Chris Wright is both an appellate lawyer and a communications lawyer. Before joining Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP in 2001, Mr. Wright served as General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission and, before that, in the Office of the Solicitor General. In private practice, he has drawn on his general appellate experience to represent clients in the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court in cases involving diverse matters including antitrust, defamation, energy law, environmental law, ERISA, and patent law. He has drawn on his communications law experience to counsel a wide variety of communications companies – including broadcasters, Internet providers, television manufacturers, wireless companies, and wireline carriers – and to represent them in proceedings at the FCC. And Mr. Wright has drawn on his appellate experience and his communications law experience in representing clients in numerous cases involving nearly all aspects of communications law in the federal appellate courts.
Mr. Wright is the head of the appellate practice at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis. His appellate experience began in the early 1980s with clerkships with Judge Sneed on the Ninth Circuit and Chief Justice Burger of the United States Supreme Court. In his work in the Office of the Solicitor General, at the FCC, and in private practice, Mr. Wright has argued 28 cases in the Supreme Court and many more cases in the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits. Mr. Wright is a former President of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court, a member of the Board of Directors of the D.C. Circuit Historical Society, and a former member of the Rules Committee of the D.C. Circuit.
Mr. Wright's communications law experience began in the Office of the Solicitor General in the mid 1980s, where he handled FCC cases involving broadcasting, cable, and telecommunications issues. Later, as Deputy General Counsel and General Counsel of the FCC, Mr. Wright both supervised the Commission's litigation work and assisted the Chairman and Commissioners in drafting the Commission's orders on all aspects of communications law. Mr. Wright established the FCC's Transaction Team and supervised its oversight of issues relating to mergers. He has testified before congressional committees and served as an expert witness on communications law issues. Mr. Wright is a member of the Executive Committee of the Federal Communications Bar Association.
Mr. Wright is currently listed as a "Best Lawyer," a "Leading Lawyer," a "Preeminent Lawyer," a "Super Lawyer," and a "Top Lawyer" by various publications.
In the margin, there are links to a large number of FCC filings, appellate briefs, presentations, and oral arguments that are representative of Mr. Wright's work. Here are some favorites: First, here is a link to a recording of a recent Supreme Court oral argument in an energy case. Second, here is a link to an older recording of the oral argument in an ERISA tax case that Mr. Wright argued in the Supreme Court without using any notes. Third, here is a recent presentation at the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies on the FCC's proposal to "reclassify" broadband Internet service. And here is a link to a debate at the Progress & Freedom Foundation on telecommunications merger policy.