What We Do
The Office of the General Counsel provides sound and timely counsel and legal services to the Commission and to the Commission staff. The Office's key responsibilities include: participating, in collaboration with Commission program offices, in the development of Commission draft orders, rulemakings and other Commission decisions; advising the Commission and its staff on legal matters; representing the Commission before the courts; reviewing proposed legislation and preparing Congressional testimony; and advising other government agencies, regulated entities and the public on matters within the Commission's jurisdiction.
The Office of the General Counsel has the following sub-organizations: Energy Markets-1 Section; Energy Markets-2 Section; Dispute Resolution Service; Energy Projects Section; Solicitor's Office; General and Administrative Law Section; and the Administration and Operations Group.
- Provides advice and recommendations to the Commission on legal and policy matters related to the Commission's responsibilities.
- Prepares, in collaboration with other staff offices, draft orders, notices of proposed rulemaking, policy statements, final rules, and other documents to be considered or issued by the Commission and verifies that materials are legally sound and take into account the legal and policy precedents established by the Commission.
- Evaluates proposed actions for legal, policy and procedural consistency and ensures that the disposition of issues arising from docketed workload is consistent with the Commission's strategic policy direction.
- Provides legal advice to the Chairman and Commissioners.
- Confers with and advises regulated entities and other interested persons, and attorneys and officers of other Federal and state agencies, on legal questions pertaining to Commission jurisdiction and other regulatory issues.
- Represents Commission in litigation before the courts, including all appellate review of Commission orders; works with the Solicitor General’s Office in the Department of Justice on U.S. Supreme Court proceedings involving the Commission.
- Prepares all orders and formal opinions regarding administrative matters (e.g., equal employment opportunity, Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act, standards of conduct, procurement); represents the Commission in related administrative hearings.
- Reviews proposed and newly enacted legislation potentially affecting the Commission; coordinates with the Office of Management and Budget on review of legislative matters as appropriate; prepares comments and Congressional testimony; and represents the Commission in Congressional hearings.
- Dispute Resolution Service neutrals assist parties in the voluntary resolution of their energy disputes - prior to or after a complaint is filed with the Commission; educate and train audiences on ADR techniques and skills to prevent, manage and resolve conflict; and promote the systematic application of ADR tools to prevent and reduce energy litigation. Learn more about Alternative Dispute Resolution Service
Dispute Resolution Service (DRS)
The Dispute Resolution Service is a small independent service-oriented team, housed within OGC, that promotes timely and high quality mutual resolutions of disputes through: (1) alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services like facilitation and mediation for matters involving entities subject to the Commission's jurisdiction; (2) management of the Commission Landowner Helpline; and (3) training of audiences on ADR skills and techniques. Learn More
Matthew ChristiansenGeneral Counsel, Office of the General CounselTelephone: 202-502-6599