David Applebaum Quoted by Inside FERC on Market Manipulation Cases

Inside FERC has quoted Akin Gump energy regulation, markets and enforcement partner David Applebaum in the article “In key FERC market manipulation case, district court order clears way for discovery.” Applebaum discusses a manipulation case involving Powhatan Energy and Coaltrain, in which, the article notes, FERC has asked a district court to affirm civil penalties.

Regarding that request, Applebaum said, “Each court to decide this issue has been influenced by the previous decisions — and since all of them have come out in favor of the defendants, it becomes increasingly less likely that any future decision — in Powhatan, Coaltrain, or any new case — will be in FERC’s favor on this point.”

Applebaum, who previously served as Director of FERC’s Division of Investigations, went on to say that, “while FERC has carefully and clearly presented its view of the Federal Power Act’s language in multiple courts across the country, the agency may decide it’s time to stop asserting this argument so there can be a quicker path to resolving all these cases on the merits, which both FERC and the various defendants have said they want to do.”

Even if the parties engage in good faith discovery negotiations, Applebaum thinks the defendants “won’t hesitate to seek court resolution” on any discovery disputes. That, he said, is something that will be “closely watched.”