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INDUSTRY FOCUSED

Whitt Sturtevant is a law firm serving the energy and public utility industries. Our work encompasses all aspects of regulatory, trial and appellate practice for regulated utilities and retail energy suppliers. We are one of only a few law firms in the country with One Focus on energy and public utility law. We practice in the Midwest and nationally from offices in Chicago and Columbus.

FOCUSED EXPERIENCE

Most of our work involves representing clients before state utility regulatory commissions, primarily in Illinois and Ohio, but also throughout the Midwest and nationally. We handle matters as straight-forward as customer service complaints, to major rate cases with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, to everything in between. We also help write legislation pertaining to energy and utility matters, and typically represent one or more clients in all major gas, electric and water administrative rulemakings in Ohio and Illinois. We strive to help clients identify issues before they become problems. To that end, we spend a great deal of time counseling executive and senior management in developing corporate policies and objectives in ways that comply with regulatory requirements.

CLIENT FOCUSED

A guiding principle of our firm is to place our clients' needs before our own. This means we staff cases based on the needs of each particular matter, not what contributes most to the firm's bottom line. Our input into strategic decisions is based on our judgment of how the client's objectives will be met most efficiently, not what will generate the largest bill.

The firm represents a diverse group of clients:

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Alternative Regulation

  • Represented Ameren Illinois in the establishment and annual reconciliation of delivery service rates under the Illinois Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act. ICC Docket Nos. 12-0001; 12-0089.
  • Represented IGS Energy in standard service offer proceedings of Dayton Power & Light Company and AEP Ohio. PUCO Case Nos. 11-346-EL-SSO, 13-2385.
  • Represent Dominion East Ohio and Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio in ongoing proceedings related to accelerated main replacement programs. PUCO Case Nos. 13-1571-GA-ALT; 12-0812-GA-RDR.
  • Represented Dominion East Ohio in establishment and subsequent cost recovery proceedings for the system-wide deployment of AMR technology. PUCO Case Nos. 11-5843-GA-RDR.
  • Represented Dominion East Ohio in regulatory proceedings to exit the natural gas merchant function. PUCO Case Nos. 12-1842-GA-EXM.
  • Represented Dominion East Ohio and Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio in capital expenditure cost recovery proceedings authorized by HB 95. PUCO Case Nos. 12-530-GA-UNC; 11-6024-GA-UNC.

Audits/Investgation

  • Represented Illinois-American Water Company in a Commission-ordered audit of its service company fees. ICC Docket 10-0366.
  • Represented gas LDCs in Gas Pipeline Safety Act investigations. PUCO Case Nos. 12-380-GA-GPS.

Litigation and Appeals

  • Andrew Campbell appointed as special master to oversee the reception of evidence and to issue written recommendation in dispute between City of Youngstown and its municipal judges over conditions of city courthouse. Supreme Court of Ohio, Case No. 2009-0866
  • Represented Dominion East Ohio in appeal from PUCO order that retroactively modified completion deadline of AMR program. Secured a stay against PUCO-ordered rate decrease pending appeal, reinstitution of proposed rate, and 7 - 0 reversal of challenged order. Supreme Court of Ohio, Case No. 2012-2117.
  • Filed amicus brief on behalf of Dominion East Ohio supporting reversal of order that retroactively modified order approving certain rate of carrying charges. Supreme Court of Ohio, Case No. 2012-2008.
  • Representing Dominion East Ohio as intervening appellee in challenge to authority of PUCO to permit utility to “exit the merchant function” for non-residential customers. Supreme Court of Ohio, Case No. 2013-0433.
  • Represented Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio as intervening appellee in challenge to PUCO’s administration of PIPP Plus program and requirement of year-round fixed payments. Supreme Court of Ohio, Case No. 2013-1807.
  • Counsel to Dominion East Ohio in breach of contract litigation arising from Utica Shale production and gathering. CBM Ohio V. Dominion East Ohio, Case CVH-2013-0129 (Harrison Cty., Ohio Common Pleas Court).
  • On behalf of Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois, successfully obtained eminent domain authority to acquire land needed for construction of electric transmission lines.  ICC Dockets 13-0456, 13-0516.
  • Obtained dismissal, subsequently affirmed on appeal, of complaint against Aqua Ohio, Inc. related to the use of a chloramine as a secondary disinfectant for water treatment. Christian v. Aqua Ohio, Inc., Case No. 2013-CV-0389 (July 19, 2013).
  • Obtained dismissal, subsequently affirmed on appeal, of putative class action against Dominion East Ohio for alleged fraudulent billing practices. Saks v. The East Ohio Gas Co., 2012-Ohio-2637 (8th Dist. Ct. App. 2012).
  • Obtained affirmance from the Supreme Court of Ohio of an order approving Dominion East Ohio’s exit of the gas merchant function. Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy v. Public Utilities Comm'n of Ohio, 115 Ohio St. 3d 2008 (2007).
  • Successfully obtained writs of prohibition directing trial courts to dismiss service-related complaints against a FirstEnergy utility. State ex rel. Illuminating Company v. Court of Common Pleas, 97 Ohio St. 3d 69 (2002); State ex rel. Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. v. Court of Common Pleas, 88 Ohio St. 3d 447 (2000).
  • Represented FirstEnergy Corp. and affiliates in numerous state and federal regulatory commission proceedings and civil litigation in Ohio, Michigan, New York and New Jersey arising from the August 2003 Northeast Blackout; the largest electrical disruption in U.S. history.  

Rate Cases

  • Aqua Ohio, PUCO Case No. 13-2124-WW-AIR.
  • Columbia Gas of Kentucky, Kentucky PSC Case No. 2013-00167.
  • Illinois-American Water Company, ICC Docket Nos. 11-0767.
  • Ohio American Water Company, PUCO Case No. 11-4161-WS-AIR.
  • Ameren Illinois, ICC Docket 11-0279/0283.
  • Ameren Missouri, PSC Docket ER-2011-0028.

Retail Suppliers

  • Advises FirstEnergy Solutions on compliance and reporting matters in Illinois.
  • Advises IGS Energy on retail electric issues in Ohio.
  • Assists prospective retail gas and electric suppliers in obtaining necessary regulatory approvals and licenses to operate in utility service areas.

Smart Grid

  • Represented IGS Energy in Ohio proceeding related to AEP Ohio’s proposed Phase 2 Smart Grid program. PUCO Case No. 13-1939-EL-RDR.
  • Represented Ameren Illinois in regulatory proceedings for approval of a Smart Grid deployment plan. ICC Docket 12-0244.
  • Represented Dominion East Ohio in proceeding for regulatory approval of system-wide AMR program and subsequent annual cost recovery proceedings.

Transactions and Regulatory Approvals

  • Advised Dominion East Ohio on regulatory matters pertaining to the $1.5 billion Blue Racer Midstream joint venture to develop Utica Shale midstream assets.
  • Regulatory counsel to American Water Works in the acquisition of Ohio-American Water Company by Aqua Ohio, Inc.
  • Represented Illinois-American Water Co. in a construction financing and approval proceeding for a $40 million water treatment facility.

Transmission/Facility Siting

  • On behalf of Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois, obtained regulatory approval for the construction and operation of 375 miles of 345 kV transmission line through central Illinois, representing planned investment of approximately $1.2 billion. ICC Docket No. 12-0598
  • Represented Ameren Illinois Company in a series of transmission siting proceedings that resulted in approval of over $125 million in planned investments. ICC Docket Nos.12-0080; 12-0154, 13-0115
  • Obtained certificates of public convenience and necessity on behalf of Aqua Illinois to expand water and sewer facilities.  ICC Dockets 06-0655, 07-0269, 09-0133, 11-0369
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