General Counsel Richard F. Griffin, Jr. today announced the appointment of Barbara A. O’Neill as Branch Chief of the Contempt, Compliance, and Special Litigation Branch in the Division of Legal Counsel. Ms O’Neill succeeds Abby Propis Simms who is retiring in July.
The Contempt, Compliance, and Special Litigation Branch provides the Agency with compliance and contempt advice and conducts litigation involving, among other things, the Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act and compliance with outstanding court judgments. The Branch also conducts litigation and provides the Agency with advice and assistance when programs, statutes or outside proceedings threaten the Agency’s ability to carry out its mission; ensures Agency compliance with government regulations that affect its work, such as the Administrative Procedures Act, statutes relating to Agency rulemaking, the Sunshine Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Right to Financial Privacy Act; and provides guidance and conducts litigation involving FOIA and Privacy Act issues.
Ms. O’Neill has spent most of her thirty plus years practicing law employed by the Board in various offices. She started her Board career in the Division of Advice. After five years, Ms. O’Neill transferred to the Board’s Regional Office in Philadelphia, PA, Region 4, where she became a Trial Specialist before transferring to the Board’s Regional Office in Baltimore, MD, Region 5. In early 1996, she transferred to the then Contempt and Compliance Litigation Branch, becoming a manager and supervisory attorney. In January 2013, she became the Acting Branch Chief of that Branch, and, in June 2013, she became the Deputy Branch Chief of the then newly consolidated Contempt, Compliance, and Special Litigation Branch.
A native of Pennsylvania (born in Philadelphia and raised in the Harrisburg area), Ms. O’Neill graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA with a B.A. in Political Science and Economics in 1978. Ms. O’Neill is a 1982 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center.