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Wisconsin Rural Electric Cooperative Association / First yearbook, 1938
(1938)

Legal activities,   pp. 21-24 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 21


WISCONSIN RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION
                   LEGAL ACTIVITIES
    In the construction of electric lines by a cooperative with funds
borrowed from REA, a large amount of legal work must necessarily be
done, and although it is an intangible thing that cannot be seen, as con-
trasted with actual construction, the legal work must be properly and
quickly done in order not to hold up the progress of actual construction.
    The REA must of course take due precautions to see that money loaned
by it is properly secured by property of the cooperative and accordingly
requires that the cooperative select an attorney, subject to the approval
of
REA, to perform functions of a legal nature.
    Among other duties of the attorney he is required to supervise the
incorporation of the cooperative, and the succeeding organizational steps
of adoption of by-laws, election of directors and officers. It is also re-
quired that he supervise and write an opinion on the validity of the
corporate authorization to borrow funds from the REA and execute a
mortgage on the property of the cooperative as security for the loan. The
REA must be assured that it is obtaining a valid mortgage from a validly.
organized corporation.
    The Government must further be assured that all legal steps are pro-
perly taken necessary to not only construct the physical plant of the
Project, but to place the Project on a sound operating basis. This means
that the Association as owner of such a Project must be legally protected
as to source of energy through a valid contract executed for that purpose
and must also obtain the necessary franchises and permits from Govern-
mental authorities and obtain such other contracts as may be necessary
to complete the construction of the Project, and to insure that when the
Project is completed it will be in a legal position to operate and serve
its
members and thus secure income to pay back its loan.
    The first Projects which were formed in Wisconsin such as ROCK,
RICHLAND, DOUGLAS and COLUMBUS, selected Mr. John Ernest Roe of
Madison as counsel. Mr. Roe not only performed valuable work for
these Associations, but the work he did has proven of value to the Asso-
ciations that were formed thereafter. In November of 1936, a legal staff
for Rural Electrification Coordination was formed with Norris E. Maloney
as chief counsel, assisted by B. W. Huiskamp, Lloyd Allan, Floyd Wheeler,
Harry Carlson, Lee K. Besnor and Sam Levitin. Late in 1936 Mr. Roe
resigned as counsel for the Associations he then represented and Mr.
Maloney resigned as chief counsel of Rural Elctrification Coordination
on February 1, 1937, to become counsel for a number of Associations
then being organized or in the early construction phases of their Project.
Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Allan became members of Mr. Maloney's staff and
Mr. Besnor continued as counsel for Rural Electrification Coordination.
    At the present time Mr. Maloney is counsel for seventeen out of the
twenty REA Projects in the state. The Chippewa Valley Electric Coop-
erative is represented by Mr. P. J. Murphy, Chippewa Falls, Mr. Ira Slo-
cum of Menomonie represents the Dunn Project, and the legal work for
the Project being constructed by the village of Bangor is being done by
Mr. Herbert Roswell, attorney for the village.
    In a few of the larger Projects Mr. Maloney is aided by local counsel
who collaborate with -him in matters of a local nature. The following
attorneys are associated with Mr. Maloney: Mr. George Geffs, Janesville,
Rock Project; Mr. Francis J. Brewer, Richland Center, Richland Project;
Senator Walter J. Rush, Neillsville, Clark Project; Mr. P. J. Murphy.
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