In the 30 years of my legal career, I have developed a law practice focused on energy law, water law, and the environment, with an emphasis on meeting the legal needs of energy cooperatives, water boards, mutual benefit organizations, and a variety of other cooperative enterprises, including banking, health care, and employee cooperatives.
In my practice I provide a wide range of legal services, from one-time litigation assistance, to serving clients in an ongoing capacity as general legal counsel.
I invite you to contact my Seattle law office to schedule an appointment if you are seeking a legal advisor in the field of energy, water, natural resources, and business law.
Cooperatives and Nonprofits
Nonprofit Formation: Electric and water cooperatives are nonprofit entities requiring a unique business structure and are governed by a different set of tax rules. I also assist in the formation of sub chapter T cooperative corporations by handling matters including the following:
Preparing corporate formation documents, and drafting bylaws, articles of incorporation, and corporate governance policies
Advising on Washington rules of governance and federal tax rules, as well as general corporate governance and Sarbanes-Oxley requirements
General Counsel: I provide legal counsel, negotiation assistance, and drafting and/or review of business contracts, including power sales contracts between utilities and third party power suppliers, and between utilities and large customers. I also litigate contract disputes.
Financing: I assist new and established nonprofit cooperatives in arranging and securing financing, including conventional bank financing, preferred stock issuances, and ensuring compliance with Washington securities laws.
Legislative and Regulatory: I counsel clients on the impact of legislative and regulatory issues, as well as draft suggested legislation on water and energy related matters.
Water Utilities & Water Rights
I assist water user organizations with corporate formation and corporate governance. I provide general legal counsel, contract drafting, and review relating to new water system plans or water system upgrades, as well as water system management agreements and other regulatory compliance.
Water rights are critical to the survival of our state's agricultural base. I have assisted mutual benefit corporations with Washington water law by writing opinion memorandums and litigating on their behalf.
I represent a number of small and medium-sized businesses in construction-related fields with general business matters, from contract disputes to collections.
Merkel Law Office 1001 Fourth Avenue, Suite 4050 Seattle, WA 98154 Phone: 206/389-8222 | Fax: 206/389-8249
The law office of Joel C. Merkel, Washington energy law attorney, serves clients throughout Washington State, including the communities of Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, and Olympia.