Powering Strong Communities

Legal & Regulatory Conference

An unparalleled professional development and networking opportunity for attorneys and regulatory personnel to get updates on federal legislative and regulatory changes impacting public power.
October 15 - 18, 2023
Seattle, Washington

The Legal & Regulatory Conference is an educational and professional development opportunity to learn about current legal and regulatory issues affecting public power, as well as the practical legal issues facing municipal utilities. 

The conference is a must-attend for public power in-house and general counsel, outside counsel, regulatory affairs specialists, compliance officers, senior and mid-level utility managers, and elected and appointed officials who oversee utility policy.

Who Should Attend

  • In-house and general counsel
  • Outside counsel
  • Regulatory affairs specialists
  • Compliance officers
  • Senior and mid-level utility managers
  • Elected and appointed officials who oversee utility policy

More information

[email protected]


Agenda at a Glance

Sunday, October 15

8:30 am - 5 pm

Preconference Seminars

All seminars require an additional fee.

8:30 am - Noon


Facilitating Order to Create Productive Utility Board Meetings
As a utility attorney, you are the default parliamentarian for utility boards and city councils, but parliamentary procedure is not taught in law school (or, really, anywhere). Get an in-depth orientation to Robert’s Rules of Order — the most common authority for parliamentary procedure — and how you can apply these rules to making board and city council meetings more productive and equitable. Get guidelines, tips, and tools to navigate common challenges around board meetings. Hone your procedural skills through hands-on exercises and scenarios in a dynamic and enjoyable presentation. Learn how to transform your board meetings (and utility/board interactions) through the system of “Precedence of Motions,” and work through common challenges in small groups. Attendees will also receive a complimentary copy of Mastering Council Meetings as a resource. 

Topics include:

  • Robert’s Rules of Order and how to use them effectively
  • Working with “Precedence of Motions”
  • Applying the correct authority of the chair, members, and staff dealing with inappropriate remarks
  • Challenging motions like reconsider, rescind, suspend the rules, and censure
  • Board/staff relations at meetings 
  • Handling public comments 

Who should attend
This course is geared towards attorneys who work with and advise electric utility boards, as well as utility staff and policymakers.

Ann G. Macfarlane, Professional Registered Parliamentarian, Jurassic Parliament

1:30 - 5 pm


Creating Proactive Pole Attachment and Conduit Access Policies 
As the effort to expand and accelerate broadband deployment continues, there has been increased focus at the federal and state level on facilitating access to utility poles and conduit. From the Federal Communications Commission to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Congress, far-ranging policy changes and regulations could affect pole replacement costs and access to rights-of-way, utility poles, and conduit. Explore the status of these initiatives and the potential implications for public power utilities as well as proactive measures that you might consider with respect to your pole attachment and conduit policies and practices. 

Topics include:  

  • Current pole and conduit regulations
  • Federal and state efforts to revise pole attachment regulations
  • The relationship between access and broadband deployment 
  • Best practices and policy recommendations      

Jim Baller and Sean A. Stokes, Partners, Keller & Heckman, LLC

5 - 6:30 pm

Welcome Reception

Visit with colleagues and learn about the products and services conference sponsors offer.

Monday, October 16

7:30 - 8:30 am 

Networking Breakfasts

  • Newcomers Networking Breakfast
    New to the Legal & Regulatory Conference? Meet other first-time attendees, learn about the conference and APPA, and make connections you can build on.
  • Networking Breakfast
    Visit with your peers and chat with conference sponsors at this informal breakfast.

8:30 - 9:30 am

Opening General Session (no CLES provided)

  • CEO Address
    Scott Corwin, President and CEO, American Public Power Association
  • Keynote Speaker
    John Hairston, Administrator and CEO, Bonneville Power Administration 
Scott Corwin Headshot John Hairston Headshot​​​​​​​

9:30 - 9:45 am


9:45 - 10:45 am

Concurrent Sessions

  • Meeting Aggressive Greenhouse Gas Goals: A View From the West
    Hear how three large public power entities are addressing stringent greenhouse gas goals put forth in their states. From exploring new frontiers in hydrogen and nuclear to leveraging tools like virtual power plants and distributed energy resources, discuss what strategies each organization is exploring – and what is proving difficult to incorporate into planning – amid a strict state regulatory environment looking to move from fossil generation to future generation.

    Javier Camacho, Director of Public and External Affairs
    Strategic Communications and Social Marketing, Platte River Power Authority, Fort Collins, Colorado; Kiyomi Keckemet, Climate Mitigation Strategic Advisor, Seattle City Light, Washington; and Lawrence Luong, Federal Affairs Manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, California

  • Don’t Be a Facebook Fool 
    Public entities with social media pages often see troubling comments on their posts. If the first instinct is to delete, be careful. Recent federal cases have held that organizations – and maybe the individuals managing the accounts – could be liable for damages for a federal civil rights violation. Hear from an attorney on what best practices every public organization should use to keep their social media activities out of court.

    Mark Weaver, Owner, Communications Counsel, Inc. 

10:45 - 11 am


11a m - Noon

General Session

Winning in the Court of Public Opinion
An organization's most important uninsured asset – its reputation – can be significantly damaged when tried in the court of public opinion, perhaps more so than in any court of law. Since most controversies are settled prior to trial, hear what you can do to properly manage this battleground, not only for good will and market share, but also for legal bargaining and settlement negotiations. Learn how to communicate and maintain "control of the message," enabling you to mount a defense against a sudden onslaught from traditional or social media.

Bruce Hennes, Chief Executive Officer, Hennes Communications

Noon - 1:30 pm

Lunch on your own

1:30 - 2:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions

  • Redefining Just and Reasonable Rates
    When all costs are considered, zero carbon energy is expensive – and will cost billions of dollars. It follows, then, that examining what is “just and reasonable” should not look simply at the cost of a system improvement when those improvements are happening due to policy changes. In light of the massive costs to fund policies around the energy transition, is it time for regulators to reevaluate their interpretation of statutory just and reasonable rates?

    Jane Luckhardt, General Counsel, Northern California Power Agency, Roseville, California; and Latif M. Nurani, Partner, Spiegel & McDiarmid, LLP 

  • Exploring Options for Renewable Resources
    Historically, public power utilities have turned to PPAs in order to build their renewable portfolios. The creation of direct payment as a substitute for tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act provides nonprofit utilities greater financial incentive to directly own/operate renewable projects.  Explore options for the PPA model, and compare options for direct ownership, including the use engineering procurement and construction agreements and build transfer agreements. 

    James J. Bertrand, Dwight Larson, and John McCaffrey, Partners, Stinson, LLP

2:30 - 2:45 pm


2:45 - 3:45 pm

Concurrent Sessions

  • The State of Play for Advanced Reactors
    As public power utilities consider embarking on advanced nuclear projects, there are many key questions surrounding the decision. Examine some of the key legal aspects to review, from the ramifications of dealing with nuclear waste to licensing concerns and potential supply issues. Get perspective on how to adequately weigh the potential risks against the benefits of adding this carbon-free resource to a utility’s mix.

    Wendy Simon-Pearson, Associate, McCarter & English, LLP

  • How Public Power Can (Finally) Access Clean Energy Credits
    Get a detailed look at the status of implementation of the clean energy credits enacted as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, and the elective pay option that makes the credits available to public power. Review common questions about the implementing guidance that has been issued to date and discuss the remaining "known unknowns."

    John Godfrey, Senior Government Relations Director, American Public Power Association; and Mark E. Warren, Shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP

3:45 - 4 pm  


4 - 5 pm

Concurrent Sessions

  • Electric Reliability Trends and Predictions
    Address recent trends in the electric reliability space, including North American Electric Reliability Corporation standards development and strategies in inverter-based resources, extreme weather conditions, and physical security. Hear expert predictions on what’s to come, such as how significant shifts in the NERC Rules of Procedure could alter industry input into future standards development.

    Lisa S. Gast and Sean M. Neal, Shareholders, Duncan, Weinberg, Genzer & Pembroke, P.C.

  • Environmental Justice in Energy
    As environmental justice continues to change, it’s critical to keep up with the fundamentals behind what’s driving the environmental justice movement, learn the key terms, and become familiar with the relevant legal authorities. Get an updated look at the related regulations and laws most relevant to utilities and discuss how each could affect your work.

    Hilary T. Jacobs, Associate and Julius M. Redd, Principal, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.; and Jen-Ann Lee, Braun Blaising & Wynne, P.C.

Tuesday, October 17

7:30 - 8:30 am

Networking Breakfasts

  • Women in Public Power Networking Breakfast
    Join a lively discussion to connect with other women in public power about common challenges and opportunities working in the industry. 
  • Networking Breakfast
    Get energized for the day ahead, with your peers, at this informal continental breakfast.

8:45 - 10:15 am

General Session

  • Federal Regulatory and Legislative Update
    Get a rundown of the latest regulations and federal legislative action, and how each could affect public power operations now and in the future. Learn what issues APPA is focused on in Washington, D.C., and our intel on what might be coming down the road.

    Desmarie Waterhouse, Senior Vice President, Advocacy & Communications & General Counsel, American Public Power Association

10:15 - 10:45 am


10:45 am - Noon

General Session

  • Keeping Pace with Employment Law
    New employment laws and recent decisions include everything from the new Pregnancy Fairness Act, the Supreme Court's recent expansion of the rights of religious employees to reasonable accommodation and using AI in the workplace. If ensuring compliance with those was not enough, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is now expected to implement a slew of worker-friendly priorities. Address the significant labor and employment law developments that are, and will be, affecting your operations and the landscape of employment law.

    Jonathan R. Mook, Partner, DiMuro Ginsberg, P.C.

Noon - 1:30 pm

Lunch on your own

1:30 - 2:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions

  • NEPA Reform Implications for New Energy Infrastructure
    Federal agencies play a prominent role in permitting, sitting, and mWhen the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 passed, it included substantive changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. These changes aim to simplify and streamline the environmental reviews required for permitting large infrastructure projects, with an eye toward greenlighting the electric infrastructure necessary to support and advance the power sector's transition to lower-emitting and clean energy. Discuss how the legislative and regulatory amendments to NEPA could affect public power projects, whether new or ongoing. 

    Amy McDonnell, Of Counsel, Duncan & Allen LLP
  • Negotiating Against Unacceptable Contract Language
    More and more, companies are inserting unacceptable (and in some cases, illegal) provisions into contracts with public power — examples include low limitations of liability, indemnification obligations, risk-shifting provisions, and foreign choice of law. Discuss major issues in these contracts of adhesion, including when you can and can’t negotiate the terms, and get tips and advice on how to overcome or work through these issues so that your utility can move ahead.

    Jason Carter, General Counsel, Arkansas Municipal Power Association; Cynthia J. Fee, Esq., First Vice President, Casualty Broking Lead, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.; and Jennifer Hammitt, Director of Legal Affairs, Platte River Power Authority, Fort Collins, Colorado

2:30 - 2:45 pm


2:45 - 3:45 pm

Concurrent Sessions

  • The Future of Resource Adequacy 
    In the face of a rapid resource transition and extreme weather events, grid operators and utilities are overhauling their resource adequacy constructs to manage current and future reliability risks. Review and discuss the key drivers for evolution and ongoing reform efforts from across the country.

    Lea Fisher, Senior Project Manager, and Matt King, Director, Markets & Analytics, GDS Associates, Inc.
  • The Impact of New Technologies on Customer Privacy and the Legal Process
    Hear some of the privacy concerns as it relates to new technologies and the use of data, including data from smart meters, how AI can be used to analyze data, the future of drones and AI-powered cameras, and other privacy concerns that may impact public power utilities. Review the legal implications and the steps within the legal process for providing customer data, whether in the form of records, usage, or other requests – such as in requests from law enforcement agencies, with and without subpoena.

    Allison Jetton, Partner, Dentons, LLP; and Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project

3:45 - 4 pm


4 - 5 pm

Ethics Session

Dear Ethics Lawyer, from Public Power
In his popular column, Dear Ethics Lawyer, legal ethics expert Mark Hinderks answers interesting legal ethics and professional responsibility questions with concise, to-the-point responses. Join Mark for this live Q&A, following the "Dear Ethics Lawyer" format, to gain advice and guidance on emerging and common issues in public power. Issues covered could include generative AI, conflicts arising from lawyer pitches to clients, confidentiality obligations, inadvertent disclosures, joint representation and advance waivers, limitations on communications, discovering additional information post-settlement, obligations to an entity under Rule 1.13, and other similar topics.

Mark D. Hinderks, Partner, Stinson, LLP

5 - 6:30 pm

Join your colleagues for an evening reception. You are welcome to bring a guest.

Wednesday, October 18

7:30 - 8:30 am

Networking Breakfast
Network with your peers at this informal breakfast.

8:30 - 9:30 am

General Session

Is Chevron Dead?
The Supreme Court agreed to hear next term Loper Bright Enterprises v. RaimondoI, to address: "Whether the Court should overrule [the Chevron doctrine] or at least clarify that statutory silence concerning controversial powers expressly but narrowly granted elsewhere in the statute does not constitute an ambiguity requiring deference to the agency." It is expected that the Court will consider these two issues: whether agencies have too much deference under Chevron and whether the “major questions doctrine” means agencies cannot address matters absent express statutory delegation. Examine the importance of the Chevron doctrine in federal administrative law, specifically the focus on its application in major FERC and environmental appeals. Explore how the major questions doctrine has limited the scope of the Chevron doctrine, and what the demise of the doctrine would mean going forward.

Randolph L. Elliott, Partner, McCarter & English, LLP; and Dennis Lane, Partner and Kelsey L. Robinson, Associate, Stinson, LLP

9:30 - 9:45 am 


9:45 - 10:45 am

Ethics Session

Recent RPC Amendments and Common Ethical Dilemmas
Explore how recent amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct could affect every practitioner, from how to communicate about professional liability insurance and how to engage in solicitation. Also discuss newly published Advisory Opinions and common ethical dilemmas, such as conflict and confidentiality issues, which Ms. Schilling has addressed on the Washington State Bar Association Ethics Line.

Sandra Schilling, Professional Responsibility Counsel, Washington State Bar Association 

10:45 am

Conference Adjourns


Registration Fees



2023 Conference Registration Fees

  Members                 Nonmembers         
  Register by
Sept. 15
Sept. 15
Register by Sept. 15 After
Sept. 15

Legal & Regulatory Conference

$975 $1,075 $1,950 $2,050
Preconference Seminars (each) $375 $475 $750 $850

For those who are not APPA members, but who currently represent any APPA members (public power utilities, joint action agencies, or state/regional associations), you may also receive the member rate. Contact [email protected] to request a code so you can register online and receive the member registration rate on your conference registration. Be sure to mention which public power utilities, agencies or associations you represent in your email. Members of the American Public Power Association automatically receive the member rate when registering and do not need a code to receive the member rate.

Not yet an American Public Power Association member? Join today and save $975 on your conference registration. Contact [email protected] to learn more.

Group Discounts

Save money on each registration for the Legal & Regulatory Conference when your organization registers five or more people. The larger your group, the more you save! 

Number of registrants Discount
(per person)
Registration Fee
(per person, before Sept. 15)
1-4 n/a $975
5-10 $50 $925
11-15 $100 $875
16+ $150 $825
25+ $200 $775

Your group discount will be automatically applied when you register a group of 5 or more people. Registrations must be submitted on the same order (at the same time) to qualify for the group discount; discounts cannot be retroactively applied to previous orders. 

Cancellation, Refund, and Substitution Policy

Registrants who cancel in writing on or before Monday, October 9, 2023 are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after October 9, 2023 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for the 2023 APPA Legal & Regulatory Conference and preconference seminars only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel on or before October 9 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund of their registration fee. 

Cancellation requests must be made through your my.publicpower portal, or addressed to: [email protected].

Code of Conduct

Attendees of American Public Power Association meetings agree to abide by the APPA Code of Conduct. If attendees engage in unacceptable behavior as outlined in the Code of Conduct, APPA may take any action it deems appropriate, including, but not limited to, expulsion from the current and future meetings with no warning or refund.

Contact Us

[email protected]


Conference Location & Hotel

The 2023 Legal & Regulatory Conference will be held at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel in Seattle, Washington.

Renaissance Seattle Hotel
515 Madison St. 
Seattle, WA 98104 

Come join us this year in the heart of downtown Seattle to discover the gem of the Pacific Northwest’s “Emerald City” at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel. Taking a cue from the iconic architecture of the Seattle Central Library, you’ll find a sophisticated literary theme throughout the hotel. Conveniently located near Pike Place Market, The Gum Wall, sports facilities and upscale shopping and dining opportunities. The hotel’s great location eliminates travel stress with easy access to the major freeways and Sea-Tac International Airport. We look forward to your arrival at this year’s Legal & Regulatory Conference. 



  • Check in: 3 pm Check out: 12 pm
  • Parking: Self-Parking: $50 a night, per vehicle/Valet Parking: $63 a night, per vehicle
  • Internet access: Complimentary standard wireless internet

Scam Alert

Please do NOT make hotel reservations through any third party that may contact you by phone or email. Use only the online reservation links, phone numbers, and discount codes available directly from APPA —in conference brochures and the website at www.PublicPower.org.

Cancellation Policy

The cut-off date to receive the APPA group rate (plus tax) is Friday, September 22, 2023. If rooms remain in the block after the cut-off date, the group rate will be honored. If not, you may be charged a higher rate. The room block may sell out before September 22 so early reservations are encouraged. For individual reservations, please call 1 (888) 236-2427 or make your reservation online at 2023 Legal & Regulatory Conference. The Renaissance Seattle Hotel should receive all reservations no later than September 22.

Cancelled reservations that are not resold may become a financial liability for APPA, so please make your reservations thoughtfully. If you require additional assistance with housing, please contact Meeting Services at [email protected].

Dress Code

The attire for the conference is business casual. Meeting room temperatures vary, so prepare to dress for cool conditions. Whenever possible, networking events will be held outdoors. 

Questions and Assistance

For questions or assistance making your hotel arrangements, contact [email protected].


Frequently Asked Questions

Where and when is the next Legal & Regulatory Conference?

The 2024 Legal & Regulatory Conference will take place October 20-23 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Can I earn educational credits for attending this conference?

Yes, you can earn the following kinds of educational credits for participating in sessions (unless designated otherwise) during the conference:

Continuing Legal Education (CLEs)
APPA will apply for Continuing Legal Education accreditation in the following mandatory CLE states: Alabama, Alaska*, Arkansas, California*, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine*, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana*, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey*, New Mexico, New York*, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 

States denoted by an asterisk (*) will accept CLE credit hours for courses or activities held in and approved by other MCLE jurisdictions. APPA may not explicitly apply for CLE accreditation in these states if they have reciprocity with the state in which the meeting is being held.

The number of CLE credits varies by state and is decided by each state CLE authority. APPA will provide any necessary documentation to receive CLE credit in these states. 

Additional Educational Credits
Participants are also eligible to earn the following educational credits:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)
  • Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

To receive CLE and/or additional educational credits for your participation in conference sessions, participants must complete the conference evaluation after the event

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected] or 202/467-2976.

Are meals included?

The following food functions/meals are included in the registration fee:

  • Sunday - Welcome Reception
  • Monday - Continental Breakfast
  • Tuesday - Continental Breakfast; Reception 
  • Wednesday – Continental Breakfast

What is the conference dress code?

The attire for the conference is business casual. Meeting room temperatures vary, so prepare to dress for cool conditions.

How can I present at the conference?

We welcome your topic and speaker ideas for future conferences and events. To submit your idea for consideration, complete this form. Conference topics are generally determined 6-8 months before the event is held. Ideas will be kept on file for a full year, so if the agenda for the conference has already been determined, your ideas will be considered for the next year’s event, or in case any space opens up in the current year’s program. You will be contacted only if your idea is selected for an upcoming conference.

What is the APPA Code of Conduct for meeting attendees?

Attendees of American Public Power Association meetings agree to abide by the APPA Code of Conduct. If attendees engage in unacceptable behavior as outlined in the Code of Conduct, the Association may take any action it deems appropriate, including but not limited to, expulsion from the current and future meetings, with no warning or refund.

More questions?

Contact [email protected]