Results matching “card check”

"Tuesday's Biggest Loser: the Union Agenda" - PointOfLaw Forum

Michael Barone in the WSJ:

The unions' unprecedented political push in 2008 has not been unnoticed by the voters. Mr. Corzine's cozy relationship with public employee union heads proved a liability in New Jersey, and in Virginia Mr. McDonnell campaigned hard against card check and the Obama agenda. The Gallup organization reports that Americans are less pro-union than they have been at any time since it first started asking the question in 1936. Maybe around the country union members will start asking their leaders what they have gotten for all the money they've spent on politics.

Earlier, and similarly: Carter at ShopFloor.

Around the web, September 30 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • Indiana: "Lawyers file challenge to end state's malpractice cap" [Indianapolis Star, Shelby News]
  • "Sears Roebuck Agrees to Record $6.2M ADA Settlement With EEOC" [ABA Journal] And a flurry of litigation activity: "EEOC announces 32 suits in past seven days" [Runkel via Fox]
  • Judge nixes class action against Toshiba over its defense of HD-DVD format [Russell Jackson]
  • Card check in lieu of union-representation elections has a track record in New York public employment [Bill Herbert, SSRN via Workplace Prof]
  • "Up Next: Securities Suits Against Municipalities?" [LaCroix]
  • Accusations fly in Neurontin litigation between Pfizer lawyers and David Egilman, Mark Lanier [American Lawyer]

"Don't Buy Specter's EFCA 'Compromise'" - PointOfLaw Forum

Manhattan Institute adjunct fellow Diana Furchtgott-Roth warns that the latest iteration of the labor bill, with organizer access and a slightly different regime of imposed arbitration, is no more acceptable than earlier versions. More: WSJ editorial, ShopFloor.

Around the web, September 9 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • Steven Shavell and Mitchell Polinsky, "The Uneasy Case for Product Liability" [SSRN via TortsProf]
  • Distinguished alum now at odds with Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyer College [Norm Pattis, Greenfield]
  • Victory for sound policy: City of Milwaukee drops its public nuisance product liability case against Sherwin-Williams over lead paint residues [Genova]
  • Could the newly constituted NLRB order employers to recognize unions formed by card check even if the idea fails to pass Congress? [Mark Schoeff Jr., Workforce Management via ShopFloor; latest on measure]
  • Now before Supreme Court: Graham County v. United States ex rel. Wilson case might help rein in qui tam "whistleblower" actions that piggyback on official reports and investigations [amicus brief, PDF, and more from WLF, plaintiff's view from Labovick]
  • "Ten Things I Hate About Health Care Reform" [cardiologist/administrator Arthur M. Feldman, Washington Post via Althouse; #2 is the omission of you-know-what]

"Labor Unions See Sharp Slide in U.S. Public Support" - PointOfLaw Forum

Funny how a group's bare-knuckled efforts to restrict the liberty of the rest of us will take a toll on its public image. [Gallup] P.S. As Carter notes, the union's role in the Detroit automaker debacle, and its status as chief beneficiary of the resulting bailout, didn't help either.

Around the web, September 2 - PointOfLaw Forum

Many thanks to John Hochfelder for joining us as a guestblogger last week. If you haven't already, check out his New York Injury Cases Blog.

I'm going to be taking this coming week off, so any posting will be from others. I expect to be back August 31 with plenty of new material.

Also, do visit TortsProf later today where legendary torts scholar Jeffrey O'Connell of the University of Virginia, often called "father of no-fault" and an indefatigable reformer, will be a guestblogging contributor. He's the first of a series of scholars who will be guestblogging at TortsProf on Mondays through the academic year, among them such notable names as John Goldberg (Harvard), Tim Lytton (Albany), Tony Sebok (Cardozo), and Ken Abraham (Virginia).

Around the web, August 19 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • Getting the academic view: to review Sotomayor's decisions and written work, ABA turned to Syracuse, Georgetown law faculties [Faculty Lounge via Adler, NRO]
  • "Going Our Way? Class Actions, Punitive Damages & Due Process" [Beck & Herrmann]
  • "Recent Filings Confirm Securities Lawsuit Trends" [Kevin LaCroix, earlier]
  • Court denies punitive damages in Cintas case where union traced workers' license plates [Hirsch, LaborProf]
  • Keeping up with Sen. Specter's ever-changing stance on EFCA no easy matter [ShopFloor]
  • "Two Law Profs Settle Whistle-blower Suit Against Ave Maria" [ABA Journal]

"Card-Checked: The Game" - PointOfLaw Forum

The game the whole nation will soon be playing -- at least if some on Capitol Hill get their way. [Americans for Tax Reform/Alliance for Worker Freedom via Dennis Westlind/World of Work and Jon Hyman]

Reid planning to "railroad" EFCA? - PointOfLaw Forum

Roll Call reports (via Smith, ShopFloor) that according to senior Democratic aides, the Senate majority leader "is sketching a process for railroading the bill through the floor as quickly as possible to prevent Republicans from rallying a major campaign against it."

Update: Or could it all be a red herring?

Around the web, July 28 - PointOfLaw Forum

"Card check comes to campus" - PointOfLaw Forum

Pro-union legislation passed by the Wisconsin legislature and signed by Gov. Jim Doyle sweeps 3,200 research assistants at the state university into what proponents anticipate will be a card-check system of unionization. In addition, unions are pushing for something called "unit clarification" which if successful could corral thousands of university employees into collective bargaining just by redefining the scope of bargaining units. Donald Downs of UW-Madison explains in a post for the Manhattan Institute's Minding the Campus.

Consumer arbitration in retreat - PointOfLaw Forum

Consumer arbitration, long targeted by the plaintiffs' bar and "consumer activists," has just taken a big hit in the political and PR world, and the legislative world awaits, sap at the ready.

Attorney General Lori Swanson of Minnesota last week sued (news release, complaint) and then negotiated a settlement with National Arbitration Forum, in which the NAF agreed to drop its business of arbitrating credit card and other consumer collection disputes.

In her release today announcing the settlement, Swanson said: "I am very pleased with the settlement. To consumers, the company said it was impartial, but behind the scenes, it worked alongside credit card companies to get them to put unfair arbitration clauses in the fine print of their contracts and to appoint the Forum as the arbitrator. Now the company is out of this business."

The Forum also issued a release, defending its practices and characterizing the settlement as a business decision forced upon it.

"The National Arbitration Forum remains committed to consumer arbitration as the best and most affordable option for consumers to resolve disputes quickly and efficiently. However, the FORUM lacks the necessary resources to defend against increasing challenges to arbitration on all fronts, including from state Attorneys General and the class action trial bar," said Forthright CEO Mike Kelly. "Mounting legal costs, a challenging economic climate, and increased legislative uncertainty surrounding the future of arbitration have prompted the FORUM to exit the consumer arbitration arena. At this time, the costs of providing consumer arbitration services far exceed the revenue generated. Until Congress resolves the legal and legislative uncertainty the cost is simply too high for users and providers of consumer arbitration."

The American Association of Justice hailed the settlement in a release, arguing it proved the need for U.S. legislation to end predispute consumer arbitration clauses. Pending in Congress are a complete ban, the Arbitration Fairness Act (S. 931 and H.R. 1020), and legislation limited to nursing home arbitration. Public Citizen, another anti-arbitration campaigner, called the settlement "a tremendous win" for consumers.

Attorney General Swanson gets to take a D.C. victory lap on Wednesday when she testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations, Domestic Policy Subcommittee, at a hearing, "Arbitration or 'Arbitrary': The Misuse of Arbitration to Collect Consumer Debts." Kelly is also scheduled to testify, but the hearing was planned before Swanson's suit and the settlement, so he could be forgiven...

News coverage...

EFCA "compromise", the latest round - PointOfLaw Forum

Since the card-check element of the Employee Free Choice Act has been politically dead for months, and talk of fallback "compromise" pro-union legislation has been going on for just as long, it's far from clear why Thursday's New York Times gave prime billing to a report by Steven Greenhouse which presented the backtracking and attempted reformulation of the bill as if it were something exciting and novel. Especially since still part of the bill, apparently for now at least, is the equally radical imposed-arbitration scheme (critique: Shikha Dalmia in the WSJ) which Mickey Kaus proposes to call "federal pay determination" for short, and which, as Carter at ShopFloor notes, most business-side advocates view as utterly unacceptable under any circumstances.

Carter suggests that the underlying stratagem at work here may resemble a two-stage booster rocket: with card-check gone, labor and Democrats can later pose as reasonable by jettisoning arbitration as well in favor of a bill with just the other, supposedly miscellaneous provisions such as heightened employer penalties (to "bludgeon employers into submission", as he has put it). Among the miscellaneous provisions, as Michael Fox notes: quickie elections, perhaps as fast as 5 days, and "equal access provisions to allow unions to campaign on an employer's premises".

The miscellaneous provisions are probably the biggest political danger to bill opponents. Both card check and compulsory arbitration are relatively easily grasped as drastic changes in the existing labor-law regime for private workplaces, and both can be effectively criticized as curtailing worker choice (arbitration would impose new working conditions not just without management's consent, but also without a vote by workers). On the other hand, proposals that can be presented as merely increasing penalties for violations tend to go down easy in our system, and many of the other ideas can be couched as if there were incremental adjustments in things like the speed or logistics of elections -- even if their cumulative effect might prove drastic.

P.S. Jon Hyman at Ohio Employer's Law has a further roundup of blog reactions.

Around the web, July 16 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • Mississippi: "$23.5M med mal jury verdict in Shelby County" [Freeland]
  • SEIU intimidates broadcasters over anti-EFCA ads [Ivan Osorio at Open Market, Carter at ShopFloor, Patrick at Popehat]
  • "Obama comes from the law academia environment ... where that talk about 'empathy' is what you hear all the time. It's very normal, it's 'sophisticated'" [Ann Althouse via Taranto]
  • Asbestos two-step: "Calif. Supreme Court Declines to Review 'Judicially Sanctioned Extortion'" [NLJ, earlier here and here]
  • Everything you might want to know about off-label promotion pharmaceutical class actions [Beck & Herrmann first, second, third posts]
  • "Lawyer drops plea to halt manufacture of mini blinds" [Madison County Record]

"The Impact of Card Check on the U.S. Economy" - PointOfLaw Forum

A lunchtime event on Capitol Hill next Tuesday sponsored by AEI, with UCLA economist Lee Ohanian [details]

Around the web, July 1 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • My other blog, Overlawyered, turns ten years old today -- so far as anyone knows, the oldest weblog on law [Overlawyered]
  • Look before you leap, guys: report for British courts suggests weakening loser-pays rule for class/collective actions [Hartley]
  • You've probably never heard of this obscure federal appointee, but if EFCA passes he could soon be deciding your firm's labor future [ShopFloor]
  • Blawg Review #218 [Adrian Dayton's Marketing Strategy and the Law]
  • Fluoride -- yes, the same stuff dentists recommend and that figured in the plot of Dr. Strangelove -- is latest high-profile chemical set for mandatory warnings under California's Prop 65 [Cal Biz Lit, Popehat]
  • Back pay awards for illegal-alien workers, notwithstanding the Supreme Court's ruling in Hoffman Plastics? [Workplace Prof]

California unions' environmental extortion - PointOfLaw Forum

Today's Times:

As California moves to license dozens of huge solar power plants to meet the state's renewable energy goals, some developers contend they are being pressured to sign agreements pledging to use union labor. If they refuse, they say, they can count on the union group to demand costly environmental studies and deliver hostile testimony at public hearings.

If they commit at the outset to use union labor, they say, the environmental objections never materialize.

"This does stress the limits of credibility to some extent," the California energy commissioner, Jeffrey Byron, said at one contentious hearing, "when an attorney representing a labor union is so focused on the potential impact of a solar power plant on birds."

It seems Bob Balgenorth, chairman of the labor group accused of exploiting the environmental laws this way, "has cultivated strong ties with conservation groups". I wonder whether there's a tie-in with the Sierra Club's and NRDC's endorsement of EFCA? Further thoughts from Carter @ ShopFloor.

EFCA and union pension plans - PointOfLaw Forum

Among the unstable aspects of the current labor scene: many union-sponsored pension plans (so-called "multiemployer" plans, paid into by many employers in a unionized industry) are badly underwater, seriously short of the assets they need to pay promised pensions. The hope in some quarters is that a rush of new union organization made possible by EFCA will stabllize these plans by adding many new employer-contributors. For any particular employer facing an organizing drive, however, the prospect is unsettling at best: a successful "card check" signup (followed if necessary by a federally selected arbitrator's imposition of a first union contract) will require the company to start contributing not only on behalf of its own workers, but also to cover the shortfalls left by other employers, including some that are departed or defunct. Manhattan Institute fellow Diana Furchtgott-Roth explains at Real Clear Politics. More: ShopFloor and followup, CEI "Open Market".

Around the web, June 5 - PointOfLaw Forum

  • Return of the rickety "medical crises cause most consumer bankruptcies" meme [McArdle, more; earlier here, here, etc.]
  • Texas: bill advances that would make it easier for injured contract workers to sue property owners [San Antonio Express-News]
  • Minnesota county officials denounce "one-way loser-pays" insurance proposal in legislature [Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal]
  • Plenty on the docket for lead as legal issue [Law and More/Cordrey, Mealey's]
  • Imagine a legislative "compromise" on union organizing that in practice resulted in unions winning most organizational elections. Actually, that describes the current system [ShopFloor]
  • When it comes to dubious Alien Tort Statute cases, bogus banana-worker claims are just the start [IBD editorial, related]

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