Vermont Attorney in Running to Be NLRB General Counsel

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By Lawrence E. Dubé

Peter B. Robb, a management lawyer at Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC in Vermont, is under consideration to become the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel, sources familiar with the situation tell Bloomberg BNA.

Robb told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 3 he couldn’t comment on a possible nomination to the position.

Presidential appointment of a general counsel is considered a key action because of the position’s power under the National Labor Relations Act.

The general counsel has broad authority to issue unfair labor practice complaints and bring cases before the board. The official also can dismiss unfair labor practice charges. Such actions by a general counsel are generally not subject to court review.

The general counsel, who is the agency’s chief administrative officer, also supervises the NLRB’s field office operations and most of the agency’s staff of about 1,600 employees.

If nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate, Robb would take over the top lawyer spot at the NLRB from Richard F. Griffin (D), an Obama appointee whose four-year term ends in October.

NLRB Experience and Private Practice

Robb worked as an NLRB field attorney in the agency’s Baltimore office from 1977 to 1979. He returned to the agency in Washington in 1982 as a staff lawyer and chief counsel for then-Member Robert P. Hunter (R), who was on the board from 1981 to 1985.

Robb is now a director of Downs Rachlin Martin, a 60-plus-lawyer firm with four offices in Vermont and one in New Hampshire. Robb has been with the firm since 1995. Earlier in his career, he worked at Proskauer Rose in Washington.

Bloomberg BNA’s review of court decisions, dockets, and other records showed Robb has represented employers and associations in labor cases before federal district and appellate courts and labor arbitrators. He has also appeared before the NLRB as well as the agency’s administrative law judges and regional directors.

Robb handled several court proceedings and arbitrations against locals of the International Union of Elevator Constructors. A union spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the possible nomination of Robb as the NLRB’s general counsel.

—Chris Opfer and Ben Penn contributed to this article.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lawrence E. Dubé in Washington at ldube@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at maulino@bna.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com

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