Public utilities have unique needs and, at times, require unique legal services. Utilities are regulated by various laws and regulations generally not applicable to public-sector clients. They are also protected by special legal concepts such as immunity and damage caps. Attorneys who represent utilities must be aware of not only a utility’s legal authority to make a decision, but also procedural, ethical, environmental, and fiduciary issues and obligations affecting the utility’s ability to operate and provide services to its customers.
The broad-ranging issues involved in advising public utilities include—
- Negotiated purchase of real estate, including permanent utility and construction easements.
- Acquisition of property by eminent domain (condemnation).
- Litigation arising from ordinary operations.
- Employment law concerns, including wage and hour and workers’ compensation issues.
- Negotiation of contracts and agreements.
- Purchasing regulations and competitive bid laws.
- Board governance and procedural issues.
- Franchises and local governmental regulatory concerns.
- Ethics laws and fiduciary duties.
- Compensation of board members.
- The Alabama Open Meeting Act.
- Bond issues, rate setting, and other financial concerns.
- Environmental regulations.
The Lanier Ford law firm has extensive experience in all these issues, as well as many more that affect the day-to-day operations of public utilities.
See related service areas:
- Contracts, Agreements & Commercial Transactions
- Employment Law
- Eminent Domain
- Personal Injury
- Governmental Liability