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Overview

Applying her administrative agency experience, Maria provides regulatory guidance to energy and renewable development clients, be it on litigation or transactional matters.

Maria’s primary practice focuses on administrative regulatory issues on behalf of clients before the Public Utility Commission of Texas and on transactional work for renewable energy development clients. She also represents clients in Texas Public Information Act requests, defending a client’s right to maintain confidentiality when an outside entity seeks information on file with a public body. Additionally, she supports litigation efforts in rate proceedings on behalf of clients.

As a transactional attorney, Maria guides clients through the regulatory process for renewable development. She works to obtain regulatory permits, power purchase agreements, and shared utility agreements within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). She also provides research and analysis for clients on regulatory frameworks within Texas and in electric regional markets nationwide.

As an administrative litigator, Maria advocates for clients in all aspects of the competitive electric market in Texas, including contested rate cases, retail electric provider applications and Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA) §39.158 applications. She also is heavily involved in administrative rulemaking for clients.

Prior to her time with the firm, Maria worked for the Public Utility Commission of Texas. While there, she performed legal research and analysis as part of a litigation team in rate cases and transmission sales, as well as proposed sale, transfer and merger transactions for water and electric utilities in the state. Additionally, she helped develop commission policy as the lead on more than 18 different rulemaking projects, ranging from the Transmission and Distribution Utility/Retail Electric Provider (TDU/REP) tariff to the REP rule and Directorate General (DG).


Industry

Services

Education

  • Master of Law, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
    • Global Energy International Arbitration and Environmental Law
  • J.D., William Mary Law School
    • Business Law Review, Managing Editor
  • B.A., University of California-Los Angeles
    • Political Science
    • magna cum laude

Admissions

  • Texas
  • California

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Austin Bar Association, Young Lawyers
  • Gulf Coast Power Association
  • Kappa Delta, Austin Chapter
  • University of Texas at Austin School of Law, Texas Law Mentoring Program
Featured Case Study

Successful Result Obtained for Clients in Austin Energy Rate Case

Maria and her team represented clients NXP Semiconductors and Samsung in an evaluation of Austin Energy’s rates. In the full trial before an independent hearing examiner, Maria responded to discovery, drafted testimony, worked with expert witnesses, coordinated with the two clients and prepared cross-examination. She also wrote post-hearing briefs, replied to exceptions to the Proposal for Decision (PFD), responded to public information requests and attended settlement negotiations. The case resulted in a settlement that was beneficial to the clients.


Additional Experience

Administrative Litigation

  • Represented merchant generator in obtaining dismissal of competitor's request to install two battery storage systems as alternative to traditional distribution system expansion.
  • Drafted post-hearing briefs and exceptions to PFD and made oral arguments before Public Utility Commission of Texas commissioners.
  • Drafted comments in various Public Utility Commission of Texas projects related to resource adequacy and marketing design changes (Projects 47199, 48551, 48539 and 48540).
  • Assisted client in understanding proposed regulatory changes and impacts of deregulation on state and company.
  • Drafted comments for two energy generation clients (Dockets 47199, 48539 and 48540).
  • Drafted comments for generation client (Dockets 48551 and 48023).
Outside the Office

Maria spends time traveling, taking photos and attending concerts.

She enjoys traveling the world and taking photos of her adventures. Her favorite trips include visits to Australia, Greece and Norway. Maria also frequents concerts of all genres of music and enjoys trying new restaurants around Austin, Texas.

Community Leadership
  • Texas Law Mentor