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D.C. Circuit Hears Challenge to Clean Power Plan

Ten D.C. Circuit judges heard argument regarding the EPA’s authority to enact the Clean Power Plan and the rule’s constitutionality.  All active judges on the D.C. Circuit, with the exception of Merrick Garland, heard arguments from state government, power industry groups, the federal government and environmental...

Webinar: Patronage Capital Litigation

Since 2009, at least 14 cases have been filed against electric cooperatives over patronage capital (or capital credits) in eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.  To help coops understand the surge in this type of litigation, Sutherland will present a live Webinar, “Patronage Capital Litigation,” for...

Georgia Coop Settles Class Action Over Patronage Capital for $98 Million

After nearly four years of litigating a class action over patronage capital, Cobb EMC has agreed to pay a $98 million settlement to nearly one million of its current and former members.  The plaintiffs are to receive their portion of patronage capital (or “capital credits”) they were allegedly owed but never paid.  The Marietta Daily Journal has...

Litigation Update on 14 Patronage Capital Cases in Eight States

Since 2009, at least 14 cases have been filed against electric cooperatives over patronage capital (or capital credits) in eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.  Sutherland has previously issued Legal Alerts regarding these cases—most are in active litigation, some have apparently settled (or are close to settling),...

APSC Dismisses Class Action Complaint against Carroll Electric

The Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) has dismissed a class action complaint against Carroll Electric Cooperative Corporation (Carroll Electric) filed on behalf of all Carroll Electric’s members.  The complaint sought declaratory and injunctive relief for a number of what plaintiffs say are violations of Carroll Electric against its own bylaws and against contract law.  These...

Carroll Electric Cooperative Amends Bylaws to Prohibit Class Action Suits by Members

Carroll Electric Cooperative Corporation (CECC) recently amended its bylaws to prohibit class action litigation against it by its members; the amended bylaws require members to bring disputes to arbitration.  CECC’s board approved these amendments while the merits of a complaint initiated by Gordon Watkins and Dane Schumacher on behalf of coop members is being considered by the...

Discovery Begins with Class Action Status Still to be Considered in New Mexico Coop Litigation

After last week’s hearing, the litigation between Socorro Electric Cooperative and its members is progressing to the discovery stage of litigation.  The initial focus of discovery will be on issues relating to the members’ class action status.  The court has yet to address the members’ allegations that, among other things, the coop has wrongfully retained patronage capital owed to...

Cobb EMC Incurs Tens of Millions in Legal Fees

As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the embattled Georgia coop reported that it spent more than $10 million in legal fees for a period that covers just part of the coop’s recent legal troubles. The coop’s public relations firm declined to comment on Cobb EMC’s legal...

Take Back Cobb EMC Seeks Signatures to Oust Incumbents and Elect New Directors

A group of Cobb EMC members called Take Back Cobb EMC seek to conduct a special meeting and board election in response to the present board’s decision to re-hire former CEO Dwight Brown as an independent consultant to Cobb EMC. Brown was recently indicted on multiple counts of theft and racketeering. Members kicked-off a petition drive over the weekend to collect signatures from...

Cobb EMC Board Drops Suit Against Members

Cobb EMC announced that it would drop its February 2011 lawsuit where its board of directors filed suit in a Georgia court alleging that its members breached a previously reached settlement agreement.  The board’s claim was that the members breached the agreement by seeking criminal prosecution of Dwight Brown, Cobb EMC’s embattled CEO. The Marietta Daily Journal has...

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