Michael L. Beatty

Chairman Emeritus

303-407-4490 | direct

303-407-4499 | firm

800-886-6566 | fax

mbeatty@bwenergylaw.com

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.”

OVERVIEW

 

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!”

 

 
SELECT EXPERIENCE

 

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

Industries

  • Oil and Gas

  • Litigation

Practice Areas

  • Energy Litigation

  • Arbitration

    • AAA Certified Arbitrator – Blue Ribbon Energy Panel,

      • served as Arbitrator in numerous matters

Admissions

  • State of Colorado

  • U.S. District Court, for the District of Colorado

  • U.S. Supreme Court

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit

Professional Activities

  • Colorado Bar Association​

  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation

Education

  • Harvard University School of Law, J.D., 1972

    • Winner of Harvard Law Ames Moot Court Competition​

​​

  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1969​

​​

  • National Institute of Trial Advocacy

    • National Program, 1975

    • Advanced Program, 1982​

​​

  • Columbia Law School, 1981

    • Summer Fellowship and Certificate, at the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law

Speeches and Publications

  • Playing the Jurisdictional Game in a Deregulated Environment: Who Has the Ball?, Fifty-Second Annual Institute on Oil and Gas Law and Taxation, Publication 640, Release 52

  • Re-Engineering Law Practice, with Ronald Martin, Law Practice Management, May/June (1994)

  • Special Considerations Litigating Oil and Gas Supply Agreements, Natural Resources and Environmental Litigation: Seminar Proceedings, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation 9-7(7) (1989)

  • The Ability to Suppress Exculpatory Evidence:  Let’s Cut Off the Prosecutor’s Hand, Idaho Law Review 235 (1979)

Please reload