Fundamentals of Utility Law: Weekly Webinar

Online, Webinar,
January 2020 - March 2020

Please join me for this year’s Fundamentals course—a weekly webinar course for decisionmakers and practitioners, presented on 12 successive Monday evenings.  Last year’s course was attended by 130 regulatory professionals.

Course term                 12 weeks

Course dates                January 6 to March 23, 2020 -- All on Monday evenings 

Times                             7:00 to 8:30 p.m. EST

Total instruction        18 hours (12 sessions of 1.5 hours each)

Registration opens     November 1, 2019



  • How to distinguish "monopolies" from "monopolizers"

  • How to distinguish anticompetitive conduct from unearned advantage

  • How to set rates without violating the U.S. Constitution

  • The entire alphabet soup of ISOs, RTOs, IPPs, Transcos, CLECs, ILECs

  • Why "deregulation" is a misnomer

  • Why "transmission" now means regional transmission

  • How FERC's wholesale competition efforts are changing how states do their jobs

  • How the repeal of the PUHCA 1935 is reshuffling corporate and market structure

  • Why 80-year-old regulatory statutes makes state-federal relations so awkward

  • How climate change is affecting utility regulation

  • How "public interest" could include environmental protection, stability and civil rights

  • Why some regulators are so much better at their jobs than others



Week 1     Regulation's Purposes, Dimensions, and Professions

Week 2     Industry Structure Overviews:  Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications

Week 3     Market Structure I:  Rights, Obligations and Powers of the Utility

Week 4     Market Structure II:  Authorizing Competition in Monopoly Markets

Week 5     Market Structure III:  Making Competition Effective

Week 6     Sales I:  Ratemaking Under Statute and Constitution 

Week 7     Sales II:  Undue Discrimination, Filed Rate Doctrine

Week 8     Sales III:  Retroactive Ratemaking, Mobile-Sierra Doctrine 

Week 9     Corporate Structure, Mergers and Acquisitions

Week 10   Federal-State Jurisdictional Relationships

Week 11   The Attributes and Actions of Effective Utility Regulators

Week 12   Bonus Session:  Analysis of Recent Cases; The Future of Regulation



Scott Hempling advises and testifies before utility regulatory agencies and legislative bodies throughout the United States.  He has addressed audiences in Canada, Central America, Germany, India, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria and Peru.   An adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, he is the author of Regulating Public Utility Performance:  The Law of Market Structure, Pricing and Jurisdiction (American Bar Association 2013); and Preside or Lead?  The Attributes and Actions of Effective Regulators (2013).  A former Executive Director of the U.S. National Regulatory Research Institute, Hempling received a B.A. cum laude from Yale University in (1) Economics and Political Science and (2) Music; and a J.D. magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center.  See his full resume here.



Webinar platform: We will host the webinar via Zoom’s Video Webinar platform. On registration, participants will receive information about how to attend course sessions. Attendees can participate via computers, tablet devices, smart phones, or voice call. Attendees will not need to pay for a Zoom user account.  Voice call is not recommended because for most sessions I display and point to diagrams, and in all session I post a presentation outline that I follow.

Course books:  All participants will need to purchase the two Hempling books:

Regulating Public Utility Performance: The Law of Market Structure, Pricing and Jurisdiction. Available from Amazon here, and from the American Bar Association, here.

Preside or Lead: The Attributes and Actions of Effective Regulators. Available from Amazon here.

Shipping and delivery speed for books will vary depending on where purchased. I recommend that you place your orders before December 15th to ensure timely arrival. Estimated shipping times:

  • Amazon Prime, 1-3 business days
  • Amazon Non-Prime, 7 business days
  • ABA Bookstore, 3 business days

Syllabus and readings: Prior to the first class, I will distribute by email a detailed syllabus with readings.  Like school, reading before class will dramatically increase your learning.

Missed sessions:  While each webinar session will occur live on Monday nights, we recognize that lives are complex:  parent-teacher conferences, hockey games, Monday night footballs, salsa lessons.  So after each session, we will make a video available for about one week, viewable only by the registered user.  Last year many people used this option.

Questions during the sessions:  Because of the large number of attendees (130 last year), I cannot take live oral questions.  But I do take written questions during the session and respond via Zoom’s chat function.  And for complex written questions of general interest, I will email answers to all attendees.  I want to help you learn.



Webinar registration:

$435    Government and non-profit organizations

$835    For-profit companies, including trade associations of for-profit companies, and for-profit law firms representing nonprofit clients.

I’ve discounted the price (from 10 years ago) to reflect your book cost. Also, I will provide some scholarship seats for non-profit organizations, awarded competitively.  More information below.

Payment options: There two options for payment: (1) by logging into your personal PayPal account; or (2) by credit card, via PayPal's "Guest" pay option. Option 2 does not require you to have a PayPal account.

Multiple attendees from the same organization?  Contact me to discuss group discount.  Last year three separate state commissions registered 15-20 employees each, for a group discount.  I am pleased to repeat that practice. 



Please use the link below to register.  Upon selecting your applicable "Registrant Type," you will be re-directed to PayPal for payment. Use the "Description" box to list the attendee name(s) associated with the registration.

Payment options:  There two options for payment: (1) by logging into your personal PayPal account; or (2) by credit card, via PayPal's "Guest" pay option. Option 2 does not require you to have a PayPal account. 

Registrant type:



Course background:  Since 1997 I have taught my fall Fundamentals of Electricity Law to thousands of attendees from all states and all industry sectors. This year I will use a web format, presented on 12 successive Monday evenings. My hope is that by saving attendees nearly $1,000 each on travel costs, and broadening the coverage to address public utility law issues applicable to all regulated industries, we can make the course useful to more people. And by reducing my costs I can offer double the instruction time without raising the price. The prior course was 9 hours over 1.5 days.  This course will be 18 hours (12 sessions of 1.5 hours each). 

Scholarship opportunity:  I will provide several scholarship seats to employees nonprofit of organizations who have 0-3 years’ experience in the field.  Interested applicants should email the following, no later than December 1, 2019:

(1)  A 750-word essay describing their career aspirations, their views on the purposes of regulation and their thoughts about how to improve regulation; and

(2)  A recommendation letter from their supervisor or commission Chair.



To ask substantive questions, email me:  shempling [at] scotthemplinglaw [dot] com (subject: Webinar%20Interest)

To ask administrative questions (about registration, payment process) email Candis Miller: candis [dot] miller [dot] j [at] gmail [dot] com (subject: Question%3A%20Fundamentals%20of%20Utility%20Law%202020)

A printable PDF of the above information is available here: