Gail A. Karish
300 South Grand Avenue
2000 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Gail A. Karish is a partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP who focuses on telecommunications, assisting clients in California and across the country with a wide range of regulatory and transactional matters involving broadband and fiber networks, cable and telecom franchising, wireless communications and public-private partnerships.
Gail’s clients are mainly public agencies, such as local governments, water districts and municipal utilities. Public agencies can serve a variety of roles in relation to telecommunications infrastructure — regulator, owner, service provider, customer, partner –— and Gail’s clients come to her for advice and guidance on issues that arise in all these contexts. Gail also represents some cooperatives, nonprofits and small competitive providers. Gail’s telecommunications practice regularly involves:
Regulatory Advice and Advocacy
- Advice on compliance with federal and state wireless siting laws, shot clocks and other regulations affecting individual permit applications.
- Revision of local codes, applications and processes governing wireless facilities siting and right of way permitting.
- Assistance in broadband planning, and in revising master plans, local ordinances and regulatory processes to encourage broadband deployment.
- Advice on compliance with federal and state cable and telecom franchising laws, including those applicable to competitive franchising, renewals and transfers.
- Assistance with meeting state and federal regulations and reporting requirements applicable to providers of broadband, cable, voice over IP and other communications services, and related filings.
- Representation before the FCC and state utility commissions, such as the California Public Utility Commission, on proposed rulemakings, licensing and regulatory approvals, and pole attachment disputes.
Negotiations and Drafting Agreements
- Cable and telecom franchises, renewals and transfer agreements.
- Fiber network indefeasible right of use, or IRUs, fiber leases, pole attachment, property access, encroachment and collocation agreements.
- Macro cell site, small cell and distributed antenna system leases and licenses.
- Communications services subscriber agreements, wholesale/bulk services agreements, and related policies (e.g., privacy, acceptable use, network management).
- Evaluating, structuring and implementing opportunities for public-private partnerships.
Prior to her private practice, Gail worked in-house at a Miami-based long distance telecommunications carrier that was a subsidiary of Entel-Chile, where she was responsible for state and federal licensing and regulatory compliance matters, and corporate and commercial contracts associated with the company’s launch of retail and wholesale telecommunications and Internet services serving the U.S. Hispanic market.
Gail started her legal career in infrastructure in Canada at Ontario Hydro, a large government-owned electric utility where she initially represented the utility at environmental and rate tribunals. She then assisted the utility’s international division to develop and implement an investment strategy, focused on privatization opportunities in Latin America, and was instrumental in the company's 1994 acquisition and management of a Peruvian electric utility.
Gail speaks frequently to organizations on telecommunications topics, including the International Municipal Lawyers Association, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, and its regional chapters such as SCAN-NATOA, WATOA and SEATOA and, the Alliance for Community Media. She is admitted to practice law in the State of California. She was licensed but is now inactive in the Province of Ontario, Canada.
- York University, LL.M.
- McGill University, LL.B. and B.C.L.
- American University, M.I.S.
- University of Manitoba, Canada, B.A.
- Ontario, Canada (inactive)
- Profiles in Diversity Journal, Women Worth Watching (2015)
- National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors (NATOA) Ovation Award (2013)
- Federal Communications Bar Association
- International Municipal Lawyers Association
- National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors (NATOA)
- States of California & Nevada Chapter of NATOA (SCAN NATOA)
- SouthEast Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors (SEATOA)
- Washington State Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors (WATOA)