Michael L. Beatty
303-407-4490 | direct
303-407-4499 | firm
800-886-6566 | fax
“Suddenly, the energy industry exploded and I got a phone call to be general counsel at a large energy company in Texas. I felt like Winston Churchill...They want me when there's a war.”
Mike Beatty has represented energy clients since deregulation hit the natural gas industry in the late 1970s and threw it into a tailspin of take-or-pay litigation. He successfully handled cases for both plaintiffs and defendants, including a $549 million antitrust verdict, the only successful commercial impracticability case and most of the successful force majeure cases for the pipeline industry.
Along the way, Mike handled other matters as well, including Donald J. Willy v. Coastal Corporation, a favorable 9-0 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the power of courts to sanction litigants even where there was no jurisdictional basis for the merits of the case.
Mike, a Harvard Law School graduate, began his career with the energy industry as in-house counsel for Colorado Interstate Gas Company, and ultimately became Executive Vice President, General Counsel and a Director of The Coastal Corporation. He also served as Chief of Staff to Colorado Governor Roy Romer from 1993 to 1995. His in-house management with major energy companies and first-chair litigation experience in big industry cases, combined with a hands-on understanding of the political and administrative process, provide Mike with uncommon insights into the oil and gas business, and the regulatory environment in which his clients operate.
Prior to his work as an energy litigator, Mike was a law professor, where he became adept at explaining very difficult concepts in terms that students from a variety of backgrounds could easily grasp. He uses the same skills in front of juries. The law professor in him can tell when a juror’s eyes go blank, and he creatively recaptures their interest with easily understood analogies.
Fundamental to Mike’s success on behalf of his clients is a true passion for the nation’s energy. He is fond of saying, “The history of the world can be defined as the history of energy,” and he can cite much of that history. He can trace lines between oil production and Pearl Harbor, oil and the fall of the Berlin Wall, oil and Star Wars, oil and the collapse of communism in Russia. “East Texas oil fields were the source of America’s might in the first World War. It was our oil reserves that won the war.”
The importance of climate change, cap and trade legislation and drilling access are critical issues for America's future. The role of natural gas as a meaningful bridge to the New Energy Economy is an important topic.
Mike is ready for it. As he says, “This is a fascinating industry at a fascinating juncture!”
2005-Present Beatty & Wozniak, P.C., Chairman
1998-2005 The Beatty Law Firm, P.C., Owner
1995-1997 Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP, Of Counsel
1993-1995 Chief of Staff to Colorado Governor Roy Romer
1985-1993 The Coastal Corporation, Executive Vice President
(1987-1993), Member of Board of Directors (1986-1993),
General Counsel (1985-1993)
1981-1985 Colorado Interstate Gas Company, General Counsel (1984),
Senior Attorney (1982-1984), Attorney (1981-1982)
1980-1981 University of Wyoming, Visiting Professor of Law
1979-1980 Colorado Interstate Gas Company, Attorney
1974-1979 University of Idaho, Professor of Law
1972-1974 Vinson & Elkins, Associate