Advocacy Attorneys Attend Annual ABA Administrative Law Conference in D.C.

By David Rostker, Assistant Chief Counsel

Like doctors, mechanics and computer programmers, lawyers have to stay up-to-date in their field, and the attorneys of the Office of Advocacy’s Office of Interagency Affairs are no different. This November, they attended the 2019 Administrative Law Conference, hosted by the American Bar Association’s Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. And, as a service to the legal community, Advocacy presented a panel on the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the consideration of small businesses in rulemaking.

The Administrative Law Conference is held annually, most recently in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the heart of Washington, DC. The attendees are government attorneys and attorneys in private practice representing businesses, trade associations and nongovernmental organizations, most of whom are either involved in writing regulations or suing over recent regulations, and administrative law professors that try to find order in a sometime chaotic and rapidly changing field of law. There was a large plenary session that covered the highlights of the year, with particular attention to Supreme Court decisions. Smaller sessions ranged from “Multistate Occupational Licensing” to “Artificial Intelligence in Regulatory Enforcement.”

Attorneys from Advocacy’s Office of Interagency Affairs

Advocacy organized the panel entitled “Regulatory Flexibility Act: Giving Small Businesses a Fair Shake.” Moderated by Acting Chief Counsel Major L. Clark, III, this panel featured an abbreviated RFA training presented by Assistant Chief Counsel Bruce Lundegren. Advocacy offers RFA training to Federal agencies and trade associations upon request, and Bruce’s presentation was only a 30-minute sampler of our longer one-hour and three-hour offerings.

The panel also welcomed viewpoints from a regulatory agency and a trade association. Jessica Stone, Director of OSHA’s Office of Regulatory Analysis – Safety, discussed the value that OSHA gets from SBREFA panels, which provide an important forum for small businesses to express their views and for an agency to explore regulatory alternatives. Rachel Feinstein, Senior Manager for Government Affairs at the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, talked about the challenges of getting small businesses involved in rulemaking when they are already so overwhelmed.

Advocacy offers RFA training to attorneys, policy officials, economists and anyone else interested in getting small business views better represented in rulemaking. Contact Advocacy for more information.

David Rostker is an Assistant Chief Counsel for Advocacy whose portfolio includes the environment. He can be reached at

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