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Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2020

Speaker(s): Angela Y. Kung, Christianna L. Barnhart, Daniel S. Cohen, David P Murray, Ezra W. Reese, Gigi B. Sohn, James M. Assey, Judson Cary, Loretta Polk, Maneesha Mithal, Mark MacCarthy, Matthew Berry, Michael D. Nilsson, Michelle M. Carey, Rachel Marmor, Radhika Bhat, Robert Baker, Rudy N. Brioché
Recorded on: Jul. 16, 2020
PLI Program #: 277021

Angela Kung draws on significant knowledge of the wireless regulatory landscape and experience at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to advise clients on, and help them comply with, FCC rules and regulations.  With particular expertise on spectrum use policies and auction procedures, she has shepherded Mintz’s clients through several FCC auctions related to next-generation 5G wireless technologies – including for low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum.  While at the FCC, Angela served as a lead attorney for the CAF Phase II Auction, which awarded $1.488 billion in support over 10 years to more than 100 winning bidders committed to delivering fixed broadband and voice services covering 713,716 locations in 45 states.  In addition, Angela played a significant role in developing the parameters and procedures for the FCC’s Mobility Fund Phase II Auction and in implementing the Broadcast Incentive Auction and 28 GHz and 24 GHz Spectrum Frontier Auctions. 

Earlier in her career, Angela served as a member of the General Counsel team charged with oversight of the 800 MHz reconfiguration process.  She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law.

Dan Cohen is an attorney and founder of the Cohen Law Group. For 22 years, the Cohen Law Group has represented local governments in cable, wireless, and broadband matters. It has assisted over 500 local governments in seven states in these fields. The firm does not represent commercial providers. 

Mr. Cohen has been active with the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) and has served on the NATOA Board for the last 3 years.  He has lobbied decision makers at the federal and state levels on behalf of local governments with respect to specific policy issues.  Mr. Cohen has been a frequent guest speaker at local, regional and national conferences, and has written articles on cable and wireless issues.

Prior to starting the firm, Mr. Cohen was on the Pittsburgh City Council for 12 years. He served as chair of City Council’s Cable Television Committee as well as on the Mayor’s Telecommunications Committee. Outside of cable and telecommunications matters, on City Council Mr. Cohen enacted the City’s first Ethics Act, authored playground safety legislation, and promoted community policing. He graduated from Yale College and Stanford Law School. He and his wife have three children and they live in Pittsburgh

David P. Murray is a partner in the Litigation Department of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in Washington, D.C. Mr. Murray focuses on complex civil litigation involving communications, media, RICO, Commerce Clause, and product safety.

Mr. Murray has represented Comcast Corporation, NBCUniversal Media, LLC, Sprint-Nextel Corporation, tw telecom inc., and other entities in district court and appellate actions and arbitrations around the country. In addition, Mr. Murray has represented Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. in appellate, nationwide consumer class actions, and regulatory and product safety matters before the Department of Justice, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, the United States Coast Guard, and other agencies.

Mr. Murray also worked on the Feist Publications team at Willkie, which successfully overturned eighty years of adverse precedent in a landmark copyright decision by the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Murray has been named a Client Service All-Star by The BTI Consulting Group, an annual ranking honoring attorneys who have mastered the art of superior client focus, unmatched client experience, understanding of client business, unparalleled legal skills and innovative thought leadership. Mr. Murray is also recognized in Super Lawyers for his work in communications.

Mr. Murray is a member of the American Bar Association and the Board of Trustees for Malone University.

Mr. Murray is admitted to the Bars of the District of Columbia and Ohio. He is also admitted to the United States Supreme Court; the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Federal, and D.C. Circuits; the United States District Courts for the District of Columbia, Arizona, and Eastern Wisconsin.

Mr. Murray received a JD (magna cum laude) from Georgetown University Law Center in 1985, where he was an editor of the Georgetown Law Journal and one of four finalists in the 1983 Beaudry Cup Moot Court Competition, and a BA (summa cum laude) from Malone University in 1982.

Gigi Sohn is a Distinguished Fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate. She is host of the “Tech on the Rocks” podcast. Gigi is one of the nation’s leading public advocates for open, affordable and democratic communications networks. For over thirty years, Gigi has worked to defend and preserve the fundamental competition and innovation policies that have made broadband Internet access more ubiquitous, competitive, affordable, open and protective of user privacy.

From 2013-2016, Gigi served as Counselor to Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and from 2001-2013 was Co-Founder and CEO of Public Knowledge, a leading communications and technology policy advocacy organization serving the interests of consumers. She was previously a Project Specialist in the Ford Foundation’s Media, Arts and Culture unit and Executive Director of the Media Access Project, a communications public interest law firm.

In 1997, President Clinton appointed Gigi to serve as a member of his Advisory Committee on the Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters. The Electronic Frontier Foundation awarded Gigi one of its Internet Pioneer Awards in 2006. In 2018, the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ gave Gigi the Everett C. Parker Award, which is given in recognition of an individual whose work embodies the principles and values of the public interest in telecommunications and the media. In 2019, the National Journal named Gigi to its list of “50 people changing the game in Washington.” In March 2021, The Washingtonian magazine named Gigi one of its “Most Influential People in Washington.”

Gigi holds a B.S. in Broadcasting and Film, Summa Cum Laude, from the Boston University College of Communication and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Loretta Polk is Vice President & Deputy General Counsel of NCTA – The Internet & Television Association.  She has over 30 years of experience representing the cable industry on a wide variety of legal and regulatory matters, including video and broadband technology, competition, consumer protection, public safety and broadband adoption issues.  She leads the association’s privacy and cybersecurity legal and policy work.      

Over her career, Loretta has served on the Federal Communications Bar Association’s Executive Committee and co-chaired the former Cable Practice Committee.  She was also a trustee of the FCBA Foundation, co-chairing the high school and college scholarship program.  She also served on the D.C. Bar Technology Task Force and the Steering Committee of the Arts, Entertainment and Sports Law Section, where she was awarded the D.C. Bar’s “Outstanding Community Service Project” in 1998 for an education program in media and the arts.  In 2001, she completed the Cable Television and Marketing Association’s executive management program at Harvard Business School and was appointed to the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee from 2004 - 2007.

Loretta is a member of Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and in 2018 was among a group of women that received the Multichannel News and WICT-NY “Wonder Woman” award, which honors the accomplishments of women who have helped pave the way for younger generations of women in the evolving television, media and internet industries.  She now serves on the Emma Bowen Foundation National Advisory Council, which prepares minority youth for careers in the media and communications industry.  And she was a long-time member of the boards of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) and the Legal Aid Society.  Early in her legal career, she worked as a Legal Advisor at the U.S. Department of State and as an associate in the Washington office of Jones Day.  Loretta received her J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was Executive Editor of the Human Rights Law Review, and her B.A. from Rutgers University. 

Mark MacCarthy is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Technology Law and Policy at Georgetown Law and a Senior Policy Fellow at the Center for Business and Public Policy at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. He is a senior fellow at the Future of Privacy Forum, where he works on AI and data privacy projects. He is an adjunct faculty member in the Communication, Culture & Technology Program in the Graduate School at Georgetown University, where he teaches courses in technology policy, and he also teaches courses on privacy and AI ethics in the Philosophy Department. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Public Policy at the Software & Information Industry Association, where he directed initiatives and advised member companies on technology policy, privacy, AI ethics, content moderation and competition policy in tech. He has been a consultant on technology policy issues for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and for the Aspen Institute. His previous public policy experience includes senior positions with Visa, Inc., the Wexler|Walker Group, Capital Cities/ABC, and the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Indiana University and an M.A. in economics from the University of Notre Dame.

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.

Radhika Bhat is Vice President and Associate General Counsel of NCTA – The Internet & Television Association and represents the cable industry on matters related to the regulation of video, broadband, and telecommunications services.  Prior to joining NCTA, Radhika worked as an attorney specializing in cable and telecommunications regulatory and transactional matters in the D.C. offices of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. and Arent Fox LLP.  Radhika received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Rudy N. Brioché serves as Vice President for Global Public Policy and Policy Counsel for Comcast Corporation. In this role he focuses on the development of the company’s public policy positions and legislative analysis.  

Prior to joining Comcast, Rudy served as Legal Advisor to Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein at the Federal Communications Commission and Legislative Counsel to U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). In these roles, he focused on media and broadband policy. 

Earlier in his career, Rudy practiced law as a commercial litigator in New York City and Baltimore, and served as Counsel to the Washington Bureau of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  He also clerked for Judge André Davis on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and Chief Judge Robert Bell on the Maryland Court of Appeals. 

Rudy received a B.A. from Rutgers College, a J.D. from the University of Maryland, and an Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. 

Bobby serves as head of Media Bureau’s political programming staff, Washington, DC.  He is a 1972 JD graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and a 1968 graduate of the University of Florida.  As the FCC’s foremost authority on political programming regulation, Bobby travels (or did) travel  extensively throughout the United States to speak to broadcasters to assist in furthering compliance in this complicated and time-sensitive area. Bobby also advises the Chairman and other FCC Commissioners, the Office of General Counsel and the Media Bureau on all political programming issues. He has authored numerous FCC opinions and policy statements in political programming area, with particular expertise in political advertising regulation.  Bobby is credited with altering the approach to political programming enforcement by implementing an accessible, user-friendly mediation technique for resolution of the disputes arising daily in the political arena. This approach has almost entirely eliminated formal complaints and typically results in successful informal resolution of hundreds of disputes in any specific election period. In doing so, Bobby has significantly reduced the size of his staff saving substantial sums of government funds and his office provides resolution in a time-sensitive manner so critical in the political arena.  Prior to joining FCC, Bobby was President of Cellar Door Management, a personal management company specializing in recording artists.

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.

Matthew Berry serves as the Commission’s Chief of Staff. He has previously served as the Commission's General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel. In those roles, he was responsible for providing legal advice to the Commission and managing the Commission's litigation docket. Prior to joining then-Commissioner Pai’s office in 2012, he was a Partner at Patton Boggs LLP, where he was a member of the firm's Technology and Communications practice group. Mr. Berry has also worked at the United States Department of Justice, serving as Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy and an attorney-adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel. During his tenure there, he earned the Department's John Marshall Award for providing legal advice related to counter-terrorism policy.

Mr. Berry has also served as a law clerk for United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas and Judge Laurence Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Additionally, he has worked as a staff attorney at the Institute for Justice. Mr. Berry graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College and received his J.D. from Yale Law School.

With a background as both an external advisor on privacy and security matters and corporate counsel for a global financial institution, Rachel Marmor, CIPP/E, is uniquely poised to counsel clients on a range of legal issues related to data governance and emerging technologies. Rachel prides herself on her ability to create pragmatic business solutions, allowing her clients to maximize the value of their information assets amid ever-changing global legal requirements. Rachel helps clients assess legal obligations and risks associated with the collection and use of data in their business processes, including privacy, retention requirements, cybersecurity, defensible disposal, and use of electronic data in litigations and investigations. As a former litigator, Rachel has a wealth of knowledge regarding what can go wrong with clients’ data, which she uses to advise on contractual requirements and vendor-management programs to mitigate risk. Leveraging her deep expertise in the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), Rachel advises clients on the foundational policies and consumer-facing procedures required for effective information management.

Judson Cary is Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at CableLabs, a non-profit research and development organization owned by the global cable industry.  He also serves as General Counsel of the Society of Cable and Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), the ANSI-accredited standards body for the 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, strategy  patents, patent pools, licensing, standards, antitrust, security, content protection, complex multi-industry agreements, and the laws and regulations governing cable operators in these areas.

He is also President of Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF), and Treasurer of the Open Connectivity Forum (OCF, a forum for IoT).

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.

Christianna Barnhart leads the technology and telecommunications team for US Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI). She has over a decade of experience in telecommunications and technology policy in both the public and private sectors, and her team provides counsel on issues related to spectrum policy, privacy, net neutrality, broadband deployment, and artificial intelligence. Before coming to the Senate, Christi was Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Charter Communications, where she represented Charter’s interests before the Federal Communications Commission and other federal agencies. At Charter, Christi oversaw the successful merger of Charter, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks, resulting in Charter becoming the second-largest cable operator in the United States. Prior to joining Charter, Christi held several leadership roles at the Federal Communications Commission. She was an advisor to Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, and managed the Rural Health Care universal service support fund, a $400 million dollar program designed to improve broadband connectivity in rural areas for telehealth and telemedicine. Christi holds a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and received her JD and MBA from American University. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and three children

Maneesha Mithal is the Associate Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, which focuses on consumer privacy, data security, and credit reporting issues.  In this capacity, she has managed significant initiatives, including reports on Big Data, the data broker industry, the Internet of Things, consumer privacy, facial recognition, and mobile privacy disclosures.  She has testified before Congress on data security, connected cars, facial recognition, and identity theft.  She has also supervised dozens of Commission enforcement actions, including against companies such as Wyndham, Google, Youtube, Equifax, Facebook, Twitter, HTC, Snapchat, Uber, and Lenovo.  She has held numerous positions at the Commission, including Chief of Staff of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, and Assistant Director of the International Division of Consumer Protection.  Prior to joining the Commission 1999, Ms. Mithal was an attorney at the Washington law firm of Covington & Burling.  Ms. Mithal earned her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.