Richard J. Johnson, Attorney


In his more than three decades of representing regulated businesses, Richard J. Johnson has individually or jointly represented private utility and telephone companies in over 20 rate cases and many more earnings and other regulatory investigations.  His prominent and effective counsel led to Best Lawyers® selecting him as its 2012 “Lawyer of the Year” in administrative/regulatory law in Minneapolis. 

Rick has built a reputation for, and earned client praise for, “being able to view issues at multiple levels, providing a deliverable that transcends traditional legal advice to include useful strategic recommendations and policy considerations.”  

His breadth and depth of regulatory experience includes negotiation, documentation, and regulatory representation in connection with mergers, sales, and acquisitions, as well as in telephone hearings. 

Rick’s counsel includes strategic planning and documentation of several telecommunications joint ventures, in addition to these representative matters. 

Rate Cases, Revenue Requirements, and Regulatory Counsel

  • Defended against proposed consolidated tax adjustment in a rate to remove approximately $100 million from electric utility revenue requirement
  • Demonstrated no adverse impact by unregulated activities on cost of debt in revenue requirements for gas and electric utility rate cases
  • Demonstrated capital structures for revenue requirements, including divisional and subsidiary capital structures and preferred stock equivalence to common stock
  • Presented required return on equity (ROE) for revenue requirements of gas, electric, and telecommunications companies 
  • Defended employee compensation, including incentive compensation, in revenue requirements for gas, electric, and telecommunications companies
  • Presented certification application for statewide telecommunications network, including multiweek contested case proceeding


  • Defended telecommunications companies in affiliated interest investigations
  • Provided defense of current earnings levels in connections with earnings investigations

Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) Counsel

  • Represented groups of ILECs in several intrastate intercarrier compensation proceedings, including multiweek contested case proceedings
  • Prepared comments for ILECs in FCC intercarrier compensation proceedings
  • Represented a group of ILECs in addressing unidentified traffic issues, including a traffic identification arrangement with Qwest
  • Advised and counseled ILECs in connection with ETC applications of CMRS providers

Listed in Best Lawyers® since 1995, Rick is a member of several professional associations, including the Federal Communications Bar Association.

Practice Areas

Professional Associations

  • Federal Communications Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Minnesota Telecom Alliance

Honors & Recognition

  • "The Best Lawyers in America," 1995-Present
  • "The Best Lawyers in America" – "Lawyer of the Year," Administrative/Regulatory Law, Minneapolis, 2012

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota


  • Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA, J.D.
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, B.S., Business Administration