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Michael C. Dotten

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Click to Email: mdotten@martenlaw.com

Michael Dotten has practiced in the energy, environmental, and administrative law fields for over thirty years, representing utilities, energy project developers, large industrial energy consumers, and governmental agencies. He also serves as an arbitrator and mediator in complex regulatory and commercial disputes. Mike has successfully represented clients in a broad range of energy and environmental matters, including litigating energy rate and regulatory matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Bonneville Power Administration and U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. and Ninth Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court and before numerous state commissions.

Mike has negotiated hundreds of short- and long-term electric power and natural gas supply contracts, electric power transmission and natural gas transportation agreements, and utility merger and acquisition agreements. He has litigated antitrust matters and provides antitrust counseling to utility industry clients. He has represented consortiums of clients in energy-related National Environmental Policy Act matters and regularly represents clients in, energy rate cases, and utility siting proceedings. He has also represented clients in water and wastewater utility regulatory proceedings and companies in telecommunications proceedings.

Representative Experience

  • Representing a Fortune 50 industrial power consumer in power negotiations and rate proceedings before the Bonneville Power Administration, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Represented several wind power developers in obtaining generation integration and network transmission.
  • Represented a Fortune 200 wood products company as its national energy counsel for more than 15 years in dozens of electric power and natural gas contract negotiations, in cogeneration development, and in rate proceedings in numerous states.
  • Represented a large consumer-owned utility for more than 20 years in electric regulatory matters, hydroelectric matters, and rate proceedings.
  • Represented a steel company in a significant and successful treble-damages federal antitrust case and in the ensuing multiple appeals, including before the United States Supreme Court where the client prevailed and secured a multi-million dollar judgment and attorney fees award.
  • Represented a consumer-owned utility in the transfer of a federal hydroelectric facility to the client, and in a hydroelectric relicensing proceeding for a separate facility.


  • Marten Law PLLC, Portland, OR (2009 - present)
  • Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe (1983-2008) (including several terms as Energy Practice Group leader and founder of the Portland Office for the firm)
  • Lead rate counsel and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of General Counsel, Bonneville Power Administration (1978-1982)
  • Assistant Attorney General, State of Idaho (1977-78)


  • J.D., University of Oregon Law School (1977)
  • B.S., University of Oregon (1974)

Admitted to Practice

  • State Bars of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho (affiliate member)
  • U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts, District of Idaho and District of Oregon
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Professional Activities and Honors

  • Member and Vice-chair ADR Committee, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources; former member of the Council, Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law. Member of ABA Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law
  • Member, Energy Bar Association, ADR and Electricity Regulation and Compliance Committees
  • Former President, Oregon Chapter, Federal Bar Association
  • On several panels of arbitrators and mediators: International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR); American Arbitration Association and U.S. Arbitration and Mediation of Oregon and Washington
  • Martindalle Hubbell AV® PreeminentRated
  • 2012 - 2017 Oregon Super Lawyers listed
    • Energy and Natural Resources
  • 1995 - 2017 The Best Lawyers In America© listed
    • 2014 - 2015 Portland, OR Energy Law "Lawyer of the Year"

Published Decisions

  • Columbia Steel Casting Co., Inc. v. Portland General Electric Company, 523 U.S. 1112 (1998), 103 F.3d 1446 (9th Cir. 1996), rehearing en banc denied and decision amended, 111 F. 3d 1427 (9th Cir., 1997)
  • Mine Reclamation Corporation v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 30 F.3d 1519 (D.C. Cir. 1994)
  • Pacific Power & Light Company v. Duncan, 499 F. supp. 672 (D. Or.. 1980)
  • Central Lincoln PUD et al v. Johnson, 735 F 2d 1101 (9th Cir. 1984)
  • Public Power Council v. Johnson, 589 F. Supp. 198 (D. Or., 1984)
  • Pacific Power & Light Co. v. Bonneville Power Administration, 795 F. 2d 810 (9th Cir. 1986)
  • Sommer v. Land Conservation and Development Comm'n., 689 P2d 1000 (Or. Ct. App. 1984)
  • Idaho Power Company et al v. Idaho Public Utilities Comm'n. 582 P2d 720 (Id. 1978)

Select Publications and Presentations

  • Author, "Preventing Discovery from Frustrating the Time and Cost Advantages of Arbitration," Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Newsletter (November 2011)
  • “Renewable Energy Resources and Transmission”, Law Seminars International (September, 2011)
  • Author, "FERC Report to Congress on Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Expresses Concern About Further Potential Delays," LexisNexis Environmental Law & Climate Change Center (January 18, 2010)
  • Conference Co-Chair/Moderator, "Energy in Alaska," Law Seminars International, Anchorage, AK (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009)
  • Author, "Module on Standards of Conduct for Transmission Providers," LRN Corporation (November 2005)
  • Contributor, "Negotiated Settlement of Utility Regulatory Proceedings," Center for Public Resources (February 1993)
  • Speaker, "Buying and Selling Electric Power in the West," Law Seminars International, Seattle, WA (February 2000)
  • Speaker, "Antitrust Exposure in Wholesale and Retail Markets," The Energy Institute, Washington, D.C. (February 18, 1998)
  • Delegate and Speaker, International Conference on Energy and Law, U.S. Department of Energy and Russian Energy Ministry, Moscow, Russia, (November 1994)
  • Speaker, "Emerging Antitrust Issues in the Electric Power Industry," ABA National Convention--New York (August 1993)

Civic Activities

  • Clubs: Arlington Club (President, Toastmasters (2006); Chair, Wine Committee (2006-2008); Chair, Entertainment Committee (2007-2008)
  • CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, New York--Fosters alternative dispute resolution, Utilities Committee (1993)
  • Health Bridges International, Inc. Co-founder and Board Member, international health services and nutrition program providing healthcare to some of world's poorest people (in South America)
  • Oregon Campaign for Equal Justice--Advisory Committee (1992-present)
  • Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts, Transition Team Member (1990)
  • William Temple House (Non-profit social service agency): President (1998-99); Vice President (1997-98) of the Board of Directors & Chair; Development Committee (1994-98),
  • University of Oregon Law School Alumni Assoc., President (1989-1992); Board Member (1985-92)

Representative Experience

Alcoa Inc.: Bonneville Power and U.S. Appellate Proceedings

We represent Alcoa Inc. in its relationship with Bonneville Power Administration and in related U.S. appellate proceedings. Following Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals litigation in which we represented Alcoa, we have negotiated a contract that permits the continued operation of Alcoa's smelter in Ferndale, Washington. More

Wind Developers: Substation, Distribution and Transmission Access

We have represented wind power developers in obtaining critical substation, distribution, and transmission interconnection access to permit wind developers to obtain access to favorable markets. More