Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


This article discusses the evolution of communications law practice over the past fifty years. The initial phase of communications law practice emphasized the lawyer's skill in administrative adjudications. In the second phase, the practitioner's focus shifted to the quasi-legislative activities found in the informal rulemaking process. Appellate litigation initiated by public-interest advocates during the 1960s marked another significant shift of focus from the Federal Communications Commission to the courts. Finally, the present and future course of communications deregulation represents yet another dramatic change in practice, emphasizing business negotiation skills as well as traditional modes of advocacy. The author chronicles these phases, and illustrates how communications lawyers have adapted their practices to serve increasingly complex client needs.