By Madison Gable
Remington A. Gregg believes the key to being a successful policy lawyer is the three Ps: policy, politics and personalities. As the counsel for civil justice and consumer rights for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, he factors the three Ps into his daily decisions as he fights to uphold and improve the rule of law. Gregg helps to protect American consumers and workers from corporate abuse, specifically focusing on cases involving forced arbitration, class actions, access to courts and consumer safety.
A New York City native, Gregg graduated from Binghamton University with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and law and obtained a J.D. from New York Law School. After school, Gregg worked as associate counsel and adviser for open government in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 2010 to 2013, where he co-wrote the nation’s first U.S. Open Government National Action Plan. He then served as the legislative counsel at the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organization, and has worked on legal and policy issues for the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Gregg is admitted to practice law in New York and the District of Columbia.
Q: What motivated you to become engaged with civil justice in the first place?
Gregg: Protecting the civil justice system is important because it impacts every area of law and policy. Whether you are working on consumer protection or workers’ rights, if you don’t have a justice system that is functional for everyone then you can’t even get in the door. I’m motivated to remove barriers and ensure that every person has access to the civil justice system.
Q: Tell me more about your role at Public Citizen. What does a typical day look like for you?
Gregg: No two days are alike, and that’s one of the reasons I like being a policy lawyer; I have to juggle various issues and consider different dynamics each day. A typical day is spent reviewing legislation, providing feedback on it and determining if it’s feasible or will pass muster in court. I help shape and revise the language and discuss the implications of the provisions, as well as work on administrative policy issues. I also work on getting Public Citizen’s message out. I’m always trying to think about how to communicate our work in a new and innovative way that will capture people’s interest. I keep up to date on any number of emerging issues, from constitutional issues to antitrust law. For example, right now I’m reviewing the AT&T-Time Warner decision because it will have an impact on the advocacy that we do in competition law.
Q: When you’re not busy working on a case, what do you like to do?
Gregg: I love classical music. I studied music and was a church organist and baritone for many years, so I occasionally return to those hobbies. I like to cook when I have time, and I try to spend a lot of time being less serious with friends. I also hit the gym every morning from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Q: You’ve appeared several times on a live broadcast on Public Citizen’s Facebook page. How do you prepare and have you had a favorite Facebook Live moment?
Gregg: When I started working here, Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said one of the most difficult parts of the job is explaining why the civil justice system is important. My mantra really is: If my mother doesn’t understand what I’m doing, then I’m not being a successful communicator. I do prepare a bit for Facebook Live, but having been a musician and a radio DJ, I’m comfortable doing live events on camera.