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    Practices / Industries


    Lew Paper

    Lew Paper
    Retired Partner

    T: +1.202.663.8184 F: +1.202.663.8007

    Lew Paper is a retired partner in the Communications Practice of Pillsbury. Mr. Paper's experience and practice cover the full range of major communications issues, including broadcasting, telecommunications services, and new technologies. His primary focus is transactional matters involving broadcasting and other communications industries. That focus includes the negotiation and preparation of contracts, the prosecution of applications and other matters before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the negotiation and preparation of loan documents, and the handling of regulatory and contractual issues that arise in bankruptcies, receiverships, and workouts with lenders.

    Regulatory & Transactional
    Mr. Paper has counseled lenders and investors who provide debt and equity financing for the acquisition or construction of broadcast stations and other telecommunications properties; represented group owners as well as individual entrepreneurs in the acquisition, sale, and financing of television and radio stations; advised clients in broadcasting and other communications industries on the issuance of private and public debt and equity securities; advised national investment houses on FCC proceedings involving major transactions in broadcasting, wireless, and other telecommunications services; advised established companies and entrepreneurs with respect to wireless communications services on contractual, regulatory, and legislative matters; counseled Internet Service Providers and other users of telecommunications services on contract, regulatory, and financing matters; negotiated fiber optic construction and capacity agreements; represented cable programmers with respect to the lease of satellite transponders; counseled parties on regulatory and contractual matters with respect to Very Small Aperture Terminal networks and other satellite issues; represented television production companies on relevant aspects of communications law; negotiated broadcast network affiliation agreements; and represented cable companies before a state public utility commission in proceedings involving municipal franchises.

    NAB/RAB Radio Show
    Mr. Paper has been the principal force behind (and the moderator of) the annual Leadership Breakfast at the National Association of Broadcasters/Radio Advertising Bureau Radio Show. The Leadership Breakfast is an outgrowth of a Financing Conference – an annual and well-attended feature of the Radio Show before the NAB joined forces with the RAB – which Mr. Paper organized and moderated and which included one panel with representatives of the financial community (banks, private equity funds and other financial institutions) and a second panel with radio CEOs. The Leadership Breakfast includes a keynote speaker (usually a Wall Street analyst) to provide an overview of the radio industry's past and projected financial performance and a panel of radio company CEOs. Taylor on Radio-Info said on one occasion that the Finance Conferences were "a must-see for those anywhere around the operational side of the business," and Inside Radio said that the Leadership Breakfast is “your opportunity to learn from executives who’ve been in the driver’s seat for some of the biggest deals in radio.”

    Bankruptcy/Receivership and Other Financial Issues
    Mr. Paper has had innumerable engagements involving bankruptcies, receiverships, workouts, and other matters involving the client's debt structure. He has represented clients in bankruptcy and receivership proceedings, advised other clients in the acquisition of television and radio stations through auctions or other procedures established by a court in a bankruptcy or receivership proceeding, and represented receivers and trustees who have an obligation to sell television or radio stations for the benefit of creditors or other parties.

    Legislative Practice
    Mr. Paper has been involved in a variety of legislative matters over the years, which include representation of the National Cellular Resellers Association in the congressional debates leading to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (the law that established "regulatory parity" for cellular carriers and other providers of commercial mobile radio service and authorized the FCC to auction licenses for certain kinds of communications services).

    Litigation Practice
    Mr. Paper has extensive litigation experience in federal and state courts at the trial and appellate levels. That experience includes the presentation of oral argument before numerous United States Courts of Appeal. Mr. Paper was also one of the attorneys selected by the court to provide oral argument before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in the 1983 hearings on AT&T's Reorganization Plan.

    Prior Government Service
    Mr. Paper served as Assistant General Counsel and then as Associate General Counsel at the FCC between 1978 and 1981. In that capacity, he supervised a staff of attorneys whose principal responsibility was to review items presented to the FCC for decision. That experience required close interaction with the FCC Chairman, as well as the individual Commissioners and the Chiefs of the FCC Bureaus, on virtually every major initiative, including the promulgation of rules to govern cellular service, the inauguration of Direct Broadcast Satellite service, and the deregulation of cable television service.

    Between 1973 and 1975, Mr. Paper served as Legislative Counsel to Senator Gaylord Nelson in the United States Senate. In that capacity, Mr. Paper conceived and was the principal draftsman of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974, the law which authorized the federal government to take custody of President Nixon's tape recordings and documents. In later upholding the constitutionality of that act, the United States Supreme Court agreed with the lower court's conclusion that the law was "a reasonable response to the difficult problem caused by the mingling of personal and private documents and conversations in the midst of a vastly greater number of non-private documents and materials related to government objectives."

    Between 1983 and 1986, Mr. Paper served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he taught classes on broadcasting and telecommunications. Between 1971 and 1972, Mr. Paper was a Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center's Institute for Public Interest Representation.

    Honors & Awards
    • Legal 500 US, Telecom & Broadcast (2013)
    • Mr. Paper has long been listed in Marquis' Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Law and also as one of the top communications lawyers in Super Lawyers.

    United States District Court for the District of Columbia
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
    U.S. Supreme Court

    External Publications

    Mr. Paper is the author of the following books:

    Perfect: Don Larsen’s Miraculous World Series Game and the Men Who Made It Happen (New American Library hardback and paperback).

    Deadly Risks, a novel (Seven Locks Press hardback).

    Empire: William S. Paley and the Making of CBS (St. Martin’s Press hardback and paperback).

    Brandeis: An Intimate Biography (Prentice-Hall hardback & Citadel paperback).

    John F. Kennedy: The Promise and the Performance (Crown Publishers hardback with a Foreword by James MacGregor Burns and DaCapo paperback with Special Forward by Senator Bill Bradley).

    Mr. Paper's articles on communications issues and other topics have appeared in a variety of publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The American Scholar, Broadcasting, and Electronic Media. One of his articles, "Getting Personal: The Politics of the Wireless Revolution," was included in an annual publication of the Aspen Institute for Information Studies. Mr. Paper’s article in the Harvard Journal on Legislation, "The Legislative History of Title III of the Voting Rights Act of 1970"—which focused on the federal law giving the right to vote to 18 year old citizens—was cited in the United States Supreme Court's decision upholding the law and described as "a full collection of relevant materials."

    District of Columbia
    State of Maryland
    J.D., Harvard Law School, 1971
    LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, 1972
    B.A., University of Michigan, 1968
    with highest distinction

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