Mark A. Whitt

Mark A. Whitt

Managing Partner


Phone: 614.224.3911

whitt@whitt-sturtevant.com

Mark is a regulatory lawyer and litigator with over 20 years of experience representing natural gas, electric, water, telecommunications, and retail energy suppliers in regulatory commission proceedings and in state and federal trial and appellate courts. He is a recognized Advocate of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, an Ohio Super Lawyer, and is listed in Best Lawyers in America. Mark was a partner at Jones Day and practice group leader at a litigation boutique before co-founding Whitt Sturtevant in 2012.  

Mark’s diverse experience includes federal and state court litigation stemming from the wholesale electric energy crisis of 2000; deregulation of the Ohio and Illinois retail gas and electric markets; alternative regulation of natural gas supply and distribution in Ohio;  approval of accelerated infrastructure replacement programs; the implementation of performance-based ratemaking; rulemaking proceedings; regulatory investigations; electric transmission siting; and prosecuting and defending regulatory agency complaints. Mark has litigated numerous utility rate cases in Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arkansas In addition to energy and regulatory law, Mark has represented clients in state and federal courts throughout the country in civil litigation involving contracts, product liability, antitrust and unfair competition, construction defects and delays, commercial law, and state and federal consumer protection statutes. Mark has argued appeals at the Ohio Supreme Court, various intermediate appellate courts in Ohio and Illinois, and the U.S. Court of Appeals. Mark has also advised clients in energy-related transactions, including the formation of the Blue Racer joint venture of Dominion and Caimen Energy, the acquisition of Cleveland Thermal by Corix, Aqua Ohio's acquisition of Ohio-American Water, and regulatory counsel to the Clean Energy Future - Lordstown electric generation project. 

Mark is a graduate of the University of Akron (B.S., cum laude, 1993; J.D., cum laude, 1997) and was Editor-in-Chief of the Akron Law Review. He is a veteran of the United States Army (101st Airborne Division, 2nd Infantry Division, 11th Special Forces Group, 1987-1991). During undergraduate and law school, Mark worked for a small general practice law firm, a municipal court judge, and the legal department of an electric utility holding company. 

  • Over 20 years of experience representing public utilities, retail suppliers, and other stakeholders before state regulatory commissions and courts
  • Representative trial and appellate court cases include:
    • Ohio Edison Co. v. Direct Energy, 2017 WL 3174347 (N.D. Ohio 2017)
    • Application of Duke Energy Ohio, 150 Ohio St. 3d 437 (2017)
    • Toliver v. Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio, 145 Ohio St. 3d 346 (2015)
    • Application of E. Ohio Gas Co., 144 Ohio St. 3d 265 (2015)
    • In Re Ohio Power Co., 144 Ohio St. 3d 1 (2015)
    • Application of E. Ohio Gas Co., 141 Ohio St. 3d 336 (2014)
    • Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy v. Public Util. Comm'n, 115 Ohio St. 3d 2008 (2007)
    • State ex rel. Illuminating Co. v. Court of Common Pleas, 97 Ohio St. 3d 69 (2002)
    • State ex rel. Illuminating Co. v. Court of Common Pleas, 88 Ohio St. 3d 447 (2000)
    • Adams County Property Owners v. Ill. Comm. Comm’n, 36 N.E.2d 1019 (Ill. Ct. App. 2015)
    • Commonwealth Edison Co. v. Ill. Comm. Comm'n, 8 N.E.3d 513 (Ill. Ct. App. 2014)
    • Saks v. E. Ohio Gas Co., 971 N.E.2d 498 (Ohio Ct. App.2012)
    • Ameren Ill. Co. v. Ill. Commerce Comm'n, 967 N.E.2d 298 (Ill. Ct. App. 2012)
    • U.S. v. Dillard, 78 Fed. Appx. 505 (6th Cir. 2003), cert. denied, 124 S. Ct. 1892 (2004)
    • United States v. Kaminski, 501 F.3d 655 (6th Cir. 2007)
    • Vitolo v. Mentor H/S, Inc., 426 F.Supp. 2d 28 (E.D.N.Y. 2006)
    • Hinson v. Mentor Corp., 207 F.Supp. 2d 531 (M. D. La. 2002)
    • Belden, Inc. v. American Electronic Components, 885 N.E.2d 751 (Ind. App. 2008)
    • Wade v. White, 2005 WL 78759 (6th Cir. 2005)
    • McGee v. East Ohio Gas Co., 2002 WL 484480 (S.D. Ohio 2002)
    • Gray v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5446 (D. Ariz. 2001)
    • Ippolito v. FirstEnergy Corp., 2004 WL 2495665 (Ohio Ct. App. 2004)
    • Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Alcan Aluminum Holdings, 12 F. Supp. 2d 460 (S.D.N.Y. 1998). 
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Energy Law and Energy Regulatory Law
  • Recognized by Ohio Super Lawyers in the field of Public Utility Law
  • Listed in Who’s Who in Energy, Crain’s Business Journal
  • Designated Advocate of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy
  • University of Akron, J.D., cum laude (1997)
  • University of Akron, B.S, cum laude (1993)
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, ND Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, SD Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, ED Michigan
Albert D. Sturtevant

Albert D. Sturtevant

Partner


Phone: 312.251.3017

sturtevant@whitt-sturtevant.com

Bert is a founding Partner of Whitt Sturtevant LLP. His practice focuses on energy law and public utility regulation: Bert represents natural gas, electric, and water utility clients in state regulatory, appellate and related proceedings, and provides counseling on a wide range of energy and utility-related matters.

Bert has significant experience in water and energy rate proceedings, including over 25 Illinois electric, gas and water ratemaking proceedings and related appeals since 2006.

Bert has also represented electric, gas and water utilities in transmission line and facility siting approval proceedings; related condemnation authority proceedings; merger, reorganization and acquisition approvals; complaint cases and regulatory audits and investigations; legislative initiatives; tax matters; and implementation of alternative rate mechanisms. He also has experience in related appellate court proceedings, including judicial review of regulatory agency decisions.

Prior to joining the Firm, Bert was an attorney in Jones Day’s energy regulatory practice for eight years and then a partner in the regulatory practice at a litigation boutique. Before law school, Bert spent several years in the environmental services field in China, including work as a consultant for the British firm of Atkins China in Hong Kong. He is a graduate of Stanford University (B.A., 1994), New York University (J.D., 2002) and is admitted to practice in Illinois and the U.S. District Court, N.D. Illinois.

  • Over 17 years of experience representing public utilities before state regulatory commissions and courts.
  • Represented utilities in numerous water and energy rate proceedings, includingfifteen electric, gas and water general rate cases since 2006, over a dozen ratemaking and related proceedings under Illinois' 2012 electric formula rate law, and related appeals.
  • Implemented alternative rate regulation mechanisms, including performance-based rates, decoupling, and infrastructure and other cost recovery riders.
  • Secured approval to construct and operate over 550 miles of high voltage electric transmission lines in Illinois, including the $1.2 billion Illinois Rivers transmission project.
  • Represented electric, gas and water utilities in facility siting approval proceedings, subsequent appeals, and related condemnation authority proceedings.
  • Represented water utilities in the implementation of fair market value legislation for system acquisitions.
  • Represented Illinois utilities in Commission ordered audits and investigations of utility service and affiliate relationships.
  • Provided counseling to electric, gas and water utilities on topics ranging from regulatory compliance to industry trends to the development of new legislation.
  • New York University, J.D. (2002)
  • Stanford University, B.A. (1994)
  • Illinois
  • U.S District Court, N.D. Illinois
Anne M. Zehr

Anne M. Zehr

Partner


Phone: 312.251.3018

zehr@whitt-sturtevant.com

For nearly a decade, Anne has represented investor-owned gas, electric, and water/sewer utilities before the Illinois Commerce Commission and Appellate Courts, securing for her clients regulatory and judicial approvals in, to date, eighteen rate cases and numerous infrastructure construction, eminent domain, rider, financing, management audit, and rulemaking proceedings. Before joining Whitt Sturtevant, Anne litigated consumer finance and product liability claims on behalf of Fortune 500 companies.

Anne passionately promotes women’s initiatives in the energy industry. She currently serves as Director of Community Initiatives on the Chicago Women’s Energy Network Board of Directors, where she encourages industry professionals to energize their community through volunteerism. She previously served as WEN Chicago’s Chair of External Mentoring. Anne has also actively supported the annual Chicago Women’s Energy Summit. She served on the summit’s inaugural 2014 and 2015 Planning Committees and, most recently, moderated the Got Leadership? Leading, Learning and Utilizing Your Network panel at the 2017 summit’s Rising Star Forum.

Anne is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Ohio. She earned her Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University (Oxford). She is a National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Utility Rate School graduate, a National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s Trial Skills Chicago Program graduate, and former Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Energy, Telecommunications and Water Committee. Anne volunteers in Chicago Public Schools second through eighth-grade classrooms with Lawyers in the Classroom to help students better understand the U.S. Constitution, our legal system, and law-related careers.

Anne is unduly competitive at ping pong and pub games.

 

  • Ten years’ experience representing investor-owned public utilities in myriad proceedings before state regulatory commissions and courts, including in over fifteen rate cases.
  • Represented Illinois-American Water Company and Aqua Illinois, Inc., jointly, in Illinois rulemaking regarding the regulatory accounting alternatives for cloud-based computing solutions.
  • Assisted Illinois-American Water Company and Aqua Illinois, Inc. in securing regulatory approvals related to water and sewer systems acquisitions under Illinois’ fair market value legislation.
  • Litigated approval, for utility clients, of numerous alternative rate regulation mechanisms, including performance-based electric formula rates, decoupling riders, and aging infrastructure investment cost recovery riders.
  • Secured regulatory authorization for Ameren Illinois Company and Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois to construct and operate over 550 miles of high voltage electric transmission lines in Illinois, including the $1.2 billion ATXI Illinois Rivers transmission project.
  • Represented Ameren Illinois in approval, implementation, annual rate filing updates, and related appeals of 2012-2018 performance-based electric formula rate.
  • Represented electric, gas, and water utilities in other facility infrastructure siting approvals and related condemnation proceedings.
  • Represented electric, gas, and water utilities in Commission-ordered management audits and affiliate approvals.
  • Public Utility Regulatory Update, National Association of Water Companies - Annual Illinois Chapter Conference (June 12, 2019)
  • Panelist, Infrastructure Upgrades, Consumer Benefits and Capacity Payments: Amended Illinois Water Systems Viability Act, Institute for Regulatory Policy Studies annual conference (October 2018)
  • Panelist, Regulatory Ratemaking, Chicago Women’s Energy Network professional development evening (October 2018)
  • Moderator, Got Leadership? Leading, Learning and Utilizing Your Network, Chicago Women’s Energy Summit Rising Star Forum (September 2017)
  • Panelist, emPowering Girls,Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago/Women’s Energy Summit badge event (February 2017)
  • The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University, J.D. (2005)
    • National Moot Court Team
    • Articles Editor, Ohio State Law Journal
  • Miami University, B.A., cum laude (2002)
    • University Honors Program
    • Honors Thesis, Psychology
  • Illinois
  • Ohio
Christopher T. Kennedy

Christopher T. Kennedy

Partner


Phone: 614.224.3912

kennedy@whitt-sturtevant.com

Christopher Kennedy is a partner in the Columbus, Ohio office of Whitt Sturtevant LLP. Mr. Kennedy is a litigator experienced in representing corporate clients in energy-related matters. Mr. Kennedy has acted as regulatory counsel for Fortune 500 companies in government proceedings and investigations, both at the federal and state level. Mr. Kennedy also has acted as trial counsel for U.S. corporations needing to litigate business disputes in venues ranging from local courts to international arbitration tribunals. Prior to practicing in Columbus, Mr. Kennedy earned his stripes as a litigation and regulatory associate in the Washington. D.C. office of Jones Day. It was at Jones Day where Mr. Kennedy received the training and mentoring that provide the foundation for his approach to zealously representing his clients to this day.

Mr. Kennedy’s regulatory practice focuses on advising and defending electric, gas and water utilities on applications, petitions and other filings before state public utility agencies.  In that role, Mr. Kennedy appears before the Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) and the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in administrative proceedings to set rates and approve tariffs.  That experience includes the preparation and litigation, from start to finish, of more than a dozen different rate cases in the past eight years on behalf of regulated utilities. That experience includes both traditional historical and future test year cases (gas) and performance-based formula rate cases (electric). Mr. Kennedy also has handled gas and electric rate design proceedings, the approval of electric smart grid applications and other petitions for administrative action on behalf of public utilities in Ohio and Illinois. Prior to joining Whitt Sturtevant LLP at its inception, Mr. Kennedy worked for the litigation boutique, Carpenter Lipps & Leland LLP, also principally as an energy litigator, working on behalf of regulated utilities.

Mr. Kennedy began his legal career in the Columbus, Ohio office of Jones Day, defending corporate clients in local, statewide and federal matters. Mr. Kennedy went on to work in Washington, D.C., as regulatory and trial counsel, both with Jones Day and with Hollingsworth LLP. While in Washington, Mr. Kennedy advocated for his clients in an array of complex commercial cases and government proceedings, including antitrust and securities investigations, toxic tort, environmental, and pharmaceutical litigation, oil and gas lawsuits, contract disputes, property damage and personal injury cases, and claims against federal agencies. Mr. Kennedy also worked as a litigation associate with the law firm of Hinman Straub P.C., in Albany, New York, representing health care providers, insurers and managed care companies in New York state and federal courts, as well as bringing legal challenges to the administrative acts of New York State agencies. During his time at Hinman Straub, Mr. Kennedy gained admission to practice law in New York, where he currently maintains an active status.

Mr. Kennedy received his Juris Doctor degree from Duke University School of Law where he was Managing Editor of Law and Contemporary Problems, the oldest legal journal published at Duke University.  He is a graduate of both the Trial Academy of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the Utility Rate School of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

  • Approval of electric and gas Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) investment programs.
  • Approval of performance-based electric formula rates in Illinois.
  • Approval of performance-based metrics in Illinois.
  • Supervision of annual electric rate cases in Illinois to update electric formula rates.
  • Supervision of future test year rate cases for electric and gas delivery rates.
  • Supervision of historical test year rate cases for electric and gas delivery rates.
  • Supervision of electric and gas rate design proceedings.
  • Handling of regulatory and internal investigations in the areas of public utility, antitrust, securities, health and insurance law.
  • Handling of environmental remediation litigation.
Duke University School of Law, J.D. (2002)

  • Managing Editor of Law and Contemporary Problems

The Ohio State University (M.A., 1999)

College of the Holy Cross (B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1997)

  • Ohio
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
Mark W. DeMonte

Mark W. DeMonte

Partner


Phone: 312.270.2349

demonte@whitt-sturtevant.com

Mark DeMonte has nearly 15 years of experience resolving complex and difficult disputes through creative problem solving, whether inside or outside of the courtroom. His work covers a variety of forums, from prelitigation settlement, litigation in state and federal courts, regulatory proceedings before state administrative agencies, and in arbitration and mediation. He focuses on the early assessment of potential claims, defenses, and settlement, while efficiently handling discovery (including managing the costs of e-discovery), pretrial motion practice, trial, post-trial, and appeals, when necessary. 

Mark provides counseling to energy and water companies on assessing and addressing legal risk without disrupting the business goals, as well as legislative matters involving the future of energy and water regulation. He regularly practices before the Illinois Commerce Commission in a wide range of regulatory proceedings involving energy efficiency and demand response, smart grid, energy and capacity procurement, formula ratemaking, traditional rate cases, rulemaking proceedings, and approval of nearly a billion dollars of total cost recovery for clients.  

In his litigation practice, Mark has represented plaintiffs and defendants in litigation matters involving class actions, claims for breach of contract, insurance, tortious interference, trade secret misappropriation, fraud, administrative claims, state and federal False Claims Acts, and founded upon the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. He also has led or been part of teams that handled internal investigations conducted for clients to assess compliance with various state and federal laws and represents clients under investigation by state and federal agencies and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

  • Public Utility Regulatory Update, National Association of Water Companies - Annual Illinois Chapter Conference (June 12, 2019)
  • The Ohio State University, J.D. (2004)
  • Illinois Wesleyan University, B.A. (2000)
  • Illinois; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
  • Northern District of Indiana; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Shannon K. Rust

Shannon K. Rust

Senior Counsel


Phone: 614.224.3796

rust@whitt-sturtevant.com

Shannon has practiced corporate and securities law for over seven years, most recently as in-house counsel with a Fortune 500 manufacturing firm. She began her career with the international law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP in its Newport Beach, California office. Shannon is admitted to practice in Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, and Ohio.

Shannon earned her undergraduate degree in business and economics from Lehigh University. She is a 1998 graduate of the University of Southern California law school, where she served as Notes Editor of the Southern California Law Review and earned Order of the Coif honors. Shannon was Series 7 and Series 63 registered during her prior career in the finance industry with Merrill Lynch.

Shannon is a graduate of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Utility Rate School.

Graduate of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Utility Rate School.
  • University of Southern California School of Law, J.D. (1998)
  • Lehigh University, B.S. (1990)
  • Illinois
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
Christopher W. Flynn

Christopher W. Flynn

Of Counsel


Phone: 312.251.3016

flynn@whitt-sturtevant.com

Chris has represented electric, gas, water, sewer and telecommunications firms throughout his 30 year career, appearing before both state and federal agencies. Prior to joining the Firm, Chris was a partner at Jones Day, where he was regularly rated among the top energy lawyers in the country. He was excited by the opportunity to move to the Firm, where he represents utility clients in a focused environment, in which all the lawyers share a common interest and expertise in utility regulation.

Chris has been involved in a wide range of regulatory proceedings, including rate cases, reorganizations and mergers, transmission and other facility siting proceedings, regulatory investigations and audits, and rulemaking proceedings. He also has substantial experience in legislative matters and mergers and acquisitions. He has advised foreign investors on investing in U.S. utility assets and has spoken at various industry meetings in the U.S., Spain and Mexico.

Rate Proceedings

  • More than 15 state electric and gas rate proceedings for subsidiaries of Ameren Corporation
  • Over a dozen state water and/or sewer rate proceedings for affiliates of American Water Works and Aqua Illinois
  • CenterPoint Energy LDCs state rate proceedings
  • Numerous annual reconciliation proceedings (FAC, PGA, and other riders)

Other Significant Regulatory Proceedings

  • Ameren participates in Illinois Commerce Commission electric power procurement plan proceeding
  • Numerous electric transmission and water and sewer utility certificate and siting cases

Significant Transactions

  • Ameren acquires CILCORP for $1.35 billion
  • Ameren receives antitrust and regulatory approvals for Illinois Power acquisition
  • Ameren undergoes internal reorganization
  • Central Illinois Public Service Company obtains federal and Illinois regulatory approvals to form holding company
  • CIPSCO merges with Union Electric, creating Ameren Corporation
  • Unicom merges with PECO, creating Exelon Corporation
  • Exelon transfers electric generating units to an unregulated subsidiary
  • Ameren subsidiaries transfer electric generating and transmission assets to affiliates

Legislative Milestones

  • $1 billion funding agreement between three Ameren Illinois utilities, Exelon, Midwest Generation and Dynegy which forms part of a rate relief package negotiated with the Illinois state legislature for consumers
  • Electric formula rate legislation
  • Boston University, J.D. (1984)
  • Kalamazoo College, B.A. (1981)
  • Illinois
  • U.S District Court, N.D. Illinois
Gregory L. Williams

Gregory L. Williams

Of Counsel


Phone: 614.405.8715

williams@whitt-sturtevant.com

Greg advises businesses on federal, state and local government procurement and business development programs. Greg began his legal career as an associate at Whitt Sturtevant LLP. He left the firm in 2014 to serve as Deputy Director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS), and was appointed as the State of Ohio’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Coordinator. Greg rejoined the firm as Of Counsel in 2018.

During his service with the State of Ohio, Greg oversaw several small business development and procurement preference programs, including the State of Ohio’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program. During his administration of the MBE program, the state achieved its procurement goals for the first time since the program began in 1980, making Greg the first State EEO Coordinator in Ohio’s history with this accomplishment. Greg went on to lead the state to achieve the program’s goals for the next two consecutive fiscal years, which represented over $830 million in contracts and thousands of jobs created for minority-owned businesses.

Greg also oversaw the successful administration of the state’s Encouraging Diversity, Growth, and Equity (EDGE) Business Development program, through which over $981 million in state contracts and subcontracts were placed with historically underutilized businesses. He also implemented the state’s first preference program for Veteran-friendly Business Enterprises (VBE).

During law school, Greg completed clerkships with the Ohio governor’s office and the Ohio House of Representative. He has also served on the Franklin County Republican Party’s Executive Committee. Greg earned his J.D. from The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law and his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Akron.

  • The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University, J.D. (2010)
    • Judge Joseph M. Harter Memorial Award for Trial Practice
    • OSU Moritz College of Law Lawrence Negotiation Champion
    • CALI Awards as the highest scoring law student in Trial Practice; Law, History, & Philosophy; and Legislation Clinic
  • The University of Akron, B.A. (2005)
  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, N.D., Ohio
Member of the Board of Directors, Central Ohio African-American Chamber of Commerce.
Rebekah J. Glover

Rebekah J. Glover

Of Counsel


Phone: 614.224.3946

glover@whitt-sturtevant.com

Rebekah joined the Columbus office of Whitt Sturtevant LLP in 2015. Prior to this, she worked at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio as legal aide to Commissioner Asim Z. Haque. During her time at the Commission, Rebekah worked on a broad range of issues, including EPA carbon emissions standards, renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolio standards, and gas/electric coordination concerns.

Before her tenure with the Commission, Rebekah clerked with the Education Section of the Ohio Attorney General. There she worked as a contract attorney and project manager, leading teams in discovery on federal investigations and contract disputes. She also co-authored chapters on securities legislation, conflict minerals and resource extraction in “Emerging Trends in Securities Law: 2013-2014 Edition.”

Rebekah earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Anderson University and law degree from Georgetown University. She is the author of “Weighing Market Driven-Competition Against Government Regulation in Online Entertainment Media,” published in the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, where she held the role of Executive Editor. Rebekah was also a member of the Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic.

Rebekah was admitted to practice in Ohio and Virginia in 2012.

  • Legal aide to Commissioner Asim Z. Haque at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
  • Completed the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Regulatory Studies Program
  • Executive Editor, Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy
  • Author of “Weighing Market Driven-Competition Against Government Regulation in Online Entertainment Media,” published in the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy
  • Co-authored chapters on securities legislation, conflict minerals and resource extraction in “Emerging Trends in Securities Law: 2013-2014 Edition"
Georgetown University Law Center, J.D. (2011)

  • Executive Editor, Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy

Anderson University, B.A. (2005)

  • Ohio
  • Virginia
Maris Jager

Maris Jager

Of Counsel


Phone: 312.270.2533

jager@whitt-sturtevant.com

Maris has served as counsel in natural gas, water and electric regulatory proceedings, including natural gas, water and electric utility rate litigation, proceedings related to Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Smart Grid deployment and applications, cost and revenue reconciliations, system acquisitions, Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity applications and expansions, utility tariffs, rulemakings, energy efficiency programs and whistleblower litigation.  She has also counseled clients in complex litigation matters, including commodities trading and regulation, complex contract disputes, fraud, and antitrust law. 

Prior to joining the firm, Maris was Counsel at Rooney Rippie & Ratnaswamy LLP, where she focused her practice on utility regulatory proceedings.  Maris also previously served as a litigation associate in the Chicago office of a prominent international law firm, where she focused her practice on complex commercial litigation, including issues related to pipeline safety and natural gas defense.

Maris is an active member of several bar associations, including the Chicago Bar Association’s Energy and Communications Law Committee, the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA), and the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy and Resources.  Maris is also active in leadership roles in the ABA and WSBA.  She served as the 2018 Law Day Team Chair for the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division and vice-chair of the Articles Subcommittee for the Water Quality and Wetlands Committee of the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources.  She currently serves on the WSBA’s Editorial Advisory Committee.

Maris is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Washington. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School (2010), and a Bachelor of the Arts from Emory University (2007).  She is also a graduate of the American Gas Association’s Rate School. 

  • Represented electric, natural gas and water utilities in obtaining multi-million dollar rate increases.
  • Represented electric utility in rate design investigation related to proposed revenue-neutral tariff changes.
  • Represented natural gas and water utilities in rate design proposals, including development of new tariff language and supporting estimated cost of service studies.
  • Successfully represented electric utility in regulatory development and annual AMI related filings, including proceeding to implement peak time rebate program.
  • Represented natural gas utility in regulatory investigation of the implementation and operation of a performance-based regulatory program involving natural gas costs, which resulted in an agency decision rejecting intervenor claims seeking more than $200 million in refunds.
  • Represented utility on appeal where the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the agency decision (CUB v. ICC, 2015 IL App (2d) 130817, May 14, 2015).
  • Successfully represented a water utility in multiple acquisitions of water distribution and wastewater collection systems.
  • Obtained regulatory approval of Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity for water utility.
  • Obtained regulatory approval of energy efficiency plans for natural gas utility.
  • Obtained regulatory approval of contested energy efficiency costs under energy efficiency formula rate for electric utility.
  • Obtained regulatory approval of the reconciliation of revenues under various rider mechanisms, including energy efficiency, uncollectible expense recovery, qualified infrastructure plant surcharge and environmental cost recovery.
  • Obtained regulatory approval on behalf of water utility of issuance of multi-million dollar long-term debt to finance the acquisition of water and wastewater systems.
  • Advised medical cannabis cultivation business applicant regarding the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program and the permit application process for the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
  • Defended a gas utility in litigation involving a major explosion at a shopping mall in which more than 30 claimants filed suit for property damage and personal injuries.  The claims were consolidated and handled as mass tort litigation.
  • Secured dismissal of complaint brought against a natural gas utility under the Federal and Illinois False Claims Acts.
  • “State Immunity and Natural Disasters: A Sliding Scale of Landslide Liability,” Natural Resources & Environment, ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, Volume 33, Number 3, Winter 2019.
  • "Natural Gas’ Staying Power: From Generation to Electrification," American Gas Association Legal Forum, July 2018.
  • “The Aftermath of Flint: Lead Testing in Chicago's Day Cares and Schools,” Natural Resources & Environment, ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, Volume 32, Number 3, Winter 2018.
  • “Impact of New Walking-Working Surfaces Rules,” Modern Casting: A Publication of the American Foundry Society, February 2017.
  • “Water Utility Acquisition – An Illinois Model for Incentivizing Acquisitions,” The Current, Women's Council on Energy and the Environment, January 2016.
  • Co-author of the MEA Regulatory Report, a quarterly column addressing regulatory updates for the Midwest Energy Association, 2013-2018.
  • Panelist, “Green Tech and Energy: New Frontier,” Environmental Law Society, Northwestern Law School, April 5, 2016.
  • University of Chicago Law School, JD, 2010
  • Emory University, BA English Literature and Political Science, 2007
  • Illinois
  • Washington
Carrera Thibodeaux

Carrera Thibodeaux

Associate


Phone: 312.270.2534

thibodeaux@whitt-sturtevant.com

Carrera’s background experience consists of working in the legal department for a public utility and most recently, Carrera was a Legal and Policy Advisor to Commissioner Kimbrel at the Illinois Commerce Commission. During her time at the Commission, Carrera advised her Commissioner on matters such as rate and tariff approval, eminent domain, electric transmission siting, system acquisitions, and Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity applications among other proceedings before the Illinois Commerce Commission. She was also appointed as a member of the NARUC Staff Subcommittees on Critical Infrastructure, Energy Resources and the Environment, and Water. She has completed Michigan State University’s Institute of Public Utilities (IPU) Ratemaking Course and Co-authored Sampling of Methane Emissions Detection Technologies and Practices for Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure in 2019; a handbook published by NARUC-DOE Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership.

Carrera is licensed to practice law in Illinois. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Tennessee Knoxville. She is a member of the Black Women Lawyer’s Association where she previously held a Board of Directors position. She currently sits on their Scholarship Fund Board and is Chair of their Membership Services Committee.

  • Legal and Policy Advisor to Commissioner Kimbrel at the Illinois Commerce Commission.
  • Co-author of Sampling of Methane Emissions Detection Technologies and Practices for Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure, 2019. A handbook published by NARUC-DOE Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership.
  • Completed Michigan State University’s Institute of Public Utilities (IPU) Ratemaking Course, 2018.
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD, 2017 
    • Moot Court– Best Petitioner Brief, 3rd place regionals, top 5 nationals
  • University of Tennessee Knoxville, BA Political Science, 2012
  • Illinois
  • Black Women Lawyer’s Association Scholarship Fund Board Member and past 2018-2019 Board of Directors Member
  • Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program (DAPP) Associate Board Member

 

Lucas Fykes

Lucas Fykes

Associate


Phone: 614.405.8716

fykes@whitt-sturtevant.com

Lucas Fykes started his career in the energy industry as the Director of Operations for an Ohio-based energy consulting and brokerage firm specializing in electric and natural gas procurement for commercial, governmental, and residential clients. Lucas’s business experience enables him to develop practical solutions to complex legal and regulatory issues encountered by Firm clients.

Lucas earned his law degree from Brandeis School of Law in Louisville, Kentucky in 2016. He served as Articles Editor for the Journal of Animal and Environmental Law, competed in the National Environmental Moot Court Competition, and was chosen as the Donan Energy Fellow, where he assisted the Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet in implementing state and federal energy policy. Lucas also served as a judicial extern to two trial judges in Kentucky’s 48th Judicial Circuit.

Following law school, Lucas went on to earn a Master of Laws in Energy Law from Vermont Law School. His post-graduate academic work focused on the legal, economic, and technical aspects of state and federal energy law and policy. In addition to hosting and leading a panel discussion of solar contracts for the Vermont Bar Association in 2016, Lucas also guided non-profits in implementing community solar programs.

Lucas joined Whitt Sturtevant in 2019 to further realize his passion for energy law and policy.

  • Vermont Law School, LL.M (2017)
    • Obtained specialized legal, economic, and technical instruction in state and federal energy and environmental regulations, laws, and policy, with a focus on utility rate regulation, renewable energy development, grid reliability, and energy policy analysis
  • University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, J.D. (2016)
    • Junior Articles Editor and Assistant Articles Editor:​ ​Journal of Animal and Environmental Law
    • Junior Articles Editor and Assistant Articles Editor:​ ​Journal of Animal and Environmental Law
    • Fellow: ​Donan Energy Law Fellowship
    • Presenting Team Member​: Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
    • Treasurer: ​Environmental Law and Land Use Society
  • Western Kentucky University, B.A. Economics (2012)

 

    • Ohio