Job Overview

Summary

About the Agency

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is an exciting and progressive organization. We are seeking individuals who are committed to superior service and who can help us continue our work to reduce highway injuries and fatalities. We have excellent benefits including 401k and family friendly leave policies. Visit our website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov

As the Assistant Chief Counsel for Litigation and Enforcement you will:

Serve as the Assistant Chief Counsel with total responsibility for assisting the Chief Counsel in the planning, direction, and control of legal work in the area of litigation and administrative enforcement. Provides national leadership and senior level advice and management in the disposition of a wide variety of complex legal and policy questions. Incumbent is the senior attorney responsible for the conduct of legal research, drafting of opinions, preparation of the legal brief or motions in any matter in which the agency is contemplating enforcement or other activity under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act, including the Title V of that Act (the Energy Act), and the Highway Safety Act or in any action in which the agency is a defendant, and for the technical and administrative supervision of attorneys assigned to this functional area. Incumbent also is the senior attorney responsible for the drafting of regulations and interpretations involving the agency’s enforcement program. In addition, incumbent is the lead attorney responsible for defense of the agency in a broad range of personnel litigation, including actions before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board and Arbitrators hearing disputes brought by a union or employees under a collective bargaining agreement.

Please note: This announcement has been extended until April 4, 2014.

 

Duties

The Assistant Chief Counsel for Litigation and Enforcement:

Acts in a supervisory and coordinating capacity over the litigation and enforcement division of the Office of the Chief Counsel. Makes assignments of special legal problems, acts in advisory capacity on legal approaches involving unusual issues, confers and coordinates on differences of opinion between attorneys, coordinates work on problems that need action by more than one division, reviews and clears items of work requiring referral to the Chief Counsel.

Because of the extreme sensitivity of safety enforcement, resulting from the difficulty of the legal questions involved and the societal impact of the results of enforcement, incumbent pays particular attention to this area.

Reviews and advises on legal aspects of policy questions involving enforcement which require decision or clearance of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator or Deputy Administrator, such as: Proposed speeches and congressional testimony, drafts of and reports on legislative proposals, proposed regulations, policy and procedure directives, congressional investigations. Directs or participates in preparing revisions resulting from such reviews. Prepares or exercises general supervision over preparation of necessary action or matters requiring personal attention of the Chief Counsel. Resolves to final conclusion and disposes of numerous legal questions which are determined not to warrant time of the Chief Counsel.

Advises the Chief Counsel on legal and policy precedents which may have bearing on top level questions requiring the Chief Counsel's personal decision.

Attends congressional hearings. On occasion, represents the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at meetings with congressional and other Federal and State government officials. Attends meetings of various organizations concerned in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration matters, and delivers papers, as called for.

Speaks and acts for the Chief Counsel in sensitive legal matters which require delicate handling with members of Congress, congressional committees, and other Federal and State officials. In particular:

       1. Incumbent acts as authoritative legal counsel to the Administrator and the agency on questions of law and administrative policy in the area of litigation and administrative enforcement. Personally performs the most complex and difficult legal work in these areas and provides legal advice concerning cases and problems characterized by extreme or special sensitivity, urgency, novelty, or difficulty, where the opinions or results of the incumbent's work may be tested by outstanding members of the private bar.

                a. Standards Enforcement- Reviews cases of alleged noncompliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, Fuel Economy Standards, and other regulations issued by the agency to determine whether to recommend prosecution. Considers the weight of the evidence, the importance of the case, the necessity of uniform application of the law throughout the land, the cost of litigation, and other considerations which bear on the advisability of instituting suit. Acts as the principal attorney in charge of administrative proceedings against the defendant, including conduct of negotiations.

                b. Defects Investigation - Reviews cases in which it is alleged that vehicles or series of vehicles or equipment have a safety-related defect. Overall function is as above except that incumbent has responsibility for recommending whether the manufacturer of the vehicles would be required to notify owners and to recall the vehicles.

                c. Recall implementation - Reviews cases in which it is alleged that the manufacturer of a series of vehicles has not properly implemented a recall. Overall function is as above except that incumbent has responsibility for recommending whether to hold an administrative hearing and, if a hearing is held, the terms of an order.

                d. Civil penalty actions - Develops and reviews cases in which it appears that the manufacturer of vehicles or other person has not met its regulatory obligations, particularly the obligation to notify the agency of a noncompliance or safety-related defect and thus to initiate a recall. Overall function includes issuance of administrative discovery, assessment of the facts, and negotiation of a civil penalty.