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Regulatory Litigation WHEN IT COUNTS

Barnes & Thornburg's attorneys regularly represent clients before both state and federal regulatory bodies. These matters include licensing and permitting proceedings, investigations, and challenges to administrative rulemaking.

The Firm's attorneys are familiar with the often fast-developing litigation process before administrative tribunals and the particular difficulties regulated entities face when litigating cases before their regulators. Once disputes have been resolved by administrative agencies, the Firm has substantial experience in judicial review proceedings and appeals.

For instance, the Firm has represented clients in more than two dozen reported appellate decisions in the last 15 years. Those reported decisions arose in federal and state courts in 10 different jurisdictions.

Our regulatory experience includes all types of licenses and permitting disputes and includes administrative actions as varied as utility ratemaking decisions, alcohol beverage permitting, federal Medicaid and Medicare issues, environmental disputes and many other species of litigation.

  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a broker-dealer in connection with investigations conducted by SEC, NASD, NYSE and several state securities regulators in connection with multiple claims of churning and unsuitable and unauthorized trades against registered representative. No action was taken against broker-dealer.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a financial advisor in a state enforcement action brought against broker-dealer and several of its financial advisors. The State of Missouri voluntarily dismissed actions against the Firm’s client.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented an insurance company in a case involving alleged failure to register securities and failure to deliver prospectuses. The Illinois Securities Department voluntarily dismissed the claims.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney routinely counsels clients regarding the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reporting requirements and product recalls. This work has included the coordination of recalls for a variety of multi-national and national corporations.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a financial advisor in a case brought by a state Securities Commissioner, alleging securities fraud. The claims were dismissed for failure to state a claim.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented life insurance company in a dispute where the Plaintiff claimed fraud and breach of contract theories by alleging that she was told there would be no tax impact on a rollover of two annuities into a variable annuity. The federal district court granted summary judgment in client’s favor.
  • On behalf of securities agent client, a Barnes & Thornburg attorney obtained voluntary dismissal by state securities division of its administrative complaint seeking to revocation of the agent's license.
  • SunCoke and Middletown prevailed in a citizen suit designed to enjoin construction of a state-of-the-art Coke Plant that would provide dozens of high paying jobs in Middletown Ohio and help secure hundreds of existing jobs at the AK Steel plant located there. The Southern District of Ohio dismissed the plaintiff’s (the City of Monroe) claims on abstention grounds reasoning that air permitting and air permit appeals were the jurisdiction of the appropriate Ohio administrative agencies not the Federal District Court. Monroe appealed this decision to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals which ruled the appeal moot and remanded back to the District Court because SunCoke had obtained a major source air permit in the intervening months.

    The plaintifff then filed a motion for attorneys and expert fees and costs. The district court denied that motion and the Sixth Circuit affirmed. In addition to saving the client hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees and costs and preventing further costly discovery, the opinion establishes good law for industry clients defending Clean Air Act citizen suits. The decision reaffirms that permitting and permit appeals are the proper jurisdiction of state agencies who were delegated power by the USEPA under the Clean Air Act. The decision also stands for the proposition that plaintiff's should not be awarded fees and costs under the Clean Air Act without evidence they have prevailed on the merits in a case.
  • SunCoke and Middletown sought a Clean Air Act permit from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for the construction of a state-of-the-art Coke Plant that would provide dozens of high paying jobs in Middletown Ohio and help secure hundreds of existing jobs at the AK Steel plant located there. The plaintiffs then appealed that decision to an adminsitrative body that hears air permitting decisions. That body dismissed the permit appeal as moot and the plaintiffs appealed to the Ohio Court of Appeals. After oral argument on the issues, that Court affirmed the dismissal and agreed with our clients that the matter was moot.
  • The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) challenged a Clean Air Act permit issued to our client, Central Indiana Ethanol Inc., on the grounds that an Indiana state statute and regulation violated the Act. Both the Office of Environmental Appeals and the trial court disagreed, holding that Indiana law allowed our client to receive its permit. The matter is now pending before the Indiana Supreme Court.



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