- Thought Leadership
- Professional & Civic Activities
Jim Gardner brings to Sturgill Turner more than two decades of utility law experience in both private practice and the public sector. Jim spent 8 years on the Kentucky Public Service Commission, serving as Chairman from 2015-2016 and Vice-Chairman from 2008-2015. During his time with the PSC, Jim chaired hearings and public meetings involving such matters as rate increases, fuel adjustment cases, environmental plans and certificates of public convenience and necessity. He has developed a keen interest in energy efficiency and clean energy sources, such as biomass, clean coal technologies, solar, landfill gas generation and low cost wind.
Jim also practices in the area of bankruptcy law, having represented a municipal utility in Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings. Additionally, he has represented debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, and creditors’ committees in Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 proceedings. Jim has twice served as a member of the Sixth Circuit Merit Selection Panel for the current Eastern District of Kentucky Bankruptcy Judges.
UTILITY LAW EXPERIENCE
- Kentucky Public Service Commission Chairman (2015-2016)
- Kentucky Public Service Commission Vice-Chairman (2008-2015)
- Served as the Kentucky Public Service Commission’s Chief Executive Officer and acting Executive Director responsible for supervising 85 employees and a $17 Million budget.
- Led Kentucky Public Service Commission’s efforts to prepare a blueprint for the distribution co-op’s cybersecurity planning, which became a model for small utilities nationwide.
- Chaired approximately 50 hearings and public meetings involving such matters as rate increases, fuel adjustment cases, environmental plans and certificates of public convenience and necessity.
- Led the Kentucky Public Service Commission’s efforts to respond to the Clean Power Plan.
- Spearheaded the Kentucky Public Service Commission’s effort to require that jurisdictional utilities adopt cleaner energy sources such as approving the state’s first biomass facility, the first utility scale solar, landfill gas generation and urging the adoption of low cost wind.
- Required the dramatic increase in utility sponsored energy efficiency and demand-side management programs including industrial programs.
- Brought quantitative risk analysis and decision making in uncertainty to bear in complicated high-dollar cases.
- Served as a Chapter 7 Trustee for over a decade.
- Obtained confirmation of Chapter 11 debtors’ plans of reorganization.
- Successful representation of parties in Bankruptcy appeals to its U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Representation of debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, creditors’ committee in Chapters 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13.
- Member on two occasions of Sixth Circuit Merit Selection Panels for the current Eastern District of Kentucky Bankruptcy Judges.
- Representation of debtor in Chapter 9 proceeding of Municipality.
- Court appointed Receiver in state court proceeding.
- Representation of various parties in preferential and fraudulent conveyance litigation.
Renewable Cities Global Learning Forum, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Opening a Dialogue on Renewable Thermal Energy: How Might the Future Look? – Speaker (May 18, 2017)
National Governors Association Kentucky Retreat on Power Sector Modernization, Frankfort, KY
Considerations for Shaping Voluntary Alternative Energy Options Without Shifting Costs to Other Customers – Speaker (May 11, 2017)
Bluegrass Forever Green Summit – “Conversation with the Region on Energy Innovation, Lexington, KY
Luncheon Keynote Speaker (May 16, 2017)
National Press Club – Bipartisan Policy Center, Washington, D.C.
RSV/RAM Proposed Reliability Mechanisms for the Clean Power Plan Workshop – Speaker (May 8, 2015)
FERC Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets and Energy Infrastructure. Docket No. AD15-4-000, Washington D.C. “Potential Implications for Commission-Jurisdictional Markets” – Presenter (February 19, 2015)
The White House, Roosevelt Room. Washington, D.C.
Presentation on Kentucky’s and NARUC’s position on the Clean Power Plan in a meeting with Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator; Dr. Ernest Moniz, Department of Energy Secretary; Dan Utech, Special Assistant to the President for Climate; Dr. John Holdren, White House Science Advisor; and NARUC Leadership – Presenter (February 10, 2014)
MACRUC, Hershey, PA
“Ethical Challenges Facing Attorneys Engaged in Public Utility Regulation” – Moderator (June 26, 2013)
Energy Bar Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC State Law Seminar – “Cost Recovery for Distribution Infrastructure and Environmental Compliance Costs” – Presenter (May 1, 2013)
KY Oil and Gas Association, Lexington, KY
“Natural Gas’ Impact on Electric Generation” – Speaker (June 20, 2012)
Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Spring Legal Conference, Amelia Island, FL
“MACT Implementation: Processes Being Developed for Extension of Time Requests”
Speaker (April 18, 2012)
University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, KY
“Jurisdiction and Energy Challenges” – Lecturer (April 8, 2015)
“Bankruptcy Basics” – Instructor (April 12, 2012)
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
Leadership Kentucky (2017)
- United Way Helping Hands Award (Volunteer of the Year)
- NARUC Mary Kilmarx Award (2016)
- Kentucky Bar Association
- Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Energy & Environmental Public Policy Council
- National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC)
– Energy Resources and Environment Committee, Chairman
– Executive Committee
– Board of Directors
– Investment Committee
– Utilities of the Future, Conference Co-Chair
- National Regulatory Research Institute
– Advisory Board
– Audit Committee
- Electric Power Research Institute
– Advisory Board
– Energy Efficiency Smart Grid Public Advisory Group
- Gas Technology Institute
– Public Interest Advisory Committee, Chairman
- Financial Research Institute Advisory Board, Chairman
- Organization of MISO States
– Kentucky Representative
- Fayette County School Board (1993-1997)
- – Chairman (1995-1997)
- Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council (1982-1986)
- Bluegrass International Trade Association, President
- Kentucky World Trade Center, Counsel
- Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church
- Kentucky Bar Foundation, Fellow
- University of Kentucky College of Law (1978)
– Order of the Coif
– Kentucky Law Journal
- Georgetown College (1974)
– Summa Cum Laude
- U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
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