FCC Announces General Counsel Schlick to Step Down in Mid-June, Agency Says

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By Paul Barbagallo  

Federal Communications Commission General Counsel Austin Schlick will resign effective mid-June, the FCC said May 25.

Sean Lev, the current deputy general counsel and special adviser to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, will be promoted to general counsel, the FCC said.

As general counsel, Schlick played a pivotal role in many major FCC actions, including enacting network neutrality rules, requiring nationwide wireless carriers such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless to enter into data-roaming agreements with competitors, and reforming the complex and interwoven Universal Service Fund and intercarrier compensation systems. All three actions are currently being appealed in federal court.

Since Schlick joined the commission in July 2009, the commission has prevailed in more than 90 percent of the court cases challenging orders issued by the Genachowski FCC.

It was not immediately known if Schlick will remain in government or return to the private sector.

Before taking his post, Schlick was chief of litigation for the state of Maryland. In 2004 and 2005, he was FCC deputy general counsel for litigation and acting general counsel. Before that, he was an assistant to the solicitor general in the Department of Justice, where he argued seven cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Schlick was a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, specializing in communications law and litigation.

Lev came to the FCC from the Department of Energy, where he was the acting general counsel and deputy general counsel for environment and nuclear programs. Before joining DOE in June 2009, Mr. Lev was also a partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, where his practice focused on telecommunications, administrative law, and appellate and general litigation.

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