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  • International Developments
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  • Mass Media

2017 National Lawyers Convention

November 16, 2017

The 2017 National Lawyers Convention is scheduled for Thursday, November 16 through Saturday, November 18 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. More information will be posted later this summer.

Litigation Update: United States Telecom Association v. Federal Communications Commission - Podcast

Telecommunications Practice Group Podcast
Daniel Berninger, Adam J. White, Brett A. Shumate June 06, 2017

On May 1, the D.C. Circuit denied petitions for en banc review of United States Telecom Association v. Federal Communications Commission. The petitioners challenge the FCC’s Open Internet Order, in which the FCC established Internet access as a telecommunications service subject to Title II of the Communications Act and adopted net neutrality rules.  At the same time, the new Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, has announced that he plans to reclassify Internet access as a Title I information service and roll back some of the net neutrality rules.

Daniel Berninger, one of the petitioners in the case, and Adam White, who has been counsel for the intervenors, joined us to discuss the status of the case. In particular, discussed the D.C. Circuit’s order denying rehearing, the concurring opinion by Judges Srinivasan and Tatel, the dissenting opinions from Judges Brown and Kavanaugh, the pending FCC rulemaking, and the potential for Supreme Court review of the D.C. Circuit’s decision affirming the FCC’s Open Internet Order. Brett Shumate, counsel to petitioners Alamo Broadband and Daniel Berninger, moderated the discussion.

Featuring:

  • Daniel Berninger, Founder, VCXC - Voice Communication Exchange Committee 
  • Adam J. White, Research Fellow, The Hoover Institution and Adjunct Professor, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
  • Moderator: Brett A. Shumate, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP

Litigation Update: United States Telecom Association v. Federal Communications Commission

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Teleforum
Daniel Berninger, Adam J. White, Brett A. Shumate June 02, 2017

On May 1, the D.C. Circuit denied petitions for en banc review of United States Telecom Association v. Federal Communications Commission. The petitioners challenge the FCC’s Open Internet Order, in which the FCC established Internet access as a telecommunications service subject to Title II of the Communications Act and adopted net neutrality rules.  At the same time, the new Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, has announced that he plans to reclassify Internet access as a Title I information service and roll back some of the net neutrality rules.

Daniel Berninger, one of the petitioners in the case, and Adam White, who has been counsel for the intervenors, will join us to discuss the status of the case. In particular, they will discuss the D.C. Circuit’s order denying rehearing, the concurring opinion by Judges Srinivasan and Tatel, the dissenting opinions from Judges Brown and Kavanaugh, the pending FCC rulemaking, and the potential for Supreme Court review of the D.C. Circuit’s decision affirming the FCC’s Open Internet Order. Brett Shumate, counsel to petitioners Alamo Broadband and Daniel Berninger, will moderate the discussion.

Featuring:

  • Daniel Berninger, Founder, VCXC - Voice Communication Exchange Committee 
  • Adam J. White, Research Fellow, The Hoover Institution and Adjunct Professor, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
  • Moderator: Brett A. Shumate, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP

Fifth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference

The Relationship between Congress and the Executive Branch
May 17, 2017

The Fifth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference will examine the changing and often convoluted relationship between the legislative and the executive branches in the United States government. This daylong conference will feature plenary panels, addresses, and breakout panels on topics such as “The Unitary Executive,” “Chevron Deference,” and “Congressional Oversight of Voting Rights.”

The Conference will begin with an opening address by Senator Mike Lee and end with a closing address by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and a reception.

The Political Spectrum: The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology, from Herbert Hoover to the Smartphone - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Thomas W. Hazlett May 12, 2017

Popular legend has it that before the Federal Radio Commission was established in 1927, the radio spectrum was in chaos, with broadcasting stations blasting powerful signals to drown out rivals. In this fascinating and entertaining history, Prof. Thomas Winslow Hazlett, a distinguished scholar in law and economics, debunks the idea that the U.S. government stepped in to impose necessary order. Instead, regulators blocked competition at the behest of incumbent interests and, for nearly a century, have suppressed innovation while quashing out-of-the-mainstream viewpoints.
 
In his book, The Political Spectrum: The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology, from Herbert Hoover to the Smartphone, Prof. Hazlett details how spectrum officials produced a “vast wasteland” that they publicly criticized but privately protected. The story twists and turns, as farsighted visionaries—and the march of science—rise to challenge the old regime. Over decades, reforms to liberate the radio spectrum have generated explosive progress, ushering in the “smartphone revolution,” ubiquitous social media, and the amazing wireless world now emerging. Still, the author argues, the battle is not even half won.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Thomas W. Hazlett, H.H. Macaulay Endowed Professor of Economics, Clemson College of Business

The Political Spectrum: The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology, from Herbert Hoover to the Smartphone

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Teleforum
Thomas W. Hazlett May 11, 2017

Popular legend has it that before the Federal Radio Commission was established in 1927, the radio spectrum was in chaos, with broadcasting stations blasting powerful signals to drown out rivals. In this fascinating and entertaining history, Prof. Thomas Winslow Hazlett, a distinguished scholar in law and economics, debunks the idea that the U.S. government stepped in to impose necessary order. Instead, regulators blocked competition at the behest of incumbent interests and, for nearly a century, have suppressed innovation while quashing out-of-the-mainstream viewpoints.
 
In his book, The Political Spectrum: The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology, from Herbert Hoover to the Smartphone, Prof. Hazlett details how spectrum officials produced a “vast wasteland” that they publicly criticized but privately protected. The story twists and turns, as farsighted visionaries—and the march of science—rise to challenge the old regime. Over decades, reforms to liberate the radio spectrum have generated explosive progress, ushering in the “smartphone revolution,” ubiquitous social media, and the amazing wireless world now emerging. Still, the author argues, the battle is not even half won.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Thomas W. Hazlett, H.H. Macaulay Endowed Professor of Economics, Clemson College of Business

State 'Around Market' Action and FERC: The End of Competitive Wholesale Electric Markets? - Event Audio/Video

Telecommunications & Electronic Media and Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Groups
Larry Gasteiger, Raymond L. Gifford, Cheryl A. LaFleur, William W. Hogan, Steven Schleimer, Anthony T. Clark April 24, 2017

For the past two decades, the U.S. has experimented with “market”-based competitive wholesale electric markets.  Through FERC-superintended regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs), large regions of the country have procured electricity through a competitive generation model.  Recently, those markets have been questioned as baseload electric resources – nuclear, coal and combined-cycle gas – have become unprofitable in the face of tax-favored renewable energy and low cost natural gas.  States, in particular, have engaged in regulatory and legislative steps to rescue distressed baseload resources.  The New York Clean Energy Standard, the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Bill and moves by states as politically disparate as Massachusetts, Ohio, Connecticut, Texas and California have brought the issue of the future of electric markets to the fore.  This program will examine the legal and regulatory issues facing the states, the FERC, the courts and the entire electricity industry. 

This program was held at the National Press Club on April 18, 2017, and included an opening Keynote from Acting FERC Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur followed by an expert panel discussion.

Featuring:

  • Larry Gasteiger, Chief, Federal Regulatory Policy for PSEG
  • Ray Gifford, Denver Managing Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP
  • Hon. Cheryl A. LaFleur, Acting FERC Chairman
  • Prof. William (Bill) Hogan, Research Director, Harvard Electricity Policy Group, Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy, Harvard University
  • Steven Schleimer, Senior Vice President for Government and Regulatory Affairs, Calpine Corp.
  • Moderator: Tony Clark, Former FERC Commissioner, Senior Advisor, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

National Press Club
Washington, DC

Telecommunications Law in the New Administration - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Nicholas Degani, Patricia J. Paoletta, Bryan N. Tramont April 18, 2017

In late March, Congress used the Congressional Review Act to reverse the FCC’s controversial Broadband ISP Privacy Order. The FCC had overwritten the FTC’s prior regulation of ISP privacy, after President Obama took to YouTube following the 2014 mid-term elections, to call for the regulation of ISPs as common carriers,  under a framework dating from the monopoly provision of telephone service. 

The current FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai has announced he aims to deregulate, focused on removing outdated regulations to encourage investment and innovation. Pai’s Digital Empowerment Agenda sees competitive broadband networks as engines of economic growth.  Observers expect the underlying decision from the Obama era to regulate ISPs as common carriers – aka Open Internet or Net Neutrality – to be re-considered soon. The Chairman has also proposed revising broadcast ownership rules to reflect today’s more diverse media landscape, and repurposing spectrum to facilitate the next generation of mobile broadband and Internet of Things. Maximizing access to spectrum for “5G” broadband and IoT will require repurposing some federal spectrum, so the President’s federal spectrum manager at Commerce (NTIA) will play a critical role.

In our third segment of the Legal Options for the New Administration Teleforum Series, Bryan Tramont, Chair of the Federalist Society Telecommunications Executive Committee, moderated a discussion with Chairman Ajit Pai’s Senior Counsel, Nick Degani, and Patricia Paoletta, a telecom partner at the law firm of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP. 

Featuring:

  • Nicholas Degani, Senior Counsel to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai; formerly Wireline Legal Advisor to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai
  • Patricia Paoletta, Partner at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, named by the Trump-Pence Transition Team to the FCC Landing Team
  • Moderator: Bryan Tramont, Managing Partner of Wilkinson, Barker & Knauer, former FCC Chief of Staff; Chair of the Federalist Society Telecommunications Executive Committee

State ‘Around Market’ Action and FERC: The End of Competitive Wholesale Electric Markets?

Sponsored by the Telecommunications & Electronic Media and Environmental Law & Property Rights Practice Groups
William W. Hogan, Steven Schleimer, Larry Gasteiger, Raymond L. Gifford, Anthony T. Clark, Cheryl A. LaFleur April 18, 2017

For the past two decades, the U.S. has experimented with “market”-based competitive wholesale electric markets.  Through FERC-superintended regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs), large regions of the country have procured electricity through a competitive generation model.  Recently, those markets have been questioned as baseload electric resources – nuclear, coal and combined-cycle gas – have become unprofitable in the face of tax-favored renewable energy and low cost natural gas.  States, in particular, have engaged in regulatory and legislative steps to rescue distressed baseload resources.  The New York Clean Energy Standard, the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Bill and moves by states as politically disparate as Massachusetts, Ohio, Connecticut, Texas and California have brought the issue of the future of electric markets to the fore.  This program will examine the legal and regulatory issues facing the states, the FERC, the courts and the entire electricity industry. 

This program will include an opening Keynote from Acting FERC Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur, and will be followed by an expert panel discussion.

Featuring:

  • Larry Gasteiger, Chief, Federal Regulatory Policy for PSEG
  • Ray Gifford, Denver Managing Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP
  • Hon. Cheryl A. LaFleur, Acting FERC Chairman
  • Prof. William (Bill) Hogan, Research Director, Harvard Electricity Policy Group, Raymond Plank Professor of Global Energy Policy, Harvard University
  • Steven Schleimer, Senior Vice President for Government and Regulatory Affairs, Calpine Corp.
  • Moderator: Tony Clark, Former FERC Commissioner, Senior Advisor, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

 

Telecommunications Law in the New Administration

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Teleforum
Nicholas Degani, Patricia J. Paoletta, Bryan N. Tramont April 13, 2017

In late March, Congress used the Congressional Review Act to reverse the FCC’s controversial Broadband ISP Privacy Order.  The FCC had overwritten the FTC’s prior regulation of ISP privacy, after President Obama took to YouTube following the 2014 mid-term elections, to call for the regulation of ISPs as common carriers,  under a framework dating from the monopoly provision of telephone service. 

The current FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai has announced he aims to deregulate, focused on removing outdated regulations to encourage investment and innovation.  Pai’s Digital Empowerment Agenda sees competitive broadband networks as engines of economic growth.  Observers expect the underlying decision from the Obama era to regulate ISPs as common carriers – aka Open Internet or Net Neutrality – to be re-considered soon.  The Chairman has also proposed revising broadcast ownership rules to reflect today’s more diverse media landscape, and repurposing spectrum to facilitate the next generation of mobile broadband and Internet of Things.  Maximizing access to spectrum for “5G” broadband and IoT will require repurposing some federal spectrum, so the President’s federal spectrum manager at Commerce (NTIA) will play a critical role.

In our third segment of the Legal Options for the New Administration Teleforum Series, Bryan Tramont, Chair of the Federalist Society Telecommunications Executive Committee, will moderate a discussion with Chairman Ajit Pai’s Senior Counsel, Nick Degani, and Patricia Paoletta, a telecom partner at the law firm of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP. 

Featuring:

  • Nicholas Degani, Senior Counsel to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai; formerly Wireline Legal Advisor to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai
  • Patricia Paoletta, Partner at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, named by the Trump-Pence Transition Team to the FCC Landing Team
  • Moderator: Bryan Tramont, Managing Partner of Wilkinson, Barker & Knauer, former FCC Chief of Staff; Chair of the Federalist Society Telecommunications Executive Committee