Correction of Name of NLRB Hearing Officer at St Xavier University v Adjunct Hearing

In my commentary on my appearance at the May 2, 2011 National Labor Relations Board hearing in Chicago, I identified the Hearing Officer as Regional Director Joseph Barker. I did so because his name appears at the bottom of the NLRB decision to assert jurisdiction and allow the adjunct faculty to pursue their American right to organise as have their full-time and portion of full time colleagues at St Xavier University.

I was informed in a virtual-anonymous e-mail, see below, that I made an error. The “judge” as it were in this quasi-judicial hearing was Field Examiner Christopher Lee and not Regional Director Barker. It is ironic that I had noted in my original post that attorneys who cross-examine witnesses should be identified. I will add that witnesses under subpoena should be provided either by signage or introduction the name of the NLRB Hearing Officer. I did not see such signage or did not notice one. I regret the error and corrected the original.

From: A doxos

Sent: Fri 7/8/2011 3:10 PM

To: Kirstein, Peter N.

Subject: Your blog on SXU adjunct organizing

Professor Kirstein:

“I was reading your blog today, particularly the June 15th entry regarding the NLRB hearing in which you participated, and wanted to correct what may be an important detail. The hearing officer was Field Examiner Christopher Lee, a designee of Regional Director Joseph Barker. Regional Directors do not preside over hearings, nor do they act as hearing officers. Practically, this is so the Regional Director can issue his or her decision based on a “cold” record, one without extraneous influence (e.g., witnesses’ demeanors, off-the-record conversations, etc.). Pre-election hearings are non-adversarial, do not involve credibility resolutions of witnesses’ credibility and are based on the weight of the evidence.”

I would dispute “doxos’s” contention that the NLRB hearing was non-adversarial. It was indeed. As I reported, the atmosphere was extremely adversarial. I was interrupted by university attorneys in the middle of a sentence; I was interrogated about a private conversation I had eight months earlier with a vice president that was also introduced into the university request for review; there were repeated objections raised as I spoke. Trust me it was quite adversarial. I am not complaining; counsel was doing her job and having been a deponent in a federal case as an expert witness, I am growing accustomed to vigorous cross and enjoy the challenges of interlocution.
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