Mark J. Prak

Mark J. Prak


Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP

Recognized since 1993

Raleigh, North Carolina

Practice Areas

First Amendment Law

Litigation - First Amendment

Media Law

Mergers and Acquisitions Law

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2013 - Litigation - First Amendment
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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.

Location

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

Education

  • Duke University School of Law, J.D., graduated 1980
  • Duke University , A.B. Political Science, graduated 1977

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina, North Carolina Bar Association

Affiliations

  • Chief Justice's Media and Courts Forum - Past Member
  • Old Baldy Foundation - Chairman, Board of Directors
  • United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County - Member, Board of Directors

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, DC Circuits
  • US District Court - Western District of NC
  • US District Court - Middle District of NC
  • US District Court - Eastern District of NC

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2013 - Litigation - First Amendment

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Litigation - First Amendment, Raleigh (2013)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Litigation - First Amendment
  • Media Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions Law
  • First Amendment Law

Special Focus

  • Constitutional
  • COVID-19
  • Defamation
  • Defendants
  • Government Relations
  • Intellectual Property
  • Litigation
  • Media
  • Political Speech

Awards:

  • Recognized by his peers for inclusion in Business North Carolina‚Äôs "Legal Elite" in Litigation (2014)
  • Named North Carolina Litigator of the Year by Benchmark Litigation (2012)
  • Inducted into the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, 2014, and received the Distinguished Service Award from the same organization in 2008
  • Honored by the North Carolina Cable Telecommunications Association as the 2006 President's Cup Recipient
  • Awarded the 2019 Business Support of the Arts Award by the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County
  • Recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) in First Amendment/Media/Advertising Law (2006-2014), and Communications (2015-2022)
  • Recognized as a North Carolina Litigation Star in Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys (2013-2022) in First Amendment, General Commercial and Intellectual Property

"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."

"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 (Hearst Radio), Baltimore, MD

"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 (Time Warner Cable), Stamford, CT

"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), Greensboro, NC

"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 (WXII-TV), Winston Salem, NC

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