Government Regulation

Our lawyers have represented individuals, companies, financial institutions, insurance companies, utilities, state governments, foreign governments, and public interest groups on a wide range of issues, including federal and state constitutional law, environmental and nuclear regulatory law, product safety, Medicare and Medicaid, tax law, utility rate regulation, securities regulation, the regulation of financial institutions, and public international law.

Ameren Union Electric Co.

We were part of a team representing AmerenUE in In the Matter of Union Electric Co., the largest electric utility in Missouri, in a major rate case. We dealt with a broad range of regulatory and constitutional issues, including the relationship between federal and state regulatory jurisdiction, the protection of contract rights, and the taking of unregulated property.

We were responsible for two of the highest “dollar value” issues in the case. For the more significant of the two, we defeated the unprecedented effort of the Public Service Commission’s staff to extend the Commission’s jurisdiction to include in the rate calculation for Missouri customers revenue from the utility’s out-of-state, unregulated affiliate, which sells power in the wholesale market. For the second, we achieved a reasonable return on equity for the utility.

McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Challenged in Supreme Court

In 2003, CGL represented members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, defending the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold bill) in the Supreme Court. In McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, the Court upheld almost all provisions of the McCain-Feingold bill.

Winstar Cases

Mr. Cynkar, while at another firm, was part of the team that brought, and prosecuted through the Supreme Court, the landmark United States v. Winstar case.

Federal regulators, in an effort to reduce their insurance liabilities for failing savings and loans during that industry’s financial crisis, had entered into agreements with the Winstar plaintiffs to take over and recapitalize failing thrifts. Subsequent legislation overhauling thrift regulation required federal regulators to breach key elements of these agreements to temporarily forebear enforcing certain regulatory standards.

As a result, the thrifts failed and were seized by the regulators. Overcoming various arguments that the federal government could not be held to its agreements in closely regulated industries in light of a congressional change of policy, the Supreme Court held that the federal government can be bound by such agreements and that it had an obligation to indemnify the thrift owners for the damages incurred. Over 100 “Winstar” cases were eventually filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims seeking damages on behalf of thrift owners.

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