John M Dempsey

John M. Dempsey

Education & Credentials


Michigan State University

B.A., 1974
  • With High Honors

George Washington University

J.D., 1977
  • With High Honors
  • Editor, Law Review

Bar Admission

  • Michigan1980
  • Illinois1977
  • Iowa2010


Representative Clients

  • AT&T
  • Constellation New Energy
  • Interstate Gas Supply, Inc.
  • National Energy Marketers Association
  • T-Mobile USA, Inc.
  • White Pine Electric Power

Prominent Assignments

Jack Dempsey's experience in the energy, legislative, public utility, and telecommunications fields span more than three decades. His Lansing-based practice focuses on administrative and regulatory issues facing clients in the telecommunications, electric, and natural gas sectors.

Dempsey successfully briefed and argued agency appeals, such as:

  • In re Complaint of Rovas, 482 Mich 90 (2008);
  • SBC Michigan v MPSC, Court of Appeals No. 251117 (2005);
  • In re Complaint of MCTA, 241 Mich App 344 (2000);
  • Attorney General v PSC 183 Mich App 692 (1990);
  • Michigan Bell Communications, Inc. v MPSC, 155 Mich App 40 (1986);
  • Ram Broadcasting of Michigan, Inc. v PSC, 113 Mich App (1982)

From his first experience a quarter-century ago in successfully updating a 1913 telephony law, Dempsey has served in key roles as strategist, drafter, and lobbyist on major public policy statutes in Michigan. Such efforts include:

  • 1991 PA 179, the Michigan Telecommunication Act
  • 2000 PA 141, the Customer Choice and Electricity Reliability Act
  • 2000 PA 161, the Michigan Education Savings Program Act
  • 2002 PA 48, the Metropolitan Extension Telecommunications Right-of-Way Oversight Act
  • 2006 PA 480, the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act

These statutes made Michigan a leader in the field and earned it recognition from national organizations. Dempsey has also provided expert testimony on legal, policy, and technical matters in legislative hearings.

Prior to joining the firm in 1998, Dempsey served as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan. He served in various in-house officer positions at Ameritech Corporation and its subsidiaries. He is the author of several articles on administrative law and regulatory matters.

Professional Involvement

  • State Bar of Michigan, Administrative Law Section, editor of Administrative Law Review and former Council member
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Energy Law Committee Member, Dickinson Wright PLLC

Community Involvement

  • NAACP 
  • Michigan Historical Commission
  • Michigan History Foundation
  • Historical Society of Michigan
  • Michigan Historic Preservation Network
  • Abraham Lincoln Civil War Roundtable
  • Preservation Detroit
  • Plymouth Historical Society 


  • Assistant Attorney General, State of Michigan
  • Vice-President - General Counsel/Regulatory, Michigan Bell Telephone Company
  • Assistant General Counsel - Regulatory, Ameritech Corporation


  • “Administrative Law: Michigan Sides with Marbury, not Chevron, on Agency Deference,” Wayne Law Review, Spring 2009, Vol. 55, No. 1, p. 3
  • “A New Era of Video Competition in Michigan,” (with Michael A. Holmes), Michigan Bar Journal, August 2008, vol. 87, no. 8, p. 30
  • “The Importance of Earnest Rulemaking,” State Bar of Michigan Administrative Law Journal, Summer 2007, vol. 29, p. 1
  • “Telecommunications Law, Point-Counterpoint” (with Craig A. Anderson), Michigan Bar Journal, November 1998, vol. 77, no. 11, p. 1186 
  • The “Administrative Procedure Improvements Act of 1991,” State Bar of Michigan Administrative Law Quarterly, fall 1992, vol. 4, p. 1
Have a question or want to connect?