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Daniel M. Waggoner

Dan Dan WaggonerDaniel
Co-chair, Communications, Media & Information Technology Practice
Dan Waggoner focuses on communications, media, and intellectual property issues under the Communications Act, intellectual property laws and the First Amendment. He represents new and traditional programmers and content providers in advisory, transactional and specialized litigation matters, and provides transactional and regulatory support for a broad range of technology and communications companies, including platform and software companies, and online, wireless, and VoIP providers. Dan has a deep knowledge of the converging communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries and the legal and business issues facing them. At DWT he serves as the Strategy Chair for the Communications, Media and Intellectual Property Group.

Dan’s clients include Microsoft, Time Warner, T-Mobile, and Belo Corp.

Practice Highlights
  • Advises technology, media and communications companies on product and service rollouts
  • Works with companies throughout the entire wireless ecosystem on a range of strategic transactional and regulatory matters
  • Negotiates content, communications and technology contracts, as well joint ventures and strategic transactions
  • Advises national, regional and local media, and production companies and distributors on clearance and IP issues
  • Litigates specialized issues under the First Amendment, intellectual property laws and the Communications Act

Representative Experience

Clearance counsel

Regularly serves as clearance counsel for content issues, including IP, for various entertainment and production companies and is approved by most major carriers. (Ongoing)

Communications infrastructure

Advises on and negotiates strategic communications infrastructure and supply chain transactions for technology companies. (Ongoing)

Regulatory advice

Advises technology and other companies on communications regulatory issues. (Ongoing)

Breach of contract dispute for book author

In arbitration, successfully obtained dismissal of breach of contract claim arising from statement made in the defendant’s book. Arbitrator found that anti-SLAPP statute applied and dismissed the complaint because it failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. (2011)

MVNO and related negotiations for Clearwire Corporation

Worked on MVNO and other strategic transactions involving Sprint and Clearwire WiMAX businesses and strategic investors. (2008)

Global Crossing Telecommunications, Inc. v. Metrophones Telecommunications, Inc.

Represented Global Crossing in case involving enforceability of FCC regulations through private rights of action. 550 U.S. 45. (2007) Read more

U.S. West Communications v. Jennings

Represented AT&T Wireless in 9th Circuit Court in appeal of a ruling regarding various 1996 Telecommunications Act issues. 304 F.3d 950 (9th Cir. 2002)

Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.

In a case that set standards for copyright fair use in cases of parody, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the commercial nature of a parody does not render it presumptively beyond the bounds of fair use. Filed amicus curiae brief on behalf of HBO and other media companies. 510 U.S. 569, 114 S. Ct. 1164 (U.S. 1994)

Holliday v. Cable News Network (CNN)

Defended CNN against copyright infringement and breach of contract lawsuit brought by the videographer of the infamous home video depicting Rodney King's beating by Los Angeles police; obtained summary judgment dismissing claim. (1994) Read more

In re Cable News Network, Inc.

Represented CNN in prior restraint action brought by Manuel Noriega to prevent broadcast of tapes of phone conversations between Noriega and his defense counsel. Case involved conflict between First Amendment prohibition against prior restraints on media and Sixth Amendment right to fair trial. 917 F.2d 1543; cert. denied, 498 U.S. 976 (11th Cir. 1990)

Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. v. Connaughton

In a defamation case brought by a judicial candidate against a newspaper, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that actual malice was the threshold standard for a finding of libel. Filed amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Associated Press and other media organizations. 491 U.S. 657, 109 S. Ct. 2678 (U.S. 1989)

The Seattle Times Company v. Ishikawa

Represented The Seattle Times in a landmark case setting the rights of media access to court. The Supreme Court of Washington held that trial court judge erred in closing pretrial hearing and set standards describing when court may restrict access to criminal hearings or records. 97 Wn.2d 30, 640 P.2d 716 (Wash. 1982) Read more

Mark v. The Seattle Times Company

Represented The Seattle Times Company in case involving coverage of Medicaid fraud charges. In a landmark case setting high standards for defamation claims and defining the scope of the reporting privilege, the Court affirmed a summary judgment in favor of the Times. 96 Wn.2d 473, 635 P.2d 1081 (Wash. 1981) Read more

Professional & Community Activities

  • Advisory Board, Wireless Influencers Conferences, sponsored by Rutberg & Co.
  • Past Chair, Forum on Communications Law, American Bar Association
  • Co-chair, Pacific Northwest Chapter, Federal Communications Bar Association
  • Chair, MLRC-NAB-NAA Media Law Conference 

Professional Recognition

  • Named as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in First Amendment Law by Best Lawyers, 1991-2007; named in First Amendment Law and Communications Law, 2008-present
  • Selected by Best Lawyers as Seattle's "Lawyer of the Year" in Communications, 2012 
  • Selected to "Washington Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2003-2004, 2011-2015