Tara Sugiyama Potashnik

Tara Sugiyama Potashnik

Tara Sugiyama Potashnik serves as Venable's chief of staff. Tara counsels and advocates  on behalf of clients before the U.S. Congress, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Transportation, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and state attorneys general on privacy, cybersecurity, and autonomous and connected mobility matters. Tara also manages crisis response matters, including data breaches and organizational transitions. She helps convene multi-stakeholder meetings to develop self-regulatory codes and programs.

Tara serves as general counsel to the leading cybersecurity trade association, as well as to a leading transportation technology coalition. Tara represents clients in the advertising, autonomous and connected mobility, banking and consumer finance, communications, hospitality, information services, Internet, marketing, media, retail, and transportation industries. She advises clients on regulatory compliance matters and developments arising under:

  • The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
  • The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM)
  • Gift card laws
  • The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
  • Federal and state unfair and deceptive acts and practices (UDAP) laws
  • The Song-Beverly Credit Card Act
  • State breach notification laws
  • EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

As part of her crisis management work, Tara has guided clients in connection with policy and legal matters before the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, state attorneys general, and the courts. She manages communications, anticipates the evolution of multifaceted issues, and navigates multiple forums to assist clients in addressing crises.

Tara's advocacy work before Congress and relevant agencies encompasses an array of services, including crafting policies and strategies, and intelligence gathering. She conducts due diligence reviews, responds to government inquiries, develops testimony, drafts advocacy letters to Congress and agencies, and prepares responses to questions posed by members of Congress and other government officials.

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.

Prior to joining Venable, Tara served 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 tax 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 Federal Trade Commission 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 2009

Court Admissions

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

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association, 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
  • Member, 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


Pro Bono

  • 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 sixteen other civil rights, public interest, and national advocacy organizations


  • Former member, Board of Directors, and former Policy Committee chair, Rock Spring Children's Center