NAFUSA board member Joe Whitley was named chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice (AdLaw) Section at the just concluded ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The section is home to nearly 13,000 lawyers from across the United States. Whitley is a shareholder in the Atlanta and Washington offices of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP.
As chair of the AdLaw Section, Whitley follows in the footsteps of many notable past chairs, including Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Professor Cass Sunstein, former Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Obama Administration.
Under Whitley’s leadership, the section will focus on growing its membership, and continuing the programs and publishing that are hallmarks of the section. Whitley also will focus on building regional strength for the AdLaw Section by creating regional sub-committees for up to five regions in the United States. Additionally, a special committee of corporate general counsels will be created to provide feedback and insights to the AdLaw Section Council on the continuing growth of the regulatory state.
The AdLaw Section is made up of lawyers, judges and others involved in all aspects of administrative law and regulatory issues. As the home to lawyers who work for, interact with, or study governmental entities, the section seeks to enhance their professional development, and further the vital public interest in effective, efficient, and fair administration of laws and regulations at all levels of government. It serves these goals through education, dialogue, publications, and proposals for reform.
The mission of the AdLaw Section is to provide professional development opportunities for current and future administrative law practitioners; lend its legal expertise to the resolution of important administrative law issues at the state, national and international levels; provide authoritative and practical analyses and products for the improvement of administrative law and practice; and to provide settings in which government, private, and academic lawyers, and the judiciary can exchange insights and information.
The AdLaw Section has more than 40 committees that monitor and review agency actions, new legislation and case law in areas such as rulemaking, adjudication and judicial review, as well as on more specific subjects such as homeland security, transportation, immigration, energy and environment, and freedom of information
Joe Whitley has had a wide-ranging career in the Department of Justice. In the George H.W. Bush administration, Whitley served as the Acting Associate Attorney General, the third-ranking position at Main Justice in the Department of Justice. He was appointed by Presidents Reagan and Bush, respectively, to serve as the United States Attorney in the Middle (Macon) and Northern (Atlanta) Federal Districts of Georgia. Throughout his career, Whitley served under five Attorneys General in a number of key operational and policy positions. Earlier in his career, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit in Columbus, Georgia.
In 2003, Whitley was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the first General Counsel of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the highest ranking legal official at DHS. He held that position for two years working for SecretaryTom Ridge and Secretary Michael Chertoff, before his departure and return to private practice.
Corporate defense and representation of clients in complex civil and criminal enforcement matters brought by the Department of Justice, other federal agencies, State Attorneys General and local prosecutors is the focus of Whitley’s practice at Greenberg Traurig, where he is Chair of the White Collar Practice in Atlanta. He has represented numerous individuals and corporations in major government investigations throughout the United States and internationally on a range of matters that include white collar criminal and regulatory enforcement, corporate internal investigations, U.S. export controls and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance, as well as general corporate compliance, health care fraud and FDA related enforcement matters.
Whitley has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America from 2001-2013. He was selected by Super Lawyers magazine, andGeorgia Super Lawyers from 2010-2013 and listed as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia” from 2011-2013. Whitley is also listed as one of “Georgia’s Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend magazine, 2008-2012. He was also selected by Super Lawyersmagazine for Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers in 2012.