The Department of Commerce General Counsel Distinguished Employee Awards – 2010


picture of award winners

Left to right:
Peter Oppenheimer,
Mary Beth Ward (Deputy General Counsel),
Pamela Lawrence,
Joel LaBissonniere,
Jane Chalmers (Deputy General Counsel),
Felicia Clark
Duane Smith,
Lois Schiffer (General Counsel),
Marguerite Matera,
Cam Kerry (Dept. Commerce General Counsel).
Not shown: 
Joe McCabe
Mariam McCall

Felisha Clark: For her outstanding work in budget and financial management for the General Counsel Southeast office. Felisha quickly learned the financial systems and applied her knowledge and skills to reconcile the office's budget and create accurate budget reports. Her efforts enabled management to project spending and develop a responsible spending plan.

Joel LaBissonniere: For his leading role in the development of a significant legal opinion regarding collection and use of fines, penalties and forfeited proceeds in NOAA enforcement cases. His analysis provided a solid foundation for the Department to make significant policy decisions regarding the use of the enforcement proceeds.

Pamela Lawrence: For her work on issues related to the Endangered Species Act consultations on the Environmental Protection Agency's registration of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide and Rodenticide Registration Act. Her leadership has furthered the goals of endangered species conservation.

Marguerite Matera: For her work related to implementation of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation hold for NOAA. Her work not only addresses a critical legal requirement, but will serve as the basis for a template to address future litigation holds.

Joe McCabe: For his work as a member of the prosecution team enforcing the largest civil penalty case NOAA has taken to hearing. The hearing represented the culmination of more than a year of discovery by the Agency. His support of NOAA's enforcement effort enabled superb legal representation of NOAA and the Department.

Mariam McCall: For her work as the lead attorney on the implementation of the largest, most complex catch shares program in fisheries management that covers the Pacific Groundfish trawl fishery along the entire West Coast.

Peter Oppenheimer: For his efforts in the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee adoption of an amendment to Annex I of the International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from ships to ban the use of carriage of heavy grade oils by vessels in Antarctic and Southern Ocean waters.

Duane Smith: For his work as the lead attorney for enforcement issues arising out of (i) the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and (ii) alleged violations of a ship speed rule designed to prevent whale strikes. His work on these matters contributed to the Department's successful efforts to protect the nation's natural resources, including preventing contamination of America's seafood supply and protecting the critically-endangered North Atlantic Right Whale.