About the Agency
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a bipartisan federal agency with a unique dual mission to protect consumers and promote competition. The Office of General Counsel (OGC) represents the FTC in court and provides legal counsel to the commissioners, operating bureaus, and other FTC offices. The FTC Act authorizes the agency to represent itself, through its own attorneys, in a variety of actions in federal court. Among its other responsibilities, OGC defends agency orders in the courts of appeals, handles the appellate phase of suits brought by the FTC in district court, assists the bureaus during the district court phase of those suits, and enforces civil investigative demands and other compulsory process. OGC also works with the Solicitor General in representing the Commission in the U.S. Supreme Court and with the litigating divisions of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in defending actions to enjoin agency action.
The Deputy General Counsel for Litigation oversees OGC’s role in litigation activities, including the preparation of all necessary pleadings, briefing, and oral argument before the courts. He or she leads, trains, and directs a group of attorneys, and reviews their performance. He or she closely supervises the most important or difficult cases and personally argues some of them.
The incumbent develops close working relations with high-level officials within the agency, within other federal (and state) government agencies, and with other external contacts, including opposing counsel and courts. The FTC’s decisions affect business and industrial practices throughout the nation, and they often implicate complex legal issues. Opposing counsel often rank among the most skilled advocates in the nation, and the incumbent should be equally skilled. Proficiency in appellate litigation is particularly essential.
The incumbent also serves as the FTC liaison officer with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and establishes and implements procedures within the FTC that satisfy requirements mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Act). The Act requires every recommendation or report on proposals for legislation and other major federal actions that significantly affect the quality of the human environment contain a detailed statement on: (1) the environmental impact of the proposed action, (2) any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented, (3) alternatives to the proposed action, (4) the relationship between local short-term uses of the human environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and (5) any irreversible and irretrievable commitments or resources which would be involved in the proposed action should it be implemented.
Provisions of the Act further bind the incumbent, under the direction of the General Counsel, to consult with and obtain comments of any federal or state agency that has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental impact resulting from new legislative proposals or possible spin-off in cases under development. The Act also requires agencies to provide copies of such statements, comments, and views of the appropriate federal, state, and local jurisdictions to the public, which accompany the proposal through the existing agency processes. The FTC sends the special expertise, opinions, or statements together with the incumbent’s review of required statements of proposals to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance, with copies of the material furnished directly to the CEQ.
The Deputy General Counsel’s accountability for the success of assigned programs, projects, or cases encompasses responsibility for the full range of factors that affect program, project, or case success. This includes obtaining the resources necessary to accomplish the work and assuming responsibility for their effective use, and dealing with key officials from within and outside the agency to gain understanding and support for the program, project, or case. The incumbent monitors progress toward organizational goals and makes appropriate adjustments to such goals. The incumbent monitors work status through formal and informal means to evaluate progress toward objectives; assesses overall effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity; identifies, diagnoses, and consults on problem areas related to implementation and goal achievement; and makes decisions on alternative courses of action. The incumbent leads, directs, and oversees, through one or more subordinate supervisors, the work of approximately 10 attorneys plus support staff in accomplishing OGC’s goals and objectives.