The firm maintains an active administrative practice before federal departments and agencies.  In addition to practice under the Freedom of Information Act, the firm represents clients in adjudicative and rule making proceedings and other advocacy roles before federal agencies.  Among the federal departments and agencies where the firm practices and has practiced are:

  • Commerce Department - Export Control Administration
  • Energy Department - Office of Hearings and Appeals, Economic Regulatory Administration, Energy Information Agency
  • Health and Human Services Department - Food and Drug Administration
  • Interior Department - Minerals Management Service, Bureau of Land Management
  • Justice Department - Antitrust Division, Criminal Division, Foreign Agents Registration Unit
  • Treasury Department - Office of the Controller of the Currency
  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Federal Reserve Board
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Office of the United States Trade Representative
  • Securities and Exchange Commission

Administrative Law


Antitrust Practice

The firm's antitrust practice involves advising and representing plaintiffs and defendants in private civil litigation, negotiations with the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and Congressional committees on antitrust policy issues and specific cases, including limited representation of criminal antitrust targets.  In addition, the firm advises several States on antitrust policy.

Some representative cases are:

City of Long Beach v. Standard Oil Co. of California, et al, (M.D.L. 150 C.D.Cal.). We advised trial counsel in California in one of the largest and most complex private antitrust suits which resulted in a recovery of over $360 million.

In re: Wheat Farmers Antitrust Class Action, 440 F.Supp. 1022, 1978-1 CCH Trade Cas. Para. 62,017, 24 F.R.Serv.2d 700 (D.D.C. 1977).  We served as Washington counsel for the several plaintiff classes.

Stern v. Lucy Webb Hayes National Training School for Deaconesses and Missionaries, 367 F.Supp. 536, 1973-2 CCH Trade Cas. Para. 74,808 (D.D.C. 1973) (class certification); 381 F.Supp. 1003 (D.D.C. 1974) (merits). Set fiduciary duties for directors of charitable institutions.


Civil Litigation

Complex litigation (as described in the Federal Judicial Center's Manual for Complex Litigation) has constituted a significant portion of the firm's practice over the years, and includes antitrust, class and derivative actions and multi-district litigation.  Among the MDL cases the firm has been involved in are:

City of Long Beach v. Standard Oil Co. of California, et al, (M.D.L. 150 C.D.Cal.).

In re Dept. of Energy Stripper Well Exemption Lit., 578 F. Supp. 586(D.Kan. 1983), on certification sub nom. Exxon Corp. v. United States Dept. of Energy, 744 F.2d 98 (TECA), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1077 (1984)

In re: Wheat Farmers Antitrust Class Action, 440 F.Supp. 1022, 1978-1 CCH Trade Cas. Para. 62,017, 24 F.R.Serv.2d 700 (D.D.C. 1977).

The firm also conducts jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, litigating such matters as medical malpractice and personal injury cases, libel, and commercial fraud matters.  In addition, as set out below, the firm has a substantial litigation practice in the areas of economic regulation, energy and legal ethics.


Crisis Management and Congressional Investigations

When individuals or corporations get into trouble in Washington, they need representation that can handle the legal, Congressional and public relations aspects. The firm has done so very successfully. We define success as when the client doesn’t appear before a grand jury, congressional committee or in the press. Even in those cases where the firm was retained after the client’s problem was publicly identified, the firm almost always managed to solve the problem with minimal cost and publicity to the client.


The firm's practice is substantially concerned with economic regulation of industry and commerce. Representative cases are discussed elsewhere in this memorandum under such headings as antitrust, energy, financial institutions, and securities law.

Economic Regulation


From its inception, a substantial part of the firm's practice has addressed public policy issues arising from the activities of the energy industry, primarily petroleum and natural gas, although the firm also has been involved in issues of nuclear power, electric distribution and geothermal energy.  The firm's clients in these areas come from a broad spectrum of consumers, public interest organizations, State and local governments, and independent companies; the firm's adversaries are almost inevitably either major oil companies or federal agencies.

Our practice has involved virtually every aspect of the petroleum business: leasing, production, transportation, refining, distribution, and marketing, and has included issues of royalties, imports, exports, crude oil pricing and allocation, pipeline regulation, refined products pricing, supply contracts and taxation, to mention only a selected few of the many economic consequences of petroleum activity affecting the firm's clients.  Much of this practice involves work in locations outside of the District of Columbia, primarily in the Rocky Mountains and on the West Coast, and attorneys from the firm have traveled on energy-related business as far as the North Slope of Alaska, the South Pacific, and Europe.

Among the litigated matters handled by the firm in this area are:

Arkla Exploration Co. v. Watt, 548 F.Supp. 466, 76 Oil & Gas Rep. 1 (1982)(preliminary); 562 F.Supp. 1214, 78 Oil & Gas Rep. 235 (W.D. Ark. 1983), aff'd, 734 F.2d 347, 81 Oil & Gas Rep. 486 (8th Cir. 1984), cert. denied sub nom. Texas Oil & Gas Corp. v. Arkla Exploration Co., 469 U.S. 1158 (1985).  This was the first reported case in which a successful challenge was made under the Mineral Leasing Act to a decision of the Secretary of the Interior awarding oil and gas leases.

Consumers Union of United States, Inc., Washington, D.C., 6 DOE ¶82,555 (1980)

Anderson v. Dunlop, 485 F.2d 666, CCH Econ. Controls Para. 9838 (TECA 1973), cert. denied, 414 U.S. 1131 (1974), reversing CCH Econ. Controls Para. 9843 (D.D.C. 1973).

Atlantic Richfield Co. v. U.S. Department of Energy, 618 F. Supp. 1199 (D.Del. 1985)

Citronelle-Mobile Gathering, Inc. v. Edwards, 669 F.2d 717 (TECA 1982)

Department of Energy v. Hunt, 798 F.2d 1421 (TECA 1986)

In re Dept. of Energy Stripper Well Exemption Lit., 578 F. Supp. 586(D.Kan. 1983), on certification sub nom. Exxon Corp. v. United States Dept. of Energy, 744 F.2d 98 (TECA), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1077 (1984) 

Standard Oil Co. v. Federal Energy Administration, 440 F.Supp. 328 (N.D. Ohio 1977); also 453 F.Supp. 203 (N.D. Ohio 1978).

Texas Oil & Gas Corp. v. Hodel, 654 F.Supp. 319 (D.D.C. 1987).

Texas Oil and Gas Corp. v. Watt, 683 F.2d 427 (D.C. Cir 1982).

United States v. Arizona Fuels Corp., 638 F.2d 239 (TECA, 1980) cert. denied, 451 U.S. 985 (1981); also 681 F.2d 797 (1982).

United States v. Exxon Corp., 561 F.Supp. 816 (D.D.C. 1983) aff'd 773 F.2d 1240 (TECA 1985), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1105 (1986)

Oklahoma v. Ratex, No. C87-58 (D.Ct. Okla.) (filed July 1, 1987), was the first case in which a State asserted that the traditional obligations of oil and gas lessee prudence and diligence extended to administrative price control action to maximize royalties.

Energy


The firm represents environmental organizations and coalitions, often on a pro bono basis.  Among the cases which the firm has litigated are:

Town of Summersville, W. Va. v. F.E.R.C., 780 F.2d 1034 (D.C. Cir. 1986) (counsel for Friends of the Earth)

National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, et al., v. EPA, 679 F. Supp. 55 (D.D.C. 1988), reversed, No. 88-5147 (Feb. 3, 1989 D.C.Cir.)

Environment


The firm has served as general counsel to a national bank and has advised other financial institutions.  The firm's primary interest in this area, however, has been in representing the victims of faithless fiduciaries, in such cases as:

Ehlen v. Lewis, 984 F. Supp. 5 (D.D.C. 1997) When a real estate broker breaches his fiduciary obligationby secretly profiting at client’s expense, he must pay disgourge his profit and his client’s legal fees.

Robinson v. R&R Publishing, Inc., 943 F. Supp. 18 (D.D.C. 1996) Officer of a corporation who tried to copyright a book she wrote for the corporation breached her fiduciary duty because copyright belonged to the corporation.

Stern v. Lucy Webb Hayes National Training School for Deaconesses and Missionaries, 367 F.Supp. 536, 1973-2 CCH Trade Cas. Para. 74,808 (D.D.C. 1973) (class certification); 381 F.Supp. 1003 (1974) (merits).  This is the leading case on the fiduciary obligations of trustees of charitable organizations.

Zewadski, Trustee v. Johnston, Lemon & Co., Inc., 1975-1976 Fed. Sec. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶95,353 (D.D.C. 1975), aff'd mem. 543 F.2d 418 (1976).  This is a leading case on conflicts of interest for counsel of mutual funds and investment advisors.

Brink v. DaLesio, 667 F.2d 420 (4th Cir. 1981); 88 F.R.D. 610 (D.Md. 1980); 496 F. Supp. 1350 (D.Md. 1980); 82 F.R.D. 664 (D.Md. 1979); 453 F. Supp. 272 (D.Md.
 (complex litigation which recovered $1.8 million from union officer and pension fund administrator for multitude of fiduciary violations under LMRDA and ERISA).

Financial Institutions and Fiduciaries


The firm has represented parties before the Foreign Agents Registration Unit of the Internal Security Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.  In addition to having represented clients in grand jury proceedings, we counsel registered foreign agents and from time to time the firm itself has registered under FARA. The firm also represents the Algerian Embassy on commercial matters.

Foreign Agents


The firm is widely recognized, particularly among the media, for its expertise and determination in pursuing Freedom of Information Act requests.

Freedom of Information


The firm has a traditional labor-management practice, representing unions and individuals before federal courts, administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board and the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and arbitrators. In addition to handling individual cases, Mr. Fox has served as general counsel to several unions, handling not only issues arising from organizing, collective bargaining, contract enforcement and duty of fair representation, but also governance and constitutional structure, mergers and affiliations, finances, elections and officer fiduciary responsibilities.

Labor


The firm maintains a wide-ranging practice involving the laws which regulate the professional conduct of lawyers.  The firm's services in these areas are provided to lawyers, law firms and other individuals or entities dealing with lawyers, and include counseling, negotiation, litigation, representation before non-judicial tribunals, and arbitration.  This practice has included work on ethical issues involving conflicts of interest, fiduciary obligations, disclosure of confidential information, attorney-client privilege, fraud on clients, solicitation, appearances of impropriety, malpractice, and professional misconduct generally.

Among the specific cases dealing with the law of lawyers in which the firm has represented clients are:

  • Disqualification of counsel, in a case of first impression applying the statutory conflict of interest presumptions under the Investment Company Act to attorneys.  Zewadski, Trustee v. Johnston, Lemon & Co., Inc., 1975-1976 Fed. Sec. L. Rep. ¶ 95,353 (D.D.C. 1975)(CCH), aff'd mem., 543 F.2d 418 (D.C. Cir. 1976).
     
  • Qualification of counsel, in a case construing the application of the conflict of interest provisions of the Code on Professional Responsibility to former government attorneys now appearing in private practice.   Louisiana Power & Light Co. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, No. 82-4042, Slip op. (5th Cir. June 21, 1982), dismissing appeal from Louisiana Power & Light Co., ER81-457-000 and ER81-13-000 (FERC).
     
  • Consequences of break-ups of law partnerships and professional corporations, in several cases in which the firm has represented departing partners or the remaining firm, in litigation, arbitration, negotiations and/or drafting and counseling.  Included in this category are such cases as Dudley v. Seymour & Dudley, etc., No. 82-1291 (D.D.C.) and various matters currently under seal or otherwise confidential.
     
  • Ethical obligations of lawyers participating in commercial advertising and client reference services.  Proceedings before the Legal Ethics Committee, The District of Columbia Bar, Opinion No. 70A, (1979)   
     
  • Protection of the confidences and secrets of clients in discovery against an attorney.  In re Coordinated Pretrial Proceedings in Petroleum Products Antitrust Litigation, F.S. 82-0092 (D.D.C.), and other cases.  
     
  • Counsel in matters not of public record including: disciplinary proceedings before the Board on Professional Responsibility of the D.C. Court of Appeals (business transactions with clients, commingling funds, conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, conviction for offenses involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, excessive fees, neglect, reciprocal discipline, reporting professional misconduct); proceedings before the Office of Professional Responsibility, U.S. Department of Justice (conflict of interest); disclosure of confidential information and law partnership disputes, etc.

Mr. Lobel served on the faculty of the PLI courses "Defending the Professional" (1982) and "Congressional Oversight Investigations" (1984).

Legal Ethics and the Legal Profession


The firm is registered under the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act and, in addition, members appear on request before committees of the Congress in an unregistered capacity.

Among the congressional issues in which the firm has been involved are:

  • Catastrophic health insurance
  • Debarment of pharmaceutical companies
  • Patent legislation
  • Federal-State mineral royalty collection
  • Newspaper publishers' antitrust treatment
  • Oil pipeline regulation
  • Negotiable Orders of Withdrawal (NOW) accounts
  • Telephone service providers
  • Investigations of foreign activities in the U.S.

Two attorneys in the firm previously served as congressional staff members.  Mr. Banta was counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly, 1974-1979, and subsequently counsel to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 1979-1980.  Mr. Lobel was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association for Congressman Gerald R. Ford and Senator William Proxmire in 1968 and subsequently became Legislative Assistant to Senator William Proxmire, 1968-1972.

Lobbying


The firm's involvement with talent and artistic contracts dates from its inception when it served as special counsel to the Writers Guild West in connection with the treatment of motion picture and television screenplays under the Economic Stabilization Act and subsequently as counsel to an actor-producer in connection with the consequences under the federal antitrust laws of the classification of motion pictures under the MPAA rating system.

The firm has an extensive practice representing authors, print reporters, television correspondents, producers and editors in contract negotiations and libel defense.  The firm's list of clients in this field includes creative talent from all the principal print and television media, including all major networks and most of the major newspapers.

Media


The firm was founded with the explicit intent of furthering the public interest.  Originally focused on national energy policy issues, the firm's public interest activity has broadened to include a wide range of environmental, consumer, civil rights, and other public issues. Most of the firm's public interest work is done on a pro bono basis.

Among the public interest matters handled by the firm outside of the energy area are:

  • Representation of Friends of the Earth in litigation seeking to prevent the construction of a dam on a river eligible for designation under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Town of Summersville, W. Va. v. F.E.R.C., 780 F.2d 1034 (D.C. Cir. 1986).
  • Representation of Consumers Union in administrative proceedings and litigation seeking fair enforcement of federal price controls.  Consumers Union of United States, Inc., Washington, D.C., 6 DOE ¶82,555 (1980).
     
  • Representation of a coalition of environmental organizations in litigation to restrict the use of a carcinogenic termiticide.  National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides v. EPA, 679 F.Supp. 55 (D.D.C. 1988), reversed, No. 88-5147 (Feb. 3, 1989 D.C. Cir.).
  • Representation of Consumers Union, on behalf of the travelling public, in the Eastern Airlines bankruptcy proceedings.  In re Ionosphere Clubs, Inc. and Eastern Air Lines, Inc., 1989 Bankr. LEXIS 1075 (Bk.S.D.N.Y. 1989).
     
  • Representation of the class of patients at a hospital seeking to enforce the fiduciary obligations of the hospital's trustees to invest the hospital's surplus funds. Stern v. Lucy Webb Hayes National Training School for Deaconesses and Missionaries, 367 F.Supp. 536, 1973-2 CCH Trade Cas. Para. 74,808 (D.D.C. 1973) (class certification); 381 F.Supp. 1003 (1974) (merits).
     
  • Defense of the president of a non-profit women's medical care facility in litigation against a board of directors which failed to meet its public obligations. In re Women's Medical Center of Washington, D.C., Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 0286-84, (D.C., Sup.Ct.).
     
  • Representation of a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) subjected to expulsion proceedings by the DAR because she publicly criticized the organization's apparent policy of excluding black candidates.
     
  • Representation before the federal Bureau of Prisons of Orthodox Jewish prisoners in the federal penitentiary system as a class seeking kosher meals.
     
  • Representation of various public interest organizations in Freedom of Information Act proceedings.  E.g., Roeder v. Federal Elections Commission, No. 79-0216, Slip op. (D.D.C. July 5, 1979); See also Federal Election Commission, 44 Fed.Reg. 53924 (proposed rule making, September 17, 1979).
     
  • Volunteer public service activities by the firm's attorneys have included chairing of bar committees in the areas of consumer affairs, antitrust law, lawyer specialization, and title registration, chairing the Board of Directors of Tax Analysts, membership on the Judicial Conference of the District of Columbia, and on the Committee on Public Interest Law of the Harvard Law School Alumni Association.  
     
  • Members of the firm have from time to time served in quasi-judicial positions.  Mr. Lobel was appointed by the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas to serve as Referee for the Resellers Escrow Fund, see In Re Dept. of Energy Stripper Well Exemption Litigation, 853 F.2d 1579, 1584 (TECA 1988). Ms. Helfrich was a member of the Board of Professional Responsibility of the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Public Interest Activities


Over the years the firm has served some twenty-nine States, including Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.   The firm has served its State clients as counsel in cases ranging from rural county courts to the U.S. Supreme Court, and as advisors, investigators, drafters and negotiators on behalf of State interests.

The principal areas in which the firm serves its State clients are energy law, antitrust law, natural resources and land management law, unclaimed property, and issues of State taxation arising under the federal Constitution.

Oil Overcharge Refund Proceedings:

The most significant series of complex cases in which the firm represented multiple State clients was the oil overcharge refund litigation, comprising more than a hundred separate proceedings before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, U.S. District Courts in the District of Columbia, Kansas, Delaware, and Texas, the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  As a result of that litigation the States recovered over four billion dollars, of which our clients' share was over a billion dollars.

Among the important separate cases in the oil overcharge litigation area are:

Citronelle-Mobile Gathering, Inc. v. Edwards, 669 F.2d 717 (TECA 1982)(key portion of opinion taken in toto from firm's amicus brief for State of California). In this and other early cases, the firm played a leading role in resisting the federal government's effort to keep crude oil refunds for itself, and in laying the foundation for the eventual refund of billions of dollars to the States as restitution for consumer-citizens. 

United States v. Exxon Corp., 773 F.2d 1240 (TECA 1985), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1105 (1986), affirming 561 F.Supp. 816 (D.D.C. 1983).  In Exxon, over two billion dollars was awarded to the States, believed to be the single largest civil judgment at that time to have become final.  The firm represented the largest single group of State claimants, whose recoveries were over six hundred million dollars.

In re Dept. of Energy Stripper Well Exemption Lit., 578 F. Supp. 586 (D.Kan. 1983), on certification sub nom. Exxon Corp. v. United States Dept. of Energy, 744 F.2d 98 (TECA), cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1077, 105 S. Ct. 576, 83 L.Ed.2d 515 (1984); see also653 F. Supp. 108 (D. Kan. 1986)(approving settlement).  In Stripper, the firm played a major role at every stage of the case, especially in presenting the States' economic evidence in the key evidentiary hearings before the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the U.S. Department of Energy, which led to the settlement of the litigation. The firm was a leading participant, on behalf of the States, in the complex negotiations to obtain a favorable settlement.  The firm represented the largest single group of State claimants in the litigation, whose recoveries have exceeded four hundred million dollars. 

Oil and Gas Royalty and Federal Leasing Litigation:

The firm is widely recognized as the primary legal resource for States and for "STRAC" (the State and Tribal Royalty Audit Committee, consisting of auditors for 11 States and four Indian tribes), on issues relating to royalties from oil and gas production on federal lands and other State mineral royalty and leasing issues.

Cases in this area include:

Chiang v. Kemp Thornei, 04CA119 (U.S. D.R. DC 2007)

Phillips v. Lujan, Nos. 89-C-887-B and 90-C-1052-E (N.D.Okla.), where three States, a tribe, and STRAC supported the Secretary of Interior's defense against the efforts of two oil companies to limit the access of federal, State, and tribal auditors to production and sales records.

California v. Watt, No. 81-1217 (D.D.C.) (filed May 26, 1981), the first litigation in which a State invoked judicial review of U.S. Department of the Interior federal royalty management procedures, and the only such case to result in financial recovery for a State.

Oklahoma v. Ratex, No. C87-58 (D.C.Okla.) (filed July 1, 1987), the first litigation in which a State asserted that the traditional obligations of oil and gas lessee prudence and diligence extended to administrative price control action to maximize royalties, resulting in several rulings strengthening State enforcement of royalty obligations.

Arkla Exploration Co. v. Watt, 548 F.Supp. 466, 76 Oil & Gas Rep. 1 (W.D. Ark. 1982)(preliminary); 562 F.Supp. 1214, 78 Oil & Gas Rep. 235 (1983), affirmed, 734 F.2d 347, 81 Oil & Gas Rep. 486 (8th Cir. 1984), cert. denied, sub nomTexas Oil & Gas Corp. v. Arkla Exploration Co.,469 U.S. 1158, 105 S. Ct. 905, 83 L.Ed.2d 920 (1985).  In Arkla, the firm, on behalf of Arkansas and a private company, successfully tried the first action in which federal mineral leases were ordered withdrawn for failure to properly evaluate scientific data. We successfully briefed and argued the appeal and opposed certiorari.

State Taxation Issues:

The firm's tax law practice focuses on issues of State taxing power under the U.S. Constitution, including the constraints of the federal treaty power, the Commerce, Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses.  In addition to assisting States' efforts to defend State unitary taxes against foreign governments' attempts at federal preemption through treaties, the firm has counseled and assisted States in a wide variety of tax cases, including: 

Barclays Bank, PLC v. Franchise Tax Board & Colgate-Palmolive Co. v. Franchise Tax Board, 512 U.S. 298 (1994)  We filed two amici briefs, one on behalf of Congressmen Don Edwards, et al. and one of behalf of California Tax Reform Association, et al.

Kraft Foods v. Iowa Department of Revenue, 505 U.S. 71 (1992).  We filed the amicusbrief for the State and Local Legal Center in support of Iowa's unitary tax.

Quill Corp. v. State of North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992).  We filed the Multistate Tax Commission’s amicus brief in support of a State's right to require mail order marketers to collect the State's use tax.

Franchise Tax Board v. Alcan Aluminium Ltd., 493 U.S. 331 (1990). We filed an amicus brief for the State and Local Legal Center supporting California's contention that a foreign corporation does not have standing to attack a State tax in federal court.  The Court unanimously upheld the State position.

Amerada Hess Corp. v. Director, Division of Taxation, 490 U.S. 66, (1989). We assisted the New Jersey Attorney General's office in briefing and arguing the State's right to use a tax scheme different from the federal government's. A unanimous Court accepted the State's position.

Goldberg v. Sweet, 488 U.S. 252, (1989). Our amicus brief for the State and Local Legal Center supporting the constitutionality of the Illinois tax on interstate telephone calls was cited by the Court in upholding the tax.

Hawaii and West Virginia Tax Refund Issues. We assisted these States in minimizing their exposure to large claims for retroactive refunds of unconstitutional taxes.

Federal Preemption:

In re: Stripper Well (Motion of Exxon and ARCO), M.D.L. 378, Order of Sept. 10, 1990, Dkt. No. 1932 (D. Kan.), aff'd., 945 F.2d 1575 (TECA 1991).  We assisted Alaska in briefing and arguing its successful motion to dismiss the oil companies' effort to assert the Stripper settlement as a barrier to collection of oil production taxes. 

Puerto Rico Department of Consumer Affairs v. Isla Petroleum Corp., 485 U.S. 495, 108 S. Ct. 1350, 99 L.Ed 2d 582 (1988). As counsel for a group of States, amici curiae, we filed a brief arguing that the Court should grant certiorari and rule that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico's power to regulate the prices of petroleum products was not preempted by the federal government.  A unanimous Court agreed with our position.

Public Agency's Right to Counsel:

Louisiana Power & Light Company v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, No. 82-4042, slip op. (5th Cir. June 21, 1982), dismissing appeal from Louisiana Power & Light Co., ER81-457-000 and ER81-13-000 (FERC).  In these cases, the firm defended a city's right to use a former government attorney as its counsel before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

 488 U.S. at 255, two refs. to "Brief for National Conference of State Legislatures et al. as Amici Curiae". Text and fn. 2.

State Representation


The firm advises counsel and drafts party and amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court:

DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, No. 04-1704 (2006)(Of counsel to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, amicus)

Barclays Bank, PLC v. Franchise Tax Board & Colgate-Palmolive Co. v. Franchise Tax Board, 512 U.S. 298 (1994) (Filed two amici briefs, one on behalf of Congressmen Don Edwards, et al. and one of behalf of California Tax Reform Association, et al.)

Delaware v. Texas v. New York, 507 U.S. 490 (1993) (Counsel to several States, amici)

Kraft Foods v. Iowa Dept. of Revenue, 505 U.S. 71 (1992) (Of counsel to the State and Local Legal Center, amicus)

Quill Corp. v. State of North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992) (Of counsel to the Multistate Tax Commission, amicus).

Franchise Tax Board v. Alcan Aluminium, Ltd., 493 U.S. 331 (1990) (Of counsel to the State and Local Legal Center, amicus)

Amerada Hess Corp. v. Director, Division of Taxation, 490 U.S. 66 (1989) (Of counsel to the State of New Jersey)

Goldberg v. Sweet, 488 U.S. 252 (1989) (Of counsel to the State and Local Legal Center, amicus)

Puerto Rico Department of Consumer Affairs v. Isla Petroleum Corp., 485 U.S. 495 (1988) (Counsel for Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Oregon, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin, amici)

Bolar Pharmaceutical Co., Inc. v. Ciba-Geigy Corp., 465 U.S. 1010 (1984), denying cert. in 719 F.2d 56 (3d Cir. 1983) (amici)

In addition to its Supreme Court work, the firm represents clients in appellate practice in the District of Columbia and in federal courts throughout the country.  Lawyers from the firm have participated in such cases as:

United States v. Exxon Corp., 561 F.Supp. 816 (D.D.C. 1983) aff'd 773 F.2d 1240 (TECA 1985), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1105 (1986)

Arkla Exploration Co. v. Watt, 548 F.Supp. 466, 76 Oil & Gas Rep. 1 (1982) (preliminary); 562 F.Supp. 1214, 78 Oil & Gas Rep. 235 (W.D. Ark. 1983), aff'd, 734 F.2d 347, 81 Oil & Gas Rep. 486 (8th Cir. 1984), cert. denied sub nom. Texas Oil & Gas Corp. v. Arkla Exploration Co., 469 U.S. 1158 (1985)

Zewadski, Trustee v. Johnston, Lemon & Co., Inc., 1975-1976 Fed. Sec. L. Rep. ¶ 95,353 (D.D.C. 1975)(CCH), aff'd mem., 543 F.2d 418 (D.C. Cir. 1976).

Wieck v. Sterenbuch, 350 A.2d 384 (D.C.App. 1976).

Louisiana Power & Light Co. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, No. 82-4042, Slip op. (5th Cir. June 21, 1982) (Firm was counsel for Intervenor, The City of Winfield, Louisiana).

Local 82, Furniture Drivers v. Crowley, 467 U.S. 526 (1984) 

DelCostello v. Teamsters, 462 U.S. 151 (1983) 

Daniel v. Teamsters, 439 U.S. 551 (1979)

Hines v. Anchor Motor Freight, 424 U.S. 554 (1976)

Supreme Court and other Appellate Practice


The firm does not practice tax law in the commonly understood sense, that is, we do not assist individuals or corporations in connection with income, sales or excise taxes.  However, the firm does have a long-standing interest in tax policy issues arising from those provisions of the federal constitution regulating our system of federalism — the treaty power, the Commerce Clause, and the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses.

Accordingly, the firm has an active practice in issues of State taxation under the federal constitution.  That practice has included matters relating to the negotiation and ratification of a tax treaty between the United States and a foreign nation as well as briefing and counseling with respect to litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court, including: 

DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, No. 04-1704 (2006)(Of counsel to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, amicus)

Barclays Bank, PLC v. Franchise Tax Board & Colgate-Palmolive Co. v. Franchise Tax Board, 512 U.S. 298 (1994) (We filed two amici briefs, one on behalf of Congressmen Don Edwards, et al. and one of behalf of California Tax Reform Association, et al. in support of California).

Kraft v. Iowa, 505 U.S. 71 (1993).  We filed an amicus brief for the State and Local Legal Center in support of Iowa's tax.

Quill Corp. v. State of North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1993).  We were of counsel to the Multistate Tax Commission on a brief in support of the State's right to require mail order marketers to collect the State's use tax.

Franchise Tax Board v. Alcan Aluminium Ltd., 493 U.S. 331 (1990). We filed an amicus brief for the State and Local Legal Center supporting California's contention that a foreign corporation does not have standing to attack a State tax in federal court.  The Court unanimously upheld the State position.

Amerada Hess Corp. v. Director, Division of Taxation, 490 U.S. 66 (1989). We assisted the New Jersey Attorney General in briefing and arguing the State's right to use a tax scheme different from the federal government's. A unanimous Court accepted the State's position.

Goldberg v. Sweet, 488 U.S. 252 (1989). Our amicus brief for the State and Local Legal Center in support of the constitutionality of the Illinois tax on interstate telephone calls, was cited by the Court in upholding the tax.

In addition to the U.S. Supreme Court tax litigation listed above, we advised the State of Hawaii on how to minimize its liability when it had to refund taxes that were ruled unconstitutional in Bacchus Imports, Ltd. v. Dias, 468 U.S. 263 (1984) and in the Keystone insurance cases. We advised the State of West Virginia on the same issue when one its taxes was ruled unconstitutional in Armco v. Hardesty, 467 U.S. 638 (1984).  Martin Lobel has also written the leading article in the area entitled "Refunding Unconstitutional State Taxes," July 29, 1991 Tax Notes at 581.

Mr. Lobel has served since 1972 as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tax Analysts which publishes Tax Notes and other analytical and informational magazines and services on tax policy and administration.

Tax Policy


Nationally recognized expertise involving issues arising under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure At ("LMRDA"), including union officer elections, governance, constitutional structure, mergers and affiliations, finances and officer fiduciary responsibilities, and members' free speech rights under Title I, the so-called members' Bill of Rights. Mr. Fox has both counseled unions and member reform caucuses, while also representing numerous victims of union political repression, successfully challenging, inter alia, unlawful trusteeships, constituional restraints on members' rights, and "engineered" referenda (e.g., to ratify collective bargaining agreements, merger/affiliation agreements, and constitutional amendments).

Unions and Union Democracy