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Commissioner Bob Adler Elected Vice-Chairman of the CPSC, Making Him Acting Chairman of the Agency

Late this afternoon it was confirmed that Commissioner Bob Adler was elected Vice-Chairman of the CPSC. Because there is no permanent CPSC Chairman at this time, Commissioner Adler will become the Acting Chairman of the agency until a permanent Chairman is confirmed. Commissioner Adler—a Democratic Commissioner—has served on the Commission since 2009.

Commissioner Adler was chosen by majority vote of his fellow Commissioners. The election of a Democratic Acting Chairman is a surprising choice for a Republican majority Commission. Commissioner Adler won the support of the present Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle to secure a majority vote of the Commission. He will replace Acting Chairman Buerkle on October 1st. Acting Chairman Buerkle will be leaving the agency at the end of her term on October 27th.

Buerkle explained her decision to vote for Adler in a statement on Friday that emphasized Adler's  experience at the Commission. She stated "I think it is important that the temporary caretaker for the agency be the most experienced, most senior commissioner who has previously served in this role. This interim selection will keep the agency on course while the White House determines and nominates a new candidate for chairman." Buerkle ended her statement by noting "[c]onsumer protection is not political."

Upon Acting Chairman Buerkle’s departure in October, the Commission will have two Republican and two Democratic Commissioners, ending the current Republican majority less than a year after it began. The Trump administration will need to select a nominee to fill Buerkle’s seat on the Commission with a term ending in October 2025. The nominee could also be nominated to become the permanent Chairman of the agency or the Trump administration could consider Commissioners Feldman or Baiocco for the position.

Despite the upcoming election year, the Trump administration seems prepared to put forth a nominee to swing the Commission’s majority back to the Republicans. Now, with a Democratic Acting Chairman, one can only assume the Trump administration will hope it can get a nominee confirmed sooner rather than later.

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Charles Samuels, Mintz Levin Law Firm, Washington DC, Tax and Environmental Law Attorney
Member

Chuck is engaged in a federal and international regulatory and legislative practice. He has been extensively involved in product safety, environmental, tax, health care, technology, and energy issues, and public finance legislative and regulatory matters for a variety of trade associations, corporations, local governments, and state agencies.

His practice encompasses work before the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Departments of State, Health and Human Services, Energy, and Treasury, US Trade Representative, Environmental Protection...

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Matthew Howarse, Consumer Safety, Attorney, Mintz Levin, Law Firm
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Matt is a prominent consumer product safety lawyer who advises manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, trade associations, and test laboratories. He has extensive experience with compliance, regulatory enforcement, recalls, and other product safety related issues. He represents clients before the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Health Canada, the Federal Trade Commission, Congress, and state agencies. Matt draws on his four-year tenure as the CPSC chief of staff and his many years advising clients in private practice to devise practical and resourceful solutions for clients. He serves as Chair of Mintz’s Consumer Product Safety Practice and president-elect of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO).

Based in Washington, DC, Matt is the Chair of the firm’s Consumer Product Safety Practice. He focuses his practice on consumer product compliance and enforcement issues involving the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), individual US states, the Federal Trade Commission, and Health Canada.

Matt previously served as the Chief of Staff of the CPSC from 2010 to 2013 and as the Chairman’s Senior Counsel in 2009. Matt is very involved in the national and international product safety community and currently serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO).

Matt regularly helps companies seeking representation on product safety reporting obligations, recalls, regulatory compliance, product safety investigations, civil penalties, import investigations, internal compliance programs and training, the CPSC’s public database, and other regulatory and enforcement matters involving the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA), Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA), the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCSPA), and other federal and state product safety laws. He assists clients with navigating complex product safety compliance issues and avoiding unwarranted recalls or enforcement actions.

Matt’s experience includes representing manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of apparel, children’s toys, fitness equipment, office supplies, household furniture, juvenile products, power tools, products requiring child resistant packaging, audio video equipment, arts & crafts materials, books, recreational and sporting equipment, safety equipment, hair care tools, kitchen appliances, lighters, candles, heating and cooling equipment, home decorations, promotional products, household cleaners, and many other types of consumer products. Matt also advises trade associations, testing laboratories, and various other types of clients on product safety issues and represents them before product safety regulators and Congress.

With over 10 years of experience in product safety, including the representation of a wide range of consumer product industries and working in a senior leadership position at the CPSC, Matt is able to provide well rounded, efficient, and thorough advice on the full spectrum of product safety issues.

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Shawn Skolky, Mintz Levin Law Firm, Washington DC, Corporate and Litigation Law Attorney
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Shawn advises on many aspects of antitrust and competition law, including antitrust counseling, merger review, and private antitrust litigation, including class actions. His consumer product safety practice focuses on helping companies seeking representation on product safety reporting obligations, recalls, regulatory compliance, product safety investigations, and enforcement matters involving the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) and other federal and state product safety laws.

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Evelyn French Compliance Attorney Mintz Law Firm
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Evelyn focuses her practice on regulatory and compliance matters involving the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) and other federal and state product safety laws. She helps companies seeking representation on product safety reporting obligations, product safety investigations, recalls, and other regulatory and enforcement matters. Evelyn also engages in trade association representation and has an antitrust practice in which she advises on many aspects of antitrust law, including merger review and private antitrust litigation.

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