National Labor Relations Board Contempt Litigation & Compliance Branch
Division of Enforcement Litigation
Office of the General Counsel
The function of the Contempt Litigation and Compliance Branch is to conduct civil and criminal contempt litigation in the U.S. Courts of Appeals to coerce compliance or to punish non-compliance with judgments enforcing orders of the Board; to obtain protective orders to ensure that assets will not be dissipated in an effort to avoid the payment of backpay judgments; to institute and monitor ancillary collection proceedings; to assist the Regional Offices in bankruptcy proceedings filed by respondents; and to obtain other injunctive relief pendente lite. Contempt litigation is nation-wide in scope, affects all segments of industry and applies to all unfair labor practices proscribed by law. Through this litigation, compliance with orders of the Board that have been enforced by judgments of the U.S. Courts of Appeals and other orders of the Courts of Appeals is obtained, and the policies enunciated in the National Labor Relations Act and the orders of the courts are effectuated.
Work in the Contempt Branch is centered in four primary areas: civil contempt, criminal contempt, protective order/collection work and compliance guidance. Civil contempt actions involve, among other things, evidentiary investigations, the drafting of internal legal memoranda, the drafting of court pleadings, civil discovery (document production, requests for admissions, depositions, interrogatories), motions practice, bench trials, the drafting of appellate briefs and the presentation of appellate arguments. Criminal contempt actions involve, in addition to much of the work detailed above, grand jury work and jury trials.
The Contempt Branch is also responsible for obtaining injunctive relief in order to ensure compliance with enforced Board orders, engaging in affirmative bankruptcy litigation and collection work, and providing guidance and assistance to the Board's Regional Offices in enforcement and compliance matters.
Currently 10 attorneys, one paralegal and one legal secretary staff the Branch. The Branch also operates a year-round law student employment program.
The Branch administers a law student program for students who have completed at least their first year of law school. Candidates must have strong research and writing skills, and it is preferred, although not required, that they have taken the basic Labor Law and Federal Civil Procedure courses.
Law students assist the trial attorneys in investigating contempt allegations, preparing internal legal memoranda, drafting discovery documents, preparing for trial and drafting appellate briefs.
Where possible, law students will participate in discovery proceedings and assist attorneys at trial. The availability of paid positions depends on budgetary considerations.