(Reuters) – A former senior U.S. securities litigator who is also an ex-partner at distinguished boutique agency MoloLamken is now main the court docket defense of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccination rule for giant employers.
U.S. Justice Division lawyer Martin Totaro this week filed look notices in federal appeals courts to oppose state and personal challenges to a rule requiring employers with greater than 100 staff to mandate vaccination or present a testing and masking various.
Totaro brings to the lead counsel position years of expertise briefing and arguing instances at Washington, D.C.-based MoloLamken, extensively identified for its appellate and Supreme Court docket observe, and later on the U.S. Securities and Alternate Fee. Totaro joined the DOJ civil division final month from the securities company.
In a court filing on Wednesday within the New Orleans-based fifth U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals, Totaro mentioned the Occupational Security & Well being Administration rule “will save thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations.” The Biden administration mentioned the rule will likely be enforced beginning on Jan. 4.
Totaro didn’t reply to a message in search of remark.
DOJ is dealing with an array of advocacy teams and small and enormous legislation corporations attacking the rule, which the fifth Circuit briefly blocked on Nov. 7.
“This challenged action is an extreme assertion of administrative power,” Steve Lehotsky, associate at boutique Lehotsky Keller, mentioned in a filing on Wednesday for the Nationwide Retail Federation and different commerce teams.
DOJ’s vaccine litigation workforce consists of former Goldstein & Russell associate Sarah Harrington, now head of the civil appellate workers, and attorneys Michael Raab, Brian Springer and Adam Jed, who served on Robert Mueller III’s particular counsel workforce. Labor Division legal professionals together with Seema Nanda, the company solicitor, are working of counsel with the DOJ.
For 2 years throughout the Trump administration, Totaro was on a element from the SEC on the Justice Division. He was on the DOJ workforce that defended former Trump White Home Counsel Donald McGahn in a subpoena struggle with U.S. Home Democrats.
As an SEC lawyer, Totaro defended the company’s administrative legislation judges in constitutional litigation and he argued in defense of broad legal responsibility for false statements beneath U.S. securities legal guidelines.
Robert Heim of New York’s Tarter Krinsky & Drogin, who argued towards Totaro in 2016 within the D.C. Circuit in an SEC case, mentioned he confirmed an indicator of appellate advocacy in his potential to “adjust to judges’ questions that oftentimes are not expected.”
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