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C. Frederick Beckner

Partner at Sidley Austin LLP
Washington, District of Columbia, 20005

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Sidley Austin LLP
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Sidley Austin LLP Company Logo by C. Frederick Beckner in Washington DC
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1501 K St NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20005
United States

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RICK BECKNER, co-leader of the Communications Regulatory practice and a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, represents companies in regulated industries in a range of complex litigation and appellate matters before federal agencies, federal district courts, courts of appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Rick also has experience handling competition-related administrative and merger proceedings before federal agencies including the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of Justice.

Rick has represented AT&T in a broad range of telecommunications matters, including those involving “net neutrality” regulation, access charge rates, telecommunications mergers and wireless service. Rick has drafted numerous pleadings in these areas before the FCC and the courts of appeal.

Rick’s representative appellate matters include:

  • Chamber of Commerce v. EPA, No. 15A787 (S. Ct, Feb. 9, 2016). Representing the nation’s leading business trade associations, Sidley successfully obtained an unprecedented stay of the sweeping rules that the Environmental Protection Agency issued to regulate greenhouse gases by power plants.
  • Texas v. EPA, 829 F.3d 405 (5th Cir. 2016). Representing a coalition of Texas business associations and the Chamber of Commerce, Sidley successfully supported the lawsuits filed by the State of Texas and a Texas-based utility to obtain a stay of a rule issued by the Environmental protection Agency that would have imposed substantial emission reduction obligations under the agency’s “regional haze” program.
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Ass’n, 136 S. Ct. 760 (2016): Representing petitioners, Sidley successfully overturned a decision by the D.C. Circuit holding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has lacked under the Federal Power Act to regulate the compensation that regional transmission operators pay for demand response services and that held that FERC’s compensation standard was unlawful.
  • EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, 686 F.3d 7 (D.C. Cir. 2012). Assisted Luminant Generation Company in obtaining a favorable decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that The Washington Post described as “a major victory for utilities and business groups.”
  • Medicines Company v. Kappos, 462 F. App’x 974 (Fed. Cir. 2012), 731 F. Supp. 2d 470 (E.D. Va. 2010), 699 F. Supp. 2d 804 (E.D. Va. 2010). Assisted Medicines Company (MDCO) in prevailing in a long-running challenge to a Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) denial for a patent extension for the company’s anti-coagulant, Angiomax®.
  • United States v. Cinergy Corp., 623 F.3d 455 (7th Cir. Oct. 12, 2010). Assisted Cinergy (a subsidiary of Duke Energy) in prevailing in a long-running enforcement suit brought by the EPA, which had sued Cinergy under the New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA), claiming that over 50 like-kind replacement projects at Cinergy’s coal-fired power plants in Indiana and Ohio violated the CAA.
  • Flying J Inc. v. FERC, 363 F.3d 495 (D.C. Cir. 2004) and Ass’n of Oil Pipe Lines v. FERC, 281 F.3d 239 (D.C. Cir. 2002). Successfully argued on behalf of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines in two appeals concerning the five-year oil pipeline pricing index adopted by FERC.

While at the Department of Justice, Rick was responsible for overseeing the Torts Branch, handling complex torts actions against the United States and senior federal officials in a range of areas, including national security and constitutional tort cases, and cases arising out of the environmental, immigration, law enforcement aviation and admiralty contexts. He also oversaw the DOJ’s Office of Consumer Litigation, responsible for both civil and criminal enforcement in federal court of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, and other similar statutes. As a Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Rick argued a number of cases involving national security issues, sovereign immunity, constitutional law, admiralty law and mass torts.

Rick is recognized by Benchmark Appellate (2013) as a D.C. Circuit Litigation Star, and is regularly recommended by The Legal 500