Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Law360 Employment Authority, in “Ex-DOL Officials Become Go-To Attys in Wage Rule Attacks,” by Max Kutner. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

When industry groups challenge U.S. Department of Labor wage and hour rules, they often choose as counsel former agency officials, who say their prior knowledge gives them a unique ability to take on regulations. …

In the Fifth Circuit, Paul DeCamp of management-side firm Epstein Becker Green is among counsel for restaurant industry groups that are challenging a tipped worker rule. DeCamp was DOL Wage and Hour Division administrator under former President George W. Bush. …

"You Know the History"

Government experience can give attorneys a fuller understanding of the rulemaking process, DOL veterans said.

"People who have not worked in an agency don't necessarily fully grasp the considerations that go into rulemaking and establishing enforcement policy," said DeCamp, the former Wage and Hour Division administrator. "So, having the agency experience maybe gives me a more realistic and complete picture of what drove the agency to do what it did."

That fuller picture also enables such attorneys to approach an argument with comfort, DeCamp said.

"Because I know how the department works, I'm not guessing," he said. "I don't feel like I have a lot of blind spots. I don't feel like if I make an argument, I'm going to get surprised by the policy argument or the legal argument that the department makes in response."

That understanding can come up in the courtroom strategy, as an attorney with agency experience can offer background information beyond what the briefing covers, DeCamp said.

When dealing with the DOL's Field Operations Handbook, for example, "I can say what it looks like, I can say how many volumes it was on the shelf and talk about how the agency personnel use that document," he said. "It's not necessarily something that occupies a lot of any particular argument, but from time to time, a judge may be curious about one of these things." …

Former officials also must figure out how to best address their previous experience if it comes up in court.

DeCamp said he might allude to his DOL experience, but he tries to keep the focus on the case.

"I will, if I think it's appropriate in the argument, mention something along the lines of, 'When I was at the department, this is how this issue got handled,'" he said. "But I don't try to make it about me, because the case is never about me and I never want to draw attention away from the client and the client's issue."


Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.