Christopher M. Arfaa

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Chris Arfaa is a litigator and regulatory lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience representing telecommunications providers, utilities, natural gas companies, and other business clients.

Chris's practice focuses on regulatory litigation, a category that comprises civil litigation in federal and state courts, administrative proceedings before state commissions and the FCC, and arbitration. His administrative litigation experience includes interconnection arbitrations, universal service investigations, local competition rulemakings, declaratory rulings, intercarrier compensation complaints, and related judicial review proceedings. His civil litigation experience includes actions for declaratory and injunctive relief against state encroachment on areas of exclusive federal jurisdiction and intercarrier compensation disputes. Chris also provides counseling and advocacy in state legislative proceedings relating to telecommunications regulation.

Chris began his legal career in 1989 litigating business disputes. In 1993, he joined the law department of Bell Atlantic, where as State Regulatory Counsel he personally represented the company in numerous contested state administrative proceedings relating to the introduction of local telephone competition. In 2000, when Bell Atlantic merged with GTE to form Verizon, Chris was named Vice President & Associate General Counsel -- Strategic Wireless & Regulatory Initiatives. In 2003, Chris returned to private practice, representing wireless telecommunications providers in federal and state courts and before the Federal Communications Commission and state public utility commissions.

Representative Matters

  • Represented municipal water authority in arbitration with municipal customers over dispute relating to rates for sale-for-resale water service
  • Represented natural gas pipeline company as intervenor in Pennsylvania PUC proceeding relating to merger of natural gas distribution companies
  • Represented state of California in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceeding against electricity marketers relating to the 2001 California Energy Crisis
  • Represented natural gas distribution company as intervenor in electric distribution companies’ Pennsylvania Act 129 proceedings before Pennsylvania PUC
  • Represented wireless carrier petitioning for eligible telecommunications carrier designation for various purposes
  • Represented wireless industry group in various challenges to inmate service provider's wireless termination surcharge tariffs
  • Represented wireless carriers in various state universal service fund proceedings
  • Developed wireless industry's federal court challenge to state restriction of wireless carriers access to utility poles
  • Defended wireless carriers against competitive local exchange carriers state and federal complaints for intercarrier compensation
  • Developed successful lobbying strategies in opposition to proposed state and local laws that would impose undue burdens on wireless carriers
  • Negotiated wireless carriers traffic exchange agreements with rural local exchange carriers
  • Represented wireless carrier group in action to enjoin enforcement of state prohibition of use of line items to quantify gross receipts tax on customer bills
  • Represented wireless carrier in action to enjoin enforcement of Minnesota law impairing wireless carriers service contracts
  • Represented wireless carrier in proceeding to compel Pennsylvania rural incumbent local exchange carriers to negotiate compensation arrangements with wireless carrier
  • Represented wireless carrier in first Pennsylvania interconnection arbitration between rural incumbent local exchange carrier and wireless carrier

Professional Affiliations

  • Federal Communications Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association

Honors & Distinctions

  • Verizon Communications Corp. Excellence Award
  • Duke University School of Law High Honors
  • Duke Law Journal Note Editor