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Michael L. Beatty - Denver, CO

1675 BroadwaySuite 600 Denver, CO 80202

Super Lawyers®

1

Updated: 09/26/2023

Denver Litigation Lawyer

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...

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.

Perhaps most indicative of the respect held for Beatty & Wozniak by the energy industry was the selection of Mike as lead counsel by a majority of defendants in a qui tam action alleging mismeasurement of natural gas on federal and Indian lands. Dozens of actions were brought in multiple federal districts against virtually the entire natural gas pipeline industry alleging billions of dollars in damages. The Panel on Multi-District Litigation consolidated the actions in the District of Wyoming. With Mike acting as lead counsel, the actions were ultimately dismissed and a significant award of attorney fees was awarded to the prevailing defendants.

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!"

About Michael L. Beatty

Current Employment Position(s)

  • Chairman Emeritus

Practice Areas

  • Litigation

Qualifications

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado, 1980
  • Texas, 1972
  • Idaho
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court District of Idaho
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court District of Wyoming
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Specialties and Certifications

  • AAA Certified Arbitrator, Blue Ribbon Energy Panel

Other Affiliations

  • Colorado Bar Association (Member, Section of Mineral Law)
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
  • Colorado Democratic Party, 1995 - Present (Chairman)
  • State Bar of Texas (Member)
  • COGA

Classes and Seminars

  • 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
  • Visiting Professor of Law, University of Wyoming, 1980 - 1981
  • Tenured Professor of Law, University of Moscow, Idaho, 1974 - 1979

Past Positions

  • The Beatty Law Firm, P.C., Owner, 1998 - 2005
  • Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP, Of Counsel, 1995 - 1997
  • Colorado Governor Roy Romer, Chief of Staff, 1993 - 1995
  • The Coastal Corporation, Executive Vice President (1987-1993), Member of Board of Directors (1986-1993), General Counsel (1985-1993)
  • Colorado Interstate Gas Company, General Counsel (1984), Senior Attorney (1982-1984), Attorney (1981-1982)
  • Colorado Interstate Gas Company, Attorney, 1979 - 1980
  • Vinson & Elkins, Associate, 1972 - 1974
  • United States Army, Air Defense Artillery, Second Lieutenant, Honorable Discharge, 1972

Education

  • Harvard University Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1972
    J.D.
    Honors: Winner, Ames Moot Court Competition, 1972
  • 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
  • University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California, 1969
    B.A.

Fees

Accepts Credit Cards

Articles

Published Works

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

Office Information

Address

1675 BroadwaySuite 600 Denver, CO 80202

Fax

  • 800-886-6566

Achievements

Other Sources of Feedback About Michael L. Beatty

Included on the 2020 Colorado list


Past Lists

  • 2019 Colorado Super Lawyers list
  • 2018 Colorado Super Lawyers list
  • 2017 Colorado Super Lawyers list
  • 2016 Colorado Super Lawyers list
  • 2015 Colorado Super Lawyers list
  • 2014 Colorado Super Lawyers list
  • 2013 Colorado Super Lawyers list
  • 2012 Colorado Super Lawyers list
  • 2011 Colorado Super Lawyers list
  • 2010 Colorado Super Lawyers list
  • 2009 Colorado Super Lawyers list
  • 2008 Colorado Super Lawyers list
  • 2007 Colorado Super Lawyers list

View the profile for Michael L. Beatty on Super Lawyers

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