J. Joseph (Max) Curran, III

Partner
Curran Max

Max Curran has significant public and private sector experience representing some of the country’s largest energy and utility companies. Max’s institutional knowledge and experience with state regulatory issues strongly position him to advise energy, telecommunications, and water companies as they navigate high-profile and complex regulatory cases and requirements.  He provides strategic advice on matters ranging from rate proceedings, transmission and electric generation siting, and permitting to mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to joining Venable, Max served as a commissioner on Maryland’s Public Service Commission (PSC), where he was instrumental in changing Maryland’s energy policy, allowing customers to choose, for the first time, their electricity and gas suppliers.  During his term on the Maryland PSC, Max also fostered renewable energy resources in the state and promoted energy conservation and demand-response programs throughout the mid-Atlantic.

Related Practices

Experience

Government Experience

  • Commissioner, Maryland Public Service Commission

Representative Matters

  • Represented AltaGas in a contested application to obtain regulatory approval in Maryland and the District of Columbia for its $9 billion acquisition of WGL and Washington Gas Light Company. Obtained approval for the transaction in both Maryland and the District of Columbia, creating a $17 billion North American energy company
  • Represented, as lead Maryland regulatory counsel, both Exelon Corp. and Pepco Holdings, Inc. in their 2016 merger, securing approval of the Maryland PSC for the approximately $6.8 billion merger to proceed, creating one of the nation's largest utilities
  • Represented, as lead Maryland regulatory counsel, both Constellation Energy Group and Exelon Corp. in their merger, securing approval of the Maryland PSC for the approximately $8 billion merger to proceed, creating the nation’s largest competitive energy supplier
  • Served as lead Maryland regulatory counsel for FirstEnergy Corp. and Allegheny Energy Inc. in their successful merger, which allowed the companies to exercise substantial control over the policies and actions of a western Maryland utility, and create one of the largest energy companies in the country, now serving six million companies in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions
  • Counseled a large national energy company in its billion-dollar+ acquisition of mid-Atlantic electricity-generating facilities; led the team in identifying, analyzing, and addressing state and local environmental, tax, real estate, and regulatory matters
  • Served as lead regulatory counsel for a joint venture of major utilities to obtain licensing and permitting necessary for the development of the Maryland portion of a 267-mile, 765-kW high-voltage transmission line
  • Represented a nuclear development company in siting, licensing, and developing a new-generation nuclear plant, including representing the company in complex and extensive regulatory reviews in the state of Maryland

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. University of Maryland School of Law 1991
  • B.A. Johns Hopkins University 1988

Bar Admissions

  • Maryland

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • Maryland Court of Appeals

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, board of directors, Maryland Chamber of Commerce, 2011 - present
  • Former co-vice chairman, Washington Action Committee, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; former member, Telecommunications Committee; former member, Ad Hoc Committee on Critical Infrastructure
  • Former member, Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners

Recognition
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  • Included in Maryland Super Lawyers, 2014, 2015
  • Named one of Maryland’s “50 Very Influential People in Politics,” Center Maryland, 2012