Elizabeth Vella Moeller
Our public policy experience spans a broad array of issues, including appropriations, aviation, education, energy, environment, financial institutions, health, maritime, satellite, tax, telecommunications and trade.
We craft successful strategies tailored to each client’s specific needs, including those of domestic and international companies, foreign governments, trade associations, universities, non-profit organizations, municipal governments, quasi-governmental bodies such as airports, government entities, members of Congress, officials in the Administration, and others. Whether defending against an impending executive or legislative branch action or working to create new government-sponsored initiatives or opportunities, we have the technical skills and experience to achieve our clients’ objectives.
Often, the challenges our clients face require an integrated strategy involving the three branches of the federal government. The members of our Public Policy practice routinely team up with members of the firm’s other practice areas to provide clients with additional understanding of government processes, a wider base of substantive knowledge, and an expanded network of professional relationships. Our multi-disciplinary approach strengthens our client advocacy before federal decision makers.
Many of our lawyers have served as senior officials within the U.S. government and bring that body of experience to bear on our clients’ behalf. In many instances, members of our team have drafted the regulations, written the legislation, or helped establish the policies of direct concern to our clients. We regularly advise U.S. government agencies through participation in formal panels and agency-sponsored industry events. This experience gives us credibility when representing clients before federal government officials.
Executive Branch Representation
Our lawyers provide clients with comprehensive executive branch representation before many U.S. government agencies, from the White House and Cabinet departments to “independent agencies” such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. We have extensive knowledge of agency regulations, policies, and procedures as well as an understanding of how businesses are affected by the actions of U.S. government agencies.
The key to a successful outcome in any administrative action is substantive knowledge of the agency’s practices, policies, and personnel. Administration policy decisions reflect the political agenda and managerial style of the President and the Cabinet. To ensure our clients’ facts and arguments are reviewed favorably, the firm uses its insights into the macro-policy dictated by the White House. Our familiarity with the workings of Executive Branch policy development and management enables us to help clients intervene effectively with the Office of Management and Budget, White House and Cabinet agency staff, Congress and other organizations to attain our clients’ objectives.
Effective legislative advocacy makes it possible to influence the congressional decision-making process in ways favorable to our clients. We provide advocacy driven by one overriding principle: knowledge. We know our clients and what they need. We know the subject matter involved, and we know how to influence the legislative process.
At the federal level, our attorneys create and execute results-oriented strategies based on our in-depth knowledge of how Washington works and our long-term relationships with key offices on Capitol Hill and at the White House. Many clients fear approaching Capitol Hill, thinking it may only “make matters worse.” Such apprehension can be self-fulfilling if legislative representation is inadequate. Adding value to business through effective professional representation of our clients’ interest is the cornerstone of our legislative practice.
The key to a successful outcome in any administrative case is substantive knowledge of the agency’s practices, policies, and personnel. This experience may be inadequate when the issue moves from the regulatory arena to the legislative. Frequently, Congress will reverse administrative decisions by the executive branch.
The attorneys and professional staff at Pillsbury assist our clients to brief members of Congress about an administrative issue before a case has even begun. This includes drafting letters to the heads of executive agencies to express concern about procedural flaws that could create unfavorable standards. We also work with constituent members of executive agencies to insert appropriate language intended to accomplish a particular goal before the agency. These are only a few examples to illustrate how we use congressional procedures to our clients’ advantage.
A Bipartisan Approach
Whether on Capitol Hill or at the state capital, political lines are drawn every day. The attorneys in our Public Policy group work with politicians and staff members on both sides of the aisle to assist our clients. Over the years, we have developed extensive and bipartisan contacts that enable us to take the lead on lobbying efforts or assist others in making their case to legislators or agency officials.