Practice

Regulatory

Experienced Advocates for Clients Who Need to Know What’s Next

Munger, Tolles & Olson partners with clients in matters relating to the enforcement of ever-changing laws and ordinances, and we bring extensive experience representing utilities in significant matters before state commissions. Our firm’s strong tradition of public service has made us familiar to federal, state and local agencies throughout the nation. This breadth of knowledge and ability to handle complex investigations and enforcement matters is supplemented by our attorneys’ significant experience in appellate courts, up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court. Our ability to guide a matter through all levels of legal exposure sets us apart from our competition and has given us a national reputation for reaching extraordinary resolutions with authorities on behalf of clients in a wide range of industries.

Services

Our practice includes:

Government Investigations

Trials and Appeals

Corporate

Restructuring

Clients

  • Airbnb
  • Bechtel
  • BNSF Railway
  • California Gaming Association
  • Edison International/Southern California Edison
  • Electric Power Supply Association
  • Facebook
  • Frontier Communications Corp. 
  • Google
  • Lyft, Inc.
  • Northrop Grumman 
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company
  • Plains All American Pipeline, L.P.
  • Square
  • The Empire District Electric Company 
  • University of California
  • Verizon

Related Practices

Team

Kevin Allred
Jonathan Blavin
Erin Cox
Lisa Demsky
E. Martin Estrada
Nicholas Fram
Seth Goldman
Judith Kitano
James Rutten
Henry Weissmann

Experience

Energy
Our energy industry regulatory representations include:
 

Southern California Edison, the region’s primary electric provider to approximately 14 million people, in numerous regulatory and litigation matters over the past 25 years, including:

  • regulatory proceedings and litigation challenging the CPUC’s refusal to permit Southern California Edison to recover wholesale power costs incurred during the California energy crisis. The case was resolved through a historic settlement with the CPUC that permitted Southern California Edison to recover more than $3.3 billion and thereby avoid bankruptcy.
  • regulatory proceedings regarding the shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
  • proceedings seeking recovery of uninsured costs of third-party claims resulting from wildfires.
  • winning summary judgment against four bellwether plaintiff households in litigation alleging that an SCE substation emitted stray voltage, harming residents and properties.
  • a criminal investigation by the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office of alleged violations of state environmental laws arising from a grading and road widening project on the Spyglass Ridge Trail and Tunnel Road.
  • in obtaining favorable results in litigation arising from the California power crisis in 2000-2001.

Pacific Gas & Electric Company in numerous proceedings at the CPUC arising from the company’s bankruptcy and related matters pertaining to wildfires, including:

  • review of PG&E’s Plan of Reorganization.
  • PG&E’s application for authority to issue $7.5 billion in securitized bonds to recover a portion of the costs of claims paid as part of the Plan of Reorganization.
  • PG&E’s application for authority to issue approximately $1 billion in securitized bonds to recover certain capital expenditures.
  • various PG&E applications for financing authority.
  • proceedings to examine PG&E’s “safety culture.”

Technology 
Platform Regulatory Matters
Munger, Tolles & Olson has an expansive online content and platform litigation practice that covers a broad range of issues, including intermediary liability. Recent, public representations include:
 

Airbnb in

  • various matters adverse to local and municipal regulators concerning the enforcement of ordinances and laws
  • in California Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DFEH) complaint alleging that Airbnb engaged in discriminatory conduct on its platform. 

Data Privacy Regulatory Matters 
Munger, Tolles & Olson has counseled and represented clients in front of federal, state and local government regulatory agencies in high-profile matters related to data privacy and security, including:

  • A large technology company following a data breach affecting millions of customer accounts, we represented the company in response to regulatory investigations by the FTC and several state attorneys general offices. The FTC and state attorneys general took no enforcement action against the company.
  • A technology company in a confidential investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office related to the security of user data. The U.S. Attorney’s Office concluded its investigation without taking any action against our client.
  • A technology company in response to investigation by the FTC concerning whether technology company’s platform violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The FTC took no enforcement action against the company following investigation.   

Telecommunications
Munger Tolles has represented Verizon and its predecessors in numerous state and federal regulatory proceedings, as well as related appellate litigation, over the past 25 years. A few recent representations include:

  • Proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and related proceedings in the Ninth Circuit, regarding acceleration of deployment of 5G facilities through preemption of local impediments.
  • Litigation regarding local exchange carriers’ imposition of access charges on interexchange carriers that transport intraMTA traffic (pending in the Fifth Circuit); AT&T is a party in these cases.
  • Proceedings before the CPUC where Verizon is pursuing regulatory approval of its planned acquisition of TracFone Wireless, Inc., the largest provider of pre-paid wireless service in the United States.
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