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

Matter

2017 Emera Distribution Rate Case

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...

Publication/Podcast

PPP: How is Maine Faring?

Originally enacted on March 27, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) offers loan support and (potentially) loan forgiveness to qualifying small businesses – generally defined as those with not more than 500 employees. According to...

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

Paycheck Protection Program Focuses on Short-Term and Misses Long-Term Damages

On June 8, the Portland Press Herald published an article, "Revamped emergency loan program remains a short-term fix," discussing the Paycheck Protection Program's (PPP) extended deadlines and loosened restrictions, but lack of solutions to...

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

This Week's Show: Mental Resiliency in the Workplace

On Saturday, June 27, Tawny interviewed Kate Simpson, Co-author and Developer of Take Two: A Journal of New Beginnings , for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Kate and Tawny discuss...

Publication/Podcast

FDA Issues Guidance on IRB Review of Non-Emergency Individual Patient Expanded Access Requests for Investigational Drugs and Biological Products to Treat COVID-19

Prompted by a substantial increase in requests for individual patient access to investigational drugs and biologics to treat COVID-19, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued guidance on June 2, 2020 that outlines...

News

Verrill Welcomes Esteemed Corporate and Securities Attorney Edward Rosenthal

(June 10, 2020) – Verrill is pleased to welcome corporate and securities attorney Edward Rosenthal to the firm as a member of the Business Law Group. Rosenthal brings with him more than 40 years...

Blog

Proposed Regulations Clarify Application of Excise Tax under Code Section 4960

Proposed Regulations published by the Treasury Department last month provide helpful clarifications regarding the application of the excise tax under Section 4960 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The...

Blog

IRS Allows Tax-Advantaged Leave Donation to COVID-19 Relief Organizations

Under new guidance, the IRS will give favorable tax treatment to employees who donate leave to COVID-19 relief organizations. In IRS Notice 2020-46 , the agency announced that employees who donate paid leave for...