There is far more to effective public advocacy than the stereotype of “lobbying” suggests. Clients in the energy, public utility and telecommunications industries need respected experts with knowledge of and access not only to legislative bodies, but also to the agencies and commissions whose actions affect their ability to compete and prosper. The lawyers of Spiegel & McDiarmid LLP fit this description perfectly.
Our clients value the insights our lawyers bring to the public policy table, just as we value the insights our clients share with us. Congressional offices recognize this source of expertise and invite our input as technical advisors who can be relied upon to talk straight. With our clients and on other occasions, we have the opportunity to participate in meetings with commissioners and staffers at agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Federal Communications Commission to address current public policy issues.
Our energy and telecommunications clients rely on us to keep abreast of key legislative and policy initiatives on Capitol Hill and throughout the Executive Branch. We also work closely with the legislative teams of the local government and public power trade associations to ensure that our clients’ interests are well represented.
We sometimes have the opportunity to help shape legislation directly. We have assisted with the drafting of key statutes such as the Energy Policy Acts of 1992 and 2005, which amended the Federal Power Act (among others). Firm attorneys also were directly involved in the crafting of provisions in the Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act of 2000, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992. We like to think that our demonstrated expertise and trustworthiness contributes to our being asked to participate in these important efforts.
Local government and telecommunications clients, as well as clients in the public power community, including cooperative utilities, municipal and state-owned utilities and associations such as the Transmission Access Policy Study Group (TAPS), also know that our lobbying efforts are an important part of a spectrum of solutions to their needs. Often, there is more than one way to solve a client’s problem, and that requires consideration of options ranging from legislative remedies through to negotiation and litigation. This approach has been a mainstay of our practice.
The lawyers of Spiegel & McDiarmid serve our clients’ interests in the policy, lobbying and legislative spheres through the reputation we have developed as trusted experts on issues that matter. Because our clients typically do not have deep pockets and are not in a position to be major campaign contributors, our success in gaining access to the corridors of power relies on being able to provide reliable technical expertise and to rally support based on the grass roots consumer values that our clients typically represent.