Judicial Appeals

Members of Verrill Dana's Energy Group regularly participate in appellate review of agency decisions affecting energy companies and projects. Whether defending the issuance of a permit, license or approval needed for construction of new a new energy project, or challenging an agency's denial of such a request, members of our Group appear frequently in appellate court, reviewing the conclusions and findings made by the regulatory agency. In cases of the Maine PUC, where appeals go directly to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, members of the practice group have argued several cases involving interpretation of Maine's historic Electric Restructuring Act. Similarly, under the Wind Energy Act, in which judicial appeals of certain siting decisions also go directly to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Verrill Dana has successfully argued numerous judicial appeals of wind power projects and has defended federal approvals for such projects in the United States District Court.

The following are examples of judicial appeals handled by our Energy Group:

  • T&D Utility Ownership of Generation - The Group represented Emera in a lengthy case addressing the extent to which the Maine Restructuring Act prevents affiliates of a Maine T&D utility from acquiring ownership of generation facilities. In 2011, Emera sought approval of two acquisitions: (1) 25% ownership of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. and (2) a joint venture with First Wind to develop new wind projects in the Northeast. The firm represented Emera in extensive litigation before the Maine PUC and Maine Supreme Judicial Court both before and after Emera closed the transactions. Verrill Dana defended the approvals before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in two separate appeals of the Maine PUC approval orders.
  • Defending Constitutionality of the Wind Energy Act - Verrill Dana successfully defended permits in which the constitutionality of the Wind Energy Act was challenged as well as numerous decisions involving the interpretation and application of sound and scenic standards that govern wind energy developments.
  • Pipeline Refund - Verrill Dana represented MetroMedia, a natural gas marketer, in appealing an adverse ruling of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Bill Harwood argued the case asserting that the pipeline refund ordered by the Massachusetts Commission should have been paid to MetroMedia, as a gas marketer, not directly to MetroMedia's customers.
  • Defending Arbitration Award-Bill Harwood and Brian Marshall represented Woodland Pulp before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in successfully defending an arbitration award after a lengthy and contentious arbitration proceeding resolving a dispute between Woodland Pulp and a tenant over shared use of a private natural gas pipeline.

Firm Highlights

Event

Central Maine Human Resources Association Chapter Meeting: Flexible Work Options

Employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez will be presenting at the Central Maine Human Resources Association Chapter Meeting. This month's chapter meeting will focus on flexible work options. Tawny will discuss how policy impacts...

Publication/Podcast

The SBA Paycheck Protection Program: An Overview

Good news, bad news. The good news is that the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) look like they will provide a much needed lifeline for small businesses...

Matter

Management Audit

Verrill represented Emera in its 2016 distribution rate case before the Maine PUC. The case involved issues relating to significant new capital investments, including Emera's new customer information system and a controversial substation investment...

Blog

CARES Act Imposes Limits on Executive Pay over $425,000 for Businesses Seeking Financial Assistance

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the $2 trillion assistance package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) was signed into law. The CARES Act provides a variety of...

Event

2020 OHRP Exploratory Workshop

Health care attorney Emily Fogler will be presenting at the 2020 OHRP Exploratory Workshop in the third session, discussing sharing responsibilities and protecting participants - redefining roles in the single IRB era. Stay tuned...

News

Verrill Signs Pledge in Support of Advancing Diversity & Inclusion in Connecticut Legal Community

(March 10, 2020) – Verrill has officially joined the Connecticut Bar Association in its ongoing commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the region’s legal community by signing “The Connecticut Legal Community’s Diversity &...

Publication/Podcast

Mental Health Wellness Tips for Quarantine

We understand that self-isolation and quarantine can be mentally, especially with no definitive end to the pandemic in sight. To help you and your family better cope during COVID-19, we have developed a list...

Matter

Management Inefficiency

Verrill represented Emera in its 2017 distribution rate case before the Maine PUC, which included: defeating Staff's proposed reduction to allowed return on equity for "management inefficiency;" approval of new expenditures, such as an...

News

Enforcement Issues with SJC Ruling for the Rockweed Industry

Environmental attorney Gordon Smith was quoted in the Machias Valley News Observer article, "One year after SJC ruling, enforcement issues plague rockweed industry," discussing the Ross v. Acadian Seaplant's decision in Maine. Questions about...

Blog

With CARES Act, Congress provides retirement plan relief and group health plan changes

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, includes a number of provisions that affect retirement plan sponsors and participants. These provisions are designed to provide...