Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two Intended FTC Nominees Announced by White House

This posting was written by Jeffrey May, Editor of CCH Trade Regulation Reporter.

Update: Nominations for the two FTC Commissioners were sent to the Senate on November 17. Julie Brill was nominated to serve a seven-year term from September 26, 2009. She would succeed Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour. Edith Ramirez was nominated for a seven-year term from September 26, 2008, to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Commissioner Deborah Platt Majoras in March 2008 The announcement appears here on the White House website.

The Obama Administration announced on November 16 two candidates to serve as Federal Trade Commissioners.

The President named Julie Brill, Senior Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Consumer Protection for North Carolina, and Edith Ramirez, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, LLP. Both are Democrats.

The White House announcement did not specify which potential nominee would fill the vacancy created by the departure of Deborah Platt Majoras in March 2008 and which candidate would replace Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour, an Independent whose term expired on September 26.

Before joining the North Carolina Department of Justice in February 2009, Brill was an Assistant Attorney General for Consumer Protection and Antitrust for the State of Vermont for over 20 years. Prior to her career in law enforcement, Brill was an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York and clerked for Vermont Federal District Court Judge Franklin S. Billings Jr. She is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia Law School.

Ramirez is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she worked on the Harvard Law Review with President Obama. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Alfred T. Goodwin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In her current practice, Ramirez specializes in intellectual property and complex litigation matters.

A White House announcement on nominees for the FTC has been expected for weeks. A September 8 posting on Trade Regulation Talk discussed speculation concerning these nominations.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz had commented at Fordham University’s International Antitrust Law Conference on September 24 that it was highly likely that the nominees would be named soon. Chairman Leibowitz went on to say that the Commission was working well despite the absence of a fifth member.

In addition to Leibowitz and Harbour, the two other current members of the Commission are Republicans William E. Kovacic and J. Thomas Rosch. Kovacic’s term expires in September 2011, and Rosch’s term expires one year later.

At the same time as the FTC candidates were named, the White House announced nominees for ambassadors to Nepal and Trinidad and Tobaggo. A nominee for the federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission was also announced.

“These individuals bring a depth of experience to their respective roles, and I am confident they will serve my administration and the American people well," Presidet Obama said. "I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

Text of the announcement appears here on the White House website.

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