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Admitted to Practice

  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd 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 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court District of Columbia

Peter Karanjia

Co-chair, Appellate Practice
Peter Karanjia is co-chair of Davis Wright Tremaine’s appellate practice group and a member of the firm's communications, media, IP & technology group and its privacy & security group. Peter has extensive experience in appellate and regulatory litigation (having litigated over 100 appeals), government investigations, and complex civil litigation. For each of the past three years (2015, 2016, and 2017), Law360 selected Peter as an "MVP of the Year" for his "successes in high-stakes litigation." Chambers USA (2018) recommends Peter for litigation and enforcement defense, noting that “[h]e does a lot of fantastic work.” And the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers features Peter among the leading lawyers in Washington, D.C., in the areas of Privacy & Data Security Law, and Media Law.

Peter rejoined the firm in 2013 after serving for three years as deputy general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, where he was responsible for overseeing all of the agency’s litigation. At the FCC, Peter argued a number of precedent-setting appeals, including one—described by The New York Times as a "big win" for the Commission—involving novel issues concerning mobile Internet services on smartphones and tablets. Previously, Peter served as Special Counsel to New York Solicitor General (now New York Attorney General) Barbara D. Underwood.

Representative Experience

MetroPCS v. Picker

Successfully briefed and argued constitutional challenge to the California Public Utilities Commission’s assessment of a surcharge on broadband and other interstate service revenues derived from the sale of prepaid wireless service. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California struck down a California statute (the Prepaid Mobile Telephony Service Surcharge Collection Act) and three Resolutions adopted by the CPUC, concluding that both the statute and the Resolutions “conflict with federal law and are therefore preempted and unconstitutional.”  2018 WL 5816178, at *14 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 5, 2018)

State attorney general investigation

Representing Fortune 500 company in state attorney general investigation into allegedly unfair and deceptive practices. (Ongoing)

Privacy counseling

Advising clients on state privacy regulation and litigation-related issues. (Ongoing)

Ameren Corp. v. FCC

On behalf of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, successfully briefed and argued appeal as intervenor in support of a 2015 FCC order that limits the rents communications providers must pay to electric utilities in order to use their facilities to provide broadband service.  The FCC anticipated that its order would incentivize broadband deployment by saving Internet Service Providers $150-200 million per year. 865 F.3d 1009 (8th Cir. 2017), cert. denied, 138 S. Ct. 1695 (2018)

Neustar v. FCC

On behalf of intervenor trade associations CTIA and USTelecom, successfully briefed and argued before the D.C. Circuit an appeal from FCC order selecting new vendor to provide database administration services that are currently provided by Neustar under a contract worth more than $400 million per year. 857 F.3d 886 (D.C. Cir. 2017)

Facebook v. United States

Filed amicus brief in the D.C. Court of Appeals on behalf of eight technology companies (Apple, Avvo, Dropbox, Google, Microsoft, Snap, Twitter, and Yelp) and The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in support of Facebook’s First Amendment challenge to a gag order concerning warrants the company received under the Stored Communications Act. The search warrants were issued in connection with a criminal investigation into incidents arising out of the January 20, 2017 presidential inauguration. Following briefing, the government voluntarily dismissed its appeal. 2017 WL 5502809 (D.C. Super. Ct. Crim. Div. Nov. 9, 2017)

T-Mobile v. City of Roswell, Georgia

Successfully sought cert. and obtained reversal of 11th Circuit decision in litigation challenging municipality’s denial of a wireless provider’s application to install a wireless facility. S Ct., 2015 WL 159278 (Jan. 14, 2015)

FCC cybersecurity enforcement action

Represented telecommunications providers in the first ever FCC enforcement proceeding involving cybersecurity. Case arose out of an alleged data breach involving disclosure of proprietary customer information online. As Bloomberg BNA reported, the case not only marked the FCC’s “ent[ry] [into] the data security enforcement filed,” it was also (at the time) “the largest privacy action in the FCC’s history.” In 2015, the case settled on favorable terms for a fraction of the fine proposed by the FCC. (2015)

Matter of a warrant to search a certain email account controlled and maintained by Microsoft Corporation

Represented Amazon and Accenture as amici curiae before the Second Circuit in a closely-watched case involving whether the government may issue search warrants under the federal Stored Communications Act (SCA) to require providers of cloud computing services to turn over emails and other electronic documents stored in datacenters overseas—here, emails stored by Microsoft on a server in Dublin, Ireland. Consistent with the position of our amicus brief, the Second Circuit held that SCA search warrants cannot be applied outside the United States. The New York Times described this as a “surprise victory” in a case with significant “privacy implications for the growing cloud computing business, with implications for internet email and online storage, among other services.”  829 F.3d 197 (2d Cir. 2016), vacated as moot, 138 S. Ct. 1186 (2018)

FTC v. T-Mobile

Represented T-Mobile in the first ever litigation brought by the Federal Trade Commission against a telecommunications carrier under Section 5 of the FTC Act. The FTC alleged that the carrier engaged in deceptive and unfair practices by charging customers for unauthorized premium text message (SMS) services provided by third parties.  As PC Magazine reported, this was “the second-largest mobile cramming settlement ever handed down.”  Angela Moscaritolo, ‘T-Mobile Settles Phone-Cramming Case for $90 Million,’ PCMag, Dec. 19, 2014. It is also one of a handful of settlements ever negotiated that involved the FTC, the FCC, and the Attorneys General from all 50 States and the District of Columbia.

New Cingular Wireless PCS, et al. v. Picker, et al.

Represented Comcast in a successful joint effort by a coalition of telecommunications providers to block a ruling by an Administrative Law Judge of the California Public Utilities Commission, ordering the providers to share their highly sensitive business data with third parties.  The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted plaintiffs a preliminary injunction, preventing disclosure of the data, and the Commission subsequently terminated its proceeding.

Comcast of Oregon v. City of Eugene

Briefed and argued before the Supreme Court of Oregon a case of first impression under the Internet Tax Freedom Act. 359 Or. 528 (2016).

Twitter v. Holder

Representing The Washington Post, The Guardian, NPR, BuzzFeed, and other media organizations as amici curiae in lawsuit challenging government restrictions on information that tech companies may publish in transparency reports that disclose the aggregate numbers of surveillance requests they have received from the government for information about their customers. (Ongoing)

Additional Qualifications

  • Deputy General Counsel, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, D.C., 2010-2013
  • Special Counsel to the Solicitor General, Office of New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, New York, N.Y., 2007-2010
  • Partner and Associate, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, New York, N.Y., 2000-2007
  • Associate (Litigation Department), Davis Polk & Wardwell, New York, N.Y., 1998-2000
  • Winner of Attorney General’s Award (Office of New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo), 2010

Professional & Community Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • American Constitution Society
  • Federal Communications Bar Association
  • Kennedy Scholars’ Association
  • Supreme Court Institute, Georgetown Law (Moot Court Program)

Professional Recognition

  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Media Law and Privacy and Data Security Law by Best Lawyers, 2019-present
  • Named as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite (District of Columbia) by Chambers USA, 2018
  • Listed as "Up and Coming" in Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite (District of Columbia) by Chambers USA, 2017
  • Named "Telecommunications MVP of the Year," Law360, 2015-2017
"He is a terrific guy and a great lawyer. He does a lot of fantastic work." -Chambers USA 2018