As a former chairman of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), Neil brings a high level of authority and invaluable experience to Tully Rinckey PLLC’s operations in the metropolitan D.C. area. In over 30 years of public service, Neil has led two government organizations and managed multi-million dollar budgets, in addition to serving as a litigator, adjudicator, employment and personnel lawyer, and human capital strategic advocate.
Now at Tully Rinckey PLLC, he pulls from this experience to effectively represent federal employees and personnel in a wide range of employment and labor issues, including discrimination, sexual harassment, equal pay, adverse action, Title VII claims, and Inspector General (IG) investigations. Following his appointment to a seven-year term by President George W. Bush, Neil became a member of the MSPB on April 23, 2003. Later that year, on Dec. 10, President Bush designated him as the board’s vice chairman, and he subsequently became its acting chairman. The U.S. Senate confirmed McPhie as MSPB chairman on Nov. 21, 2004. He was the seventh chairman of the MSPB since its creation in 1979. His term expired on March 1, 2009, though he was statutorily allowed to continue service as chairman of the MSPB until his successor was sworn in on Nov. 12, 2009.
Under his leadership, the independent quasi-judicial agency operated more efficiently. The average time MSPB appellants had to wait for the board to decide on their cases went from 295 days in 2003 to less than 100 days in 2009. Another one of Neil's accomplishments as chairman was the 2004 creation of a permanent MSPB Mediation Appeals Program, which is a nationwide program that provides mediation services to MSPB appellants. Neil's in-depth knowledge of federal merit systems gives him an edge in helping clients receive justice in their federal employment cases with expedience.
At the time of his appointment to the MSPB, Neil was serving as a senior assistant attorney general with the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia. From 1998 to 2002, he served as the executive director of the Virginia Department of Employment Dispute Resolution. He oversaw the management of the agency and directed the implementation of its statewide grievance, mediation, training and consultation programs. Based on this experience, Neil knows first-hand how government employers approach employment disputes, allowing him to more effectively represent federal employees in such cases.
From 1982 to 1988, Neil served as an assistant attorney general for the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, where he defended state agencies and officials in state and federal courts. After receiving his juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center in 1976 and up to when he joined the Attorney General’s office, Neil served as a trial and appellate attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Neil graduated magna cum laude from Howard University with a bachelor’s degree in 1973. He is admitted to practice in Virginia, the District of Columbia and Iowa. His court admissions include the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, several U.S. circuits courts of appeals and district courts in Virginia. In 2013, Virginia Lawyers Weekly honored Neil in its “Leaders in the Law” awards program.
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