Product Safety and Regulatory Consultant

Perform strategic consulting services with respect to risks from consumer products, how they are dealt with, and the impact of federal regulation. The products typically are those subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, on which I served a seven-year term, 1979-86, as Commissioner (and acting-Chairman & Vice-Chair for extended periods). Consulting assignments commonly involve assessment of the risk involved, product recall analysis, regulatory options, or litigation support. Presented expert testimony in deposition and at trial on more than 125 occasions in both federal and state court actions. Areas covered include product marketing, labeling, design flaws and safer design considerations, manufacturer and supplier responsibilities, product testing and warnings. Counseled major manufacturers on product recalls and have regularly assessed risks from foreseeable, even if unintended, uses of consumer products.

Also advise as to -

> conformance with responsible manufacturing & marketing practice;
> compliance with statutory hazard reporting obligations under the consumer product safety act;
> management and efficacy of product recalls;
> impact of federal safety regulation; product defect, liability, and warnings considerations;
> adequacy of industry safety standards and fairness of standards procedures;
> compliance with applicable regulations and policies.

The CPSC is an independent federal regulatory agency empowered to address unreasonable product risks by encouraging industry to correct hazards and develop voluntary safety standards; mandating federal standards; disclosing risk information; or ordering a ban, seizure, or recall, to remove unsafe products from the market. Appointed by President Carter and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, I actively oversaw inquiries into such product dangers as gas valves, electric heaters, wood stoves, kerosene heaters, appliances, extension cords, flammable sprays & adhesives, chain saws, riding and walk-behind power mowers, power tools, ATVs, fireworks, tap water scalds, lead paint, infant gates, cribs, playpens, & walkers, toys & small parts, automatic garage doors, ladders, bunk beds, hot water heaters, amusement rides, furniture fires, window blind cords, tv carts, televisions, swimming pools & spas, and more. Also helped to formulate indoor air pollution policies, and dealt with such longer-term risks as methylene chloride in paint removers, toxic emissions from kerosene heaters, and formaldehyde in manufactured housing, furnishings and insulation.

Previously served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the National Commission on Product Safety [1968-70], precursor agency to the CPSC, which examined the adequacy of measures to protect the American public against unreasonable risks from consumer products used about the home and in recreation. The panel's final report led Congress to enact the Consumer Product Safety Act. Advised the NCPS Chairman on all substantive matters, prepared testimony to Congress, organized hearings around specific product risks, coordinated analysis of the adequacy of the common law in addressing product hazards, and drafted proposed legislation which later became the Child Protection and Toy Safety Act of 1969. Also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Commission's Final Report to Congress and the President, and helped draft the basic outline of the later-enacted Consumer Product Safety Act.

By way of further background, also served as Vice President & Partner with the international management consulting firm of A.T. Kearney [1986-89], heading up their risk management and product liability practice. Advised companies, and their law firms, how best to anticipate and avoid health, safety, and environmental risks, or to manage them so as to limit possible damage and costs.  Also assisted land developers and property management firms to forge regulatory strategies for dealing with risk concerns on sites they planned to acquire, develop, or finance.  In the consumer product area, counseled firms as to their potential liability and how best to avert costly litigation, and provided litigation support, expert witness testimony, and assistance with regulatory concerns. Also worked with product manufacturers and distributors to develop practical measures to:

> Evaluate design, production, and sales efforts so as to promote higher standards of quality assurance.
> Promote market entry of new products by anticipating safety concerns.

> Implement risk management plans for firms facing significant liability exposure.

> Devise advertising, packaging, and warnings to reduce likelihood of legal claims & adverse judgments.
> Gauge the advisability of a recall or other corrective action, and formulate planning for crisis control.



Executive Director

(NACDL is the preeminent organization in America helping to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing, to foster the integrity, independence, and expertise of the criminal defense profession, and to promote the proper and fair administration of criminal justice.)

As chief executive officer, guided all operations and strategic direction of this specialized bar association, comprised of 10,000 direct members and 80+ state and local affiliates with 28,000 additional criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, law professors, active-U.S. military defense counsel, & judges. Supervised staff of 20, budget of $3 million, and long-term investments. Implemented policies of governing Executive Committee and 45-member Board. Steered activities involving Congress, state legislative and regulatory bodies, law enforcement agencies and judicial conferences. Oversaw accredited seminars offering continuing legal education on criminal justice issues, advocacy trial skills and legal ethics. Published The Champion, NACDL's renowned monthly legal journal, and guided development of its highly-acclaimed Internet website. Supervised membership recruitment and retention efforts, assured of value-laden member benefits, and developed new programs to serve members' practice needs, while assisting indigent defense and amicus curiae efforts. Also, organized a new, non-profit arm, the Foundation for Criminal Justice.


ASSOCIATION OF TRIAL LAWYERS OF AMERICA,  Deputy Executive Director [1989-93]

For this 60,000 member organization, managed all Association activities involving publications (TRIAL magazine, the Law Reporter, three specialty law reporters, and the ATLA Advocate); continuing legal education through the National College of Advocacy;  member services, including The Exchange - a fully-computerized research network; ATLA Press - which published books, audio & video tapes, and ATLASearch - a research service; marketing (including copy de­sign, convention exhibits, and list sales); and production. Supervised 100+ staff and budgeted activities of $10 million, emphasizing value-added quality member services and top-down commitment to excellence. Guided more positive public image for the organization, by highlighting concern of trial lawyers for securing safer products and for preserving fundamental human rights. Developed ATLA Alert program to inform regulatory agencies, the media, & the public about emerging hazards affecting consumer health and safety, or the environment.



(Panel was the principal investigating arm of the U.S. Senate. Inquiries focused on organized crime, racketeering, energy, health care and government contracting.)

As Staff Director/Chief Counsel to the Minority, counseled Senators and supervised staff of 25; directed investigations; prepared hearings; questioned witnesses; and briefed the press. Led major investigations into:

securities frauds labor/management racketeering pension fund abuses
energy oversight high tech exports to Soviets drug trafficking
Russian grain sales abuses in pre-paid health plans military club frauds
organized crime auto theft "chop shops" arson-for-profit

Serving at the same time as Counsel to U.S. Senator Charles Percy [R-IL], advised the Senator on legal and political matters, business/regulatory concerns, law enforcement and environ­mental issues, while being heavily involved in Committee markups, Senate Floor debates, House-Senate conference committees.



As Minority Chief Counsel, advised Senators on subcommittee inquiries into food additives, auto safety, environmental and health issues. Promoted bipartisan consensus in: devising strategy for numerous reorganization plans of the President, including merger of the Peace Corps and Vista into ACTION; guiding landmark legislation through Committee approval and Senate passage to coordinate federal drug treatment and rehabilitation programs; and revamping legislation on representing consumer inter­ests before federal agencies and courts.



(Blue-ribbon White House Council appointed by President Nixon to help reorganize the Executive branch. Prepared pri­vate memoranda for President on social programs, natural resources, trade, drug abuse, and regulation)

As Senior Staff Associate, served as a member of the Task Force on Independent Regulatory Commissions, assessing deficiencies in such agencies as the ICC, CAB, FTC, SEC, and FCC. Principal Editor of the Council's final report, "A New Regulatory Framework," which proposed restructured agencies, substituting single administrators for commissions, while revamping their functions & appeals process.



J.D., honors, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA. John Woodruff Simpson Fellow

B.A., Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Amherst College, Amherst, MA.

Admitted to practice in New York State, the District of Columbia, and Virginia, as well as before both the Federal District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia; the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals; and the U.S. Supreme Court. Currently, Associate Member of the Virginia State Bar.



"Preventing 'Accidental' Injury: Accountability for Safer Products by Anticipating Product Risks and User Behaviors," in Handbook of Human Factors Litigation (CRC Press, December 2004)

"Nobody Does It Better," Association Management (March 1987).

"A Safety Agenda for the States," Newsletter of the National Association of Attorneys General (July 1986).

"The Butt Stops Here," TRIAL (January 1985).

"Toys Can Be Dangerous," San Diego Union (December 1984).

"Thrills, Injuries and Death -- Federal Role in Amusement Ride Safety," St. Louis Post-Dispatch (August 1984); related article syndicated nationally by UPI (June 1984).

"Reporting Guidelines Under Section 15, Consumer Product Safety Act," Journal of Products Liability (June 1984).

"Some Advice to Manufacturers: Build a Better Microchip," Sacramento Bee (May 1984).

"After The Legislative Veto," Wall Street Journal (April 1984).

"Consumer Products' New Technology Tends To Let Chips Fall Where They May," Houston Post (April 1984).

"Doing a Slow Burn Over Cigarette-Fire Deaths," Los Angeles Times (December 1982) (syndicated nationally).

"Gagging the Product Whistle-Blowers," Los Angeles Times (April 1982) (syndicated nationally).

"How Not to Rein in the Regulators," Washington Post (January 1982).

"Regulatory Reform: Structure of Regulatory Commissions," Legal Times (May 1981).

"One Regulator Can Do the Job Better," Business Week (May 1981).

"Let the Sunshine In?" American Bar Association Journal (May 1981). Excerpt in "Too Much Sunshine in Government Can Hurt," Washington Post (May 1981).

"The Case for Continuing Watch on Health-Endangering Products," Seattle Times (April 1981).

"Consumers, Please Squawk," Parade (nationally-syndicated Sunday newspaper supplement) (April 1980).