Mark J. Prak - Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP

Mark J. Prak

Listed in Best Lawyers since 1993
Phone: 919-839-0108

Mark Prak's principal clients are businesses and trade associations of businesses operating websites, television stations, radio stations, cable television systems, newspapers, magazines, radio networks, television production companies, telephone companies, wire services, and other communications enterprises.

He has represented communications businesses and state and national trade associations in administrative rule making proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission and other government agencies on issues such as retransmission consent, network affiliation agreements, political broadcasting rules, satellite carriage of television signals, digital television, digital radio, low-power FM radio, syndicated program exclusivity, cable television's compulsory copyright license, the siting of broadcast towers, equal employment opportunity, and, in recent years, everything relating to broadband and high-speed internet issues.

He has counseled clients regarding mergers, acquisitions and dispositions, including negotiating all aspects of asset sales, stock sales, and merger agreements, securing requisite state and federal regulatory approvals, negotiating and drafting bank financing and security documents, analyzing antitrust and competition issues, and closing the transactions.

Mark counsels a broad base of clients, from small, closely held concerns to publicly traded companies, on day-to-day operational issues. For some clients, he and the firm serve as specialized regulatory counsel. For others, he serves a general counsel function. 

He has served as lead counsel in litigation of numerous cases in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. The subject matter of his litigation experience has ranged from copyright, trademark, and service mark issues to breach of contract, unfair competition, unfair trade practices, non-competition and trade secret agreements, libel, invasion of privacy, wiretapping, labor and employment questions (Title VII, wage and hour, etc.), open meetings, public records and freedom of information questions, as well as corporate and insurance law issues. He has also represented corporations and educational institutions before the FCC and North Carolina Utilities Commission in administrative litigation.

Mark has testified before Congressional and state legislative committees and has assisted clients in lobbying and testifying before Congress, the North Carolina General Assembly, and the FCC in efforts to influence debate on broad issues of public policy and on specific problems of concern to only a single client.

He has been a frequent speaker on regulatory issues affecting the communications industry before national and state bar association groups (PLI, ABA, NCBA) and at meetings of state and national trade associations.

He has testified in state and federal courts as an expert witness on FCC practice and procedure, as well as legal ethics. 

For 19 years, he served as Visiting Lecturer teaching a course in Telecommunications Law and Public Policy at Duke University's Sanford Institute for Public Policy Sciences and at Duke Law School. 

Honors & Awards

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White) in First Amendment Law, First Amendment Litigation, and Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Named North Carolina Litigator of the Year by Benchmark Litigation (2012)
  • Named as a North Carolina "Super Lawyer" in First Amendment/Media/Advertising Law (2007-2013) and Communications (2015) by Law & Politics magazine
  • Recognized as a North Carolina Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys
  • Recognized by his peers for inclusion in Business North Carolina's "Legal Elite" in Litigation (2014)
  • Inducted into the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame (2014)

Professional & Community Activities

  • Member, Board of Directors, Audubon North Carolina 
  • Member, Board of Directors, Old Baldy Foundation
  • Member, Federal Communications Bar Association, (Chairman, National Practice Committee, 1987-89)
  • Member, North Carolina State Bar, Ethics Committee, 1987-90
  • Member, Chair (2003-04), and Vice Chair (2002-03), Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities Section, North Carolina Bar Association
  • President, Braxton Craven Inn of Court, Duke University, 2002-03
  • Member, Chief Justice's Media and Courts Forum
  • Chairman of the Board and Elder, Hillyer Memorial Christian Church, Raleigh, North Carolina

Publications & Appearances

  • "Survey of North Carolina Privacy and Related Claims Against the Media," 50 State Survey 2012-2013, 2015-2016; Media Privacy and Related Law, MLRC 2012 (with Marcus Trathen and David Kushner)
  • "Access to the Judicial Process," North Carolina Media Law Handbook, N.C. First Amendment Foundation and UNC Chapel Hill School of Journalism, 3rd edition, 2007
  • "Settlements and their Constitutional Implications," The Constitutionalist, N.C. Bar Association newsletter, April 2003
  • "Telecommunications Convergence: How Can Europe Hold Her Own?" presented at the Alpbach European Forum, Media Symposium, Alpbach, Austria, August 2000
  • "Access to Buildings and Facilities by Telecommunications," Hearings before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Protection of the Committee on Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, 106th Congress, 1st Session, May 1999
  • "Punitive Damages," Libel Litigation 1994, PLI, 1994 (Outline update with Klein, Moulton, Kelly and Mann) 
  • "Wiretapping: Always a Mistake and an Opportunity," N.C. Lawyers Weekly, 3 NCLW 1066, February 1991 (with Douglas A. Ruley)
  • "Defendants' Approach to the Trial of a Libel Case," N.C. Bar Association 1989 (manuscript)


Seminars & Speaking Engagements

Duke UniversityAB 1977Duke University School of LawJ.D. 1980

Client Comments

"I have had the pleasure of working with Mark Prak for the past five years. During this time, he has provided tremendous service to the members of our association. I consistently receive outstanding feedback from those stations that contact Mark for advice. He has immense credibility and integrity, and is highly regarded by other communications attorneys. Moreover, his wealth of experience and breadth of knowledge about the issues facing our industry is amazing. However, Mark's expertise is only part of the equation. Perhaps most importantly, he is able to communicate his counsel to our members in a clear and concise manner, and he spends the time necessary to ensure that he has fully responded to the question at hand."

"Mark Prak is integral to our success as a company. He interacts with us on the most significant matters, and his trusted guidance is a valuable resource. What sets Mark apart, however, is his approach, his attitude, and his resolve. Mark's ability to peel back the secondary layers and target the most critical matters of an issue is an immediate advantage. He adds to his knowledge and experience an even temperament and sound judgment. While Mark's impressive background is always an asset, he is uniquely able to communicate with people from every walk of life and to make them feel comfortable talking with him. That only happens because of his genuine interest in people and their welfare. It is an approach that enriches Mark's counsel and pays dividends for his clients. Even in the most complicated circumstances, Mark is able to advance his viewpoints in language that everyone can understand. He often does this through memorable stories and analogies that enliven the dialogue, but more importantly, provide context and substance to the key arguments. Mark is widely respected and singularly accomplished, yet he conducts himself as the most down-to-earth "regular" guy in the room. Mark's enthusiasm for his work is infectious. Each time you speak with him you'll learn something about law and something about life with a little history lesson thrown in as well. It makes for a steady and distinctive voice, one that is insightful, honorable, and successful. "

"I have had the pleasure of working with Mark Prak at Brooks Pierce for over 10 years. Mark Prak represents Hearst Argyle Television and other major broadcast companies. Hearst Radio is only WBAL and WIYY (two radio stations). WBAL is the 50,000watts news/talk/sports voice for the state of Maryland. WIYY (98 ROCK) is a very aggressive personality music station. Each station provides it's own challenges. Mark Prak is the consummate representative. He prioritizes our needs. I can always count on Mark Prak for a prompt, yet thoughtful response. Mark always walks us through the challenge at hand and gives us the best and most honest advice. The Hearst Radio stations are well served by having Mark Prak as our lawyer. "

-Ed Kiernan
Vice President, General Manager
Hearst Radio

"I have had the privilege of working with Mr. Prak for close to 15 years. He is a terrific attorney and an outstanding individual. I have found him to be one of the most effective outside attorneys that we, at Time Warner Cable, work with. He has a thorough knowledge of the relevant law and is still sensitive to the business needs of his clients. I have found him over the years to have the ability to communicate with our business people and me in a clear, concise, straightforward manner that really facilitates discussions and timely decisions. In short, Mark is an outstanding attorney who I can highly recommend."

-Gary Matz
Vice-President & Chief Counsel, Regulatory Affairs
Time Warner Cable

"Mark Prak has represented Time Warner Cable and the North Carolina Cable Association for approximately 27 years. During this period, he has skillfully and quite successfully represented us in the General Assembly of North Carolina, with the NC Attorney General and State Treasurer of NC, the FCC, and in disputes with local franchise authorities. He has handled litigation and written Amicus Curiae briefs in various pending court cases and other legal circumstances. Mark is passionate in his opinions and fights hard for his clients. His knowledge of communications law and its application is exceptional. He projects an uncommon degree of confidence and is always optimistic of a successful outcome, imparting this confidence to his clients as well - the signature of a great attorney. He is responsive and works efficiently, always mindful and respectful of the clients' needs. Mark Prak is a professional in every way. He is a man of character, high ethical standards, and is a wonderful human being. Without hesitation and enthusiastically, I recommend Mark's services to anyone in need of professional representation. "

-Jack Stanley
Time Warner Cable

"Mark Prak is both an outstanding attorney and a trusted advisor. His strong relationship with the FCC allows us to not only navigate current regulations, but, just as importantly, always have a sense of the underlying reasons for Commission actions. This "finger on the pulse" often gives us a forward look. Mark is the first person we call about news issues. His North Carolina location means he is always up to date on both Federal and State law. Recently we've also found Mark helpful in navigating web legal issues. There is no question Mark is one of the best attorneys I've worked with. "

-Hank Price
President and General Manager

"Mr. Prak is an excellent lawyer who has both given us solid advice and good litigation results for two decades. He is a wonderful advocate and litigator in the courtroom, totally loyal to his client, and capable of coming up with out-of-the-box and creative strategies. He also is very well tuned in to the North Carolina judiciary and the political environment, which, as a practical matter, is important in acheiving successful results. Finally, he has very good judgment, and has a good sense of which battles are worth fighting. He also is a good fellow and a pleasure to deal with."

Office Location

Wells Fargo Capitol Center, Suite 1700
150 Fayetteville Street
P.O. Box 1800
Raleigh, NC 27602
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2013 Lawyer of the Year in Litigation - First Amendment of the Raleigh Metro Area
Mark J. Prak has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2013!

Practice Areas

First Amendment Law (Constitutional, Defamation, Defendants, Government Relations, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Media, Political Speech)
Litigation - First Amendment
Media Law
Mergers and Acquisitions Law