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Williams Energy Marketing & Trading Company and its parent, The Williams Companies, Inc., have settled price-gouging suits and other legal proceedings stemming primarily from California’s energy crisis in 2000 and 2001. California state officials estimate that the settlement reduces the state’s obligations, under its ten-year contract with Williams Energy, by as much as $1.4 billion. The settlement resolves a host of actions, including: two suits filed against Williams in state court by the California attorney general; Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceedings initiated by California power authorities and others; state court suits brought by local California governments and class action plaintiffs; and investigations by the states of Washington and Oregon. In addition to contract concessions, Williams will give California six LM6000 combustion turbines worth $60-90 million, and will pay the state $147 million in cash over eight years. Washington and Oregon, which were investigating Williams but had not filed any suits, will each receive $15 million out of that amount over three years. Williams will also pay $15 million in a “first out” settlement of class action suits. Williams remains liable under the settlement for any fraudulent or criminal conduct, and must cooperate with the California attorney general’s ongoing investigation into the state’s power crisis, which includes other energy companies. For plaintiff State of California (Sacramento) Office of the Attorney General (Sacramento): Attorney general Bill Lockyer and supervising deputy attorney general Kenneth Alex. Office of the Governor (Sacramento): Deputy legal affairs secretary William Kissinger. California Public Utilities Commission (Sacramento): Assistant counsel Sean Gallagher. California Electricity Oversight Board (Sacramento): Chief counsel Erik Saltmarsh. Hawkins, Delafield & Wood (New York): John Pirog and associate Iskender Catto. For Class Action Plaintiffs Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein (San Francisco): William Bernstein, Eric Fastiff, Barry Himmelstein, and associate Daniel Barenbaum. Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach (New York): Frank Janecek, Jr., Leonard Simon, and associates Christopher Burke and Christopher Collins. (All are in the firm’s San Diego office.) For defendants Williams Energy Marketing & Trading Company and The Williams Companies, Inc. (Tulsa) In-house: The Williams Companies, Inc.: assistant general counsel John Gammie and Alex Goldberg. Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich (Palo Alto): Edward Davis, Jr., Mark Hamer, Jeffrey Shohet, Nancy Stagg, special counsel David Priebe, and associates Danielle Fitzpatrick and Patrick Lee. (All are in the firm’s San Diego office except Davis, who is in San Francisco, and Priebe, who is in Sacramento.) The firm won a beauty contest. -Jeffery Knight

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