Friday, February 20, 2009

Lawyer Claims Birthday Is A Reason To Flake

We all know how bad the economy is right? The Wine Cask closed this week. This year's Santa Barbara Writer's Conference has been cancelled. Everywhere, people are cutting back and tightening their budgets. Well, almost everywhere.

Representing the Santa Barbara News-Press through its labor woes still appears to be a growth industry and the lawyers who count the News-Press among their clients evidently still have plenty of discretionary dollars to spend.

For example, in a recent filing with the NLRB L. Michael Zinser, the paper's union-busting attorney from Memphis, cited the following as grounds for postponement of a hearing originally scheduled to begin this Monday:

The weekend of February 21, 2009 is a weekend dedicated to the celebration of Mr. Zinser's 60th birthday. This is a celebration that has been in the works for approximately six months. Reservations have been made, locations have been secured, and invitations have already been sent. Family and friends from all over the country have already made travel plans for this occasion. Additionally, A. Barry Cappello and Dugan Kelley of Cappello & Noel (Lead Counsel) are scheduled to attend.

Sounds pretty lavish. I guess my invite got delayed in the mail.

In any event, the hearing in question was postponed by the NLRB, but for reasons unrelated to Zinser's birthday. The matter in question will now, in all likelihood, be heard in May.

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Oral argument on the appeal of the decision of a federal court judge denying the NLRB's request for an injunction which would have immediately reinstated eight of the fired News-Press reporters is set for 10 am March 12 at the Chapman Law School moot courtroom in Orange.

So far, no word of any conflicting birthdays which might warrant a request for a postponement.

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The layoff of News-Press gossip columnist Richard Mineards has drawn a protest from the Teamsters, who represent newsroom employees at the paper. Mineards was a member of the newsroom bargaining unit and therefore the union was entitled to advance notice that he was being let go. The office of General Counsel of the NLRB is investigating the circumstances.

Despite his abrupt termination from the News-Press Mineards still appears weekly on the News-Press radio show "Around the World" which is hosted by the paper's co-publisher Arthur von Wiesenberger. In fact, Mineards filled in as host Thursday while von Wiesenberger was in West Virginia judging a "bottled water contest."

They would have to be offering something better than "bottled water" to get me to go to West Virginia.
© 2009 by Craig Smith and