Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hostess Gets The Ok To Shutdown

A federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 21 approved a bid by Hostess Brands Inc. to proceed with winding down its business and to alter key terms of labor contracts as it tries to sell off its assets (In re Hostess Brands Inc., Bankr. S.D.N.Y., No. 12-22052, order 11/21/12).

As my students all know,  under a Supreme Court case called Darlington, an employer has the right to go out of business, even if it is for anti-union reasons. 

When this occurs it is a no-win for anyone. However, I am sure that Hostess is going to sell its assets, including its trademarks for its brands for, pardon the pun, quite a lot of bread.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

December 1, 2012 in Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NLRB Interest Rate Remains At 3%


On Oct. 1, 2012, the NLRB issued an Operations Memo which stated that the Board will continue to apply a 3% interest rate in NLRB cases. It can be downloaded here.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

November 28, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Vermont Buyouts and Other Law School News

This is a tough time to be a law school dean.  Consider Vermont Law School dean Marc Mihaly, who only four months into the job, is now facing a $3.3 million budget deficit.  With a  14% projected revenue decline on the horizon, Mihaly has announced a voluntary buyout for VLS staff which he says could be extended to faculty if there are not enough takers.  He also announced that VLS will increase its LL.M program and certificate offerings to make up for the revenue loss. Taja-Nia Henderson at Concurring Opinions, has some interesting comments on the problems and risks associated with law school faculty buyout programs.

Meanwhile, Penn State Law dean Philip McConnaughay, facing declining enrollment at the dual-campus school, has proposed to "spin off" the Carlisle campus into a separate, autonomous entity beginning in 2015.  This proposal came after state and local officials rejected his proposal to consolidatete the 1L program into the University Park campus.  Interestingly, Penn State acquired the Carlisle campus in only 12 years ago.

Ten new law schools that are either ABA accredited or seeking accreditation have opened the doors in the last ten years with new schools in Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana and Texas planning to open.  With enrollment declining and legal jobs paying enough to reasonably retire law school debt harder to find, it seems obvious that some industry restructuring, including possible consolidation or school closure, will occur.  We can expect more stories such as the ones coming out of Vermont and Pennsylvania as this process unwinds.

Craig Estlinbaum  


November 28, 2012 in Bar Association Matters, Colleges, Law Schools, Law Students, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

D.C. Circuit Upholds Challenge To NLRB's Health Care Rule


San Miguel Hosp. Corp. v. NLRB, ___F.3d___ (D.C. Cir. 11/02/12), is an interesting decision. The National Labor Relations Board properly certified the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees as the representative of a “wall to wall” bargaining unit that included professional and nonprofessional employees of an acute-care medical facility. The decision can be found by clicking here. (subscription required)

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

November 27, 2012 in NLRB | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Novel to Help Jailhouse Lawyers

Interestingly, Terri LeClerq recently wrote a graphic novel to help prisioners. Here is how she describes this important project:

Maybe you wonder why inmates need help learning to write complaints (grievances).  With an average reading level of 5th grade and lots of misinformation, inmates rarely write a grievance that succeeds.  They need our help.

I've written college texts, legal writing columns, and a prison-conditions blog.  Review me at  and  I've spent 10 years creating this graphic novel

  • to help the 1 in 100 Americans in our prison system,
  • to help the courts receive credible writs, and
  • to help taxpayers avoid paying for time-consuming, frivolous, or erroneous filings.

Multitudes of prison officials and staff, court personnel, defense and plaintiff attorneys, reading specialists, and academics have reviewed the manuscript.  A professional artist and professional letterer (yep!) worked to make each page both entertaining and educational.  The formerly incarcerated who have reviewed it are ready to send a graphic novel back to their old roomies.

Additional information can about this project can be found here

Mitchell H. Rubinstein


Hat Tip: Legal Writing Prof Blog


November 26, 2012 in Criminal Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Employee served with disciplinary charges alleging he was intoxicated at work

Human Resources Administration v Grimes, OATH Index #1985/12   
OATH Administrative Law Judge Kevin F. Casey sustained charges that alleged that an employee was intoxicated at work.
Coworkers noticed the individual looked disheveled and was laughing and crying to himself at his desk, in marked contrast to his usual demeanor. "911" was called and the employee was taken to a hospital by the first responders.
Noting that the Emergency Medical Technician's records indicated that the first responders had made a presumptive diagnosis that employee was intoxicated based on his unsteady gait, slurred speech, and the odor of alcohol on his breath, Judge Casey found the individual’s claims to the contrary to be vague and unsupported.
The ALJ recommended that the appointing authority impose a penalty of a 20-day suspension without pay
The decision is posted on the Internet at:

Reprinted with permission New York Public Personnel Law

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

November 25, 2012 in Arbitration Law | Permalink | Comments (1)