Conrad Law & Policy Counsel
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[As of January 2023, I'm mostly retired. But I'm still open to specific deliverable-type projects, as long as they work with our travel schedule!]

I have practiced law in Washington D.C. for 38 years, helping organizations accomplish their goals in the federal regulatory and legislative processes. With 14 years of experience at the American Chemistry Council and even more practicing privately on my own and at major national law firms, I have a broad and sophisticated perspective on how to achieve results and defend interests in those environments.

I am an expert in the field of environment, health & safety, where I specialize in how science is used to support regulation and policy. I also focus on homeland security, particularly in the areas of chemical facility security and information protection. Through the years, I have also worked across a wide range of other administrative law subjects. This work has included:

  • Regulatory compliance counseling;
  • Participating in all stages and levels of the rulemaking process;
  • Strategic advocacy to shape agency policy;
  • Permitting and other governmental approvals;
  • Supporting and challenging government actions in federal courts; and
  • Negotiating and defending enforcement cases.
I have extensive legislative experience, playing a central role in enactment of legislation:
  • Overhauling TSCA;
  • Improving federal infrastructure permitting;
  • Reauthorizing the DHS chemical facility security program;
  • Reestablishing the Administrative Conference of the United States;
  • Addressing release of worst-case scenario information; and
  • Fixing the application of the RCRA land disposal restrictions to formerly hazardous wastes.
I work with Congressional staff to educate them, guide oversight, and draft and negotiate legislative language and legislative history, in both the authorizing and appropriations context. My successful approach is to be a nonpartisan, reliable source of authoritative expertise to members and staff.

I have a long track record helping private entities engage with government agencies in innovative projects that offer mutual benefits. I understand how to balance assertiveness and tact and how to craft solutions that meet both parties' needs. I am also skilled at bridge-building with NGOs and other third parties to build on common interests.

I am particularly skilled at translating highly complex and technical subjects into clear and even engaging presentations. This enables me not only to explain my clients' situations and critical needs to government officials, but also to help clients understand the arcane and user-unfriendly regulatory programs that confront them. From understanding comes opportunity.

My value proposition is to offer top-quality legal skills and personal attention to clients' matters in a way that large law firms increasingly cannot -- in effect, providing partner-level services at associate rates. Where appropriate, I can draw on the services of other lawyers – senior and more junior – as affiliates. From my years managing outside counsel and conducting most of my own legal work at ACC, I am highly efficient and cost conscious. I also understand communications and the importance of external relations in advocacy efforts.



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I argue in Bloomberg Law that the Fifth Circuit's recent Boudreaux decision actually clarifies, rather than limits, the ability of mandatory bars to speak out on vital issues like the rule of law.
Here's a link to the article
In light of the Boudreaux decision, I've updated my detailed memo on the expressive powers of mandatory bars notwithstanding the Supreme Court's Keller opinion. It's my latest project for Lawyers Defending American Democracy (LDAD).
Here's a link to the memo
Here's my post on OIRA's draft guidance on EO 12866 meetings, part of symposium on Modernizing Regulatory Review hosted by Notice and Comment, the blog hosted by the Yale Journal of Regulation and the ABA's Ad Law Section.
Here's a link to the post
I published a post in Notice and Comment showing just how immodest Justice Gorsuch's judicial "modesty" is.
Here's a link to the post
My first pro bono project in my new quasi-retirement has been helping Lawyers Defending American Democracy (LDAD) draft an ethics complaint against Stefan Passantino, the lawyer who purported to represent Cassidy Hutchinson in connection with her interactions with the January 6 Committee. We filed that complaint with the D.C. Court of Appeals' Board on Professional Responsibility on March 6. As it demonstrates, Passantino's real client was what they both called “Trump World,” and we calculate that his raging conflict of interest had given rise to 15 different ethical violations by the time she fired him. A legal ethics professor who signed the complaint said “I couldn’t design an exam question with this many violations.” And Passantino was the Trump White House ethics counsel, which is beyond ironic. Edmund Burke may or may not have said "all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men [and women] to do nothing," but it's still true, and I'm glad to be able to do something.
Here's a link to the complaint
EPA backpedals on making all of its current guidance documents available on one web site. I guess the APA needs an antibacksliding provision.
Here's a link to a post I published in Notice and Comment on this regressive development
Court decisions striking down the Trump Administration's attempts to delay the effective date of Obama Administration rules are asking for too much. These decisions will be problematic if a Democratic administration tries to delay the effective date of Trump's "midnight rules." I make this argument in a piece in the Summer 2019 issue of Administrative & Regulatory Law News, available free to ABA Ad Law Section members (or contact me).
I've written an article arguing that the Lautenberg amendments did not change the "null hypothesis" for new chemical reviews--because there isn't one. A shorter version was published in the June 2017 Chemical Watch Global Business Briefing.
Here's the article
New TSCA puts risk assessment at center stage. How will it perform? See Keith Belton's and my article in the Fall 2016 issue of Issues in Science & Technology.
Here's a link to the article
I have a post in RegBlog arguing that if we can fix TSCA, we can fix the older and just as dysfunctional OSH Act.
Here's a link to the post
I helped secure enactment of a new statute to improve permitting of major infrastructure projects.
Here is a memo I drafted on the new law.
I've published a letter in Science challenging the opponents of regulatory science legislation to offer some good faith proposals of their own.
Here's the link (subscription required)
I have a post in RegBlog on the merits of "sue and settle" legislation -- and how the controversy over such issues is making it almost impossible to talk rationally about the opportunities for more important regulatory improvements.
Here's a link to the RegBlog series on sue and settle
I've coauthored an article in the February 2013 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives on promoting disclosure of data used in evaluations of pesticides and other chemicals.
Here's the link to the article
I've authored a chapter on "Reconciling the Scientific and Regulatory Timetables" in a book entitled Institutions and Incentives in Regulatory Science.
Here's the link to the book
I've coauthored a review in the June 2011 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives on criteria for assessing the credibility of scientific work:
Here's the link to the article
The ABA's book Homeland Security: Legal & Policy Issues has two chapters by me: "Information Protection" and "Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards":
Here's the link to the book in the ABA's online store
I obtained a SAFETY Act designation for the American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care Security Code:
Click on this link and then search for "Responsible Care" under "Approved Technologies"
Here's a chart I did for the Chemical Security Summit comparing CVI, SSI & PCII:
CVI-SSI-PCII comparison chart