Offering Comprehensive Energy, Business, and Intellectual Property Solutions
- Tony Braun, President of BraunLegal has 15 years in the energy field which has included work on Capitol Hill, in a D.C.- based private practice, in the General Counsel's office of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and now in his own firm. Tony works on a wide range of legal and policy issues stemming from restructuring of the electric utility industry, including wholesale market design, commercial transactions, renewable portfolio development, and California's climate change regulations. Tony is active before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
- Scott Blaising, Principal, joined BraunLegal in 1999. Scott specializes in energy law matters affecting small public power agencies, including publicly owned utilities and community choice aggregators. In this role, he has been involved in regulatory and legislative efforts to promote and implement competitive retail service options, like community choice aggregation and community aggregation (a form of direct access service). He has extensive experience in administrative litigation and regulatory advocacy before the California Public Utilities Commission. Scott has also participated in drafting several energy-related bills. Prior to joining the firm, Scott worked for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Southern California Edison Company in various regulatory and government affairs positions.
- Bruce McLaughlin, Principal, joined BraunLegal in 2002. Bruce concentrates in legal matters affecting the electric and water utilities with a particular emphasis on operational and technically-based subjects such as renewable energy, cap & trade program compliance, greenhouse gas “offset” projects, and legal standards for distribution and transmission systems. He specializes in transactional law matters including all aspects of public agency law and general counsel services such as public entity formation and dissolution, joint powers agreements, compliance policy/program development, confidentiality agreements, project agreements, professional services agreements, and settlement agreements. He brings practical management experience including more than 13 years in line management for two Fortune-level companies (Learjet Corp., Willamette Industries, Inc.), and then half as many years as vice president/general counsel for one of two successful companies he co-founded.
- Kevin Smith, Principal, joined BraunLegal in 2009. Kevin has over 15 years of experience advising clients in California's restructured energy market. His expertise is in strategic legal and regulatory policy development and advocacy, power contracts, agency formation and regulatory compliance. Kevin began his direct involvement in electric matters as a senior consultant to the California State Senate Energy Committee Vice Chairman during industry restructuring. While working in the State Senate, he also served as Minority Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Since then, Mr. Smith has also worked as a registered lobbyist and the Director of Energy Policy and Corporate Counsel for the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, Regulatory Program Manager for the Northern California Power Agency and Senior Attorney in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District's Office of General Counsel.
- Justin Wynne, Associate, joined BraunLegal in 2007. Justin specializes in energy law matters affecting publicly-owned electric utilities and community choice aggregators. He has worked on topics including resource adequacy, energy efficiency, renewable portfolio standards, congestion revenue rights, demand response, CAISO budget issues, and advanced metering infrastructure. Prior to joining the firm, Justin was a law clerk with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.
- Ryan Bernardo, Intellectual Property Group Chairman, joined the firm in 2007 while attending the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Acting as the firm’s Information Technology (IT) Manager and Law Clerk. Ryan graduated from McGeorge in 2010 with a certification in Intellectual Property, and now focuses his practice in that area of the law. As a result of his practical skills acquired over more than a decade, his entrepreneurial strengths, his relevant subject matter expertise, and business acumen, Ryan was appointed to Chair the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. Ryan draws on his skills, knowledge, and background to provide the firm’s clients with innovative solutions in many areas of intellectual property law including those involving internet-based matters.Ryan also has experience in a variety of energy law matters, including topics such as resource adequacy, energy efficiency, renewable portfolio standards, demand response, and cyber security issues related to smart grid.
- Linda Johnson, of Counsel, has more than 35 years experience in the law dealing in areas involving technical knowledge, transactional skills, and managerial expertise. For the majority of her career, she served in high-level managerial positions for a large electric utility. This included 10 years as the utility’s Chief Information Officer, where she was responsible for: managing a $60 million budget with over 200 employees and contractors; managing business technology applications including SAP financial, human resource, work management and customer service systems; implementing a system-wide document management, engineering, and design applications; and, the initial planning and contract negotiations for implementing a smart grid and metering system. Prior to that, she spent 15 years as the utility’s manager and director of Power Contracts and Customer Services, being responsible for negotiating long-term power purchase and sale contracts, contracts for construction and thermal host agreements for four power plants, and contracts with large customers for power sales and services. Before serving in these capacities, Linda spent 5 years a as power contract negotiator for Federal power marketing agencies in Oregon and California. Linda is a member of the California and Washington State Bars.