On December 24, 2016, our dear friend, colleague, and mentor, Bob Nordhaus passed away. In remarks to the firm, Chair Richard Agnew said, “I know that we will miss Bob's intelligence, grace and decency, but those qualities are his legacy and will remain a part of our firm family, always."

Below are links to remembrances published about Bob, followed by excerpts from the many notes and emails received by the firm in the days that have followed Bob’s passing.

The Albuquerque Journal

The Washington Post  

The Energy Future Coalition Blog

The Energy Law Journal


Remarks from Former Colleagues and Friends of the Firm:

“Bob was the very definition of a “gentleman and a scholar.”

“Bob stood out for his thoughtful approach, integrity, and generosity. We will miss him.”

“Bob was an outstanding professional, an intellect and a joy to work with but he never thought he was too important to carry a box or two if that’s what it took to get the job done!”

“From time to time, he would stick his head in my door at the end of the day and we would engage in light banter on a variety of subjects.  He was always smiling (you know that quirky smile I am talking about) and I always felt privileged that someone of his stature would embrace me.”

“He was so vibrant and intense that I cannot believe that he has left us so suddenly and so soon.  Too soon, too soon.”

"….Then there's Bob Nordhaus.  Nordhaus is just a partisan for good common sense."

“He was an exceptional counselor, legislative draftsman, strategist, and mentor.  Bob saw the forest and the trees.  Through his tireless example, he challenged his colleagues to know the law, to know the client, to be thorough and creative, to bring their best.  I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked with and learned from Bob, and for the insight of seeing the profession practiced at its highest level of excellence.”

“Once, out of the blue, he called me to tell me that one of my memos (a report from a committee hearing) was one of the most amusing things he’d read.  I HAD tried to be a little funny, but didn’t think anyone would catch it (i.e. stuff like “he retorted” instead of “he said”.  Made me smile (and be more careful).  Astute guy.”

“He is a FERC lawyer without equal.  But what I always appreciated most was his kindness and thoughtful temperament as a person.  Bob was one of a kind, and will be missed.” 

“He was bigger than life.”

“…Bob, the FERC General Counsel,  was not involved in the day-to-day project, he was overseeing it, and near the end made a “suggestion” – which meant “this shall be done” – that we include a provision saying that if states preferred not to adopt rules, but simply would adjudicate disputes that might arise as power producers and utilities attempted to follow the federal rules, that would suffice.  Later, when the State of Mississippi subsequently challenged the law as violating states’ rights under the 10th amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court  upheld the program because of the provision that “Nord” had insisted we include…But for Bob’s involvement, the federal law that opened up the grid to renewables and competition might have been invalidated.”

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Contributions can be made in Bob’s honor to two charities chosen by his family: 

The Breakthrough Institute, an energy and environmental research organization co-founded by his son Ted Nordhaus. 


The Cornerstones Community Partnerships, which works to preserve historic sites and structures in the American Southwest, has set up a memorial fund in Bob's honor.    For more information about the Memorial Fund, click here.