I believe strongly that the best legal advice takes into account the unique nature of each client's business and ultimate goals. Having been where my clients are, whether it's as in-house counsel or the leader of a business unit, I put myself in their shoes and give balanced, nuanced, and practical advice. I've been fortunate to have had a wide range of legal and business experiences upon which I draw to give my clients clear and practical advice.
Through serving as the General Counsel of the Iowa Utilities Board, in-house counsel for a large investor-owned utility, and as outside counsel for various types of utilities and private developers, I've developed deep expertise on a broad scope of energy and utility matters. Specifically, I have years of experience with rate cases, generation facility siting and permitting, reorganizations, acquisitions and divestitures, service territory modifications and disputes, customer complaints, pipelines, transmission line franchises, tariffs, rulemakings, legislation, power purchase and wholesale power agreements, renewable natural gas projects, real estate and right of way transactions, financings, and federal and regional rate, service, and policy matters, among others. As co-chair of the firm’s Energy, Environmental, and Natural Resources practice group, helping clients navigate the ever-changing energy and utilities landscape is at the heart of my practice.
I also regularly advise a wide variety of individuals, governmental entities, non-profits, and businesses on general corporate, litigation, real estate, and contract matters. I draw upon my business and legal experiences at law firms, closely held and publicly traded companies, and the state government to provide succinct and straightforward guidance.
I view clients' legal issues through a unique lens, having worked in-house in both legal and business roles and as general counsel of a state agency. I'm keenly aware of the various internal and external pressures faced by clients and work to provide quick, actionable advice to relieve those pressures. I love tackling the most complicated and contentious issues and relish finding a path forward to achieve my clients' goals.
More About Me
In 2001, I received a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law and was admitted to the Illinois bar in 2001 (inactive) and the Iowa bar in 2007. I obtained my B.A. in Economics, with distinction, from the University of Iowa in 1998. In 2016, I received my MBA from the University of Iowa. I'm currently a member of the Polk County, Iowa State, and Energy Bar Associations. I serve as Co-Chair of the firm's Energy, Environment and Natural Resources practice group and lead the firm’s Coralville office.
- Energy Law
- Renewable Energy Law (wind, solar, renewable natural gas)
- Water Law
- Administrative/Regulatory Law
- Utility Law
- Business and Corporate
Michelle Messer: 515-248-6633
Jasmine Atari: 319-499-5070 (Coralville Office)
University of Iowa
B.A., with honors and distinction, Economics; Certificate in the Philosophies and Ethics of Politics, Law and Economics, 1998
University of Iowa
Master of Business Administration (PM), with distinction, 2016
Northwestern University School of Law
U.S. District Court, Northern & Southern Districts of Iowa, 2008;
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2001
Memberships & Associations
- Polk County Bar Association
- Iowa State Bar Association
- Energy Bar Association
- Johnson County Bar Association
- University of Iowa Tippie College of Business - Marketing Institute Advisory Board