January 12, 2013
Book Review Highlight, Randall and Randall, The Discipline Book (2013 Edition)
The Randalls have just updated their treatise entitled. I have reviewed previous editions of this work and it is now bigger and better than ever. It now spans 2127 pages and it covers just about everything; and I mean everything. The authors describe their book as "a handbook for administrators, union officials and attorneys involved in disciplinary actions taken against public officers and employees. . ."
What is particularly valuable about this book is that it concentrates on recent case law. Hundreds of recent cases as well as hundreds of the leading cases and discussed. The book provides practical advice and information in an easy to understand format. Quite simply, there is no other book which you could purchase involving New York law which provides timely, practical and exhaustive analysis of discipline, constitutional issues involving discipline such as the First Amendment, evidentary issues, procedural issues, collective bargaining issues, and union issues.
Any administrator, employer, union, or attorney who is involved in public sector labor management relations in New York will want to purchase at least one copy. As in earlier editions, the book is published as an e-book which makes searching via MS Word easy and fast.
The book can be purchased for $295 and it is worth every penny. For additional information and well as purchase information can be found here.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
January 10, 2013
Book Review Highlight Elkouri and Elkouri How Arbitration Works (2012)
One of the classics, Elkouri and Elkouri has been updated. The 7th edition is edited by Kenneth May and is available for $325, here. Just about anyone who is an abitrator or appears before a labor arbitrator has read this book and has a copy. This edition is new and improved and is a must have. BNA's web site describes this book as follows:
- Arbitrators' consideration of external law in labor arbitration
- Legislation and litigation developing standards for evidentiary privilege as it relates to union shop stewards
- Arbitrators' views on threats and violence
- Reconsideration of the continued viability of the plain meaning rule
- New case law on the unauthorized practice of law as it relates to labor arbitration
- Revision of the discussion of state and local government arbitration and interest arbitration in light of recent changes in state law
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
January 06, 2013
Book Review Highlight-Randall, A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances
Harvey Randall has published another excellent book that all, and I mean all, lawyers, management representatives and union advocates who practice New York public sector labor and employment law will want to purchase here.
The book spans over 600 pages and focuses on the setting of an appropriate disciplinary penalty in instances where an employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Examples of the offenses considered in this e-book runs from A [Abandoning a post without authorization] to Z [Zero drug tolerance policy violation]. The Pell Shocking the Conscience standard is reviewed as well as hundreds of decisions under Civil Service Law Section 75, Education Law Section 3020-a and labor arbitration.
Because the book is an e-book, like Mr. Randall's previous books, it can be be downloaded to your computer and then searched as a MS Word document.
Labor management officials and attorneys will want this book because it is well researched and organized and simply a time saver. Quite frankly, there is no other book like this which discussed New York law in a complete and comprehensive fashion.
MItchell H. Rubinstein
January 23, 2012
The Discipline Book (2012 edition)
Harvey Randall, a good friend to this blog who we often cite, New York Public Personnel Law, and Eric Randall, just published a 2012 edition to their wonderful book on employee discipline. The book is available for purchase here. We have reviewed earlier editions of this book and it is better than ever. The book now spans over 1500 pages and is full of up-to-date cases. The book is only available as an E-Book which means that you download it. This also means that it is fully searchable in MS Word.
The book remains the only comprehensive work which examines New York public employment law and is one of those "must have" books for lawyers, union and management officials as well as professors who teach in this area. To give you an idea of the breadth of this work, the Table of Contents is reproduced below:
DUE PROCESS RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEES
Part One: Who is entitled to due process?
1.02 Who is entitled to due process?
1.03 Who has no due process rights?
1.04 Due process rights under Section 3020-a
1.05 The concept of tenure
1.06 “Permanent” appointments, probation and tenure in the competitive class
1.07 Permanent vs. probationer vs. provisional
1.08 Probationers’ due process rights
1.09 Temporary and provisional appointments
1.10 Jurisdictional misclassification
1.11 Budgetary classification irrelevant to due process rights of employees
1.12 Rights of employees of quasi-government entities
1.13 Veterans’ due process rights
1.14 Impartial tribunals
1.15 Specificity of charges
1.16 Immunity from discipline
1.17 Right to pre-determination hearing
1.18 Ambiguity of language in Taylor Law agreements
1.19 Right of appeal and timeliness
1.20 Absence from hearings
1.21 Notice of hearings
1.22 Name-clearing hearings
1.23 Due process and optional hearings
1.24 Removal by operation of law
1.25 Suspension without pay
1.26 Authority to discipline
1.27 Pending criminal matters
1.28 Double jeopardy
1.29 Civil rights
1.30 First Amendment rights
1.31 Freedom of information
1.32 Public hearings
1.33 Disciplinary action based on pre-employment misconduct
CONDUCTING AN INVESTIGATION
2.01 Overview: Disciplinary investigations
2.02 Handling complaints
2.03 Anonymous allegations
2.04 Fairness in investigations
2.05 Interviewing employees
2.06 Refusal to answer questions
2.07 Free speech
2.08 Self-incrimination and immunity
2.09 Lying by employees
2.10 Statute of limitations on discipline
2.11 Legal representation during investigations
2.12 Suspension with or without pay
2.13 Affect of criminal actions on suspensions
2.14 Impact of criminal action on disciplinary action, generally
2.15 Voluntary resignations
2.16 Issuing subpoenas, recording evidence
2.19 Recording investigation findings
2.21 Defamation of employees
3.01 Forms of evidence
3.02 Hearsay evidence
3.03 Standard of proof: criminal vs. disciplinary hearing
3.04 Standard of proof, Section 75
3.05 Standard of proof, Section 3020-a
3.06 Effect of criminal conviction or dismissal on discipline
3.07 Testimony by the accused
3.08 Best evidence rule
3.09 Tainted evidence
3.10 Confessions and coercion
3.11 Competent and incompetent witnesses
3.12 Opinion evidence
3.13 Foundation for testimony
3.14 Credibility of witnesses
3.15 Conflicting evidence
3.16 Employee surveillance
3.17 Judicial notice
3.18 Disclosure of personal records
3.19 Unsealing criminal records
3.20 Standard of conduct
3.22 Source of documentary evidence
3.23 Privileged communications
3.24 Using polygraph tests in disciplinary actions
3.25 Pitfalls for that a hearing officer must avoid
PROPOSING A PENALTY
4.01 The Pell standard
4.02 Court review
4.03 Lawful penalties
4.04 Recommending penalties
4.05 Using the individual’s employment history in disciplinary action
4.07 Expiration of the penalty
4.08 Whistleblower protection
4.09 Determining the penalty to be imposed
4.10 Due Process and Progressive Discipline
4.11 Substantial Evidence
4.12 The Pell Standard of Fairness
4.13 Reasons Courts Reject Penalties
4.14 Violations of the Pell standard
4.15. Penalty: reprimand
4.16 Loss of leave credits and other alternative penalties
4.17 Penalty: fine
4.18 Penalty: suspension
4.19 Penalty: demotion
4.20 Time and attendance issues
4.21 Examples of penalties imposed
OBLIGATIONS OF EMPLOYERS AND UNIONS
UNDER NEGOTIATED DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES
5.01 Notice of discipline
5.02 The “Bill of Rights” in contracts
5.03 Absence from work during disciplinary activities
5.04 Duty of fair representation
5.05 Procedures under contracts
5.08 Pre-hearing suspensions
FILING CHARGES UNDER Section 75
6.01 Key procedural elements
6.02 Charges must be specific
6.03 Employee must receive opportunity to respond
6.04 Right to union representation
6.05 Statute of limitations
6.06 Serving charges
6.07 Pitfalls to avoid
6.08 Criticism is not discipline
6.09 Admission of guilt difficult to retract
6.10 Pending criminal charges
6.11 Choice of law
FILING CHARGES UNDER Section 3020-a
7.01 Statute of limitations
7.02 Need for investigatory report regardless of merit of allegations
7.03 Risk of libel or slander as a result of investigatory report
7.04 Name-clearing hearings
7.05 Pitfalls to avoid
7.06 Criticism is not discipline
7.07 Procedures in filing charges
7.08 Use of school attorney
7.09 Verdict shopping
7.10 The Section 3020-a process
7.11 Informing the Commissioner
7.12 Hearing panel members
7.13 Pre-hearing conferences
7.14 Characteristics of arbitration
SUSPENDING EMPLOYEES PENDING A HEARING
8.01 Suspension without pay – general considerations
8.02 Suspensions with pay, Sections 72 and 75
8.03 “Emergency” Suspensions
8.04 Suspension without pay, generally
8.05 Suspension without pay of unlicensed individual
8.06 Suspension without pay in the event of postponement of disciplinary proceeding
8.07 Suspension of a school superintendent
8.08 Unpaid suspension past 30 days: Conflict with local law
8.09 Suspension without pay, medical
8.10 Suspension without pay
8.11 Effect of criminal actions on suspensions
8.12 Mitigation of damages
8.13 Taxation of a settlement
8.14 Recoupment of cash advances
8.15 Bad faith
8.16 Employment contracts
8.17 Suspension with pay, pending criminal action
8.18 Reassignment pending discipline
8.19 Suspension without pay failure to report to work
8.20 Repayment of salary after being continued on the payroll
PENDING CRIMINAL ACTIONS
9.01 Simultaneous prosecution
9.02 Acquittal of criminal charges does not bar disciplinary action
9.03 Criminal conviction bars administrative acquittal of the same charge
9.04 Use of disclosures in criminal trials
9.05 Probationers and criminal charges
9.06 Reinstatement after acquittal
9.07 Settlement to avoid prosecution
9.08 Administrator’s immunity
9.09 Collateral estoppel
9.10 Disclosure of records
PREPARING FOR A HEARING
10.01 The settlement option
10.02 Selecting a hearing officer
10.03 Pre-hearing legwork
10.04 A pre-hearing checklist
10.05 Hearing in absentia
10.06 Leave to attend hearing
10.07 Mitigation of damages in cases of acquittal
10.08 Taxation of a settlement
10.09 Independent review of facts
10.10 Considering material in a post-hearing brief submitted by a party
10.11 Stay of arbitration
11.01 Who may appeal?
11.02 What may appeals concern?
11.03 What standards apply in appeals?
11.04 Forums for appeal
11.05 Challenging a Section 75 decision
11.06 Challenging an arbitration award
11.07 Biased hearing officers
11.08 Deadlines for appeal
11.09 Timely and untimely appeals
11.10 Outcomes of appeals
11.11 Vacating or modifying penalties: The Pell Standard
11.12 Back pay and benefits
11.13 Statute of limitations
11.14 Back salary
12.01 Termination for disability
12.02 Section 73 pre-termination due process requirements
12.03 Arbitrating Section 71 and Section 73 terminations
12.04 Other provisions of law
12.05 Considering disability claims
12.06 Termination of a probationary employee
TERMINATIONS WITHOUT A HEARING
13.01 Necessity of a license
13.02 Removal by operation of law
13.03 Disqualification for employment because of a criminal conviction
13.04 Irrelevance of criminal history
13.05 Removal after convictions
13.06 Contract violation
13.07 Denial of equal protection?
13.09 Withdrawing resignations
13.10 Name-clearing hearings
13.11 Noncompetitive class employees
13.12 Disqualification, Section 50.4 CSL
13.13 Nature of the offense
13.14 Violation of oath of office
13.15 Reversal of felony conviction
REDRESS AND REMEDIES
14.01 Delays in reinstatements
14.02 Back pay
DRUGS, DRUG TESTING AND DISCIPLINE
15.01 Reasonable suspicion
15.02 Pre-employment testing
15.03 Due process guidelines
15.04 Guidelines on employee privacy
15.05 Observer’s presence during testing
15.06 Drug testing and collective bargaining
15.08 Refusal to participate in a drug treatment program
15.09 Libel and slander
15.10 The ADA and human rights laws
SOME SPECIAL PROVISIONS OF LAW
PROVISIONAL AND PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEES
17.03 Reviewing probationary employee terminations
17.04 “Permanent probationers”
17.05 Standard of review
17.06 Bad faith determinations
17.07 Separation pay for probationary teachers
17.08 Disciplinary probation
17.09 Light duty and probationary requirements
17.10 Drug use and probation
17.11 Probation and alcoholism
17.12 Probation and stress
17.13 Extension of probation: modified duty
17.15 Extensions of the probationary period
17.16 Attaining permanent status
17.17 Date of permanent appointment and traineeships
17.18 Non-competitive class employees
17.19 Good faith determinations concerning probationary service
17.20 Notice of termination
17.21 Second probationary periods
17.22 Good faith probationary decisions
17.23 Name-clearing hearings
17.24 Tenure by operation of law
17.25 Transition from probationer to tenured
17.26 Suspension of a probationer
17.27 Rights under a Taylor Law agreement
17.28 Distinguishing between temporary and provisional appointment
The “letter of agreement” from NYC Department of Education Chancellor Klein to UFT President Michael Mulgrew concerning disciplinary actions taken against New York Department of Education personnel pursuant to §3020-a of the Education Law.
December 02, 2011
Book Review Highlight: Berger, Mitchell and Clark Evidence, Skills Stategies and Assignments for Pretrial and Trial
Marilyn J. Berger, John B. Mitchell and Ronald Clark have published another excellent law school text, Evidence, Skills, Strategies, and Assignments for Pretrial and Trial, available here. I have reviewed several of their books before, here, here,here, and they all follow a common theme. They are all practice oriented texts. They are designed to teach law students "how" to practice and are light on case law doctrine. The book itself spans 304 pages, is reasonably priced, well organized and indexed and includes a DVD movie designed to illustrate important evidentiary trial pointers. It is designed to help the student learn to master pretrial as well as trial litigation skills.
Chapter 6 of the book includes an Evidence handbook which provides an outstanding summary of the law and covers such topics as hearsay, the failure to object and prior inconsistent statements. While this is designed to be applicable to a fictional state, it does follow the Federal Rules. My one disappointment is that this chapter cites to fictional cases. I would have preferred cites to actual case law. In fairness, the book does include several cases, but I do not see a point in citing to fictional cases. It is for this reason that I recommend this book for student use, but not for use by attorneys.
But, for what it is designed to do-teach students practical skills, the book shines. The book is also soft cover and not long and drawn out which should help students learn. Any professor who is teaching a class in pretrial litigation or even Evidence would do themselves a favor by taking a serious look at this wonderful work.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
October 20, 2011
Book Review: Ricks and Tenenbaum, Current Issues In Constitutional Litigation
Professors Sarah Ricks (Rutgers Camden) and Evelyn Tenenbaum (Albany) just published a master text book for an advanced class on constitutional law. This is not your grandmothers casebook. Like several of the recent publications I have seen from Carolina Academic Press, the focus is on practice-not law school theory. Unlike so many texts which just focus on Supreme Court cases, this case book includes cases from the lower court courts as well as excerpts from briefs. The book includes simulations which involve realistic situations. The book actually helps students to learn to practice law and not just to read cases.
Of even greater delight is the accompanying teachers manual which is quite comprehensive. It includes sample syllabi, sample essay and sample multiple choice exams-with sample answers! The manual itself spans 444 pages.
The text is 724 pages long and focuses on 1983 litigation. Specifically, issues involving the 4th, 8th and 14th Amendments as well as 1st Amendment religions claims. The book is also reasonably priced at $85.00 and is available here.
If I ever have the opportunity to teach a class on 1983 litigation, this will be my text book. As I practice in this area, this book will become part of my personal library. I am sure that other lawyers will find this book useful as well.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
September 09, 2011
Book Review Highlight Berger, Trial Advocacy and Clark, Cross-Exam Handbook
In Feb. 2009, I reviewed the 2d edition of Berger, Mitchell and Clark, "Trial Advocacy, Planning, Analysis, and Strategy" 2d edition, which I highly recommended. I am pleased to again highly recommend the Third Edition which just came out in 2011 I am also pleased to recommend the companion book "Cross Examination Handbook" which also just came out in 2011 by Clark, Dekle, Sr. and Baily.
I wish law schools utilized more texts such as these. In a nutshell, the trial advocacy book teaches you how to try cases and the cross examination book teaches you about the art-and it is an art- of cross examination.
The cross examation book spans 389 pages and contains a CD with sample files and assignments. The trial advocacy book spans 619 pages and contains a DVD which is a case demonstration that is well worth watching.
Aspen's web site describes the cross examination book as follows:
- Concrete instruction on planning the winning cross-examination, such as how to select the content and mold it into a persuasive concession-seeking or impeachment cross
- Practical techniques and strategies for performing cross, including witness control, handling problematic witnesses and successfully cross-examining experts
- Illustrative cross-examinations from notable trials, such as the O. J. Simpson, Scopes, Senator Stevens, and Enron, show how to apply cross strategies and techniques
- Case files and role-play assignments provide opportunities to practice preparing and performing cross-examinations in two criminal and two civil cases
- Ethical and legal boundaries of cross-examination
- Teacher’s Manual and Actors Guide and suggested syllabi make the exercise material both teacher-, lawyer- and student-friendly
The trial advocacy book is described in turn as:
Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy conveys a clear understanding of the trial process, how lawyers think, and the strategies and techniques of trial persuasion. An accompanying DVD features trial demonstrations by veteran litigators. A regularly updated companion website provides articles, supplemental materials, downloads, and links to additional resources.
Updated throughout, the timely Third Edition provides checklists in each chapter as a useful teaching aid. Topical coverage has been expanded to include discussion of Internet interference during trial and the use of focus groups, trial simulations, and technology in trial preparation.
Trial Advocacy: Assignments and Case Files, a separate publication, contains 84 role-play assignments and is cross-referenced to Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy.
Many a lawyer can benefit from reading these two books. I have one constructive thought. Both books contain virtually no cites to cases and only occassionally cite to FRE. I would have much preferred the books if they contained footnoted authority. That way, it would be easier for a lawyer to back up a position he or she may have taken.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
May 02, 2011
Stumpff On Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
I was just sent a copy of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation by Andrew Stumpff (Univ. of Michigan Law School) and I am impressed, very impressed. As readers may be aware, I taught Employee Benefits Law at St. John's Law School. The text I used, Medill on Employee Beneifts, was just too complicated. However, it was the best one that I could find.
Lets face it. Employee Benefits Law is complicated. This book makes does an excellent job in simplifying the law. Each chapter is essentially a treatise and then case law is followed at the end. This book is also very current as it covers Obama Care.
For instructors looking for a text on Employee Benefits, please examine this one. You will not be sorry.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
April 05, 2011
Special Education Advocacy by Ruth Colker and Julie Waterstone
I received an advance copy of Special Education Advocacy by Professors Ruth Colker and Julie Waterstone (LexisNexis 2011) and all I can say is "Wow."
This book fills a huge whole in special education scholarship. The book is not about cases or about legal theory. Rather, it is a "how to book." It is clearly designed for students in a special education clinic, but lawyers will find this book just as useful. It discusses due process complaints and provides an example. It also discusses common due process issues including the authority of hearing officers to issue remedies. The book also a useful appendix which include the IDEA, its regulations and excerpts from leading special ed decisions.
The book is softcover and is reasonably priced, around $60. It is not yet up on LexisNexis web site or available from Amazon.com. If you practice in this area or are thinking about practicing in this area, this is a must have book.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
March 27, 2011
Autism and the Law Cases, Statutes, and Materials
Carolina Academic Press just came out with the first law school case book on Autism and the LawCases, Statutes, and Materials (2011). The authors, two lawyers, Lorri and Daniel Unumb, freely acknowledge that Autism and the Law is only taught in one class in one law school (interestingly, they do not name the law school) and their hope is that this will change given how wide spread a problme Autism has become. They are probably correct.
As you might expect, the book contains a detailed medical review of autism and the history of this diagnosis. Part One of the book focuses on health insurance, part two focuses on Medicaid issues, part 3 examines special education issues, and part 4 concludes with an examination of "other" issues such as those that arise under the ADA and mandatory vaccine issues.
The authors are definitely on to something here and I suspect that the book, which is clearly well written, will take off.
However, I am a bit curious as to why the authors chose to write the first law school book on this topic as a case book. I would have thought that a hornbook might have been a better first choice because such a text would also appeal to the larger legal community.
In any event, nice job-very nice job.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
January 14, 2011
Randall & Randall, The Discipline Book and Layoff, Preferred Lists and Restatement
The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual (2011) - a 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions.http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/
September 20, 2010
Book Review- Getman, Restoring The Power Of Unions
I just finished reading Restoring The Power of Unions It Takes A Movement by Professor Julius G. Getman (University of Texas Law School) and I could not put it down. The book is a must read for students of labor law, labor history and practicing labor lawyers. I suspect that it will shortly become required reading in many labor relations and labor law classes.
The book, which spans 326 pages, is exceptionally well written, well researched and footnoted. Quite simply, the book is quite readable and a pleasure. One of the reasons why it is an easy read is because it is composed of 25 relatively short chapters. The book really is actually like two books. The first, documents the rise and success of HERE (Hotel Employees Rest. Employees) (now UNITE-HERE) and its President John Wilhelm whom I had the pleasure of recently meeting. Getman details the success of Wilhelm's labor philosophy and in particular, the 1980's Yale University organizing campaign and strike. To my amazement, Wilhelm's philosophy involves the total avoidance of NLRB conducted elections and involves the utilization of salts (called interns in the hotel industry) and corporate campaigns designed to convince the employer to agree to a neutrality and card check election agreement.
The second "book" involves Getman's critique of the current state of labor law. Getman, who is one of the leading labor scholars in the country, is very critical of the union access decisions and the MacKay doctrine which allows strikers to be permanently replaced. To my surprise, Getman is also not a fan of the Employee Free Choice Act which organized labor has been pushing for some time.
Getman, however, does not call for the abolishment of the NLRA and believes that it is worth saving. Getman believes that the Labor Board decisions are often the product of partisan politics and the Board needs to be composed of nonbiased experts whose independence and neutrality has been tested. Who would these Board members be? Labor arbitrators- of course. He also calls for amending the NLRA by increasing the Board's remedial power, mandating that unions be given equal time to respond to employer campaign speeches and by essentially outlawing permanent replacements. Finally, Getman calls for a specialized appeal tribunal that would hear appeals from NLRB decisions.
Getman's central theme is something that we often loose site of. Unions have to return to their roots. Unions are composed of workers and therefore, unions should be about the workers and run by the workers. Indeed, Getman in this wonderful work interviewed organizers and quoted from them extensively as he believes that they have the most important and difficult jobs within unions. With regard to this book, he did not merely conduct interviews with senior level union leadership.
Getman concludes as follows:
"For organized labor to play its proper role in turning the American dream into reality, the labor movement must be not only for the people, as most unions are, but also of the people, in ways that most unions are not. . . Members must believe, on the basis of established facts, that they have the opportunity to shape the union's actions and priorities. This is what Vinnie Sirabella practiced and preached. It is what he passed on to John Wilhelm. It is at the heart of UNITE-HERE's approach to organizing and bargaining."
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
September 02, 2010
Book Review-Castagnera, Handbook For Student Law For Higher Education Administrators
Dr. James Ottavio Castagnera recently published another excellent book entitled "Handbook For Student Law For Higher Education Administrators." The Book, which is softcover and spans 255 pages is available for $35.00 from the publishers website linked above. The publisher describes the book as follows:
The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators is a practical tool, intended for administrators dealing with students in higher education, focusing principally on four-year institutions. Addressing the ever-developing relationship between higher education and the law, the book will provide the academic administrator with the means to knowledgably and confidently navigate the many legal threats and challenges facing colleges today. Using examples from real cases and scenarios from different institutions, the handbook provides sample policies, checklists, and advice that administrators can apply to a wide variety of situations, both preventatively and proactively. Also included are relevant 2008-09 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and each chapter includes a section on the impact of the Higher Education Opportunities Act of 2008. The Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators is a compendium of practical knowledge and guidance, useful for any administrator dealing with the legal minefield that is higher education.
The book is full of case law cites and real life situations that American Universities face every day. The book starts off with a summary of the history of higher education in this country (which is worth a read in and of itself) and then goes on to explore the legal mine field of higher education law. Some of the topics which are discussed include legal issues surrounding university admissions, financial aid, academic discipline, plagiarism, student on student harassment, and the privacy rights of students.
What makes the book particularly worth while is that it includes checklists and sample university policies. I am not aware of another book which comprehensively examines the subject. While the book is clearly designed for non-lawyer university administrators, lawyers and others interested in higher education could surely benefit.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
April 01, 2010
2010 Edition The Discipline Book Just PublishedHarvey Randall who is a good friend to this blog just published with Eric Randall THE DISCIPLINE BOOK; A CONCISE GUIDE TO DISCIPLINE IN THE NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC SERVICE (Public Employee Press 2010) (click on the link to purchase it). Readers will recall that we gave rave reviews to the prior edition. This one is even better and is a must have publication for management and union officials as well as lawyers who practice New York public sector labor and employment law.
Replacing the 2008 edition, it includes the 2009 and 2010 supplements and now runs over 1,000 pages. By way of comparison, the 2008 [2nd] edition ran 529 pages while the first edition ran about 250 pages. Again, its is available as a WORD document and the electronic edition is searchable using WORD's Find function. Harvey believes that the hard copy edition is less useful in terms of researching an issue but because some still prefer the paper version, a hard copy is available.
The Discipline Book remains the best comprehensive authority in New York public sector labor and employment law. It extensively discusses, like no other work, such diverse topics as due process, employee discipline, Education Law 3020-a hearings, Civil Service Section 75 hearings, the appellate process, First Amendment issues, defamation, evidence, drug testing, provisional and probationary appointments as well as the Taylor Law. As an added bonus, a separate section of the book contains case summaries of leading cases together with links to the decision on the internet.
What makes this book, which is actually a legal treatise, so outstanding is that it is practice orientated. It does not appear to be designed to be read from cover to cover, though many may do so. Rather, it is a legal research tool. The book is arranged by legal issue so that readers can more easily find a solution to a problem.The Randall's publish two other excellent works in this area of the law.
For information about PELP's Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Guide go to: http://nylayoff.blogspot.comFor information about PELP’s handbook on General Municipal Law 207-a/c go to: http://section207.blogspot.com
Readers of this blog should also be familiar with Harvey's blog, New York Public Personnel Law. The Internet address is http://publicpersonnellaw.blogspot.com. It provides "summaries of, and commentaries on, selected recent court and administrative decisions and related matters affecting public employers and employees in New York State. We frequently cite to this blog.
The prices for The Discipline Book are as follows:
For Tax Exempts: the Electronic edition is $195; the Loose-leaf edition [by special order] is $235 including shipping and handling charge.
For individuals and organizations subject to New York State and local Sales Taxes: the Electronic edition is $209 and the price of the Loose-leaf edition [by special order] is $249 including shipping and State and Local Sales Taxes.
You can find a list of the book's entire table of contents and a link to purchase it here or at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/Mitchell H. Rubinstein
March 03, 2010
Book Review: Korean Odyssey by Tai Kyun Shin
It should be obvious to regular readers that the Korean Odyssey by Tai Kyun Shin is a special book. This is because I do not usually cover non-legal or non-academic matters and I have never before reviewed a non-legal book. This book, which spans 291 pages-and which I read in two days- is easily one of the best books I have ever read.
The book is an autobiography of my neighbor and friend Tai Kyun Shin whose family was separated and partially re-united 40 years later because of the Korean War. The book starts out tracing Tai's life growing up in a town just south of what was to become the 38th parallel which still divides North and South Korea. Before the war broke out in 1950, Korea was one nation and Tai regularly traveled from his grandparents house which was to become part of South Korea and the home he lived in with his parents which became part of North Korea.
The book details Tai's flight to the South, at age 18 with no money or skills, to avoid conscription into the North Korean military and the amazing story of how he wound up in the United States earning three masters degrees and becoming re-united with a portion of his large family some 40 years later. Tai was one of a very few Korean immigrants to enter this country before the influx of Korean immigration in the 1970's, 80's and 90's. The book recounts how he met and married a white woman in 1963 and had three bi-racial children at the time of the Civil Rights revolution in this country.
I was completely unaware that the North Korean government did not allow any phone, letter or internet correspondence and how many Koreans were permanently separated from their families for decades after the war ended. When Tai got to finally become re-united with his mother and two brothers by traveling to North Korea in 1989 and again in 1990, he could not travel alone. He had to be escorted by a North Korean government official who also required him and his American wife to go to events praising Kim II Sung, the premier of North Korea. Upon being first met by this woman, they were told that "America is an imperialist country."
What is most fascinating about this book is the story of Tai's father who also came to the United States. His father, who also was unable to have any contact with his wife and his two sons (Tai's mother and brothers), remarried. When Tai had the opportunity to re-unite with his mother and brothers, his father (who is still alive today and living in the U.S.) did not want to re-unite because of the effect that would have on his second wife and on his second family. I cannot imagine the strain and family pressure that he and his son Tai must have felt.
It is apparent that Tai's motivation in writing this book had nothing to do with money. It was written because of the love he and his wife Joy have for their many grandchildren. It is my sincere hope that someone discovers this treasure and makes it into a full length feature motion picture. Until then, you can purchase this book for $25.00 by directly emailing Tai at email@example.com. I have no doubt that you will be glad that you purchased this book.
If any readers who purchase this book would like to leave a comment, I would be happy to post those comments so that others can see them.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
November 09, 2009
Book Reivew Highlight Filipp and Castagnera Employment Law Answer Book (7th ed. 2010)
Aspen just published Mark R. Filipp and James Ottavio Castagnera, Employment Law Answer Book (7th ed. 2010) and all I can say is Wow! For years, most labor and employment lawyers have purchased personal copies of The Developing Labor Law and Employment Discrimination Law by BNA. This is a third must have book.
Why? The answer is simple. It covers everything (well, just about everything) and that is what makes it so unique. The book is comprised of 15 Chapters and is written in Question and Answer format. It is full of helpful case cites, statute and regulatory cites. The book also has a wonderful index in the back. The book appears designed to provide lawyers and labor and employment professionals with a scholarly summary of the law with helpful cites. This can save a significant amount of research time.
This is not the book to use if your looking for the latest summary judgment decisions, but it the book to use if your looking to find a quick answer to a basic employment law question such as whether the FMLA requires paid leave or what the definition of a disability is under the ADA as amended.
The book also covers many topics which are usually not found in one book. For example, the FLSA, COBRA, HIPPA, the ADAA, At Will Employment and Exceptions, Negligent Hiring, Tax Issues, Personnel Files, Employment Discrimination, Employee Privacy, Surveillance, Safety, Copyright, Trade Secrets, Whistleblower statutes,Smoking in Workplace, AIDS, Ergonomics, ERISA, Workers Comp, Unemployment, Public Employment, Collective Bargaining, Labor Relations, Arbitration, Immigration, International Employment Law, ADR are all covered under one roof.
The book is available here from the publisher for $275.00 and its worth every penny.
Note, Jim Castagnera is a particularly good writer. We reviewed one of his prior books,Al-Qaeda Goes to College in Feb. 2009. If you have not seen that book, you can find a link and Adjunct Law Prof Blog's review here. If you check that book out, you will not be disappointed.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
October 30, 2009
Book Review Highlight Stone and Bales Arbitration Law
Katherine Stone (UCLA Law School) and Richard Bales (Northern Kentucky Law School) just published Arbitration Law, 2d ed. (Foundation Press 2010). The book spans 795 wages and all I can say is wow!. Though it is designed as law school case book, lawyer may find it to be a helpful reference. What I found most interesting is that the book separates commercial arbitration chapters from labor arbitration chapters. After the discussion of Pyett, the authors then raise the question whether this is still necessary. The book covers all leading cases and is full of helpful recent decisions as well. The book is also well organized and well written.
I would have liked to have seen more references to law review articles in the notes and was kind of surprised that there very few-particularly since both Stone and Bales have written large numbers of important articles. No doubt this was because the authors were trying to keep the book a manageable length-which they certainly accomplish.
The publisher describes the book as follows:
This casebook presents a comprehensive treatment of the legal issues involved in arbitration. The first four chapters address issues that arise in private arbitration, that is, arbitration that is the product of an agreement between two contracting parties. The last chapter addresses issues that arise in court-ordered arbitration. Together they will give the student a thorough and up-to-date understanding of arbitration law and provide a foundation for legal practice, whether in alternative dispute resolution or in the civil justice system. Extensive notes following each case provide supplementary materials and introduce topics for discussion.
Congrats to both authors. This book will be in my law office and I expect you might want to put it in yours as well.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
May 17, 2009
Alexander and Alexander's Law of Schools, Students and Teachers in a Nutshell, 4th
I was kind of surprised to learn that West publishes Alexander and Alexander's Law of Schools, Students and Teachers in a Nutshell (4th ed. 2009). That is because Education Law is unfortunately, not a popular class in law schools. Upon reviewing the book, I figured out why it is published. It is not geared towards law students-its geared towards education law majors. In fact the two authors are college profs-not law school profs.
After I looked at the book, I became surprised again. It is actually quite good and accomplishes its goal. It seeks to present a wide over view of this very broad interdisciplinary area of the law. The book cites to hundreds of cases and covers such diverse topics as special education,compulsory education, student First Amendment rights, teacher discipline, tenure, student discipline, racial issues, civil liabilty, student records, and employment discrimination.
The book spans 593 pages, has a good index and is clearly well written. My one criticism with this book is that it does not cite to very many recent cases. This is a brand new 2009 edition and I would have expected a number of recent cases to be cited.
I will keep this book as a reference and as sort of an overall mini treatise. I will also tell my students about it. However, I will not be recommending that they purchase it unless they are looking for a reference.The price of the book is only $30.00 which is cheap these days. Therefore, it appears to be a good buy.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
April 19, 2009
Book Review-Zeigler, How I Teach
Donald H. Zeigler, a popular law professor at New York Law School, recently published How I Teach (Tribeca Square Press (2008). The book, actually its a soft paper back monograph, spans 50 pages and was just a joy to read. Importantly, the book can be read in one sitting. Professor Zeigler, who has taught Civil Procedure, Evidence and Federal Courts for 30 years, outlines the tools that have made him a successful teacher.
The book starts out explaining how Professor Zeigler prepares for class. He introduces a theme that appears throughout his work-preparation, preparation, preparation. Professor Zeigler spends a significant amount of time organizing the class and prepares a detailed outline for himself which includes questions for the class as well as model answers. He also includes transition information from one case to another. He calls this material "scripts."
Prof. Zeigler also explains that he views the role of a law school teacher as helping students embrace uncertainty. It is through the questions on his scripts that students are taught to embrace the ambiguity in the law.
Prof. Zeigler utilizes the Socratic method of teaching and if a student is unprepared, he will be called on again during the next class. One tip that I found very helpful is that when this Professor calls on students he asks them relatively easy questions which are designed to stimulate discussion. Zeigler is also honest with his students. When I student asks a question that he cannot answer, he is not afraid to tell the students that he does not know the answer.
Interestingly, Prof. Zeigler likes to keep a certain distance from students. Though he runs a business like informal class, he calls students by their last names. He also uses humor to keep the class alert and engaged. Because some of his classes are by his own admission rather dry, he makes notes of the jokes he has used and repeats them in later classes.
Zeigler is also pleasant and polite to his students and he trys to maintain eye contact. He does not make fun of students who give wrong answers and if they are talking in class he speaks to them alone after class. He also wears a sport jacket and tie to every class to show respect.
Prof. Zeigler's exams are a mix of objective multiple choice type questions and subjective essays. He uses a number system to grade essays where he writes a number in the essay book when the student correctly analyzed a certain point of law. On weak exams he makes comments in case the student comes in to speak to him about his or her exam. When students do review there exam, he gives them a copy of an "A" paper so they can see where they went wrong.
One thing missing from this book is any discussion about the use of technology in teaching. Laptops, Google and Blogs, like this one, are a way of life for students. I am a bit surprised that Prof. Zeigler does not include links to particularly good web sites or blogs that discuss the topics that he teaches. At a minimum, this may stimulate student interest in the topic and demonstrate to them that cases such as International Shoe really do matter.
I recognize that Prof. Zeigler is an older prof. and I assume that he does not utilize computer assisted resources that are readily available today. I would have liked him to explain his thoughts about the use of technology in the classroom.
When I started teaching, I was not given any reference material. Frankly, I believe that this is because there is not much good material about the art of law school teaching-that is until now. This book can be very helpful to new law professors (both full time and adjunct). More experienced profs can benefits from it as well. Law Schools should seriously consider providing copies to their faculty.
Another review done by a Professor at Marquette Law School is available here. Purchase information is as follows:
For institutional sales (libraries, and the like) Tribeca Square Press can ship with a purchase order and invoice for payment. For individuals, payment is needed up front. Single copy price is $9.95, plus $4 shipping/handling. There’s a 20% discount for sales of 10 copies or more. Shipping in that case is $5 for first 5 copies and $1 for every additional 5 copies.
The book can be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
April 09, 2009
Book Review Highlight; Randall & Randall, Layoff, Preferred Lists and Reinstatement A Concise Guide
I am pleased to announce that Harvey Randall and Eric D. Randall just published their 3rd book entitled "Layoff, Preferred Lists and Reinstatement A Concise Guide." The price is $65, it runs 334 8.5 x 11 pages and is sold as a MS Word document. It is sent as an email attachment. The advantage to using this format is that the book is searchable. If you know the name of a case or some key words, you can easily find other authority.
This book fills an important and overlooked niche (layoffs in the New York public sector) just like the Randalls other two books The General Municipal Law Section 207-a/c Case Book.(reviewed here), The Discipline Book (reviewed here). This book shines as a manual just like the Randalls previous work. It discusses, in case brief form, hundreds-if not thousands-of New York Civil Service, Education Law, Milatary Law and Retirement and Social Security Law cases. It includes a helpful index and an appendix of selected law, rules and regulations.
Unlike most books, the material is not, by and large, presented in linear form, ie each statute being separately discussed. Rather, the book discusses both Civil Service and Education Law cases in the same sections. The book often compares decisions under the Civil Service law to decisions under the Education Law which presents attorneys who may be litigating these cases with possible creative arguments.
The book is also very timely given the current economy. Additionally, the book cites many recent decisions. Therefore, material presented is up to date.
Every lawyer who practices in this area and every administrator and union official who are involved with layoffs will want to get a copy of this new book. The book will be available on April 15, 2009. If you would like to recieve one of the first copies or have any questions, please email Harvey Randall at email@example.com Additional information about the book as well as purchase information is also available here.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein