Nuechterlein, Jonathan E. 1964(?)-

views updated

Nuechterlein, Jonathan E. 1964(?)-


Born c. 1964. Education: Yale University, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1986; Yale Law School, J.D., 1990.


Office—Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP, 1875 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20006. E-mail—[email protected].


U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Washington, DC, Hon. Stephen F. Williams, legal clerk, 1990-91; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hon. David H. Souter, Washington, DC, legal clerk, 1991-92; Office of the Solicitor General, Washington, DC, assistant, 1996-2000; Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC, deputy general counsel, 2000-01; Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP, Washington, DC, partner, 2001—.


Phi Beta Kappa.


(With Philip J. Weiser) Digital Crossroads: American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals including Telecom and High Tech and the Yale Law Journal.


Jonathan E. Nuechterlein was educated at Yale University and Yale University Law School, graduating summa cum laude with his bachelor's degree in 1986, followed by his J.D. in 1990. He served as a legal clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in Washington, DC, where he served the Honorable Stephen F. Williams, as well as for Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable David H. Souter. He has worked in Washington, DC, as an attorney for his entire career, both in official government positions and in private practice. In the late 1990s, he worked in the Office of the Solicitor General as an assistant, and from 2000 to 2001, he served as deputy general counsel at the Federal Communications Commission. He has been a partner at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale, and Dorr, LLP, in Washington, DC, since 2001. His primary areas of practice include antitrust and competition, communications and e-commerce, regulatory, litigation, and telecommunications. He has worked on cases for clients such as AT&T, Bell South, and The Hartford. Nuechterlein has written for various publica- tions, including the Yale Law Journal and Telecom and High Tech. He is also the author of an impressive work, written with Philip J. Weiser, called Digital Crossroads: American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age, which was published in 2005.

In Digital Crossroads, Nuechterlein and Weiser tackle the weighty subject of the development of the telecommunications industry, and all the ways in which it has altered due to advances in technology as well as changes to the economy and to the legal environment, particularly in relation to telecommunications regulations. These changes have been especially affected by the emergence of Internet technology as a major means of communications. Nuechterlein and Weiser each bring their impressive backgrounds to bear on this subject, with Weiser's time at the Department of Justice balancing Nuechterlein's experiences with the Federal Communications Commission. They have geared their book toward individuals not currently working in the telecommunications field who are nevertheless interested in the industry and in understanding the rapid alterations to the landscape as they touch on other types of business. The book starts with an overview of the telecommunications industry as a whole, then goes on to itemize all of the issues that will present a challenge to the system going forward, including developments in technology, the economy, and policy. They also discuss the Internet as a means of communications and the ways in which it affects competition within the telecommunications industry. They go on to touch on various types of new devices, such as Internet telephone protocols, known as VoIP, wireless mobile telecommunications services, and digital television. Nuechterlein and Weiser discuss how changes in these types of technology have resulted in a rapid decline in the use of standard services in favor of new devices and services that rely on more-modern technology.

Beyond explaining these technologies and alterations to the telecommunications landscape to the average reader, Nuechterlein and Weiser set out to provide their own analysis of the subject and the future of the industry in an effort to aid with future policy that might regulate these new facets of the telecommunications realm. Rather than taking sides or making suggestions, the authors chronicle the various options that might be available in the future depending on the further development of the newer forms of communications and their results. They also point out potential conflicts and how suitable different policies might be in light of these. They proceed to look at other industries, as well as the political and economic landscape, to determine how each touches upon the telecommunications industry and how changes in these other areas might impact the continued success and progress of telecommunications. One of their primary examples focuses on the way opposing sides in various forms of legislation frequently cause a stalemate situation that effectively ties the hands of the legislative body in question. This can hinder progress, and also force the telecommunications industry into a situation where competition fails to spur growth. Rather than allowing outside influences to cause these types of logjams, Nuechterlein and Weiser stress the need to apply similar regulatory guidelines to all entities that could be considered similar, eliminating the stalemate situations and in-fighting among the various competitors.

Digital Crossroads met with favorable reviews upon its publication. James A. Montanye, in the Independent Review, wrote that Weiser and Nuechterlein's effort makes for a "readable, comprehensive, and thoroughly documented tutorial covering the policy aspects of voice, data, video, and Internet services." He went on to state that "it provides just enough technical detail and economic background to place the policy issues in perspective. The book is certain to become a primary reference for industry practitioners, regulators, attorneys, historians, and students," and concluded that he found it "a welcome contribution to the telecommunications policy literature." Kathleen Wallman, a contributor for the Federal Communications Law Journal, remarked in her review of Digital Crossroads that "the book keeps the reader's eye trained on the horizon by unifying the details of policy with higher level themes in regulation." She went on to state: "The approach of the book is boldly interdisciplinary, with the authors … making no apology for wading into explanations of economic and engineering subjects that telecommunications policy students and practitioners simply must understand." Finally, Wallman pointed out that "a final challenge for a work in this field is its ability to remain current, or at least relevant…. But this work is positioned to have a great shot at righting itself in the waves." She cited added material updated on the publisher's Web site as just one example of this effort to remain current.



Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, September, 2005, D.F. Sheets, review of DigitalCrossroads: American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age, p. 153.

Federal Communications Law Journal, May, 2005, Kathleen Wallman, review of Digital Crossroads, p. 579.

Independent Review, summer, 2006, James A. Montanye, review of Digital Crossroads, p. 151.

Journal of Economic Literature, September, 2005, review of Digital Crossroads, p. 901.

Journal on Telecommunications & High Technology Law, September 22, 2006, "Video Games: The Oddly Familiar Terms of Debate about Telco Entry into the Video Services Market," p. 1.


Find Law, (March 24, 2008), attorney profile.

WilmerHale, (March 24, 2008), employee profile.