Joan M. Darby


Joan Darby focuses her practice on the natural gas industry. Her experience includes the development of major energy infrastructure projects, the negotiation of natural gas contracts, and the regulation of natural gas companies, transactions, and facilities. Additionally, she has experience in labor law and administrative law, particularly in the transportation sector.

Joan represents natural gas pipeline, storage, and LNG projects; electric generators; and local distribution companies. She has appeared before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC"), the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy, and federal and state courts at all levels. She has obtained requisite regulatory approvals and counseled natural gas clients on applicable regulatory requirements. She also has negotiated and drafted contracts for the purchase, sale, transportation, and storage of natural gas and for the construction of natural gas interconnection facilities.

In addition, Joan has had varied experience in the federal regulation of the airline, railroad, trucking, and maritime industries. She has appeared before both the Civil Aeronautics Board, representing labor unions in airline merger cases, and the U.S. Department of Transportation ("DOT"), obtaining operating rights for foreign air carriers. Joan participated in all major trucking deregulation proceedings before both the Interstate Commerce Commission and the U.S. Courts of Appeals. She managed 250 asbestos-related personal injury and wrongful death claims made under the maritime laws against shipping companies and asbestos manufacturers on behalf of marine engineers or their survivors. Joan also represented labor union interests before several federal labor agencies and in the federal courts.

She previously worked as a field attorney in the Milwaukee Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). As a law student, she spent two years clerking for the NLRB Division of Administrative Law Judges.

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  • 2015 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll
  • 2012, Legal 500



  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Energy Bar Association
Professional Activities

From 2004 to 2005, Joan served as deputy director of International Bridges to Justice, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization operated from Geneva, Switzerland, dedicated to advancing the rights and work of criminal defense attorneys in developing countries. She now serves on its Board of Directors.

Joan is a member of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia and the Energy Bar Association. She provides pro bono services on a regular basis at both the Superior Court of DC Family Court Self-Help Center and the Montgomery County Family Justice Center.



  • District of Columbia
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. District Court - District of Columbia
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit


  • George Washington University Law School, JD
  • Wellesley College, BA