Skip to main content

Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2014

Speaker(s): Alison Greenwald Neplokh, Andrew S. Phillips, Barbara S. Esbin, Brian A. Rankin, Cameron F. Kerry, Christopher S. Yoo, Clifford S. Harris, Cynthia J. Larose, Daniel J. Weitzner, Diane Burstein, Grace Koh , Hank Hultquist, Howard J. Symons, James M. Assey, John P. Spalding, Jose M. Jimenez, Judson Cary, Justin Brookman, Karen M. Reabuck, Karen Peltz Strauss, Markham C. Erickson, Michael Weinberg, Michael D. Hurwitz, Michael D. Nilsson, Michele C. Farquhar, Michelle M. Carey, Paul Glist, Peter B. Davidson, Rachel C. Welch, Rick Chessen, Sam Feder, Shawn H. Chang, Tara M. Corvo
Recorded on: Jan. 27, 2014
PLI Program #: 48172

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.

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
Communications Law

Chambers USA
Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite: Regulatory (District of Columbia) - 2010- 2016

Legal 500
Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Telecoms and Broadcast: Regulatory - 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 (Leading Lawyer)
Media, Technology and Telecoms: Telecoms and Broadcast: Transactional - 2016

Washingtonian Magazine
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

Speaking Engagements

“The FCC's Open Internet Order - A Law and Economic Analysis,” Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies, March 24, 2015

“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

“Broadband and Cable Industry Seminar 2013,” Practising Law Institute, January 28, 2013

“The Business of Financing Business,” The Milken Institute Global Conference - Shaping the Future, Los Angeles, CA, May 01, 2011 to May 04, 2011

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

Maryland, 1996


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)

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.

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 is Vice President, Legislative Affairs, at Nokia. Before coming to Nokia, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the International Telecommunication Union’s World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, where she led the 125-member delegation in negotiating successful outcomes for U.S. spectrum and satellite policy. She has also served as Special Assistant to the President for Technology, Telecom, and Cyber-Security Policy.  In this role, she advised the President and other senior White House staff on all matters pertaining to technology policy.  Koh previously served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Her primary role was to advise the chairmen and committee members on policy and legal issues arising in the telecommunications and technology sectors. Grace Koh has also held jobs in the private sector, as a partner in the Telecom Law Group at DLA Piper LLC and also as Policy Counsel at Cox Enterprises, Inc.'s Public Policy Office. She began her legal career at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Howard J. Symons is a partner in the Communications, Internet & Technology Practice.  He has nearly 40 years of experience in telecommunications law and policy, including senior positions in government and the private sector. Before joining the firm in 2017, he served in two high-profile roles at the Federal Communications Commission: as general counsel from 2016 to 2017 and as vice-chair of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force from 2014 to 2016.  He was appointed to both posts by Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Highly regarded throughout the industry, Mr. Symons has represented companies in the cable, wireless and telecommunications industries as well as their trade associations before the FCC, Congress and State legislatures, and the courts.  Mr. Symons advised these companies on a wide range of matters, including video, broadband and telephony.

As general counsel of the FCC, Mr. Symons oversaw more than 60 lawyers that provide legal support for the Commission’s policy and rulemaking activities and recommend decisions in adjudicatory matters.  He also served as one of Chairman Wheeler’s four senior advisors.  As vice chair of the Incentive Auction Task Force, he was one of the primary architects of the first incentive auction: a two-sided auction in which broadcasters bid to give up their spectrum and wireless providers bid to buy it.

From 1985 to 2014, Mr. Symons was a partner at another AmLaw 100 firm, chairing that firm’s communications practice and serving as a member of the Policy (Executive) Committee.  From 1981 to 1985, he served as senior counsel to the Subcommittee on Telecommunications in the US House of Representatives; in that role, he was responsible for developing legislation on matters ranging from domestic telephone policy to cable franchising and international telecommunications. 

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 on topics relating to regulatory trends, the FCC and more.

Justin Brookman is the Director, Consumer Privacy and Technology Policy, for Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. In this new privacy role at CR, he will help the organization continue its groundbreaking work to shape the digital marketplace in a way that empowers consumers and puts their data privacy and security needs first. This work includes using CR research to identify critical gaps in consumer privacy, data security, and technology law and policy, as well as building strategies to expand the use and influence of the new Digital Standard  being developed by CR and partner organizations to evaluate the privacy and security of products and services.

Prior to joining Consumers Union, Brookman was Policy Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Technology Research and Investigation. At the FTC, Brookman conducted and published original research on consumer protection issues raised by emerging technologies such as cross-device tracking, smartphone security, and the Internet of Things. He also helped initiate and investigate enforcement actions against deceptive or unfair practices, including actions against online data brokers and digital tracking companies.

He previously served as Director of Consumer Privacy at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), a digital rights nonprofit, where he coordinated CDT’s advocacy for stronger protections for personal information in the United States and Europe.

Brookman also served as an Assistant Attorney General and, later, Chief of the Internet Bureau in the New York Attorney General’s office, where he brought consumer protection actions on a wide range of issues, including privacy, free speech, data security, and net neutrality.  He began his career as a litigation associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.  He received his J.D. from the New York University School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Virginia.

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.

Markham Erickson is chair of Steptoe’s Internet, Telecom, and Technology practice group, where he counsels clients in some of the most highly visible, complex legal matters in these sectors. He successfully applies novel and creative theories, earning precedent-setting outcomes on cases of first impression. Markham has represented Internet companies since the beginning of the commercial Internet, and has been the lead counsel for Internet firms in the so-called network neutrality debate since its inception. He regularly engages the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on investigations, complaints, rulemakings, and proposed mergers in the communications sector, and represents technology companies on questions relating to copyright and technology.

Markham is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top Internet and media lawyers. He serves as co-chair to the annual Broadband and Cable Law Seminar at the Practising Law Institute in New York City. He is ranked in The Legal 500, Super Lawyers, and Chambers USA, where he is described as being “as knowledgeable on internet matters as anyone I have ever met” and as a “first-rate lawyer.” In recognition of his authority in the field, Markham was appointed by the White House to represent the United States before the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on Internet speech and regulatory matters.

In addition to leading the firm’s practice group, Markham is co-chair of the Steptoe’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. He also is a member of the firm’s Professional Advancement Committee and its Hiring Committee.

Michael Hurwitz is a partner in the Communications & Media Department at Willkie Farr & Gallagher in Washington, DC.

Michael’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.

Michael has participated in FCC rulemakings relating to net neutrality, online video, program carriage, program access, video competition, broadband network infrastructure, and media ownership.  Michael also advises communications and media companies on regulatory compliance issues.

Michael has represented companies in the following matters:

  • FCC review of the acquisition by Comcast of a majority stake in NBCUniversal
  • Word Network program carriage complaint against Comcast
  • Liberman Broadcasting program carriage complaint against Comcast
  • Project Concord online programming arbitration against NBCUniversal
  • Tennis Channel program carriage complaint against Comcast
  • WaveDivision Holdings program access complaint against CSN-California and CSN-Bay Area
  • DirecTV program access arbitration against CSN-New England
  • Mid-Atlantic Sports Network program carriage complaint against Comcast
  • NFL Network program carriage complaint against Comcast
Herring Broadcasting program carriage complaint against Comcast

Michael Nilsson has solved problems for clients in the media industry and elsewhere for more than twenty years.  He represents these clients before the FCC, Congress, DOJ, the U.S. Copyright Office, and foreign regulators—as well as in commercial negotiations.  

Mr. Nilsson has been recognized by Chambers USA for his work in the in telecom, broadcast & satellite fields.  A client described him as “simply one of the smartest lawyers that I know” and that “he’s the one I would most trust to represent me when the stakes are high.”  Mr. Nilsson has also been recognized by Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers for his work in communications and copyright law.

Representative Clients and Matters.

  • Media industry coalition. Acts as lead counsel for a coalition including some of the largest pay-TV providers seeking relief from “retransmission consent” fees demanded by television stations.
  • Media industry trade association. Represents trade association of small- and medium-sized cable operators in a wide range of media proceedings at the FCC and before Congress, including a successful opposition to the largest proposed broadcast merger in history.
  • Large television distributor. Helped the largest U.S. satellite television provider navigate dozens of FCC rulemakings, successfully obtain regulatory authorization for numerous mergers and acquisitions, lobby for reauthorization of key legislation governing the company’s operations, and prosecute anti-piracy matters in Latin America.
  • Public media organization. Assists a public media entity in acquiring and licensing hundreds of programs, both domestically and internationally.
  • International cable operator. Represents a client in the purchase of, management of, and ultimate sale of a cable operator with systems in multiple Caribbean jurisdictions.
  • Communications companies. Represents non-media communications companies in the full range of FCC matters.
  • Nonprofits and startups. Negotiates commercial deals and provides a broad range of counseling and compliance advice, including “general counsel-like” services.

Mr. Nilsson was the principal telecommunications and technology legal adviser to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV.  

Mr. Nilsson served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Sitar Arts Center, a nonprofit arts education center, where he also teaches saxophone. He also has served on the Board of Directors of Brown Broadcasting Service.

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,,, and

Rick Chessen is Senior Vice President, Law & Regulatory, and Chief Legal Officer 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.  He is a veteran regulatory attorney and previously had served with distinction in several roles at the FCC.  He joined the Commission in 1994 as a senior attorney in the Cable Services Bureau.  He rose to become Acting Chief of Staff of the Commission in early 2009 during the acting chairmanship of Commissioner Michael Copps.  Following the confirmation of Julius Genachowski as FCC Chairman, Chessen remained on the staff of Commissioner Copps as Senior Legal Advisor.

During his time at the Commission, Chessen also served as Senior Legal Advisor to former Commissioner Gloria Tristani; Associate Bureau Chief for the Mass Media Bureau; Chair of the Digital Television Task Force; and Associate Bureau Chief for the Media Bureau. 

Chessen also has worked in private enterprise and practiced law at several law firms.  He served as Vice President – Policy at RespondTV; Partner in Sheppard Mullin Hampton & Richter, LLP; Associate at Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal; and Associate at Isham, Lincoln & Beale.

Chessen holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.  

Shawn H. Chang is Of Counsel at Wiley Rein and a member of the firm’s TMT, Public Policy, and Privacy practices. A former Chief Counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives, Shawn uses his extensive Capitol Hill experience to assist clients with matters pertaining to communications, technology, commerce, transportation, and energy. He provides strategic advice on legislative, public policy, and legal issues, with an in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of Congress and administrative agencies. Shawn serves as a co-chair of Wiley Rein’s LGBT & Allies Affinity Group.

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.

Alison Neplokh is Vice President, Innovation and Strategy at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), where she works with both the technology department and the legal and regulatory affairs department to advance innovation in the broadcast industry and helps drive technology partnerships through NAB’s PILOT initiative.

Alison returned to NAB in September 2019, after working as a public policy manager at Facebook, focusing on global video policy issues. Immediately before that, she worked at NAB in the legal and regulatory affairs department concentrating on spectrum issues and helped to get regulatory approval for broadcasters to begin using the next generation television standard.

Before that, Alison worked at the Federal Communications Commission in a variety of rules, including as the agency’s Deputy Chief Technologist as well as Chief Engineer of the Media Bureau.  In those roles, she advised the Commissioners and each of the Commission’s Bureaus on technical matters spanning a variety of issues, including broadband, video, and spectrum issues.  She played a leadership role in developing policy related to 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, as well as twice receiving the FCC’s Excellence in Engineering award.

Ms. Neplokh earned 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.

As Vice President of Federal Regulatory, Hank Hultquist represents AT&T at the Federal Communications Commission on a number of issues, including spectrum and wireless policy, Internet and broadband policy, interconnection, and intercarrier compensation. Hank joined AT&T in 2004.

Prior to joining AT&T, Hank was with MCI for eight years. He serves on the Board of Directors for the National Exchange Carrier Association. 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.

James Assey currently holds the position of Executive Vice President of NCTA – The Internet & Television Association.  Prior to his position at NCTA, Mr. Assey was a long-time telecommunications counsel and staff member on the U.S Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation working for both U.S Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), and U.S Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC).    Mr. Assey has also worked previously in the Washington, D.C office of Willkie, Farr and Gallagher and clerked for the Honorable Cameron M. Currie in the U.S District Court for the District of South Carolina.

Mr. Assey is a graduate of Stanford University and earned his JD from Georgetown University Law School.

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.


Speaking Engagements



  • Duke University (JD, with high honors, 1993)
  • Cornell University (BA, Government and Modern European Studies, 1990)


  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts

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.

Michele serves as the Managing Partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. 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.

Michelle Carey is Chief of the Media Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission.  She previously served as a Media Bureau Deputy Chief, assisting in shaping the Bureau’s policies designed to facilitate competition in the multichannel video programming marketplace.  Prior to this appointment, she was a Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the Department of Commerce.  Ms. Carey has also served as Senior Legal Advisor to Chairman Kevin J. 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 J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University.

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.

Christopher Yoo is John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science and Director, Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and 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.

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.