Welcome to the web page of the Office of the Chief Counsel for NIST (OCC-NIST). Attorney and support staff efforts within our office support our client agency, which is directly related to advancing the scientific and technical capabilities of the commercial infrastructure of the United States. Legal services performed in support of management are related to intellectual property management and scientific research management.
The Department of Commerce is widely known for performance of world-class scientific research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with locations in Gaithersburg, Maryland and Boulder, Colorado. Attorneys and staff providing legal service to this institution report to the Chief Counsel, Henry Wixon.
We look forward to interacting with citizen-customers of NIST and to continuing client-centered legal services to agency management. The office also provides legal service to the National Technical Information Service (NTIS).
The Office of the Chief Counsel for NIST provides intellectual property counsel and representation to the Department of Commerce, and legal guidance, representation and management assistance to its 3,000-employee National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In this role it interacts with principal developers and users of research, including private and public laboratories, universities, corporations and governments. The office is directed by Chief Counsel Henry N. Wixon and Deputy Chief Counsel Melissa J. Lieberman.
The Office of the Chief Counsel for NIST provided extensive legal support to its client in its implementation of the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Act, including NIST’s investigation into the World Trade Center disaster. The Office of NIST Counsel drafted and processed three Federal Register notices announcing implementing procedures. It negotiated and drafted agreements to enable the WTC investigation team to obtain the necessary evidence and reviewed all contracts awarded for the investigation.
The Office of the Chief Counsel for NIST provides programmatic legal support to the Director of NIST. The office includes the Chief and Deputy Chief Counsel and eight general attorneys. The office is located on the NIST Gaithersburg site.