Carolyn Elefant

Carolyn Elefant

Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition
  • Appeals & Appellate
  • District of Columbia, New York
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Jeena R. Belil
Jeena R. Belil November 4, 2020
Rating: 10 Lawyer Rating - 10 out of 10
I have never met anyone as dedicated and focused as Carolyn. She is professional, creative, organized and willing to listen to others, while providing excellent advocacy for her clients.
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I am a highly skilled, well trained and respected lawyer with multiple talents in a variety of disciplines I bring passion, analytical skill and persistence to any undertaking, be it a long shot legal case (where I have a proven track record), a new area of law (such as marine renewables where I am a driving innovator), getting civil penalties vacated or money refunded for energy clients or adapting new technology/trends I use my unique combination of talents on behalf of, or within, corporations, law firms, renewable energy companies, or others who seek excellent service, top notch work and creative problem solving I also seek speaking engagements and offer turnkey programs on a variety of cutting edge topics.
Career highlights include:
*Practicing energy regulatory law since 1988, including all aspects of electric utility regulation before FERC and state PUCs Law firm recognized in ABA Bar Journal and Washington Legal Times
*obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars in refunds or penalty rebates for energy companies
*lnternationally recognized legal/policy expert on offshore renewables,
*founder of Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition (now 40 members); significant experience in permitting offshore renewables and hydro. identifying funding sources and resolving regulatory uncertainty
*Litigation experience at admin hearings and courts First chaired admin. hearings five jury trials, discovery and motions practice in complex federal cases. Appellate practice includes over thirty appellate matters.
*Finding money so that clients can pursue claims or build projects
*Creator of ABA Topl00 Blawg, (2002), longest running blog on solo and small firm practice, and respected commentator.
*Author of Solo by Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be (December 2002)
*Co-contributor American Law Media, Legal

Practice Area
Appeals & Appellate
Civil Appeals, Federal Appeals
Additional Practice Areas
  • Administrative litigation (FERC, state PUCs, EEOC, MSPB)
  • Energy; Utilities
  • In-house counsel service to renewable and new energy tech companies
  • Litigation
  • Litigation in state and federal district and appellate courts (discovery, motions, briefs, oral argument, jury trials)
  • PPA drafting and review
  • Stakeholder mediation
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
District of Columbia
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New York
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Professional Experience
Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition
- Current
I co-founded the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition with Sean O'Neill in April 2005. Since then, the organization, with a mission of advancing and commercializing wave, tidal, hydrokinetic, OTEC and offshore wind in the United States has grown from 5 members to 40. Under my leadership, and with my coordination, the group has filed over 1000 pages of comments and testimony before Congressional committees and regulatory agencies such as MMS, FERC, NOAA and state public utility commissions.
Carolyn Elefant/ My Shingle
- Current
n December 2002, I created, the first blog dedicated to serving solo and small firm lawyers and those who yearn to start a practice. During that time, through my blog and consultancy, I have advised dozens of lawyers -- both solo and at law firms - on starting a firm or building a robust practice within a law firm. In January 2008, my book, Solo by Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be issued, where I discuss solo practice as a viable option either for a career, or to transition to other professional opportunities. Packed full of practical information and marketing advice, the book provides a roadmap for using 21st century technologies to build a practice, and has received acclaim from groups as diverse as new solos, bar practice management experts and large firm marketers.
Owner and Counsel
The Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant
- Current
I own the Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant, an independent law firm in Washington DC, specializing in electric utility/energy regulation, compliance issues, natural resources, renewable energy development, with emphasis on offshore renewables, wind and hydro. I also handle general litigation and appellate practice, with specific experience in employment law, Section 1983 litigation, criminal defense and contracts. My firm operates the weblog, and
of Counsel
Law Offices of Scott Hempling
Served as of counsel in prestigious energy practice with five attorneys. Supervised junior lawyers and paralegals and collaborated with senior lawyers, who included former state commissioners and other prominent industry members. Advised and represented clients in energy regulatory matters before FERC, including restructuring, RTO formation, mergers, cross-subsidization and affiliate issues, competitive bidding, distributed generation and standard PPAs, interconnection, transmission siting and post-EPAct 2005 changes to the FPA.
Adjunct Faculty
University of Maryland University College
Served as adjunct professor of contract law in UMUC's esteemed paralegal program. Designed curriculum, taught several hundred students through a mixture of theory and hands on practical assignments.
Associate Attorney
Duncan and Allen
Energy associate at Duncan & Allen, handled energy contract related arbitration, FERC hearings and all aspects of utility regulation, with focus on municipalities and coop systems.
Cornell Law School
Activities: Moot Court Board Editor
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Brandeis University
Honors: magna cum laude
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Featured on the Cover of Washington Legal Times
Washington Legal Times- ALM Publications
ABA Top 100 Law Blawg
American Bar Association
Featured in Maryland Daily Record
Marlyland Daily Record
Ocean Energy Pioneer Award
Energy Oceans Conference
Featured in ABA Journal on small law practice
American Bar Association
Featured on cover of Washington Legal Times
Washington Legal Times- ALM Publications
Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless Volunteer Award
Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
Professional Associations
District of Columbia Bar
- Current
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New York State Bar  # 2256675
- Current
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DC Bar
Law Practice Management Steering Committee
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Ocean Renewable Energy Association
of Counsel
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Energy Bar Association
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Articles & Publications
A Snapshot of Marine Renewable Energy Regulation in the United States
Global Marine Renewable Energy Conference
Federal and State Benefits and Subsidies for Marine Renewable and Hydrokinetic Technlogies
Hydrovision National Conference
How to Start A Business Networking Group to Build Referrals, Relationships and Reputation
Los Angeles Solo and Small Firm Conference
How to start a law firm; webinar
From Biglaw to Yourlaw: Starting A Law Firm
Solo By Choice; How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be
Technology to Retain Clients, Technology for Start Up Firms
ABA Tech Show 2008
Update on Marine Renewables Siting and Permitting
Ocean Energy Update
The Third Wave: Marine Renewable Energy Development in the United States
Alterative Energy Symposium
Oceans Apart? Is National Ocean Energy Policy Consistent With Oregon's Goals?
Ocean Energy in Oregon
The Accidental Practice
Small Firm Business
Obstacles to Marine Energy Development in the United States
Capitol Hill Briefing on Marine Renewables
What Offshore Wind Developers Can Learn from the Hydroelectric Industry
American Wind Energy Association National Conference
National energy policy and offshore wind
Offshore Wind Consortium
Wave Energy Development in the United States and Regulatory Uncertainty
Ocean Energy Overview
Why Lawyers Should Blog
What Lawyers Can Learn About Blogging
Don't Copy That Brief (can legal briefs be copyrighted?)
Legal Times Intellectual Property Magazine
How Much Privacy Do Litigants Deserve in E-Filing
Washington Legal Times
Saved by the Web: How I Researched A Brief Online for Free
Washington Legal Times
Energy resources on the web
Energy Resources on the World Wide Web
Ocean Energy Development in the 1990s
Energy Law Journal
Can Law Firms Do Pro Bono: A Skeptical View
Alabama Journal of the Legal Profession
When Helping Others Is A Crime: 18 USC 205's Restrictions on Federal Attorneys Seeking to Do Pro Bono
Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics
Websites & Blogs
My Shingle
Contact & Map
1629 K Street NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone: (202) 297-6100
Telephone: (202) 297-6100
Fax: (305) 675-8075
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