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  • BLET to review Designated Legal Counsel program

    BLET to review Designated Legal Counsel program [Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen]

    CLEVELAND, October 23 — The Advisory Board of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) yesterday announced that it will review its attorney referral program for injured union members.

    While meeting in St. Louis, the union’s governing board unanimously approved appointment of an internal committee to review its longstanding Designated Legal Counsel (DLC) program, and to make recommendations to the full 11-member BLET Advisory Board regarding the way attorneys receive and maintain designation.

    “BLET members rightfully deserve and expect that their elected officers, and those DLC attorneys who represent them in FELA matters, will at all times act with fidelity and in the best interests of the union and its members, and in strict compliance with all laws,” Acting President Paul T. Sorrow said. “Nothing less will be tolerated by our union and hard working members.”

    Injured railroad workers are not covered by state workers compensation laws. Instead, the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) grants exclusive jurisdiction for claims of recovery for railroad injuries to the federal courts, against rail carriers.

    More than 35 years ago, the BLET established a list of designated lawyers who specialize in FELA cases because attorneys handling such matters are generally more effective if they have both experience with federal law relating to FELA and are familiar with the railroad business.

    The BLET''s DLC program is similar to FELA referral lists utilized by other rail labor unions for the benefit of their members.

    Under the BLET’s program, FELA attorneys who apply for DLC designation undergo a rigorous examination of their experience, ethics, and professional standards before the 11 member BLET Advisory Board decides whether to include them on its list. The list is then made available to all union members through the BLET’s publications and website.

    Any FELA attorney approved for DLC designation must also agree to a 22-point written code of conduct developed and periodically reviewed by the BLET. The BLET’s code of conduct requires each attorney to act honestly and in a professional manner in all dealings with union members, and others.
    Standard lengthy disclaimer / warning / terms of use: All postings by "NSRLink" are fictional, public information, for entertainment purposes only, should never be taken seriously, and in no way should be construed to represent the positions, views, ideas, or thoughts of any railroad carrier, person, entity, organization, or otherwise. By reading anything posted or associated with the user ID, "NSRLink," any entity agrees they shall not be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar. Parties or entities not agreeable to these "terms of use" are hereby required to block this profile "NSRLink" and agree to not read or view posts so they will no longer be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar in any manner, and may do so via UserCP "Edit ignore List" & adding "NSRLink" to the list. Thank you & good day to you.

  • #2
    One thing I always wondered was why so few DLCs compared to the vast area where employees work.
    Standard lengthy disclaimer / warning / terms of use: All postings by "NSRLink" are fictional, public information, for entertainment purposes only, should never be taken seriously, and in no way should be construed to represent the positions, views, ideas, or thoughts of any railroad carrier, person, entity, organization, or otherwise. By reading anything posted or associated with the user ID, "NSRLink," any entity agrees they shall not be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar. Parties or entities not agreeable to these "terms of use" are hereby required to block this profile "NSRLink" and agree to not read or view posts so they will no longer be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar in any manner, and may do so via UserCP "Edit ignore List" & adding "NSRLink" to the list. Thank you & good day to you.

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    • #3
      Code of Conduct?

      It would appear the BLET is feeling the sting of Finally getting caught, which was standard procedures of operation, So now the have a 22 point code of secrecy pact?

      If it smells like a dead fish perhaps it is a dead fish!
      RoBear
      The more extensive a man's knowledge of what has been done, the greater will be his power of knowing what to do.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Robear View Post
        So now the[y] have a 22 point code of secrecy pact?
        It's not a secret. For your reading pleasure & knowledge:

        Rules of Conduct for Designated Legal Counsel

        1. Counsel must have an established record of successful litigation experience and must have tried at least 12 cases to verdict.

        2. Counsel must have a favorable rating from Martindale-Hubbel.

        3. Counsel must have current malpractice insurance in the amount of $1,000,000.00.

        4. Counsel may not be considered as Designated Legal Counsel if he or she holds any elected or appointed position with any labor organization.

        5. Counsel will be automatically removed as Designated Legal Counsel if he or she is suspended or disbarred from the practice of law in any state.

        6. Counsel is prohibited from engaging, either directly or indirectly, in the Union’s politics. This prohibition is all encompassing. Counsel shall not contribute financially, seek support for or against, nor attempt to influence any election or vote of any Union member or any Union issue requiring ballot or vote.

        7. Counsel is strictly forbidden from offering or giving any gratuity, payment or gift to any Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen (BLET) member, Officer or others for the purpose of obtaining representation of an injured member. Counsel is strictly prohibited from sharing any portion of a fee earned with any BLET member or Officer.

        8. Counsel must give injured member free advice in connection with their injury, and render assistance to them in related matters (RUIA, etc).

        9. Counsel may not charge to the injured members he represents more than 25% of the gross settlement or award, or 33 1/3% of the net settlement or award. All costs charged an injured member shall be reasonable and incurred as a direct result of representation of the injured member.

        10. When requested, Counsel must provide, in written form, a full accounting and breakdown of all expenses incurred, fees charged, or any other expenditures or deductions from the proceeds of the settlement or verdict.

        11. Counsel may not refer the case of an injured member to any other attorney for handling, except one designated by the Union; however, Counsel may, as needed, designate a local attorney to assist with the handling of a member’s case, as long as Counsel retains control of the case and remains fully responsible and accountable to the injured employee.

        12. Counsel shall take an active part in matters of concern to railroad employees and the rail industry.

        13. Counsel will, at all times, be required to support the legislative programs of the Union as the President may request.

        14. Counsel will make himself or herself available to attend Regional and Division meetings for the purpose of explaining to members their rights under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act.

        15. Counsel fully agrees when requested to attend any meeting (Regional or Otherwise) that it will be approved by the International Division and he or she will abide by the rules that all such meetings are to be jointly and equally sponsored by all Counsel in attendance.

        16. The appointment of additional Counsel will take into consideration conditions that exist in a geographical area.

        17. Any applicant for designation must be a member of the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys (ARLA) for three (3) years preceding an appointment, or if in practice less than three (3) years, for the duration of his time in practice.

        18. For an applicant to be considered for designation, at least five (5) General Chairmen and/or State Legislative Chairmen must, in written form, recommend such applicant.

        19. If a non-designated counsel or his representatives sponsors a competing function or appear at a function sponsored by Designated Counsel, then he/she and his/her firm will forfeit the right to be considered as Designated Legal Counsel for the BLET.

        20. Designated attorneys who have more than one office within the same metropolitan area as their primary office may have both offices in the BLET Journal/News within that metropolitan area regardless of the staffing at such offices. Outside the metropolitan area of their primary office, in order for designated attorneys to have additional listings, each such office must be staffed by at least one full-time attorney located at that office and by at least one full-time additional employee located at that office. Failure to have such employees located full-time at such offices outside the metropolitan area of the attorney’s primary office shall result in removal in the attorney’s listing for any such location. For any listing, only the name of the Designated Legal Counsel shall be used.

        21. The Designated Legal Counsel program is designed so that only an individual attorney is designated and not a law firm. However, it is recognized that members of a Designated Legal Counsel’s law firm may perform legal work on behalf of the BLET. It is recognized upon the death or retirement of Designated Legal Counsel, numerous legal matters in progress exist within the firm. For this reason, great weight should be given to the speedy appointment of new Designated Legal Counsel upon the recommendation of the retiring Designated Counsel. Such appointment needs only the approval of the Executive Committee of the BLET.

        22. Designated Legal Counsel will not be permitted to test or screen for any occupational injury or any member of the BLET unless the General Chairman for those members gives written approval to Designated Legal Counsel prior to any testing.

        23. Members of the Designated Legal Counsel agree not to accept or contract with a client that is already represented by another DLC without first contacting, speaking directly with, and obtaining the approval of the DLC that the client is represented by.
        Standard lengthy disclaimer / warning / terms of use: All postings by "NSRLink" are fictional, public information, for entertainment purposes only, should never be taken seriously, and in no way should be construed to represent the positions, views, ideas, or thoughts of any railroad carrier, person, entity, organization, or otherwise. By reading anything posted or associated with the user ID, "NSRLink," any entity agrees they shall not be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar. Parties or entities not agreeable to these "terms of use" are hereby required to block this profile "NSRLink" and agree to not read or view posts so they will no longer be offended, harmed, sad, defamed, inflamed, upset, mad, harassed, have their feelings hurt, or similar in any manner, and may do so via UserCP "Edit ignore List" & adding "NSRLink" to the list. Thank you & good day to you.

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