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Gail A. Karish


Los Angeles
300 South Grand Avenue
25th Floor
(213) 617-7491
Washington, DC
2000 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Suite 5300
(213) 617-7491

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.

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • 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)


  • Spanish
  • French
Gail A. Karish


  • June 9, 2016, "Latest Legislative, Regulatory Issues and Rulings," States of California & Nevada Chapter 20th Annual Spring Conference and STAR Awards
  • March 14, 2016. "The Internet of Things,"  SouthEast Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors
  • June 18, 2014, Legislative and Regulatory Panel, States of California & Nevada Chapter (SCAN) of National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) 18th Annual Spring Conference and STAR Awards 
  • May 18, 2014, "Developments in Cable TV Franchising," International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) Mid-Year Seminar
  • April 3, 2014, "Update on FCC Wireless Rulemaking (FCC 13-122), League of California Cities Transportation," Communications and Public Works Committee Quarterly Meeting
  • April 2, 2014, "Private Access to Public Rights-of-Way," Lorman Live Webinar
  • March 29, 2014, "How FCC Rules Could Affect Wireless Siting in Los Angeles And How You Can Affect Those Rules," City Attorneys Association of Los Angeles County Biennial Spring Retreat
  • March 19, 2014, "Wireless Facility Regulatory Update," SCAN NATOA, Inc. Live Webinar
  • October 25, 2013, "Plenary Session: Cable – Broadband Policy Update," Alliance for Community Media (West) Annual Conference
  • October 24, 2013, "Surviving DIVCA: Who Has Survived and How Have They Done It?," Alliance for Community Media (West) Annual Conference, Special Preconference
  • October 17, 2013, "Private Access to Public Rights of Way," Lorman Audio Conference
Gail A. Karish


  • “Local Governments Feeling the Effects of Current Trends in Telecommunications Law” in Inside the Minds: Recent Developments in Telecommunications Law, Thomson Reuters, 2015
  • Wireless Industry Seeks to Limit Local Zoning Authority, Western City, April 2014
  • Cellular Antennas on Special District Property, CSDA Magazine, September 2013
  • The Explosion of Digital Information Needs: Is Your City Prepared?,, June 14, 2012
  • Wireless Antenna Issues, League of California Cities, Spring City Attorney's Conference, May 2012 (co-authors H. Steiner and J. Van Eaton)
  • “Communications Law Issues in Technology Projects and Contract Negotiations” in CIO Leadership for Cities and Counties: Emerging Trends and Practices, A. Shark, ed., pp. 215-28, Washington: Public Technology Institute, 2009 (co-author F. Ellrod).
  • “Copyright Office Issues Report to Congress Recommending Phase Out of Statutory Licenses Governing the Retransmission of Distant Over-the-Air Broadcast Signals” Multichannel Video Compliance Guide, August 2008.
  • “Taking Control of Your Communications Infrastructure: Opportunities and Challenges for Local Governments” 90 Public Management 26 (No. 6, July 2008) (co-author N. Miller).

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