Telecommunications Law,” Law Seminars International, April 07, 2014 to April 08, 2014
"Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2014," Practising Law Institute, January 26, 2014
“Comcast v. FCC: The FCC’s Jurisdiction Over Broadband and the Implications for Net Neutrality,” Practising Law Institute Teleconference, April 30, 2010
“Historical Perspective and Current Issues,” Federal Communications Bar Association CLE Seminar, Washington, DC, March 04, 2010
"The Judicial Year in Review," Federal Communications Bar Association CLE Seminar, Washington, DC, June 10, 2009
Moderator, "Future of Telecommunications," Practising Law Institute 26th Annual Institute on Telecommunications Policy & Regulation, Washington, DC, December 05, 2008
Communications, Internet & Technology Litigation
Media and First Amendment
University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1995; summa cum laude; Daniel H. Grady Prize (highest scholastic average in the class at graduation); Class of 1908 Award (highest scholastic average in the class at the end of second year); Maurice Weigle Award (highest scholastic average in the class at the end of first year); Order of the Coif; Note Editor, Michigan Law Review
College of William & Mary, A.B., 1992; cum laude
District of Columbia, 1999
U.S. Supreme Court, 2004
U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, 2005
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2006
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1996
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1996
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 1999
Hon. Edward R. Becker, U.S. Court of
Appeals, Third Circuit 1995 - 1996 (Clerkship)
Michael D. Nilsson is a partner with the law firm of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP. He advises and represents media and communications companies before the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Copyright Office, foreign regulators, and international regulatory bodies. He also advises a range of innovative smaller organizations—especially nonprofits and startups—on commercial negotiations and a wide range of other legal issues.
Video Programming. Mr. Nilsson has particular expertise on legal issues associated with video programming.
Communications Licensing and Regulation. Mr. Nilsson advises satellite, cable, wireline, and wireless communications companies with respect to the licensing, deployment, and regulation of their services. He represents these companies in the full range of FCC rulemakings and ongoing compliance efforts.
Commercial Negotiations and Business Law Counseling for Nonprofits and Startups. Mr. Nilsson also advises and represents smaller organizations, especially nonprofits and startups, on a broad range of issues. For example, he has acted as longtime outside counsel to an arts education center; assisted a large international nonprofit in the negotiation of favorable licensing terms and advised on the composition of its Board of Directors; represented for-profit startups in commercial negotiations; and counseled a London-based consumer products start-up to launch its North American operations.
From 2001 to 2002, Mr. Nilsson served as Legislative Assistant and Counsel, and principal telecommunications and technology adviser, to Senator John
D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia. He advised the Senator on issues such as broadband deployment, universal service, spectrum auctions, satellite mergers, Internet privacy, digital copyright, and homeland security.
Mr. Nilsson has co-chaired the Federal Communications Bar Association’s Intellectual Property, Legislation, and Video Programming and Distribution Committees.
Mr. Nilsson has engaged in a number of pro bono representations, including serving as outside counsel to the French Bulldog Rescue Network. He served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Sitar Arts Center, a nonprofit arts education center, where he also teaches saxophone.
Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude
University of California, Berkeley, B.A., with high honors
Years of government, industry, and law firm service have shaped Michele Farquhar into an influential advisor, advocate, and thought leader for the technology, media, and telecoms industry.
As leader of the firm’s Communications Practice, and co-chair of the global industry sector team, she helps clients with a range of global and
U.S. communications policy initiatives, spectrum auctions, licensing and compliance matters, and regulatory strategy involving M&A transactions as well as litigation.
Michele obtains regulatory approvals, waivers, and other licenses for many new and cutting-edge technologies. And she leads teams advising major global companies on regulatory strategy issues involving a range of international jurisdictions. As a legal authority in her industry, she also speaks and writes extensively on a range of communications issues.
Michele joined the firm in 1997, after serving as Chief of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. While at the FCC, she led the agency’s new spectrum auction initiative and held primary responsibility over several major auctions and spectrum policy initiatives, as well as the bureau’s implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Previously, Michele served as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary and Chief of Staff for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She played a lead role in developing the administration’s positions on telecommunications reform as well as spectrum, international, electronic commerce, and other policy issues.
As Vice President for Law and Regulatory Policy at the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, she gained industry knowledge and regulatory advocacy experience while representing cellular carriers on regulatory, policy, and legal issues before the FCC. Michele also served as senior legal advisor to FCC Commissioner Ervin Duggan and as the mass media advisor to two FCC general counsels.
Administrative and Public Law Communications Law
Government Relations and Policy Advocacy Securities and Public Company Advisory
J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1984 B.A., magna cum laude, Duke University, 1979
Clifford S. Harris is senior vice president – law, programming at Cablevision Systems Corporation. In this role, Mr. Harris advises Cablevision’s Programming Department on creating and negotiating programming agreements. Additionally, he provides counsel on all programming-related legal, regulatory and copyright matters, particularly those pertaining to new and emerging products and services. Mr. Harris also helps oversee programming litigation matters and advises on property and sales tax issues.
Mr. Harris joined Cablevision in 2005 as senior counsel responsible for negotiating content agreements, including cable affiliation and retransmission consent agreements. In 2009, he was promoted to vice president - law, programming, expanding his role to include regulatory issues and copyright strategy. Over the course of Mr. Harris’ tenure at Cablevision, he has managed many of the company’s critical legal actions, including anti-trust and copyright cases as well as cable regulatory litigation. Notably, Mr. Harris played a central role in guiding the company’s legal strategy surrounding its Optimum App, TV to GO and Optimum Multi-room DVR.
Prior to joining Cablevision, Mr. Harris served as general counsel for financial start-up WOTN, providing guidance on all aspects of business strategy and planning, including corporate structure and raising capital. In that job, he negotiated and drafted joint venture agreements, software licensing agreements, technology licensing agreements and employment agreements. Before WOTN, Mr. Harris served as an associate at both Arnold & Porter and Sullivan & Cromwell law firms, facilitating public and private securities offerings, including sovereign debt offerings by the governments of Brazil and Israel. In these roles, he also assisted on corporate transactions, including joint ventures for Philip Morris and NBC.
Mr. Harris completed his B.A. in history at Vassar in 1989. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Michigan’s law school in 1992, as a member of the Order of the Coif. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.
Christopher Yoo has emerged as one of the nation's leading authorities on law and technology. His research focuses on how the principles of network engineering and the economics of imperfect competition can provide insights into the regulation of electronic communications. He has been a leading voice in the "network neutrality" debate that has dominated Internet policy over the past several years. He is also pursuing research on copyright theory as well as the history of presidential power. He is the author of The Dynamic Internet: How Technology, Users, and Businesses Are Transforming the Network (AEI Press, 2012), Networks in Telecommunications: Economics and Law (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009) (with Daniel F. Spulber) and The Unitary Executive: Presidential Power from Washington to Bush (Yale Univ. Press, 2008) (with Steven G. Calabresi). Yoo testifies frequently before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission.
Cynthia J. Larose is Chair of Mintz Levin’s Privacy & Security Practice and a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP).
Cynthia represents companies in communications, information, and technology, including e-commerce and other electronic transactions. She counsels clients through all stages of the “corporate lifecycle,” from start-ups through mid- and later-stage financings to IPO, and has broad experience in technology and business law, including online contracting issues, licensing, domain name issues, software development, and complex outsourcing transactions.
Cynthia has extensive experience in privacy, data security, and information management matters, including state, federal, and international laws and regulations on the use and transfer of information, behavioral advertising, data security breach compliance and incident response, data breach incident response planning, as well as data transfers in the context of mergers and acquisitions and technology transactions. She conducts privacy audits and risk assessments to determine data and transaction flow and to assess privacy practices, and assists with drafting and implementation of privacy policies and information security policies and procedures and monitoring of privacy “best practices” across all levels of the enterprise.
She has been repeatedly recognized by Chambers USA and Chambers Global for her Privacy and Data Security practice.
She received J.D. and M.S. from Boston University.
Cameron F. Kerry
Cameron Kerry is the Sara E. and Andrew H. Tisch Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Media Lab. His work there focuses on technology and innovation, especially the use of data and protection of data privacy. He previously served as General Counsel and Acting Secretary of the United States Department of Commerce, where he was a leader on a wide of range of issues laying a new foundation for U.S. economic growth in a global marketplace.
Department of Commerce agencies touch the daily lives of the American people in many ways, with responsibilities that include international trade, economic development, technology, entrepreneurship and business development, environmental stewardship, and statistical research and analysis. Commerce agencies include the Patent & Trademark Office, National Institute of Standards & Technology, National Telecommunications & Information Administration, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, International Trade Administration, Economic Development Administration, Minority Business Development Agency, and Bureau of Economic Affairs, which includes the Census Bureau.
While Acting Secretary, Cameron Kerry served as chief executive of this Cabinet agency and its 43,000 employees around the world, as well as an adviser to the President. His tenure marked the first time in U.S. history two siblings have served in the President's Cabinet at the same time.
As General Counsel, he was the principal legal adviser to the several Secretaries of Commerce and Commerce agency heads, and oversaw the work of more than 400 lawyers across these agencies. He was a leader in the Obama Administration’s successful effort to pass the America Invents Act, the most significant overhaul of the patent system in more 150 years. As co-chair of the National Science & Technology Council Subcommittee on Privacy and Internet Policy, he spearheaded development of the White House blueprint on consumer privacy, Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World. He then led the Administration's implementation of the blueprint, drafting privacy legislation and engaging on privacy issues with international partners, including the European Union. He helped establish and lead the Commerce Department's Internet Policy Task Force, which brings together agencies with expertise in the 21st Century digital economy.
He also played a significant role on intellectual property policy and litigation, cybersecurity, international bribery, trade relations and rule of law development in China, the Gulf Oil spill litigation, and many other challenges facing a large, diverse federal agency. He travelled to the People's Republic of China on numerous occasions to co-lead the Transparency Dialogue with China as well as the U.S./ China Legal Exchange and exchanges on anti-corruption.
Before his appointment to the Obama Administration in 2009, Cameron Kerry practiced law at the Mintz Levin firm in Boston and Washington. His practice covered a range of complex commercial litigation and regulation of telecommunications. He tried cases involving significant environmental and scientific evidence issues and taught telecommunications law as an adjunct professor at Suffolk University Law School.
Prior to joining Mintz Levin, he was an associate at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C. and a law clerk to Senior Circuit Judge Elbert P. Tuttle of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College Law School (1978), where he was winner of the school's moot court competition and a law review editor. and a cum laude graduate of Harvard College (1972).
Cameron Kerry also has been actively engaged in politics and community service throughout his adult life. In 2004-04, he was a senior adviser and national surrogate in the U.S. Presidential campaign, traveling to 29 States and Israel. He has served on the boards of non-profits involved in civic engagement and sports.
Daniel J. Weitzner
Director, MIT Decentralized Information Group
Daniel Weitzner is the Director of the MIT CSAIL Decentralized Information Group and teaches Internet public policy in MIT’s Computer Science Department. His research includes development of accountable systems architectures to enable the Web to be more responsive to policy requirements.
From 20011-2012, Weitzner was the United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy in the White House. He led initiatives on privacy, cybersecurity, Internet copyright, and trade policies promoting the free flow of information,. He was responsible for the Obama Administration’s Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and the OECD Internet Policymaking Principles.
Weitzner has been a leader in the development of Internet public policy from its inception, making fundamental contributions to the successful fight for strong online free expression protection in the United States Supreme Court, and for laws that control government surveillance of email and web browsing data.
Weitzner is a founder of the Center for Democracy and Technology, led the World Wide Wed Consortium’s public policy activities, and was Deputy Policy Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In 2012 he was named to the Newsweek/Daily Beast Digital Power Index as a top ‘Navigator’ of global Internet public policy and in 2013 he received the International Association of Privacy Professional’s Leadership Award.
Diane B. Burstein is a Vice President & Deputy General Counsel of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. Ms. Burstein has been actively involved in regulatory issues relating to the accessibility of cable industry products and services. She currently serves as NCTA’s representative to the Federal Communications Commission’s Disability Advisory Committee. She also participated on the FCC’s Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee on the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010.
Prior to joining NCTA, Ms. Burstein was associated with the Washington, D.C. office of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, where she specialized in communications law. Ms. Burstein received her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
Grace Koh serves as Counsel to the Subcommittee on Communications & Technology of the Energy & Commerce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, specifically focusing on media issues. Prior to her joining the Committee, she was Policy Counsel at Cox Enterprises, Inc.’s Public Policy Office, where she represented the enterprise’s public policy positions in matters affecting video, voice, data, and broadcast services primarily before the FCC, as well as other agencies. She came to Cox after her time as an associate in the communications group at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Her law career follows after several years of work as a product developer and jack-of-all-trades for Internet companies in New York, including Prudential Securities and Beliefnet.com.
Grace Koh attended University of Pennsylvania Law School (2004) and Yale University (1996). She is a member of the New York and DC bars as well as the Federal Communications Bar Association in DC.
Howard Symons has nearly 40 years of experience in telecommunications law and policy, including senior positions in government and the private sector. Most recently, he served as General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission from 2016 to 2017 and as Vice-Chair of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force from 2014 to 2016, appointed to both posts by Chairman Tom Wheeler.
From 1985 to 2014, he was one of Washington’s leading telecommunications lawyers as a partner at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, where he chaired the Firm’s communications practice and was a member of its Executive Committee. Prior to joining the firm, he served as Senior Counsel to the Subcommittee on Telecommunications in the U.S. House of Representatives. From 1978 to 1981, he was a staff attorney with the public interest organization founded by Ralph Nader, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch.
Mr. Symons also served as an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s National Law Center, where he taught courses in telecommunications law and regulation for 10 years. He has authored several articles on the telecommunications policy process, testified before Congress and state legislatures, and spoken at numerous industry conferences and continuing legal education seminars.
Mr. Symons graduated from Yale University summa cum laude and earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.
James Assey currently holds the position of Executive Vice President of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. Prior to his position at NCTA, Mr. Assey was a long time staff member on the U.S Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation chaired by U.S Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI). Most recently, he was Senior Democratic Counsel to the committee, and earlier was Senior Democratic Counsel on Communications and Media Issues. Mr. Assey also served as Telecommunications Counsel for U.S Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC). Mr. Assey has also held positions as Communications Associate in the Washington, D.C office of Willkie, Farr and Gallagher, Law Clerk for the Honorable Cameron M. Currie in the U.S District Court for the District of South Carolina, and Legislative Assistant to Senator Hollings.
Mr. Assey is a graduate of Stanford University and earned his JD from Georgetown University Law School. Mr. Assey is also a current adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University Law School.
In April of 2009, Mr. Assey was chosen to be on the Federal Communications Commission’s Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age chaired by Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps.
Justin Brookman is the Director for CDT's Project on Consumer Privacy. Mr. Brookman coordinates CDT’s advocacy on corporate collection, use, and retention of personal information, including efforts to enact comprehensive privacy legislation in the United States and to strengthen privacy law in Europe. Mr. Brookman has testified before House and Senate Committees on location privacy and data security, as well as the general need for stronger consumer privacy protections. He also leads CDT’s work on behavioral advertising and the development of a “Do Not Track” setting for web browsers, and serves as editor of the compliance specification in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standardization process. Under Mr. Brookman’s direction, CDT has filed formal complaints with the Federal Trade Commission against companies that violate users’ privacy and free expression rights. He also runs the Internet Privacy Working Group, a diverse set of privacy stakeholders including industry participants and other advocates, to formulate best practices guidance and inform CDT’s own views on emerging privacy issues.
Prior to joining CDT in January 2010, Mr. Brookman was Chief of the Internet Bureau of the New York Attorney General's office. Under his leadership, the Internet Bureau was one of the most active and aggressive law enforcement groups working on internet issues, and Mr. Brookman brought several groundbreaking cases to protect the rights of online consumers. He brought the first regulatory actions against spyware and adware companies, as well as against the advertisers who funded those companies. He also brought several privacy cases against companies who misused or misappropriated consumers' personal information, including the first enforcement of Gramm-Leach-Bliley's restrictions on the use of consumer financial data. In 2009, Mr. Brookman brought the first case against a company for "astroturfing" --- or seeding internet message boards and blogs with fake positive reviews. He also brought important actions to preserve free speech online and to preserve network neutrality.
Mr. Brookman previously worked as a litigation associate for six years at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in both its New York and Washington offices. He received his J.D. from the New York University School of Law in 1998 and his B.A. in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in 1995
Karen M. Reabuck is Vice President, Legal Affairs for Music Choice, a multi-platform video and music network that delivers its music programming to millions of consumers nationwide through their televisions, online and mobile devices. Her primary responsibility at Music Choice is the negotiation and ongoing administration of programming contracts with Music Choice’s MVPD customers such as Comcast, Time Warner, Cox Communications, etc. She has been with Music Choice for 7 years.
Prior to joining Music Choice, Ms. Reabuck was Senior Counsel for Motorola, Inc.’s cable set-top box division located in Horsham, Pennsylvania (now Arris). While at Motorola, she served as lead counsel for the infrastructure build and equipment supply agreement with Verizon enabling the initial nationwide launch of Verizon FiOS TV. Ms. Reabuck began her legal career as a corporate associate specializing in mergers and acquisitions at Philadelphia’s Mesirov Gelman Jaffe Cramer & Jamieson, now Schnader Harrison.
Ms. Reabuck is a graduate of Bucknell University where she received her B.A. in Economics. She received both her J.D. and M.B.A. from Villanova University, and she is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Karen Peltz Strauss is the Deputy Bureau Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission, where she helps to oversee the FCC’s implementation of federal laws requiring access to communication and video programming technologies by people with disabilities, including the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). Over the past five years, Strauss helped lead efforts at the Commission to achieve the timely completion of rules implementing the CVAA, including rules on advanced communications services, closed captioning, video description and video programming device interfaces. Prior to joining the FCC, Strauss spent over 30 years as one of the nation’s premier attorneys on disability-related matters, during which she drafted several laws on access to telecommunications, television, and more recently the Internet.
From 2001-2010, Strauss also consulted for non-profit, governmental and private organizations on communications-related matters. Earlier in her career, Strauss was legal counsel for Gallaudet University’s National Center for Law and Deafness and the National Association of the Deaf. In 2006, Strauss published A New Civil Right: Telecommunications Equality for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Americans, a book covering the forty year struggle of Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing to obtain basic access to telecommunications. In 2011, Strauss received an honorary doctorate degree from Gallaudet University for her work on communications accessibility. Strauss also holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an L.L.M. from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Michael Hurwitz is a partner in the Communications & Media Department of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in Washington, D.C. Mr. Hurwitz’s focus includes FCC regulatory policy for communications and media companies, regulatory review of mergers and acquisitions, and Internet- and programming-related litigation, arbitrations, and appeals of agency orders. Mr. Hurwitz has participated in FCC rulemakings relating to net neutrality, online video, program carriage, program access, and media ownership. Mr. Hurwitz also advises communications and media companies on regulatory compliance issues.
SELECTED SIGNIFICANT MATTERS
Mr. Hurwitz has represented companies in the following matters:
Mr. Hurwitz is admitted to the Bars of Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Georgetown University Law Center
Yale University MA, 2001
University of Chicago BA, 1997
Michael Weinberg is a Vice President at Public Knowledge, a digital advocacy group in Washington, DC. He is the author of “It Will Be Awesome If They Don’t Screw It Up: 3D Printing, Intellectual Property, and the Fight Over the Next Great Disruptive Technology” and "What's the Deal with Copyright and 3D Printing?," whitepapers that examine the intersection of 3D printing and intellectual property law. Although he is involved in a wide range of issues at Public Knowledge, he focuses primarily on copyright, issues before the FCC, and emerging technologies such as 3D printing and open source hardware.
Mr. Jimenez is the Executive Director of External Regulatory Affairs for Cox Communications, Inc.; he assumed this role in 2013. In this capacity, he oversees Cox’s interaction with government agencies and industry and standards bodies whose activities can affect regulatory and public policy related to video, broadband, voice, and WiFi services. Mr. Jimenez represents Cox on the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions’ Technology and Operations Council, the Communications Sector Coordinating Council, and the Network to Network Interconnection Task Force. He manages Cox’s involvement in other advisory committees of the Federal Communications Commission, and policy-related activities of ATIS, CableLabs, and the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers.
Mr. Jimenez engages technology, product, legal, and operational teams at Cox as well as the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) to identify technological or policy developments and trends. He then determines their possible impact on Cox and public policy; and assesses and orchestrates Cox’s approach to advance the company’s strategic policy and regulatory goals.
Mr. Jimenez is an expert on various aspects of public policy, including universal telephone service, voice and broadband interconnection, video programming, telephone numbering and portability, pole attachments, wireless spectrum, and cyber-security. He reviews and provides substantive input on Cox and cable-industry filings before regulatory bodies. Mr. Jimenez has also spoken before the Federal Communications Commission, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and the Practising Law Institute.
Mr. Jimenez joined Cox in 1999 after stints at the California Public Utilities Commission and Pacific Bell. Mr. Jimenez obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. He is also a graduate of the NAMIC’s Executive Leadership Development Program (NAMIC ELDP) taught in conjunction with the University of California-Los Angeles’ Anderson School of Management.
Paul Glist is a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine, where he concentrates in cable, communications, media, privacy and security, and information technology. Since 1978 he has worked with major cable companies and cable associations on legal, regulatory and strategic issues that have emerged as the industry has developed. Paul has been involved in many groundbreaking efforts in telecommunications and cable law and has helped develop the legislation, regulation and case law shaping these industries.
In 2015, he served on the FCC’s Downloadable Security Technology Advisory Committee (DSTAC) and in 2016 represented NCTA in the FCC’s Rulemaking on Navigation Devices.
Since 1984, he has served as a faculty member for the Practising Law Institute’s annual course on cable television and communications law. He is also a frequent speaker, lecturer, and panelist for other university, law school and communications industry programs.
He is a graduate of Cornell University (A.B. 1975, with honors) and Stanford Law School (J.D. 1978).
Rachel Welch currently serves as a Group Vice President in Time Warner Cable’s Government Relations department. In this role, Ms. Welch oversees federal affairs, and is responsible for developing and implementing Time Warner Cable’s policy strategy before Congress and the Administration on a wide range of issues affecting the company.
Prior to joining Time Warner Cable, she was Vice President, Global Public Policy, at Time Warner Inc., where she was responsible for legislative affairs and worked closely with Time Warner’s business units, including HBO, Time Warner Cable and Turner Broadcasting.
Immediately before joining Time Warner, Ms. Welch served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee under Senators Daniel Inouye and Ernest Hollings. She was responsible for developing the strategy, drafting and managing legislation brought before the Commerce Committee on issues affecting all sectors of the communications industry. In this role, she provided legal analysis and policy guidance to Senators Inouye, Hollings and the other Democratic Members of the Committee and their staffs.
Ms. Welch also practiced law in the Washington, D.C. office of Covington & Burling, where she specialized in communications law, representing clients before Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. Previously, Ms. Welch provided regulatory and legislative policy analysis for AT&T Corp.
Ms. Welch is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, and a magna cum laude graduate of Wells College. Immediately after finishing law school, Ms. Welch served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable James Turner on the United States Court of Federal Claims.
Ms. Welch lives with her husband and two sons in Arlington, Va.
Time Warner Cable is among the largest providers of video, high-speed data and voice services in the United States, connecting more than 15 million customers in 29 states to entertainment, information and each other. Time Warner Cable Business Class offers data, video and voice services to businesses of all sizes, cell tower backhaul services to wireless carriers and, through its NaviSite subsidiary, managed and outsourced information technology solutions and cloud services. Time Warner Cable Media, the advertising arm of Time Warner Cable, offers national, regional and local companies innovative advertising solutions. More information about the services of Time Warner Cable is available at www.twc.com, www.twcbc.com, www.navisite.com, and www.twcmedia.com.
Rick Chessen is Senior Vice President, Law & Regulatory Policy, for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA). In that role, he manages the NCTA Legal Department and the Association’s relationship with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Chessen joined NCTA in 2009.
Prior to his current position, Chessen spent over 14 years in public service at the FCC. He initially joined the Commission in 1994 as a senior attorney in the Cable Services Bureau and then served in various other positions, including Senior Legal Advisor to former Commissioners Michael Copps and Gloria Tristani, Chair of the FCC’s Digital Television Task Force, and Associate Bureau Chief for the Media Bureau. He also served as Acting Chief of Staff of the Commission in early 2009 during the Acting Chairmanship of Commissioner Copps.
Chessen also has worked in private enterprise and practiced law at several law firms.
Chessen holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.
While on the Hill, Shawn was the lead staffer on spectrum, wireless, and international telecommunications issues, where he maintained his key relationships between the Communications and Technology Subcommittee and the White House, Executive agencies, the U.S. Senate, and congressional committees. As a former Chief Counsel for the Subcommittee, he has counseled the full Committee and Subcommittee ranking members and other members of Congress on communications and technology issues. Additionally, he has supervised and managed the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology’s daily operations and its Democratic staff.
Shawn provided assistance to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, specifically in advising members and staff on jurisdictional issues between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission on regulation of privacy and data security practices, and participated and assisted with the work of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation as they relate to the communications and high tech sectors.
Shawn has been involved in some of the most important legislative initiatives over the last decade. He negotiated and drafted the Public Safety and Spectrum Act of 2012, which created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) – the entity responsible for building the first nationwide interoperable broadband network for first responders – and authorized the FCC to conduct “incentive auctions” of radiofrequency spectrum. Additionally, he led the negotiation and drafting of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) Act of 2014 that reauthorized expiring compulsory licenses for satellite television providers. Shawn served as a member of several U.S. delegations to international forums on Internet governance and drafted resolutions expressing positions held by members of Congress. He led the negotiation and drafting of updates to the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act of 2004 to help facilitate and improve the reallocation of federal-use spectrum to non-federal users. He also led the drafting and passage of the Radio Spectrum Inventory Act of 2010 and the Local Community Radio Act of 2010 and drafted and negotiated the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s broadband stimulus programs and the Digital Television Delay Act. Assisted with the drafting and negotiation of the Data Accountability and Trust Act.
Telecom, Media & Technology
J.D., The George Washington University Law School
B.S., cum laude, Georgetown University; School of Foreign Service
Bar and Court Admissions
*District of Columbia Bar (Pending, supervised by principals of the firm)
Board Member, Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (2015-Present)
Maryland State Bar Association (2008-Present)
Federal Communications Bar Association, Co-Chair, Legislative Committee (2010-2013)
Faculty, Practicing Law Institute (2012-Present
Alison Greenwald Neplokh, Chief Engineer, FCC Media Bureau
Ms. Neplokh is the Chief Engineer of the Media Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission where she advises the Bureau Chief on a variety of technology issues related to cable television, broadcast television, and cable broadband service. Her diverse portfolio includes work on cable set-top boxes, online video distribution, video accessibility standards, next generation broadcast standards, and preparing for the FCC’s upcoming incentive auction.
Her work across these areas led to being named Technology Woman to Watch in 2013 by TVNewsCheck Magazine.
Prior to joining the FCC, she worked as a software engineer at a telecommunications equipment manufacturer, designing the internals of a high-speed IP router. Before that, she worked for Carnegie Mellon University in the systems development group, writing software to monitor the campus network.
Ms. Neplokh has a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.
As Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer for Cox Communications, John Spalding oversees Cox Communications’ privacy program.
Prior to assuming his Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer role on a full-time basis in 2015, John served as Vice President of Government Affairs beginning in 2006 and added the additional role of Chief Privacy Officer in 2011. Before that, John served as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for seven years and as Senior Counsel for three years. He joined Cox Communications in 1994 as Attorney after serving two years as Attorney for Cox Enterprises, Inc., Cox Communications’ parent company, starting in 1992. Previously, John was a partner with Swift, Currie, McGhee and Hiers, an Atlanta-based private law firm.
Spalding serves currently as Chairman of the Atlanta History Center. Spalding also currently serves as Immediate Past-Chairman of The University of Georgia Foundation, the University’s fundraising support arm. In 2014, Spalding received the Blue Key Service Award from UGA for distinguished service and support of the University.
Spalding is a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US). Spalding holds bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Georgia, where he was a magna cum laude honors graduate and elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Tara is Chair of the Communications Section and a member of the firm's Policy Committee. In her over 20 years in private practice, she has developed extensive experience in cable and broadband regulation. Her practice includes counseling and representation in connection with federal and state governmental matters, as well as communications-related transactions and litigation. She counsels communications industry clients on matters such as network access, net neutrality, OVD competition issues, and compliance with the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 and the related FCC rules for accessibility of advanced communications services and equipment. She assists clients with transfer of control issues in the purchase and sale of systems, and advises them in retransmission consent and program carriage disputes before the Federal Communications Commission and the courts. Her clients include Cablevision Systems Corporation, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Discovery Communications, AMC Networks, MSG Networks, and others.
Tara received her B.A. in Government and Modern European Studies from Cornell University (1990). She earned her J.D., with high honors, from Duke University School of Law (1993). She serves as the Washington office’s coordinator for community service activities, as well as the firm's Co-chair for Professional Development.
Andrew Phillips is the Policy Counsel at the National Association of the Deaf. He is responsible for providing analysis, recommendations, and counsel to the NAD on policy issues affecting deaf and hard of hearing people across the United States. Phillips is heavily involved with the NAD’s work on federal legislation and the rulemaking processes within various federal agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice. After graduating from Gallaudet University, Andrew Phillips earned a J.D. at U.C. Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco where he was a member of the Hastings Science and Technology Law Journal. During law school, Phillips interned at the Disability Rights Legal Center in Los Angeles, CA where he worked for the Civil Rights Litigation Project, and later he was a Summer Associate at Fenwick & West LLP in Silicon Valley where he worked with the corporate and litigation groups. Phillips is a former Congressional Intern of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and worked in her Capitol Hill office. In July 2013, Phillips was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change.
Barbara S. Esbin is a partner with the law firm of Cinnamon Mueller, and head of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. With over twenty-five years of experience in communications law and policy, she advises and represents communications companies before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the U.S. Congress, and in the courts. Ms. Esbin’s practice includes advising and representing the American Cable Association, the leading national trade association for small and medium-sized cable and broadband companies. She also advises and represents individual cable, broadband and telecommunications clients on a wide range of business, strategic and FCC regulatory and compliance matters, and provides strategic counsel to investment research groups. Ms. Esbin joined Cinnamon Mueller in 2010 after an extended tenure with the FCC, and following her position as a Senior Fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation, a Washington, DC-based think tank specializing in communications policy and law. She served for over fourteen years at the FCC in a variety of senior staff positions in the Enforcement, Media, Cable Services, Wireless Telecommunications, and Common Carrier Bureaus, including four years as Associate Chief, Media Bureau. In that capacity, she represented the Bureau on a number of inter-agency efforts and led the review of several major industry mergers and rulemakings addressing cable and broadband competition issues. Between her two FCC engagements, Ms. Esbin was a partner in a private law firm, specializing in cable and broadband regulatory and compliance matters. Prior to joining the FCC, she was a senior associate in a private firm specializing in electric utility regulation. Ms. Esbin held judicial clerkships, respectively, on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court. She received her J.D. from the Duke University School of Law and her B.A. from Antioch College.
Brian A. Rankin is Vice President, Senior Deputy General Counsel for Comcast Corporation. Based in Comcast’s Philadelphia headquarters, he is counsel for legal/regulatory matters affecting Comcast’s cable, broadband, voice and other businesses.
Prior to joining Comcast, Rankin served in senior legal positions for XO Communications, Aerial Communications and MCI Communications. He is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and Illinois.
Rankin received his J.D. from DePaul University, where he received the American Jurisprudence Award for Trial Advocacy, an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama (with Honors) and a B.S. from Illinois State University. He serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the DePaul University College of Law, and on the boards of directors for the Public Citizens for Children and Youth and Citizens Diplomacy International of Philadelphia.
Judson Cary is Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at CableLabs, a non-profit research and development organization owned by the global cable industry. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Cary worked as an engineer in the Artificial Intelligence Group of U S WEST (now CenturyLink). He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Math and Computer Science, and Masters in Engineering, both from the University of Colorado at Boulder. After law school (Santa Clara University, cum laude), he worked as a patent attorney for the Silicon Valley-based law firm of Fenwick & West focusing on startups and pre-IPO companies, patents, and general intellectual property protection and counselling. Mr. Cary returned to Colorado and followed the legal chain of title from U S WEST, to MediaOne, to AT&T Broadband, now Comcast. After a short stint at an e-insurance “.bomb” company, Mr. Cary returned to the cable industry at CableLabs. He provides general advice and counsel on a wide range of topics including technology policy, complex multi-industry agreements, strategy, patents, patent pools, licensing, standards, antitrust, content protection and content distribution technologies, and the laws and regulations governing cable operators in these areas. He is Treasurer of the Open Connectivity Forum (OCF, a forum for IoT), sits on the Board of Directors of the Entertainment ID Registry, and particapted in the Legal groups of W3C, VR Industry Forum, DLNA, and other standards bodies.
Michelle Carey is currently Acting Chief of the Media Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission. For the past six years, she has been Deputy Chief of the Media Bureau. In these roles, she assists in shaping the Bureau’s policies designed to facilitate competition in the multichannel video programming marketplace. Ms. Carey has been involved in implementing key legislation including STELAR, CVAA and the CALM Act as well as developing rules relating to the Incentive Auction. Prior to this appointment, she was a Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in the Department of Commerce. At NTIA, she assisted in the implementation of a key Recovery Act program, the $4.4 billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. Ms. Carey has also worked at the Commission in various other senior roles, including Senior Legal Advisor to Chairman Martin, Deputy Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau, and Chief of the Competition Policy Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau. Before joining the Commission, she clerked for the Honorable Hart T. Mankin of the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals. Ms. Carey received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University and received her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Hank joined AT&T in 2004. He represents AT&T at the Federal Communications Commission on a number of issues including broadband and Internet policy, video and media policy, intercarrier compensation, and universal service. He is a member of the Board of Directors and of the Wireless Communications Association International and serves on the North American Numbering Council. Prior to joining AT&T, he was with MCI for eight years. Hank is a graduate of the George Mason University School of Law and the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He resides in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and two children.