Client Bulletin #496


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This week, in an apparent attempt to minimize the damage from the Noel Canning decision, President Obama announced three more nominations to the National Labor Relations Board – two Republicans, and one Democrat. These new nominations, coupled with the February nominations of current "recess appointees" Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, would give the Board its first full slate since August 2010 if approved by the Senate.

The latest nominees include current Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, a Democrat and union-side labor lawyer from Buffalo, whose term will otherwise expire in August. The two Republican appointees are Philip Miscimarra of Chicago and Harry I. Johnson, III, of Los Angeles, both management-side labor and employment lawyers.

Meanwhile, Block and Griffin, both Democrats, are continuing to serve as "recess appointees," even though their appointments were held to be invalid by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the Noel Canning case and even though Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has called for them to resign while their nominations are pending.

The reaction to the President's latest three appointments is expected to be positive overall. The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill intended to block the Board from making decisions while acting without a quorum of three validly appointed members. However, Miscimarra and Johnson both appear to be extremely well-suited to articulate views that will provide a refreshing contrast with the one-sided, results-oriented approach favoring organized labor that has been demonstrated so far by Pearce, Block, and Griffin.

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About Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP
Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP has counseled employers on labor and employment law matters, exclusively, since 1946. A "Go To" Law Firm in Corporate Counsel and Fortune Magazine, it represents Fortune 500 corporations and small companies across the country. Its attorneys are consistently rated as top lawyers in their practice areas by sources such as Chambers USA, Martindale-Hubbell, and Top One Hundred Labor Attorneys in the United States, and the firm is top-ranked by the U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers Best Law Firms survey. More than 140 lawyers partner with clients to provide cost-effective legal services and sound preventive advice to enhance the employer-employee relationship. Offices are located in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. For more information, visit


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