Some lawyers are just plain bad. That may be stating the obvious. It also is a case of repeating ourselves, as though we’re saying “lawyer lawyer.”
The bad lawyer in question is really bad. He is Lafe Soloman, acting general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board. Soloman had the chutzpah to write a letter to Cablevision refusing to halt proceedings against it, even though the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled invalid all of President Obama’s so-called “recess appointments” to the NLRB when Congress was in session and actually conducted some business other than passing the gavel around. His refusal came in spite of the board not having a majority, as required by a prior U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Soloman claims he was “appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate” and claims the NLRB Act states the general counsel acts “on behalf of the board,” and that Congress intended for him to be “independent” of the board. These latter points are open to debate. What is patently untrue is that he was confirmed by the Senate. Because Solomon was responsible for trying to block Boeing from building airplanes in Charleston, S.C., the Senate will never confirm him.
Whatever his status in relation to the board, which the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled null and void, he is giving bad advice by telling them to ignore the court that handles most federal agency decisions. Ditto to his bad advice for ignoring the same adverse ruling from the Third District Court of Appeals.
Even sleazier is his legal argument that because the board got away with issuing 550 decisions before the Supreme Court ruled in 2010, that the board couldn’t act without a quorum. Only 100 of those could afford to fight for their rights.
Soloman appears to be acting as a law unto himself. We are so flabbergasted by this bizarre bit of lawyering that all we can say is “Yech!”