Two national trade associations, the American Public Power Association and the Large Public Power Council, retained Greene Espel to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari in a case important to their members. On December 1, 2017, the Supreme Court did just that. The amicus brief was written by John Baker, Jenny Gassman-Pines, Jeya Paul, and Chris Schmitter.
The case, Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District v. SolarCity Corporation, presents the question as to whether a publicly-owned utility sued under federal antitrust laws must wait until the conclusion of the case to appeal the trial court’s refusal to dismiss the suit based on the state-action immunity doctrine. The answer is important because immunities are ordinarily intended to provide not only protection from liability, but protection from litigation. Antitrust suits can be extraordinarily burdensome and lengthy, so forcing public power companies to wait until final judgment is entered deprives them of the value of the immunity.
The associations have also retained Greene Espel to brief the Supreme Court at the merits stage. The case is expected to be argued in March 2018, and decided by the end of June 2018.
Many of the firm’s appellate attorneys are former judicial clerks and hold leadership positions with the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Council, the Eighth Circuit Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Association. Our government and constitutional litigation attorneys regularly evaluate and litigate the constitutionality of state laws and local regulations. Greene Espel is honored to have brought its experience to bear for its clients in this important case.