Practice Committees

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Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Committee reports on alternative methods of dispute resolution applicable to and experienced by attorneys representing clients in the public utility, communications and transportation industries. 

John J. Range

Vice Chairs:
George A. Avery
James H. Bailey
Peter V. Lacouture
Brian D. O'Neill
Charles A. Patrizia


The work of the Section's Antitrust Committee covers matters of keen interest to all members of our Section -- current developments in the antitrust laws (in this country and abroad) as they impact particularly those involved in telecommunications, cable TV, electric power, natural gas, and the transportation sectors of our economy. As our industries move from regulation to various degrees of deregulation, knowledge of how the antitrust laws will be applied is a time-consuming but rewarding assignment.

James F. Herbison

Vice Chairs:
Gerald A. Connell
Robert B. Pringle
Linda L. Randell

Corporate Governance & Compliance

The Committee follows changes in legislation and regulation initiatives that have been adopted or proposed with respect to corporate governance, disclosure, auditing and related enforcement matters. The Committee prepares reports that discuss recent regulatory changes involving the SEC and NYSE and NASDAQ corporate governance proposals.  


Vice Chairs:
J.A. Bouknight, Jr.
Melissa K. Caen
Mark C. Darrell
M. Douglas Dunn
N. Beth Emery
Courtney McCormick
Linda L. Randell
Robert B. Schwentker
J.P. Shotwell
Tyrus Thompson


The Committee on Environmental Law addresses all environmental issues related to transportation, communication and public utility operations, including gas, electricity and water companies. Relevant environmental laws include the major federal regulatory programs and their state analogues (Clean Air, Clean Water and Solid Waste Acts), CERCLA or Superfund, the Endangered Species Act, and other acts addressing particular industry sector issues, such as the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Committee prepares annual reports on developments in environmental law, and through liaison with other ABA Sections (such as SEER), participates in or helps sponsor various events. 

Eric B. Gallon

Vice Chairs:
Robert J. Brubaker
Kristy A. Niehaus Bulleit
David A. Smart
Ronald J. Tenpas

Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions

This Committee follows and reports on trends and innovations in the area of finance including new types of securities and unique transactions. The Committee also follows and reports on merger and acquisition activity, in this country and around the globe, as well as innovations in corporate governance. The U.S. utility and communications companies have invested much abroad, and overseas companies are beginning to invest in the United States, so this Committee will also look at the globalization of those utilities areas. 

Melissa K. Caen
Frederick Lark

Vice Chairs:
William T. Baker
Walter "Mac" Beale, Jr.
John J. Beardsworth, Jr.
Patricia Dondanville
Emmett N. Ellis IV
Michael F. Fitzpatrick, Jr.
Steven C. Friend
David R. Hardy
Jeffrey Jankowski
Eric Koontz
William S. Lamb
Monica W. Sargent
J. Anthony Terrell
Dynda A. Thomas
Robert B. Williams

Infrastructure Security

The Infrastructure Security Committee acknowledges the increasing emphasis on protecting critical facilities from intentional or unintentional compromise or damage by third parties. The Committee likewise develops and makes available information regarding federal or state industries represented within the Section, and is a resource for coordinating development and implementation activities between members of the Section and the authorities in question. 

Kevin W. Jones

Vice Chairs:
Jonathan E. Booe
William P. Boswell
Sheila Slocum Hollis
Meredith M. Lackey
Robert B. Schwentker
Louis P. Warchot II

Labor and Employment Law

This Committee is concerned with labor and employment law issues -- in particular those of special interest to public utilities and the communications, transportation and related industries. The Committee endeavors to keep Section members abreast of recent developments in, among other subject areas, equal employment opportunity and affirmative action, collective bargaining and traditional labor law under both the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act, wage and hour law, developments in wrongful discharge law and litigation over the "at-will" status of employees, special problems such as drug testing, employee privacy and sexual harassment. Semiannual reports prepared by Committee members highlight recent developments in these areas, focusing on cases that have arisen in the types of employment settings and industries represented by the Section.  As regulation and litigation related to employment actions continues to escalate, knowledge of the implications for the industries represented by the Section becomes more and more critical. 

Paul J. Ondrasik

Vice Chairs:
Charles S. Birenbaum
Daniel P. Bordoni

State Regulatory

The committee’s focus will not be on just one or two of the most prominent and activist state commissions, nor will the committee try to survey all 50 states on the issues it discusses. Instead, we will look for developments in any state that we think have implications for other jurisdictions. The committee will concentrate on practice topics that can cut across public utility sectors, such as penalties, intervenor compensation, ex parte rules, and judicial oversight of commission decisions. Jurisdictional challenges will be examined closely. These include challenges not just between state commissions and their federal counterparts, but also jurisdictional issues created by new technology (e.g., voice over Internet protocol) and from state legislatures that are either trying to expand their commission’s responsibilities or view them as a challenge to legislative authority (or both). 

Noelle Coates
James G. Ritter

Vice Chairs:
Daniel R. Conway
Brian T. FitzGerald
Thomas P. Gadsden
Courtney McCormick
Charles C. Read
George Watson, III

Taxation & Accounting

The taxation and accounting committee prepares semiannual reports focused on developments in federal income taxation that are particularly relevant to companies in regulated and previously regulated industries. These companies face unique tax issues resulting from industry-specific taxation, as well as unique issues arising from the application of general tax principles. The committee also focuses on the tax and accounting issues associated with the corporate transactions of these companies as they respond to the deregulation and internationalization of their industries with mergers, acquisitions, spinoffs and global expansion. In addition, the committee monitors certain state law issues, including the application of state income taxes and other taxes to such companies, and the treatment of tax expense in cost of service determinations for rate regulation purposes. 

B. Benjamin Haas

Vice Chairs:
David R. Hardy
Martha Groves Pugh
Glenn D. Todd