Photo of Gardner F. Gillespie

Gardner F. Gillespie

Of Counsel
Washington, DC
F: +1.202.747.3815



  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1973, Order of the Coif, Executive Editor, Virginia Law Review
  • B.A., Williams College, 1967, cum laude
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Eleventh
Thought Leadership


Gardner Gillespie Of Counsel in the Business Trial Practice Group in the firm's Washington D.C. office.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Gillespie’s practice focuses on complex judicial and administrative cable television and telecom litigation. In his long career, he has handled dozens of appeals in the United States Courts of Appeal and state supreme and appellate courts; he has appeared before trial courts (federal and state) in California, New York, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and the District of Columbia. He has also handled hearings and arbitrations before administrative agencies in Ohio, Hawaii, California, New York, Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and the Federal Communications Commission. His recent primary focus has been on infrastructure issues including access to rights-of-way, conduits and utility poles; municipal franchising disputes; disputes related to municipal and state-mandated franchise fees and fees in support of Public, Educational and Governmental (“PEG”) channels; clearing bandwidth for new uses and services; competition from new providers and disputes related to cable operators’ institutional networks.


  • Telecommunications MVP, Law360, 2016
  • Top 100 Attorney, Washington, D.C., America's Top 100 Attorneys, 2016
  • Media, Technology and Telecoms, Legal 500, 2013-2015, 2017, 2018


  • Clerked for Honorable John Minor Wisdom, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • Obtained summary judgment in federal district court in North Carolina against a municipal claim for an Institutional Network valued at $40 million
  • An arbitration in Hawaii, regarding claims for $16 million in fees related to PEG equipment
  • Successful litigation for three different clients in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, and Texas related to disputes over reclaiming channel capacity devoted to PEG channels
  • Litigation for cable clients regarding denial of class certification in a California class action regarding use of utility easements
  • Lead counsel in a two-week trial in Florida regarding regulatory classification of advanced cable services and claims in excess of $30 million
  • Lead counsel in a week-long trial in a case of first impression in North Carolina dealing with rates for attachment by cable operators to municipal and cooperative utility poles
  • Lead counsel in cases in Florida involving access to developments
  • Representation of cable operators in regulatory adjudications and rulemaking proceedings on infrastructure issues at the FCC and numerous state regulatory agencies, including California, Ohio and Kentucky
  • Franchise and PEG fee disputes in federal district courts in California and Nebraska
  • An investigation by a state attorney general regarding pass-through of franchise fees on subscribers’ bills
  • Formal franchise renewal and modification disputes with municipalities in Maine, Kansas, Wisconsin, Texas, Michigan, Maryland and Ohio

Thought Leadership


  • Author, Rights-of-Way Redux: Municipal Fees on Telecommunications Companies and Cable Operators, 107 Dick. L. Rev. 209 (2002); Rights-of-Way Redux...Redux, 107 Dick. L. Rev. 877 (2003)

FCC Law Blog Posts

Media Mentions


  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Communications Bar Association