Shawn Bentley, 41, a veteran lobbyist and attorney who was a key crafter of the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act and helped secure satellite carrier's ability to carry local TV stations, died of cancer Sept. 29 at Fairfax (Va.) Hospital.
At the time of his death, Bentley was VP, intellectual property and global public policy, for Time Warner, in Washington, charged with helping protect the company's billions of dollars in intellectual property assets, concentrating on HBO, Warner Bros., Turner and New Line.
Bentley was born in St. George, Utah, Oct. 31, 1963. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1987 and got a law degree from Chicago Law School in 1990. Bentley joined D.C. law firm Dow, Lohnes & Albertson, then moved to the Senate Judiciary Committee as chief intellectual property counsel, working closely with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). While there, he worked on legislation that was key to allowing satellite to become a more competitive multichannel video provider.
“Few people on the Hill engendered more trust and respect than Shawn," said Hatch, "and we’ve all lost a good friend. He was a deliberate lawyer who loved policy almost as much as he loved great literature. I’d be hard-pressed to name any recent intellectual property policy decisions that did not bear his mark in some way.”
"I've spent 20 years in Washington, and he was the smartest, kindest, and most self-effacing man I knew," said Disney lobbyist Mitch Rose.
Bentley joined Time Warner as corporate counsel in 2002. He is survived by his wife, Becky, and daughters Kathryn and Samantha.