Roderick S. CoyRoderick Coy Clark Hill
Roderick S. Coy
Roderick S. “Rick” Coy joined the firm in 1982 after more than a decade as an Assistant Attorney General of Michigan where he specialized in electric, gas, and communications utility regulation and administrative litigation. Rick serves as Of Counsel in the Firm's Lansing office and contributes to serving the Firm's clients' needs before state government officials and agencies. Rick has more than 43 years' experience specializing in energy, telecommunications, and utility law in Michigan and provides legal counsel and representation to large corporate and institutional utility service users and their statewide associations, as well as new competitors in these restructured industries. Rick's practice in gas, electric, and telecommunications regulatory issues has given him a unique vantage point to observe each industry as it has been restructured, moving towards deregulation, increasing competition, and potential reregulation. Rick has been involved in litigation involving state and federal regulatory statutes from the Michigan Public Service Commission to the Michigan Supreme Court and U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal.
In the field of energy regulation, Rick has extensive experience representing and counseling large industrial users searching for energy options. Those potential options have included by-passes, creation of municipal utilities, merchant power plants, direct access and retail wheeling, special contract rates, co-generation and self-generation, and other measures designed to create alternatives to monopoly utility service and rates. Rick has served as an expert witness on utility regulation and is a frequent participant in seminars on electric utility restructuring.
Rick has also been practicing in the telecommunications area since 1971. Rick has counseled or represented private telecommunications networks, large institutional telecommunications users, such as universities, hospitals, and their associations, competitive telecommunications service providers, and video and broad-band service providers and associations. Rick also provided counsel to numerous intermediate school districts who have considered or installed fiber optic networks. Rick has also represented and counseled a wide array of telecommunications users in participating in regulatory proceedings, negotiation of contracts with telecommunications providers or carriers, arranging for network management services, and compliance with federal, state and local government regulations. Rick also has provided legal counsel on numerous large scale wireless projects.
For many years, Rick has been a guest lecturer at seminars on utility and telecommunications deregulation, education ITV, instructional technology, distance learning, and related topics. In 1992, 1995 and 1996 Rick taught an accredited course for the Michigan and Ohio Associations for Telecommunications in Health Care on the legal and regulatory issues involved in the use of telecommunications and distance learning in the health care industry. Rick has also served as the seminar leader at numerous business/industry workshops on telecommunications deregulation, competition, and emerging telecommunications issues. He serves as general counsel to MiCTA, a large group of colleges, universities, and governmental institutions involved in telecommunications throughout the country.
Rick authored certain sections of Michigan law on telecommunications. He was also an active participant in the Michigan Legislature's consideration of the Michigan Telecommunications Acts of 1991, 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2010 and has made numerous presentations on the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. Rick is the editor and publisher of Michigan Telecommunications Report, a 30-year-old biweekly publication which keeps subscribers comprehensively informed on activities affecting telecommunications in Michigan. In 1992, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation asked Rick to lead a telecommunications analysis panel to review and make recommendations to the foundation on educational distance learning network grant proposals. Rick is also the author of "A Profile of Michigan's Distance Learning Projects," a 1993 survey and report presented to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Since the mid- and late-1990s through the present, Rick has been deeply engaged in the deregulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry, the increased deployment of fiber optic telecommunications networks in education as well as by competitive telecommunications companies, and the monopoly/competition disputes which were spawned by the restructuring of these industries.
In 1999, Rick authored the chapter on The United States for BNA's International Telecommunications Law, covering the evolution of telecommunications law and policy in the U.S. over more than a century. In 2000, Rick was a presenter at the International Telecommunications Law Conference in Salzburg, Austria, sponsored by the Center for International Legal Studies.
For more than two decades, Rick has been one of the Firm's attorneys listed in Best Lawyers in America.
For more than three decades, Rick has been called upon by the Michigan Legislature and its members to serve as an expert consultant and advisor to numerous legislative task forces and workgroups on energy and communications. Since 2000 he has been an adjunct professor of telecommunications at Michigan State University and he serves on the national advisory board of the Quello Center for Telecommunications Law and Management at Michigan State.
Rick is an experienced negotiator and litigator with respect to locating telecommunications facilities in public rights-of-way under both state and federal laws and has served as regional and national coordinating counsel for firms extending backbone communications networks across the country.
Detroit-based Rocket Fiber formally launched its ultrafast optical fiber Internet service, which it says is up to 1,000 times faster than current average Internet speeds. Rick Coy was sought out by Rocket Fiber several years ago because of his extensive experience in helping institutions establish high speed fiber optic networks. Rick helped the Rocket Fiber team secure rights-of-way, comply with Michigan’s METRO Act, steer through state and federal communications regulations, and secure a uniform video franchise, among other things.