Paul Werner is a partner and Co-Practice Leader of the firm's Business Trials Practice Group resident in the Washington D.C. office.
Areas of Practice
Mr. Werner is a seasoned first-chair litigator, whose prodigious representations over the past decade have been before diverse decision-making authorities, including all levels of courts and administrative tribunals, federal and state, as well as arbitral tribunals, and spanned a wide range of complex litigation matters. These matters have run the gamut from “bet the company” commercial disputes to controversies involving statutory, constitutional, communications, energy, environmental, insurance, intellectual property, false advertising, privacy, and administrative law issues.
Mr. Werner has extensive experience representing cable operators and other broadband providers in matters involving communications law issues, including local franchising, PEG programming, rights-of-way, pole attachments and infrastructure deployment, and a host of other related issues. He has represented providers on these issues in state and federal courts and participated in rulemakings and adjudications before the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”).
Mr. Werner also regularly defends companies against putative class actions, particularly suits involving claims of unfair competition, state consumer protection statutes, and products liability. Recently, he successfully represented an association of communications providers in defeating certification of a putative class of landowners seeking damages for alleged unauthorized “telecommunications” use of easements they had granted to an electric utility, and is currently defending the trial court's decision on appeal.
Mr. Werner is additionally experienced in representing companies in governmental and internal investigations. He has represented clients in criminal and civil investigations, including investigations arising under the False Claim Act, the Anti-Kickback Act, and the FCC E-Rate program.
His practice includes significant trial and appellate experience. In recent years, Paul has tried multiple disputes to judgment as co-lead counsel. He also recently assisted with a multi-week trial in federal court involving false advertising claims that resulted in a favorable jury verdict. Mr. Werner also regularly represents clients in state and federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Werner's matters are regularly reported in the media, including Law360.
Mr. Werner is dedicated to pro bono representations and public interest litigation. On behalf of a community organization, Paul successfully obtained an appellate decision overturning a trial court decision that had upheld a planning board's approval of a commercial water bottling operation in an environmentally-protected area with trailheads into the Catskill mountains. And he is currently representing an environmental organization in federal court litigation arising under the Environmental Species Act, as well as a separate not-for-profit organization in unrelated environmental litigation concerning the Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska.
•Media, Technology and Telecoms, Legal 500, 2012-2016
•Washington D.C. Super Lawyer, 2014-2016
•Successfully represented the California Cable and Telecommunications Association in defeating certification of a class of statewide landowners seeking injunctive relief and damages for alleged wrongful telecommunications” use of easements they granted to an electric utility.
•Won summary judgment in favor of a cable operator in long-running federal court litigation brought by a local franchising authority claiming millions of dollars in damages for an alleged breach of the franchise agreement. (Mecklenburg County v. Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse P'ship, 2010 WL 391279 (W.D.N.C. 2010))
•Won summary judgment in favor of a cable operator in federal court litigation brought by local franchising authorities alleging violation of Public, Educational, and Governmental obligations
•Defended cable operator through a two-week trial of a state court action brought by an investor-owned electric utility claiming the operator owed millions of dollars in back pole attachment fees for allegedly providing telecommunications services
•Defended an international automobile manufacturer in coordinated putative class actions involving products liability and state consumer protection statutes based on allegations of defective alignment systems and consequent tire wear. (In Re LR3 Litigation (MDL 2008))
•Law clerk to The Honorable Karen LeCraft Henderson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Publications & News
Eye on Privacy Blog Posts
• Six Things You Need to Know Before Collecting Biometric Information, June 2, 2016
FCC Law Blog Posts
• Patient Zero - Public Knowledge Seeks FCC Review of A New “Zero Rated” Service, March 14, 2016
• FCC Warns Broadband Internet Service Providers Of Coming Expanded Title II Privacy Regulation, May 29, 2015
• Cyberspace Oddity: The FCC Regulates Internet Services as Common Carrier Telecommunications Services, 'Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet, ' February 27, 2015
• The Eleventh Circuit Reaffirms FCC's Authority To Coordinate National TCPA Policy And Ensure Uniformity Of Enforcement in Mais v. Gulf Coast Collection Bureau, October 16, 2014
• Ninth Circuit Thinks Inside the Bun, Applies Traditional Agency Principles To Dismiss Putative TCPA Class Action Claims Against Taco Bell Corp. July 17 2014
• Call Me Maybe?: The New TCPA Position Announced by The Federal Communications Commission in Nigro v. Mercantile Adjustment Bureau, July 7, 2014
• Supreme Court Sides with Broadcasters in Aereo Decision, June 30, 2014
• North Carolina Court Issues First Decision Controlling Coop Pole Attachment Rates, May 29, 2014
• Once More Unto the Breach: the FCC Calls for Comments on Revamping Net Neutrality Regulations, May 16, 2014
• Twice Bitten But Not Shy, The FCC Is Handed The DC Circuit's Prescription for Internet Regulation, January 20, 2014
•Net Neutrality: What's Next for FCC's Open Internet Rules
Variety, June 17, 2016
•Is the net neutrality fight over?
Cnet, June 15, 2016
•Telecoms Proceed With Leaner Baltimore Rate Hike Suit
Law 360, June 15, 2016
•Net Neutrality Win Is Vindication For Wheeler's FCC
Law 360, June 14, 2016
•Net Neutrality Opponents Weighing Next Move
Bloomberg BNA, June 14, 2016
•Sheppard Mullin Chases the Cool Quotient in D.C.
The National Law Journal, September 8, 2014