We at Swan Legal Search have been noticing an interesting trend — Washington D.C. and the regulatory attorneys working there are no longer the legal “nerds.” They’re quickly becoming very, very popular in California. Particularly in the Silicon Valley.
I’m seeing an across-the-board increase in activity in all regulatory agencies – they are ratcheting up enforcement. I’m noticing more subpoenas going out (for example, OSHA is more aggressive and FDA is implementing more recalls as is the CPSC).
Keller & Heckman is involved in both the regulatory and litigation aspects. There’s been talk for some time, but I’m starting to see increased activity on the part of the Government. The Obama administration is certainly having a different attitude toward regulation than prior administrations.
As a result, Keller & Heckman, has felt the need for more litigation assistance due to these shifts, and the San Francisco office has grown accordingly. (In fact, the office is currently seeking a litigation partner who can sustain himself/herself with portable business. (Speak with Delia at Swan Legal Search regarding details about this opportunity. )
In addition to growth in California, our Washington D.C. office has also been busy addressing various recall issues on the regulatory side. Often the regulatory issues evolve into litigation. For example, recently a client had to take some product off the shelves at a major box store and sought relief from its supplier. The supplier refused, and a complaint was filed in Federal court and ultimately resolved through mediation.
I predict more work on the horizon in light of the Green Chemistry Initiative which is supposed to go in to effect in California shortly. Unlike Prop 65, which had a specific enforcement regimen, the GCI has no mention of enforcement in the statute. Issues such as what is a “chemical of concern” will inevitably lead to litigation. A lot it will depend upon the new California Attorney General, and her/his views. B&P Section 17200 may also create opportunities for a private attorney general actions pursued under. These are, indeed, interesting times.
Dan is a partner at Keller & Heckman and recently had a major success in a breach of contract and lack of good faith and fair dealing case. Founded in 1962, Keller & Heckman’s nationally-recognized litigation attorneys represent clients’ interests before federal and state courts, and regulatory and industry sanctioned bodies. The firm has offices in Washington, D.C., Brussels, San Francisco and Shanghai.