Gail A. Karish


Tel: (213) 605-1603


At a Glance

Gail represents public agencies in a wide range of telecommunications matters.

She helps clients with matters involving broadband and fiber networks, cable and telecom franchising, wireless communications and public-private partnerships.

Gail was named a Woman Worth Watching by the Profiles in Diversity Journal.

Gail A. Karish is a partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP who focuses on telecommunications, assisting clients in California and across the U.S. 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. She 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
  • Advanced Metering Infrastructure, or AMI, and Smart City infrastructure agreements

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, SEATOA, the League of California Cities and the Alliance for Community Media. She was licensed but is now inactive in the Province of Ontario, Canada.

Gail’s services are provided through Karish Advisory Corp., a Canadian corporation.


  • York University, LL.M.
  • McGill University, LL.B. and B.C.L.
  • American University, M.I.S.
  • University of Manitoba, B.A.


  • California
  • District of Columbia


  • Profiles in Diversity Journal, Women Worth Watching, 2015
  • National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors Ovation Award, 2013


  • Federal Communications Bar Association
  • International Municipal Lawyers Association
  • National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors
  • States of California & Nevada Chapter of NATOA
  • Washington State Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors
  • SouthEast Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors
Legal Alerts Apr 12, 2021

AB 537 Creates a “Deemed Granted” Remedy for all Wireless Applications, Including Small Cells

Assembly Local Government Committee Hearing Set for Wednesday, April 14

Legal Alerts Apr 08, 2021

California Small Cell Bill to Severely Limit Local Government Control of Street Lights and Traffic Signal Poles

Oppose SB 556: Hearing Set for April 19

Legal Alerts Nov 17, 2020

Cell Site Landlords: Expect Increase in Requests to Install Generators

Don’t Surrender Your Property Rights

Legal Alerts Oct 13, 2020

New Macro Cell Tower Emergency Generator Law in California

Cities and Counties Must be Ready for Jan. 1 Effective Date

Legal Alerts Aug 17, 2020

5G Infrastructure Decision Mixed for Local Governments

Ninth Circuit Takes on FCC Small Cell Orders

Legal Alerts Jun 22, 2020

FCC Adopts Rules that Could Impact Concealment of Wireless Infrastructure

How Communities Can Respond

Legal Alerts Jan 13, 2020

New Environmental and Telecommunications Laws

Part 3: California Laws Impacting Public Agencies for 2020

Legal Alerts Dec 13, 2019

FCC Takes Action on Wireless RF Emissions Standards

Will this Quell Public Concerns About the Safety of 5G Deployments?

Legal Alerts Apr 04, 2019

Ordinance Regulating Aesthetics of Wireless in Public Rights of Way OK’d by California Supreme Court

Decision in T-Mobile West LLC v. City and County of San Francisco a Victory for Local Government

Legal Alerts Jan 14, 2019

New FCC Shot Clocks and Other Rules Preempting Local Authority Over Wireless Take Effect Today

Federal Shutdown Does Not Delay Implementation

Legal Alerts Jan 09, 2019

New Year, New Laws Impacting Public Agencies in California – Part I

2019 Brings Changes to Election, Revenue, Conflict of Interest, Property and Public Safety Laws… and More

Authored Articles & Publications Jan 30, 2018

Local Government Reaction is Swift to FCC’s Wireless Regulation Actions

By Joseph Van Eaton, Gerard Lavery Lederer and Gail A. Karish

Legal Alerts Jan 30, 2018

Red Flags on Wireless: A Recent Resignation Signals Industry-Weighted Regulations Ahead

Local Governments Should Speak Up Now for Local Control

Legal Alerts Oct 16, 2017

SB 649 Small Cell Bill Vetoed by California Governor

Victory for Local Governments

Legal Alerts Sep 19, 2017

SB 649 Barely Passes Out of California Legislature

Governor has Until Oct. 15 to Veto Controversial Small Cell Bill

Legal Alerts Jun 12, 2017

UPDATE: Real Fight Begins Over SB 649 in California Assembly

Small Cell Bill Curtails Local Discretionary Review and Rates

Legal Alerts May 25, 2017

NO DEAL! SB 649 Passed Out of Appropriations Committee Without Amendment

This Small Cell Bill Curtails Local Discretionary Review and Rates

Legal Alerts Apr 19, 2017

CPUC Rulemaking Opens Door to Revisit Impacts of Wireless in Public Rights of Way

Local Governments Should Respond by May 3

Legal Alerts Apr 18, 2017

California Small Cell Bill Curtails Local Discretionary Review and Rates

Local Governments Need to Voice Their Concerns Before April 26 Hearing

Legal Alerts Feb 19, 2016

FCC Opens Door to New Regime of Multichannel Video Programming

FCC Will Seek Comments

Legal Alerts Jan 22, 2016

PEG Fees Set by Ordinance Under California Video Franchise Law Are Not Taxes Subject to Prop. 26

State AG Opinion Could Positively Impact Many Local Governments

Authored Articles & Publications Jan 16, 2015

Telecommunications 101: Current Legal Issues Affecting Telecommunications

By Gail Karish

Legal Alerts Sep 04, 2014

CPUC Adopts Rules for Renewal of State Video Franchises

Commission Decides Streamlined Process Required by DIVCA

Authored Articles & Publications Mar 12, 2014

Municipal Cable Franchise Transfer Toolkit

By Gail A. Karish and Joseph Van Eaton

Authored Articles & Publications Mar 07, 2014

A Cable Franchise Transfer Toolkit for the Time Warner-Comcast Merger

By Gail Karish and Joseph Van Eaton

Authored Articles & Publications Sep 29, 2013

[PRESENTATION] Municipal Broadband and Opportunities for Public-Private Partnerships

By Gail A. Karish

Authored Articles & Publications Jun 01, 2012

Wireless Antenna Issues Paper Published at League of California Cities City Attorneys' Conference

By Gail Karish, Harriett Steiner, Joe Van Eaton

  • "Should You Worry About DOD Sharing 5G Spectrum with Private Companies?" Daily Journal, Oct. 26, 2020
  • "Wireless Carriers Have Big Plans for City Streets: Are Cities Powerless to Stop Them?" Daily Journal, June 12, 2019
  • “Riverside County Issues RFP for Broadband Infrastructure,” BBKnowledge, April 5, 2017
  •  “[PRESENTATION] Developments in Wireless,” BBKnowledge, Oct. 19, 2015
  •  “[VIDEO] Responding to the Charter-Time Warner Cable-Bright House Merger,” BBKnowledge, Sept. 23, 2015
  •  “Texas Takes Step Toward Approving Charter/TWC Cable Merger,” BBKnowledge, July 20, 2015
  •  “Merging Cable Companies List Benefits for FCC Approval,” BBKnowledge, July 14, 2015
  •  “Opportunity in FCC Review of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable Merger,” BBKnowledge, June 30, 2015
  •  “CityLinkLA: Broadband Access for All,” BBKnowledge, June 24, 2015
  •  “The Feds & the FCC: Exploring Activities Impacting Local Governments,” BBKnowledge, May 8, 2015
  •  “CPUC Adopts Streamlined Cable Franchise Renewal Process,” BBKnowledge, Sept. 4, 2014
  •  “Proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable-Charter Merger/Swaps/Sales Spark Thousands of Filings at the FCC; Responses Due Sept. 23,” BBKnowledge, Aug. 27, 2014
  • “Comments Due August 25 on Comcast-Time Warner Cable-Charter Merger/Spin Off Transactions,” BBKnowledge, July 15, 2014
  • “Wireless Industry Seeks to Limit Local Zoning Authority,” BBKnowledge, April 1, 2014

Contact Gail A. Karish

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