Dan L. Carroll

Of Counsel / Consulting General Counsel

Dan Carroll has represented both private industry and public sector firm clients for over twenty years before the California Public Utilities Commission, primarily in matters related to regulation of electricity, natural gas, water, and transportation.

He assists both energy and water clients in civil litigation and negotiation of electricity and water supply contracts, and provides regulatory due diligence support in energy acquisition and financing transactions. Dan also served as the firm’s General Counsel from 1997 through 2018 and advised the firm on professional responsibility, professional liability, and risk management issues. He continues to do so periodically. Additionally, Dan has represented non-firm clients with respect to attorney professional responsibility issues, presenting frequently on such issues.

Dan brings years of substantive and practical legal experience to each representation. Clients appreciate his ability to efficiently analyze a situation, focus on the heart of the problem, and offer common sense solutions to knotty legal problems.

Before attending law school, Dan taught high school English in Petaluma, California. After law school and before entering practice at Downey Brand, he served as a law clerk to Justice Warren Matthews of the Alaska Supreme Court.


Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Administrative and Public Law Sections
  • Sacramento County Bar Association Ethics Committee
  • State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct, 2007 – 2011
  • Mock Trial Team, Elk Grove High School, Attorney Coach, 2003-present
  • Eastern District Conference Planning Committee; Former Member
  • Judicial Advisory Committee for United States District Court, Eastern District of California; Former Co-Chair
  • Federal Bar Association, Sacramento Chapter, Former President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Program Committee Chair
  • Federal Bar Association Convention; Former CLE Chair; Convention Planning Committee, Former Member
  • Sacramento Lutheran Development Society, Former Member and Board of Directors
  • St. John’s Lutheran Church, Council, Finance Committee and Youth Ministry Committee, Former Member
  • Elk Grove Unified School District, Entrepreneur Study Group, Former Member
  • Elk Grove Community Planning Advisory Council, Former Member
  • Sutter Hospital Foundation, Major Gifts Committee, Former Member

Honors & Rankings

  • AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Best Lawyers in America©, Energy Law, 2005-2020
  • Best Lawyers® 2019 Energy Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Sacramento
  • Sacramento Magazine, Top Lawyer, Energy & Natural Resources, 2015-2019
  • Clerkship, Justice Warren Matthews, Alaska Supreme Court, 1982-1983
  • Order of the Coif
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Lead regulatory trial counsel and participating negotiator for local public agency with respect to water desalination project.
  • Regulatory due diligence and opinion counsel in numerous electricity plant acquisition and lending transactions.
  • Counsel for group of public clients with respect to direct access contracts
  • Trial counsel on behalf of irrigation districts in various issues related to cost responsibility surcharges for municipal departing load customers.
  • Trial counsel on behalf of irrigation district in trial of competing plans of reorganization of PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission in the bankruptcy of PG&E.
  • Lead trial counsel for ad hoc group of industrial energy customers in proceedings at CPUC to design and institute cost responsibility surcharges for direct access customers as part of aftermath of California energy crisis.
  • Lead trial counsel on behalf of independent gas storage company in numerous regulatory proceedings, including application for certificate of public convenience and necessity, regulated utility Biennial Cost Allowance Proceeding, gas industry restructuring proceeding, expansion proceeding of another independent gas storage company, complaint proceeding brought by investor-owned utility, natural gas storage and transmission general rate cases, gas transportation safety proceeding, and implementation of biomethane legislation.
  • Lead regulatory and trial counsel for small investor-owned electrical utility, including pursuing its first general rate case at California Public Utilities Commission.
  • Lead trial counsel for water conservation district in application of regulated water utility to recover costs of participation in state water project.
  • Lead trial counsel for ad hoc group of industrial energy customers in December 2000-January 2001 emergency proceedings at California Public Utilities Commission regarding requests for emergency rate increase from PG&E and SoCalEdison and in proceedings to establish cost responsibility surcharges of direct access customers.

In the News

1 related items

Press Releases

22 related items

Speaking Engagements / Events

11 related items
  • January 2014
    Annual Ethics Symposium – Complex Conflicts Issues Deciphered
  • January 2012
    County Counsels’ Association of California, Civil Law and Litigation Conference – Regulating Public Lawyer Integrity
  • January 2012
    Legal Services of Northern California and California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation – Conflicts, Confidentiality and Competence
  • 2011
    State Bar Conference – Ethical Screens in California: To Be or Not to Be?
  • January 2011
    Annual Ethics Symposium – Ethics in Limbo: Practical Issues for Lawyers as Changes in the Law Regulating Lawyers Continue
  • 2010
    State Bar Conference – Conflicts for Lawyers: How to Get Yourself Disqualified, Sued and Disciplined
  • 2009
    California Conference of Public Utility Counsel – New Rule 1-650 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct, and Impartiality and Due Process: Reflections on the California Supreme Court’s Decision in Morongo Band of Mission Indians
  • 2009
    Annual Ethics Symposium – Advance Absolution: 10 Deadly Sins in Attorney-Client Engagement Agreements, and How to Avoid Them
  • 2009
    California Municipal Utilities Association – Conflicts of Interest: An Overview, and Two Case Studies
  • 2009
    County Counsel’s Association of California, Fall 2009 Health and Welfare Study Section Conference – Ethics Potpourri: Morongo Issues, Inadvertent Disclosure, Rule 1-650, and Dealing with Unrepresented Parties
  • 2009
    State Bar Conference – How to Avoid Involuntary Pro Bono Work: Forming the Attorney-Client Relationship and Collecting Attorneys Fees

According to Dan, “Like an army, a mock trial team travels on its stomach.” So, for years, he has cooked breakfast for the Elk Grove High School mock trial team on Saturday mornings. His specialties are quiche of all varieties – his self-created buffalo chicken quiche is a team favorite – and cheese biscuits.

Whether advocating to a judge, presenting at a conference, or coaching high school mock trial team members, at heart, Dan is a teacher. Coaching mock trial lets him continue to help young people find their place in life. What began in 2003 with a visit to one practice because his son was on the mock trial team became a return to his roots in high school education. When asked to name his proudest moment after 30 years of law practice, Dan responded, “Helping coach the 2007 Elk Grove High School mock trial team to a state championship.”


Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Administrative and Public Law Sections
  • Sacramento County Bar Association Ethics Committee
  • State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct, 2007 – 2011
  • Mock Trial Team, Elk Grove High School, Attorney Coach, 2003-present
  • Eastern District Conference Planning Committee; Former Member
  • Judicial Advisory Committee for United States District Court, Eastern District of California; Former Co-Chair
  • Federal Bar Association, Sacramento Chapter, Former President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Program Committee Chair
  • Federal Bar Association Convention; Former CLE Chair; Convention Planning Committee, Former Member
  • Sacramento Lutheran Development Society, Former Member and Board of Directors
  • St. John’s Lutheran Church, Council, Finance Committee and Youth Ministry Committee, Former Member
  • Elk Grove Unified School District, Entrepreneur Study Group, Former Member
  • Elk Grove Community Planning Advisory Council, Former Member
  • Sutter Hospital Foundation, Major Gifts Committee, Former Member

Honors & Rankings

  • AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Best Lawyers in America©, Energy Law, 2005-2020
  • Best Lawyers® 2019 Energy Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Sacramento
  • Sacramento Magazine, Top Lawyer, Energy & Natural Resources, 2015-2019
  • Clerkship, Justice Warren Matthews, Alaska Supreme Court, 1982-1983
  • Order of the Coif
  • Phi Beta Kappa