Attorney Jared Burden talks with Richard Owen, chief financial officer of client Shenandoah Growers, about the company’s growth and their experience working with our firm.
“Laura brings a well-developed set of skills in commercial and employment law which our clients increasingly need as their businesses grow and become more complex,” Hurlocker said. “Additionally, her significant litigation experience dovetails nicely with our firm’s growing regional regulatory practice,” he explained.
Laura practiced in Illinois and Virginia in her prior firms, and has counseled clients in employment matters, including hiring, severance and transition agreements, employment policies, and risk management and avoidance. In addition, she advised her business clients regularly about contracts, financing agreements, and corporate formation and governance.
“I’m delighted to be joining GreeneHurlocker and offering our clients the benefit of my employment law background while advising them as they grow and expand their businesses,” she says.
Laura graduated summa cum laude from the Honors Program at Murray State University in Kentucky, receiving a dual degree in English Literature and Philosophy. She earned her J.D. at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indiana University, and was the inaugural recipient of the Baker and Daniels Public Interest Law Fellowship in 2008.
We are pretty excited to attend and be a sponsor of the Advanced Energy Now – East conference today in Richmond. Along with hearing about recent developments in the energy space, we’re catching up with our clients and colleagues in the renewable and advanced energy industry at the Richmond Convention Center downtown.
GreeneHurlocker energy lawyers work hard at staying informed and educated on the best practices and current opportunities in the energy field, with a special interest in renewable resources development and deployment. If you’re in Richmond at the conference today, please look for us. We’d love to say “hi.”
Back in 1970, few who celebrated the first Earth Day could have imagined the many ways that our world would have changed in the nearly five decades since. One good change is the increasing use of renewable energy, something we have a firm interest in since many of our clients are developing, financing and servicing the industry. And the fact that it has become an industry and grows stronger every year is definitely good for the earth. So, Happy Earth Day!
If you have a question about renewable energy in Virginia or the mid-Atlantic, simply contact any of our energy lawyers.
Renewable energy development, driven by rising corporate demand, was a central theme of Wednesday’s 2018 Virginia Energy Conference, hosted by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Garret Bean, Vice President of Development for sPower and one of the keynote speakers at the conference, discussed his company’s proposed 500-megawatt facility in Spotsylvania County, which will serve corporate customers in Virginia. Microsoft announced that it will purchase 315 MW of energy from sPower’s 500 MW project as part of its sustainability goal of 60 percent renewable energy by early 2020. In addition to Microsoft, major global companies including Google, Apple, Facebook, and Walmart have joined together to commit to 100% renewable power as a part of the RE100 initiative.
In his keynote, Bean explained that rapid data center development in Virginia, sustaining 70 percent of the world’s internet traffic, coupled with customer demand for cloud services powered by clean energy sources, presents a significant opportunity for growth in Virginia’s renewable energy sector. However, with the growth of renewable energy, developers are facing siting, permitting, and interconnection challenges that will have to be overcome.
Delegate Terry Kilgore, Senator Frank Wagner, and Secretary of Natural Resources Matt Strickler also discussed the opportunities and challenges of Virginia’s renewable energy industry. Senator Wagner voiced concerns about Virginia’s proposed regulations to link to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and participate in its regional greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program. However, with the passage of SB 966 this session, paving the way for 5,000 megawatts of solar and wind energy in Virginia, and Governor Northam’s announcement that the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy has posted a Request for Proposals for contracts to help strengthen Virginia’s offshore wind supply chain and service industry, the future for Virginia’s renewable energy industry is looking bright.
If you have questions about Virginia’s renewable energy industry, legislation, or regulatory structure, please contact one of GreeneHurlocker’s energy and regulatory lawyers.
In a decision that could bode well for competitive retail energy suppliers, the U.S. Supreme Court on May 21, 2018 upheld employers’ arbitration agreements containing class action waivers. In a 5-4 opinion by Justice Gorsuch in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, the Court deemed the arbitration provisions enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 2 et seq., which requires courts to enforce an arbitration agreement unless there are grounds to refuse to enforce it under the Act’s savings clause (e.g. fraud, duress, or unconscionability).
In Epic Systems Corp., the employees challenging the arbitration agreements argued that mandated individualized proceedings (i.e. class action waivers) conflicted with language in the National Labor Relations Act, rendering the agreements unenforceable. The Court rejected the employees’ arguments, holding: “Congress has instructed in the Arbitration Act that arbitration agreements providing for individualized proceedings must be enforced, and neither the Arbitration Act’s saving clause nor the NLRA suggests otherwise.”
While this case involved employment contracts rather than retail energy supply contracts, the Court’s precedent upholding arbitration agreements with class action waivers is a good sign for retail energy suppliers concerned about potential class action claims.
If you have questions or would like to learn more issues to consider when preparing retail energy supply contracts, please contact one of GreeneHurlocker’s energy and regulatory lawyers.
Collin Atkins, a business attorney in private practice in Richmond, has joined the business, renewable energy and corporate law practice of GreeneHurlocker PLC, co-managing member Eric Hurlocker announced today.
“Collin joins us with significant experience working with corporate clients, as well as a number of years as in-house counsel for a manufacturer, which will enhance and expand the services that we provide to our business and renewable energy clients throughout the region,” Eric said.
Atkins focuses his practice on assisting clients who require advice in formation, contract drafting, and employment and regulatory concerns. In addition, he offers counsel on a wide variety of commercial agreements across different industries, including distribution, manufacturing, service, and technology related industries, which will contribute to the expansion of the firm’s OPENgc services.
“I’m excited about joining GreeneHurlocker and partnering with clients who are growing and expanding their businesses,” Collin explains.
Atkins will be based in the firm’s Richmond office, but will also have an office at the firm’s Harrisonburg location to support the firm’s growing practice throughout the Shenandoah Valley.
Atkins earned his undergraduate degree in history from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. He earned his J.D. at the William & Mary Law School, where he was a graduate research fellow and a member of the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal.
We were excited to read the Richmond BizSense article on our client, City Barre LLC, who is preparing to open a new fitness studio in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood of Richmond this spring. City Barre’s new studio will offer barre classes, which combines various types of exercise techniques including yoga and ballet. We are honored to have been a part of the team that has helped City Barre, and its founder Gretchen Stumpf, get to this point and we look forward to watching City Barre succeed in this exciting new chapter!
If you want to know more about how we worked with City Barre or more about business law, please contact one of our business and corporate lawyers.
GreeneHurlocker was very proud to be a long-time supporter of the Deep Run Marathon Dance, which in its final year raised over $197,000. Over the twelve-year run of the Dance, the passionate teenagers at Deep Run High School and community volunteers raised nearly $2.2 million for worthy local non-profits.
It is always a privilege for us to join in local causes that benefit the community. We’ve supported others in past years including the Rutlin Torah Academy, United Way, Commonwealth Catholic Charities’ undocumented youth project and CancerLINC. If you want to know more about our community involvement, contact any of our lawyers.
Here are a few photos we took last weekend:
As we previously discussed here, last month it was announced that President Trump signed an executive order to impose a 30% tariff on imported solar cells and modules. While there are many critics of the tariff, one local Virginia businessman hopes the tariff will help lead to Virginia’s first solar panel manufacturing facility.
As reported in the Richmond Times Dispatch article, Charles Bush has transformed a 16,000 square foot former die plant off Midlothian Turnpike in South Richmond to a potential solar panel manufacturing facility. He hopes that as manufacturers look for solar panel manufacturing plants in the United States as a result of the tariff, his plant will be attractive given that its “ready to go.” Bush stated that as of now, the plant can produce 460 solar panels a day, but he hopes to double capacity within the first year of operation.
We look forward to following Mr. Bush’s facility and hope to see solar panel manufacturing in Virginia soon!
If you have any questions regarding the solar tariff or solar energy market, please contact one of our renewable energy lawyers.