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Experience List
DWT
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Admitted to Practice

  • District of Columbia, 1970
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit

Burt Braverman

BravermanBurt
Partner
T202.973.4210
F202.973.4410
Burt Braverman represents clients in all segments of the Communications and Media industries. He has argued and tried cases in the Supreme Court and in federal and state courts across the country, as well as numerous federal, state and local administrative agencies; arbitrated and mediated cases; and served as an arbitrator. Cases handled by Burt in the communications and media industries have included theft of concept, sponsorship agreement disputes, defamation and false light claims, trademark and copyright infringement and enforcement, franchising, private and municipal overbuilds, level-playing-field disputes, antitrust, constitutional challenges, local right-of-way and zoning regulation of telecom carriers, and a variety of other issues arising under federal, state and local laws and commercial relationships. Burt also has litigated many cases outside of the communications and media fields, including antitrust actions, trade secret claims, Freedom of Information cases, wrongful termination and employment discrimination claims, and many others.

Burt is a recognized leader in the industry for the work he does for program networks. He advises them on a wide variety of commercial and regulatory issues, such as content licensing, affiliate distribution agreements, program production and acquisition, sponsorship agreements, closed captioning, program access, Internet and website matters, new media, satellite distribution, foreign distribution, intellectual property (trademark and copyright), cross-platform distribution, as well as general business strategy. Burt has litigated many cases for networks involving theft of concept, affiliate distribution agreements, sponsorship agreements, defamation and false light claims, trademark infringement, and satellite distribution contracts.

In addition to litigating antitrust cases, Burt also counsels clients on the full spectrum of antitrust and competition issues facing their businesses, including matters such as joint ventures, group purchasing, exclusive distributorships, tying, resale price maintenance, standard setting, and trade association activities. He also counsels clients on premerger notifications to the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice, having obtained agency clearance for numerous mergers and acquisitions, and has represented clients in responding to FTC and DOJ investigations.

Burt also has an active international practice, and has consulted with clients, attorneys and regulators in numerous countries around the world on communications issues including antitrust, undersea cable disputes, content distribution, and satellite transport agreements. He has performed projects sponsored by international bodies such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development for development of telecom regulatory frameworks and infrastructure in countries such as Mexico and Peru. He also advises clients concerning compliance with OFAC, ITAR, EAR and other U.S. laws regulating transactions with and in foreign countries.

Representative Experience

Access to Public Records/Trade Secrets

Anderson v. Health and Human Services

Represented Dow Corning Corp. in multiple cases to enjoin government release under Freedom of Information Act of trade secrets relating to silicone breast implants and injectable silicone.

Chrysler Corp. v. Brown, Secretary of Defense

Represented Chrysler Corp. in seminal U.S. Supreme Court case that established right of companies to enjoin federal agencies from disclosing businesses' trade secrets pursuant to Freedom of Information Act.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. U.S. Dep't. of Homeland Security

Represented National Security Archive as amicus curiae, on pro bono basis, in support of lawsuit brought under FOIA to compel Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service to publicly disclose records reflecting the identities of persons who visited the President and Vice President.

Gulf Oil Corp. v. Brock, Secretary of Energy

Obtained injunction against federal agency's threatened disclosure pursuant to Freedom of Information Act of Gulf Oil's trade secrets and confidential business information.

Tax Analysts v. Department of Justice

Represented West Publishing Corp. in open records/trade secret litigation that upheld Department of Justice's denial of request for public disclosure under Freedom of Information Act of West's trade secret Juris database.

U.S. Steel Corp. v. Schlesinger, Secretary of Defense

Obtained injunction against federal agency's threatened disclosure pursuant to Freedom of Information Act of U.S. Steel's trade secrets and confidential business information.

Trade Secrets

Boeing Computer Services v. National Computer Services et al.

Represented employee accused of stealing trade secrets, resulting in favorable settlement relieving employee of all liability.

Dicom Industries, Inc. v. Sperry Univac for Sperry Univac (Unisys)

Co-counsel in successful defense of Sperry Univac (Unisys) in trade secret case alleging misappropriation of plaintiff's software.

Litigation/Communications

Outdoor Life Network and Speedvision Network v. Echo Star Communications

Represented cable television networks in lawsuit arising from DBS distributor's breach of networks' distribution contract, resulting in favorable settlement.

Branch Banking Company v. PanAmSat and Seaton Broadcasting

Represented cable television network in contract litigation with satellite operator regarding unauthorized satellite transponder migration, obtaining favorable settlement.

Antitrust

Antitrust counsel

Advised numerous companies regarding structuring and operation of joint buying, distribution, development and standard setting activities, interlocking directorates, and other issues concerning compliance with U.S. antitrust laws.

Hart Scott Rodino premerger clearances

Obtained numerous Hart Scott Rodino premerger clearances from the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission for acquisitions or mergers involving cable television companies, Internet access businesses, movie rental companies, and others.

T.V. Signal Company of Aberdeen v. AT&T et al.

Represented cable television operator in successful antitrust litigation, obtaining judgment establishing Sherman Act liability against AT&T and its subsidiary Northwestern Bell based on essential facilities and bathtub conspiracy claims.

Cable

Bestview Cable v. City of Abbeville, S.C.

Obtained injunction for cable television operator enjoining rival company from operating competing cable system and ordering dismantling of system.

James Cable Partners v. City of Jamestown, TN

Obtained federal and state court injunctions for cable television operator, enjoining municipality from operating competing cable system, and subsequent contempt order and attorney fee award against city for violation of prior injunction.

Communications Regulatory

FCC rulemaking proceedings

Regularly represents coalitions of cable television program networks in rulemaking proceedings before the FCC in opposing efforts to impose regulations that would undermine program networks’ economic model and significantly restrict their distribution.

Constitutional Law

DirecTV, Inc. v. Treesh, Commissioner of the Revenue

Represented Kentucky Cable & Telecommunications Association, as amicus curiae, in federal district court and court of appeals, in support of successful defense of constitutional challenge (under Commerce Clause) by DBS operators to Kentucky sales and excise tax equalization legislation.

C-Span v. FCC

Represented consortium of cable television networks, as amici curiae, in support of constitutional challenge to FCC leased access regulations.

Credit Recovery & Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy and tax code issues

Represented the liquidating trustee of a major telecommunications company in potential litigation and ensuing negotiations involving complex bankruptcy and tax code issues that led to favorable confidential settlement.

In re Pappas Telecasting, Inc.

Represented the Trustee in Bankruptcy as special communications counsel in the bankruptcy of Pappas Telecasting Companies, handling all regulatory representation of 25 television stations, assignment of stations' licenses, and other communications issues relating to the wind-up of the bankruptcy estate.

Defamation

Oz Technology v. Maryland Public Television et al.

Obtained dismissal of false light/defamation case against Speedvision Network.

The Local Church et al. v. Harvest House Publishers

Represented cable television network operator and publisher, Inspiration Networks, as amicus curiae, in support of publisher's successful First Amendment defense of defamation action brought against publisher for including discussion of plaintiff religious organization in book on religious cults.

Employment & Labor

Cramer v. Housing Opportunities Commission

Obtained recovery for plaintiff in trial of negligence in hiring claim, establishing new law in State of Maryland.

Wrongful termination claim

Represented Sperry Univac (Unisys) in successful defense of wrongful termination litigation.

Government Contracts

In the matter of Adelphia Communications Corp.

Represented Adelphia Communications Corp. in defense of a nationwide federal contract debarment action brought by U.S. Department of the Air Force and the U.S. General Services Administration, obtaining complete rescission of the debarment.

Watson Cable v. Department of Air Force

Obtained substantial settlement for cable television operator, Watson Cable, from U.S. Department of Air Force in Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals litigation arising from agency's breach of cable television operator's exclusive franchise.

International

Centennial Florida Switch Company v. Global Caribbean Network

Co-counsel in litigation arising from defendant contractor's alleged negligent installation of undersea cable for plaintiff telephone carrier, resulting in favorable confidential settlement.

Eiland v. University of Leicester

Represented British university in litigation concerning its distance learning program, obtaining judgment dismissing all claims.

Theft of Ideas

The Auto Channel v. Speedvision Network et al.

Obtained dismissal of all theft of concept and antitrust claims against defendant Speedvision Network.

Trademark Litigation

World Religious Relief d/b/a The Word Network v. Gospel Music Channel

Obtained dismissal of trademark lawsuit brought by competing cable television network. 563 F. Supp. 2d 714 (E.D. Mich. 2008)

Additional Qualifications

  • Partner, Cole Raywid & Braverman LLP, Washington, D.C., 1974-2006

Professional & Community Activities

  • Washingtonians for Children (division of Fedcap), member, advisory board
  • International Lawyers Group, member, Executive Committee
  • American Bar Association, Government Information and Right to Privacy Committee, Section of Administrative Law, former vice chair
  • Kids Enjoy Exercise Now of Greater D.C., board president
  • Kids Enjoy Exercise Now USA, member, board of directors
  • Partners For Kids, member, business community advisory board to District of Columbia Child & Family Services Agency
  • Annual District of Columbia Child & Family Services Agency Holiday Campaign for Foster Children
  • DC Works Student Intern Program, member, advisory board
  • Mount Zion and Female Union Band Society Cemetery, volunteer/advisor

Professional Recognition

  • Selected to Washington D.C. Super Lawyers, 2010, 2013-2014
  • Featured as a "2014 Dealmaker To Know," Multichannel News, April 21, 2014 ed.
  • Named to "Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll" by the D.C. Court of Appeals and the D.C. Superior Court, 2012
  • Named as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Telecom-Broadcast & Satellite: Regulatory (District of Columbia) by Chambers USA, 2008-2009
  • Selected to “The International Who's Who Legal” of Business Lawyers-Communications Lawyers, 2002-2007; Regulatory Communications Lawyers, 2003-2012
  • Recipient, Willard J. Wright Award for Outstanding Civic Performance, 2008  
  • Washington SmartCEO Magazine's 2007 "Legal Elite"
  • An International Who's Who of Telecoms Lawyers, 1st and 2nd editions
  • Cable TV Pioneers
12 from DWT's D.C office named to Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, read release