Thomas J. Dougherty, II

Thomas J. Dougherty, II

Partner vCard
303.628.9524 office
303.623.9222 fax
1200 Seventeenth Street
Suite 3000
Denver, CO 80202

Tom Dougherty represents a broad range of commercial, utility, energy, government, and private clients in litigation, regulatory, legislative, and public policy matters. Tom has extensive experience in electric utility, clean energy, and infrastructure projects as well as permitting, and eminent domain proceedings. Tom has successfully secured and litigated state permits and local government land use approvals for a wide variety of projects. With deep experience in this arena, Tom provides clients with practical legal advice, allowing him to serve as a strong advocate for clients.

Tom also leads the firm's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Industry Team where he advises businesses in multiple industries on UAS regulatory and operational issues. As an attorney and an engineer, Tom brings a unique understanding of the technical and legal aspects of clients' projects and an effective problem-solving perspective.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Colorado Energy Coalition, Member, Public Policy Committee, 2012-present
  • Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Board of Governors, 2012-present
  • Board of Adjustments and Appeals, Member, City of Greenwood Village, Colorado, 2012-present
  • Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Member
  • American Bar Association Environment Energy and Resources Section, Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources Committee, 2008-present
  • Generation and Transmission Lawyers Association
  • Electric Cooperative Bar Association
  • Energy Bar Association, Member, EBA Rocky Mountain Chapter
  • Colorado Bar Association Eminent Domain Committee, Member
  • Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program, Mentor
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Colorado Bar Association, Member
  • Denver Bar Association, Member
  • Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Metro Denver Aviation Coalition, 2015-present

Representative Matters

Energy, Alternative Energy, Telecommunications and Utilities

  • Represented government agency in development of distributed solar power project
  • Represented various Colorado ranch and landowners in the development of wind and solar renewable energy projects 
  • Advised project owner in connection with permitting issues related to development of ethanol production facility
  • Represented major energy company in connection with interstate petroleum products pipeline permitting issues
  • Advised electric utility on power purchase agreements related to distributed generation sources
  • Represented state government infrastructure authority in negotiations related to development of major interstate high voltage electric transmission projects
  • Co-lead counsel for a Colorado electric utility company in a landmark case applying for the first time Colorado law which authorizes the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to overturn a local government's land-use decision 
  • Lead counsel for a national electric and gas utility company in connection with the potential municipalization of the company's Colorado electric power transmission and distribution system
  • Co-lead counsel for a Colorado water and sanitation district in municipal exclusion proceedings that resulted in the establishment of a joint operating authority responsible for the district's and the municipality's interconnected water and sewer systems
  • Represents regional electric utility in planning, permitting, regulatory approval, and development of additions to interstate high voltage electric transmission system
  • Represented foreign utility holding company in the acquisition of a U.S. gas utility company.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

  • Advise energy and utility companies regarding Section 333 Exemptions and UAS operations
  • Assisted clients with FAA rulemaking for small UAS
  • Present programs to businesses and industry groups regarding UAS regulations and operations
  • Advise clients regarding state-level UAS-related legislation
  • Assist clients in various industries with obtaining FAA approvals for commercial UAS operations
  • Represent UAS trade associations in public policy and legislative matters

Eminent Domain

  • Represented international energy company in development of interstate crude oil pipeline
  • Co-lead counsel in an appeal to the New Mexico Supreme Court affirming a regional electric power generation and transmission company's eminent domain authority
  • Lead counsel for a national electric and gas utility company in connection with the potential municipalization of the company's Colorado electric power transmission and distribution system
  • Lead counsel in eminent domain proceedings on behalf of a regional electric power generation and transmission company in connection with construction of interstate electric transmission lines
  • Represent water utility in eminent domain proceeding for major intrastate water pipeline project.

Related News

Colorado Energy Coalition names Dougherty as co-chair
Leadership appointment announced by Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation
83 Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie attorneys named in ‘Best Lawyers'
11 partners also honored as ‘Lawyer of the Year' in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017
FAA releases final rules for commercial drone operations
Rules will replace Section 333 waiver process, says Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie attorney


  • Presenter, "UAS in the Oil and Gas Industry," National Webinar, Kinetic, November 13, 2016 
  • Presenter, "UAS for Electric Utilities," EUCI Conference, October 19, 2016 
  • Presenter, "UAS in the Construction Industry," National Webinar, Associated General Contractors of America, October 12, 2016 
  • Presenter, "Overview of Current UAS Issues," Cactus Club, September 29, 2016 
  • Presenter, "Business Liability Issues Related to UAS Operations," USLAW Fall Conference, September 24, 2016
  • Presenter, "Federal Drone Regulations and Applicable State and Local Laws," Associated General Contractors of America, September 13 and 15, 2016 
  • Moderator for Panel Discussion, “Higher Education’s Work on Energy Innovations,” Energy Innovations Summit, September 12, 2016
  • Presenter, "Larson v. Sinclair and the Future of Pipeline Condemnation Cases," 20th Annual Colorado Eminent Domain Conference, April 2016
  • Presenter, "Property Rights - Who Owns the Airspace?" Colorado CLE, April 2016
  • Presenter, "Drones in the Construction Industry," USLAW, April 2016
  • Presenter, "Drones, Utilities, and Right-of-Way Considerations," Kinetic, March 2016
  • Presenter, "Key Considerations for a Drone Program," Kinetic, March 2016
  • Presenter, "Drone Law and Opportunities for Electric Cooperatives," Colorado Rural Electric Association, February 2016
  • Presenter, "Drones and Right-of-Way Considerations," International Right-of-Way Association, February 2016
  • Presenter, "Making the Business Case for Drones," Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, February 2016
  • Presenter, "Drone Law Update," Colorado Cattlemen's Association, January 2016
  • Presenter, "A Drone Law Overview for Corporate Counsel," Association of Corporate Counsel, January 2016
  • Presenter, “Unmanned Aircraft Systems – Legal Issues and Legislative Responses,” New Mexico State Bar Association, October 2015
  • Presenter, “Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Electric Utilities,” Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities, October 2015
  • Presenter, “Unmanned Aircraft Systems – A Drone Law Overview for Business Lawyers,” Colorado Business Law Institute, October 2015
  • Speaker, “Battery Storage: Is the Holy Grail Within Reach?” Energy Innovations Summit, October 2015
  • Speaker, Legal and Insurance Roundtable, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Annual Rocky Mountain Symposium, November 2015
  • Presenter, “Drones in the Real Estate Industry: What You Need to Know,” Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR), July 2015
  • Presenter, "Drones and Agriculture," Mid-Summer Meeting, Colorado Farm Bureau, July 2015
  • Presenter, "Drones for Lawyers -- The Do's and Don'ts for Clients," Colorado Bar Association, CLE Presentation, July 2015
  • Presenter, "Drones and Agriculture," Annual Convention, Colorado Cattlemen's Association, June 2015
  • Presenter, "Drones and Agriculture," American Farm Bureau Federation, June 2015
  • Presenter, "Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Electric Cooperatives," Colorado Rural Electric Association, May 2015
  • Speaker, "Energy Storage: Still the Next Big Thing," Energy Innovations Summit, October, 2014
  • Speaker, "The Relationship Between Transmission and Renewable Energy," University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, April 2013
  • Speaker, "Nuclear Power for the Future," Energy Innovations Summit, October 2012
  • Speaker, "Current Issues and Challenges in Electric Transmission Siting," Energy Bar Association, National Teleconference, September 2012
  • Speaker, "Scenario Planning Our Way to the Land of Oz?" Colorado Water Congress, Energy and Water Conference, August 2012
  • Speaker, "FERC Order No. 1000 Compliance Efforts," Western Transmission Roundup Conference, April 2012
  • Speaker, "Regulatory and Legal Challenges to Transmission Development," Western Transmission Roundup Conference, June 2011
  • Speaker, "The Co-op Utility Perspective: Finances and the Promotion of Renewable Energy," Renewable Energy Transmission Conference, June 2010
  • Speaker, "Special Districts' Use of Eminent Domain Power," Lorman Education Services Special Districts Seminar, April 2006
  • Speaker, "Easement Changes: When Must You Condemn New or Additional Property Rights?" Annual Colorado Eminent Domain Conference, August 2005
  • Speaker, "First Amendment and Religious Land Use Trends," National Conference, National Association of Church Business Administration, July 2005
  • Speaker, "Condemnation of Religious Institutions' Property: Implications of Their Unique Legal Status," Annual Colorado Eminent Domain Conference, August 2004
  • Speaker, "Current Issues in Urban Renewal," Colorado Municipal League Annual Conference, June 2004
  • Speaker, "Eminent Domain Case of the Year: The Villa Italia Project," Annual Colorado Eminent Domain Conference, August 2003

Other Publications



  • The Best Lawyers in America - Woodward/White, Aiken, S.C. - Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, 2014-2017
  • Denver Business Journal - "Who's Who in Energy", 2014-2015
  • Colorado Super Lawyers - "2016 Top 100 Colorado Super Lawyers" - Utilities Law, 2012-2016
  • Colorado Law Week - Barrister’s Choice for Best Renewable Energy Lawyer , 2015
  • 5280 [The Denver Magazine] - "Top Lawyers 2015" list, 2015

Other Info



J.D., University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, 1999, Order of St. Ives
B.S., University of Maryland, 1985

Bar Admissions

Colorado, 1999
Wyoming, 2016

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Colorado
Colorado State Judicial District Courts
Colorado Supreme Court
Colorado Court of Appeals