Elizabeth counsels clients day-to-day on the full gamut of FCC regulatory issues, including political, EEO, children’s programming, contests and promotions, ownership, licensing and renewals, closed captioning, emergency access, and public file requirements. Elizabeth routinely works with clients to evaluate and advocate their positions on key policy issues before the FCC.

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Elizabeth advises clients on complex transactions in highly regulated industries, including representation and advocacy through regulatory approval processes. Elizabeth also works with clients to strategize, draft, and negotiate a broad range of key business contracts, such as asset purchase and sale agreements, loan agreements, license and services agreements, and television retransmission consent agreements.

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Elizabeth is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) who advises media and technology companies, advertisers, content creators, and other businesses on privacy issues. She works with clients to assess data collection and use practices and to craft responsive data privacy and security policies. 

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Elizabeth advises media and technology companies, advertisers, content creators, and other businesses on digital media issues.   Elizabeth works with clients to evaluate and meet marketing disclosure obligations issued by the Federal Trade Commission and self-regulatory bodies.  She also advises businesses on copyright and right of publicity issues. 

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Elizabeth routinely conducts pre-publication review of news stories and book manuscripts. Having previously worked in the academic publishing industry, Elizabeth has a unique skill set that translates directly to her work with publishers and authors.

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Recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) as a “Rising Star” in Communications (2011-2015)

Co-Chair, Carolinas Chapter, Federal Communications Bar Association (2010-2014) 

Member, Federal Communications Bar Association 

Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals 

Member, Carolina Privacy Officials Network  

Member, American Bar Association 

Member, North Carolina Bar Association 

Secretary, Treasurer, Section Council, Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities Section, North Carolina Bar Association (2007-2014)  

Member, Wake County Bar Association 

Volunteer Attorney, Legal Aid of North Carolina Lawyer on the Line Program (2013- ) 

Guardian ad Litem, Wake County, NC (2006-2009)

Contributor, Brooks Pierce's Digital Media and Data Privacy Blog  

Presenter, The Digital Marketer’s Legal Playlist:  Greatest Hits, Internet Summit 2014, November 2014 

Presenter, "License Renewal in Broadcast: What To Do Now," Knowledge Congress Legal Series, November 2012 

Elizabeth has a passion for media and information sharing. She worked in the academic and information technology publishing industry in the Boston area for three years before returning home to North Carolina for graduate school and law school. (If you learned how to code a website in HTML in the late-90s, chances are good you used a book she worked on as a reference.) Elizabeth enjoys spending time on foot outdoors and at the North Carolina Outer Banks.

A successful outcome for my clients is how I measure my own success as a lawyer.

Recent Publications & Media

Speaking Engagements

April 16, 2015

Brooks Pierce Partners Discuss Cybersecurity at NCTA Event

Brooks Pierce partners Charles Marshall and Elizabeth Spainhour recently spoke to the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA) about how to best prepare for a data breach and manage reputational damage and costs associated with a breach. The presentation, which also included insight into how...Read more
March 10, 2015

Spainhour and Hartzell Present to Triad's Largest PR Association

Stephen Hartzell and Elizabeth Spainhour presented " The Online Legal PR Playlist: Greatest Hits " to the Tarheel Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on March 10, 2015. The fast-paced and entertaining session, which featured its own Spotify playlist, examined the top legal concerns...Read more

Recent Publications & Media