Professional Experience

Chad Stokes is a partner of the firm and represents clients in the energy, municipal law, and litigation related matters, assisting them with commercial transactions, contract negotiations, rate proceedings, compliance issues, permitting, regional power and transmission issues, retail rate and service issues, administrative litigation, and other regulatory matters.

Mr. Stokes represents publically owned utilities and other public bodies in a variety of legal matters, including public contracting, public records, public meetings, government ethics and energy-related transactions and compliance. Mr. Stokes also represents clients before the Oregon Public Utility Commission, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Bonneville Power Administration, and state and federal courts.

After the energy crises in 2000-2001 and the bankruptcy or default of several notable energy companies, Mr. Stokes developed an expertise in commercial bankruptcy and default situations. Mr. Stokes represents creditors, debtors and receivers in a variety of legal matters, including representation of both business debtors and creditors in Chapter 7, 11 and 12 proceedings, and representation of receivers in state court proceedings.

Representative Work

  • Lead counsel for public utility against a wind power developer for breach of a power purchase agreement, which contained an arbitration clause. The dispute arose over the cost responsibility of what is commonly referred to as the “wind integration charge” and the power purchase agreement was silent on the responsibility for the charge. After an evidentiary hearing and related proceedings, Cable Huston secured an arbitration award from a three-member arbitration panel worth approximately $5 million to the public utility.
  • Lead counsel for City in Oregon with respect to the potential formation of a new municipal electric utility, which includes local governance issues, public records disputes, wholesale power supply issues and retail power service issues.
  • Lead counsel for City in Oregon in connection with the creation of a natural gas utility — the first of its kind in Oregon. This included filing a legal action in state court in order to affirm the City’s legal authority to own and operate a gas utility.
  • Lead counsel for group of customers (consisting of two telecommunications companies, a railroad, and a county) in a dispute over the cost responsibility of replacing a multi-million dollar electric service line in a remote portion of Puget Sound Energy’s service territory.
  • Lead counsel for natural gas trade organization consisting of over 40 industrial gas consumers with facilities in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Represents the group in ratemaking and other regulatory proceedings involving Northwest Natural Gas Company, Avista Utilities, Cascade Natural Gas Company, Puget Sound Energy, Northwest Pipeline Company and Gas Transmission Northwest.
  • General Counsel for Oregon consumer-owned telecommunications company on all legal issues related to the entity, including commercial transactions, regulatory compliance, public records and litigation.
  • Lead counsel for Independent Power Producer in Portland General Electric’s contested Request for Proposal for base load and peaking generation.
  • Counsel for public utility in federal civil case involving breach of purchase and sale agreement. After obtaining a judgment from the Court, Cable Huston instituted post-judgment proceedings which led to the collection of entire prayer amount plus all costs and attorneys’ fees worth more than $700,000.
  • Counsel for petroleum shipper in the Olympic Pipeline (Olympic) rate proceeding in Washington. Olympic filed to increase shipping rates by 62 percent. After protracted proceedings, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission granted a 2.5 percent increase, millions less than the requested increase.
  • Counsel for industrial customer in connection with regulatory proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission involving significant market losses arising from the California Energy Crisis.
  • Counsel for industrial customer in dispute over disclosure of critical energy infrastructure information before the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and Washington state courts.
  • Counsel for industrial customer in dispute with NW Natural Gas Company over territory allocation issues arising from directly connecting to the interstate pipeline and bypassing service from the local distribution company. This case was litigated before the Oregon Public Utility Commission and the Oregon Court of Appeals.
  • Regularly represents clients and negotiates contracts for the purchase and sale of power and ancillary electric services on both the wholesale and retail level, including contracts for the purchase and sale of output from wind farms, solar and other generating assets.
  • Regularly advises public clients on public records, public meetings, election laws, government ethics and other matters related to public entities.
  • Lead counsel for Washington Receiver in matter involving a multi-million dollar facility.
  • Counsel for lender in receivership action involving the KOIN Center in Portland, Oregon.
  • Counsel for business debtors in Chapter 7, 11 and 12 proceedings, including several confirmed Chapter

Professional Activities

  • Member, Oregon State Bar
  • Member, Washington State Bar
  • Executive Committee of the Energy, Utility and Telecommunications Section of the Oregon State Bar

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