PEOPLE'S COUNSEL

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


In 1924, the office of People's Counsel was established. Maryland was the first state to form such a consumer advocacy office (Chapter 534, Acts of 1924).

The People's Counsel represents the interest of residential and noncommercial users of gas, electric, telephone, sewer, water, and regulated transportation services. Before the Public Service Commission and the courts, the People's Counsel appears on behalf of those users in all matters or proceedings over which the Commission has original jurisdiction and in which the People's Counsel deems their interest to be involved. The People's Counsel may appear before any federal or State agency to protect those interests of residential or noncommercial consumers.

The People's Counsel operates independently of the Public Service Commission and may participate in all proceedings before the Commission. Before the Commission, the People's Counsel may use Commission staff and retain expert witnesses to testify.

Appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent, the People's Counsel must be an attorney-at-law of the State (Code Public Utility Companies Article, secs. 2-201 through 2-206).

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2000

July 18, 2000   
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