Tara Sugiyama Potashnik

Tara Sugiyama Potashnik

Venable Chief of Staff Tara Sugiyama Potashnik draws from years of experience as a data privacy attorney to advocate for clients before the U.S. Congress, federal and state agencies, and state attorneys general. Tara works with professionals at the firm's highest levels, allowing her to seamlessly connect clients with the right talent to address their needs. As a leader in the firm's Technology and Innovation Group, she orchestrates teams that advocate on privacy, cybersecurity, and autonomous and connected mobility matters. Tara also manages crisis response situations and convenes multi-stakeholder initiatives to develop self-regulatory codes and programs.

A unique aspect of Tara's practice is her deep focus on policy work. Her portfolio encompasses legislative and regulatory developments before Congress and agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Transportation, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Tara's advocacy work covers an array of services, including crafting policies and strategies, and gathering intelligence. On behalf of clients, she responds to government inquiries, develops testimony, drafts advocacy letters to regulators and legislators, and prepares responses to questions posed by members of Congress and other government officials.

Another key part of Tara's practice is managing crisis response matters, including data breaches and organizational transitions. She counsels clients on the multifaceted issues that arise in a crisis and helps them navigate myriad forums, including the media. She anticipates how crises will unfold and develops forward-looking solutions to help clients manage risk and achieve their goals.

As part of her legal practice, Tara serves as general counsel to the leading cybersecurity trade association and a leading transportation technology coalition. She advises clients on regulatory compliance matters and developments arising under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), federal and state unfair and deceptive acts and practices (UDAP) laws, and the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (DPF). Additionally, she counsels clients on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and other state privacy laws.

Tara's experience as a mediator and with alternative dispute resolution procedures helps to inform her organizational management approaches and compliance strategies. She holds conflict and dispute resolution certificates from the Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution at The Hague, New York University's School of Continuing Education, and the Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Office's General Civil Mediation Training.

Before joining Venable, Tara gained insightful courtroom experience as a judicial extern to the Honorable William H. Alsup in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.


Representative Matters

  • Served as the lead drafter for a cross-industry working group that was formed to create an industry multi-stakeholder self-regulatory code addressing piracy that received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s IP Champions Award. Following the drafting of the code, assisted with the establishment of the group's anti-piracy program
  • Helped launch and convene a coalition for an international and advertising industry-wide effort to create an ad experience that diminished consumer incentives to use ad-blocking technologies. Provided governance advice, helped industry develop scientific and data-driven methodologies to measure consumer preferences for digital ad formats, provided antitrust counsel, navigated trademark matters, and interfaced with communications teams from member companies
  • Served as counsel to a national retailer in connection with congressional representation during the company's highly publicized data breach. Helped coordinate Venable's response across practice groups, drafted testimony, reviewed public relations communications, met with congressional offices, drafted hearing questions, and participated in hearing witness preparations
  • Lobbied successfully on behalf of a multinational online retail company for the introduction of a bill that incorporated recommended enhancements to the bill. Developed a government affairs strategy and helped to organize and lead a multi-day fly-in
  • Secured a closing letter from the FTC in response to a civil investigative demand (CID) in a FCRA matter




  • J.D. University of Michigan Law School 2007
    • Managing editor, University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform
    • Louis Honigman Memorial Award
  • B.A. with distinction Yale University 2002
    • Pi Sigma Alpha, Beta Rho: Political Science Honor Society

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • American Bar Association
    • Member, Consumer Financial Services Committee
    • Former co-vice chair, Privacy Subcommittee
    • Former young lawyer liaison, Electronic Financial Services Subcommittee
  • Member, California State Bar Association
  • Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Women in Housing and Finance
    • Former co-chair, Legislative Task Force


  • Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), National Scholarship Award
  • Legal 500
    • Media, Technology and Telecoms – Cyber Law (including Data Privacy and Data Protection), 2022 – 2024
    • Transport - Rail and Road: Litigation and Regulation, 2024


Pro Bono

  • Advocating for the passage of the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act (ELSA) before the U.S. Congress
  • Served on a team of Venable attorneys that filed an amicus curiae brief with the United States Supreme Court in the matter Nijhawan v. Holder on behalf of the Asian American Justice Center and 16 other civil rights, public interest, and national advocacy organizations


  • Rock Spring Children’s Center
    • Former member, Board of Directors
    • Former chair, Policy Committee