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BREAKING NEWS

From The Mailbox
Reader says NLRB story missed the mark

January 27, 2018



Editor’s note:

Editor’s note:

The following Letter To The Editor from Don Dotson, former Chairman of the NLRB was received on 1/25/18 and pertains to the Chronicle’s front page Feature Story of same date titled ‘The Continued Assault On Labor: How Trump NLRB appointee used ‘side door’ that helped his old law firm eradicate worker rights friendly precedents’



By Don Dotson,

Most any lawyer appointed to the NLRB or a court will have had a client or come from a firm, union or corporation that has had any number of issues on which they will rule in other cases. Would be different were he ruling on the very case he or his firm was handling.

Another hysterical, illogical, tortured theory of "conflict of interest". You are awarded the Elizabeth Warren-Chris Matthews Award for Whacked Out Logic and Tortured Analysis.

May be entertaining to the leftist element of your readership, but not likely to fool anybody with an ounce of sophistication.  

Also shows the reading habits of whomever put it in your newspaper, a propaganda rag in this case.

I recused myself from any case involving my former employers: Westinghouse, Western Electric and Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel.  But like any labor lawyer, union or management, if I recused myself from cases involving an issue that had been in a previous case, there wouldn't be many cases left to rule on. 

Deference by the courts to NLRB decisions is based on a presumption of expertise in labor matters. Most get this by having practiced labor law. I have never seen any evidence that former union or management lawyers on the Board acted improperly with respect to recusal. 

Of course to the extent that policy is involved in a decision, all will have had their views influenced by their experience and philosophy. Several recent NLRB members had worked directly for unions and did not recuse themselves from cases involving their former employers. 

No ethical requirement that they should unless it were a case they had been directly involved in. I just wanted there to be no shadow of a question.   

 

Don Dotson

Charlottesville, VA

Asst. Secretary of Labor, 1981-1983

Chairman, NLRB, 1983-1987

 

 






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