Academic journal article Energy Law Journal

IN MEMORIAM: Howard E. Wahrenbrock

Academic journal article Energy Law Journal

IN MEMORIAM: Howard E. Wahrenbrock

Article excerpt

Howard E. Wahrenbrock, who argued numerous landmark appeals that helped define core principles of the Federal Power and Natural Gas Acts, died on April 11, 2004, in Irvington, Virginia, six months short of his 101st birthday.

Howard was born November 20, 1903, in Kansas City, Missouri. He attended Kansas City Junior College and then received B.A. and L.L.B. degrees from the University of Michigan. After two years in private law practice in Chicago, he returned to the University of Michigan, where he earned his Doctor of Juridical Science degree.

Commitments to scholarship and the public interest, hallmarks of Howard's entire professional career, led him to a position on the Duke University Law School faculty. He then went to Washington, D.C., as counsel (1931-1933) for the "Wickersham" Commission on Law Enforcement and Public Policy, whose major concern was compliance with the prohibition laws. During FDR's first term, Howard, a committed New Dealer, served a three-year hitch as an attorney with various institutional manifestations of the National Recovery Administration.

He answered his true calling in 1936 when he began an extended career arguing appeals for the Federal Power Commission. He appeared before the United States Supreme Court more than a dozen times. He also argued in virtually all of the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals. His cases concerned fundamental aspects of the Commission's authority over the electric power and natural gas industries. In the thirty-one years Howard argued Commission appeals, perhaps no other attorney representing the Commission or private parties had a greater impact on the course of regulation under the Federal Power and Natural Gas Acts. …

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