Clients rely on Jim’s counsel as an experienced energy and railroad attorney to handle energy, infrastructure and transportation matters requiring a deft touch, particularly those that involve the interplay of political, business and legal considerations.

Overview

Jim represents railroads, electric cooperative and municipal utilities, developers of: traditional and renewable power plants, including solar and wind, battery storage, as well as electric transmission lines. He has significant experience in power supply for utilities, and critical contractual, legislative and regulatory issues governing the transportation of crude oil, coal and biofuels, the development of electric generation and underground HVDC transmission.

Jim structures strategic mergers and collaborative ventures, leads high-stakes litigation teams and resolves antitrust challenges as he adroitly navigates the complexities of the highly regulated transportation and energy industries. As chair of the firm’s Energy, Environmental, Mining, and Transportation division, Jim quickly connects clients to the right teams of lawyers to accomplish their objectives in an effective and timely manner.

Experience

Jim recently led the teams that assisted two electric cooperatives reach long term power supply arrangements, an owner of a railroad in reaching agreement on the sale of its railroad to its tenant and Chugach Electric Association in acquiring the assets and customers of Anchorage, Alaska's Municipal Light and Power electric utility.

Jim also led a team representing developers of renewable natural gas facilities on their development and off-take agreements.

Jim frequently leads teams representing Canadian Pacific Kansas City's (CPKC's) U.S. operations, including Surface Transportation Board (STB) regulatory proceedings in mergers, acquisitions and sales of railroads, and collaborative ventures with other companies.

He has extensive experience with (a) the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concerning market rules administered by independent system operators and disputes among utilities and (b) state utility regulatory commissions.

Jim represents electric cooperative, and municipal utilities and independent power producers in developing wind, solar, battery storage, biomass, renewable natural gas and natural gas electric energy projects. He also represents independent transmission companies and power marketers in various commercial agreements. He also advises companies that provide products and services to the electric energy and oil and gas industries.

He has served as state and federal regulatory counsel for developers of power plants, renewable energy facilities (solar, wind), battery storage and electric transmission lines.

Jim has experience with contracts for joint ownership, development, power purchase, service, supply and license agreements and disputes arising from such agreements.

He frequently handles corporate and business issues for regulated companies and companies that supply services to or purchase services from regulated companies.

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) Turns 40: Midlife Crisis or is 40 is the New 30? Minnesota State Bar Association Public Utilities Section, November 14, 2018

FERC and CFTC Compliance for Electric and Gas Traders, Tulane Energy Institute, April, 2016

Transporting Energy Resources, Minnesota Environmental Law Institute, April 2015

Renewable Energy Development, Tulane Energy Institute, March, 2015

North Dakota Oil and Gas, Tulane Energy Institute, March, 2015 

Publications

Co-authored with Guy Smith, "The Future of Energy: Through the Strength of Joint Ownership, Alaska's New Southcentral Power Project Has Set the Bar High," Oil and Gas Monitor, June 2013

Recognitions

Recognitions

Energy Law, Minnesota Lawyer of the Year for 2020 by Best Lawyers in America®

The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of energy law, 2010 - Present

Professional & Civic Activities

Professional & Civic Activities

Tulane Energy Institute Advisory Board

Energy Bar Association

American Bar Association

Electric Cooperative Bar Association

Association of Transportation Law Professionals

Tulane Fund Advisory Board, Former Member

Tulane University Parents Council, Former Member

Minnesota Intermediate School District 287, Honors Connection Mentor, 2010-2011

West St. Paul Challenger American Legion Baseball Team, Former Board Chair, 2007-2011

Ronald McDonald House of the Twin Cities, Former Member, Board of Directors

Helping Paws of Minnesota, Inc., Former Member, Board of Directors

Minnesota State Bar Association

Louisiana State Bar Association

Hennepin County Bar Association

Admissions

  • Minnesota
  • Louisiana
  • Colorado 

Education

George Washington University Law School, J.D., with highest honors, 1987

  • Order of the Coif
  • The George Washington Law Review, Editor, 1986-1987

Tulane University, M.B.A., 1983

Tulane University, B.A., cum laude, 1982

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