An important development for labor lawyers that I delved into a bit recently here has now been put on hold. I managed to point out that there would be significant efforts aimed through litigation at stopping the rule from ever going into effect. Yesterday, a Texas federal district court has stayed the Department of Labor’s new “Persuader” rule from going into effect on July 1, 2016. You can read the full 90-page order here or, if you’d prefer the cliffnotes, this ABA Journal online piece does a fine job as always. Beyond the substantial concerns that exist about how the rule would impact the giving of legal advice and the seeking of legal counsel by employers in connection with union organizing efforts, the crux of things boils down to whether the Department of Labor exceeded its rule-making authority.
Speaking of people who are union members, some of you will recall that I’ve managed to write twice before, using Johnny Manziel as an example, about how much better off professional athletes can be if they would retain the services of an actual lawyer to represent them because of the benefits they would obtain from the obligations lawyers have to treat all information related to the representation of their clients as confidential. Well, that didn’t work out so well. We learned this week that Manziel’s lawyer handling his criminal matter managed to send a rather lengthy text to the Associated Press rather than to the prosecutor with whom he was intending to communicate. On the upside, this time the lawyer quit rather than firing Manziel as his past agents did, but I’m starting to think that Manziel is just cursed at this point.
Unfortunately, this act of preventable negligence on the part of Manziel’s lawyer will, of course, spur some folks to argue that this is further proof that lawyers should never use text messaging to talk to a client or someone else involved in a matter about a client’s matter. Do not count me among those folks as I think such advice is entirely unrealistic in 2016. The only lesson to be learned is the old-fashioned, but harder to swallow, advice about being careful, cautious, and deliberate in all of your communications.