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NLRB Supported in Test Steel Case by Winning Speakers


In a decision by the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals "for the Ames Circuit," John H. Richardson 3L and Thomas R. McMillen 3L last night obtained enforcement of an order of the National Labor Relations Board, against the "Thayerville Steel Mills" before a Langdell Hall audience.

The mock trial, complete even to the presence on the bench of three learned and very live justices, was part of the annual Ames Competition, traditional climax of three years of Law School training. Finalists were the Scott Club, represented by Richardson and McMillen, and the Sayre Club, represented by Alan S. Geismer 3L and Tillman K. Saylor 3L.

Douglas III

In the absence of U. S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, who was prevented by illness from attending both the Inaugural and the Ames Competition, Chief Justice Fred T. Field of the Massachusetts Supreme Court was on the bench. Sitting with him were Judges Augustus N. Hand '90 and Armistead M. Doble of the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Only a half-hour in reaching its decision, the Court gave special mention to the trial work of Geismer, who was Attorney for the Respondent, the Steel Mill. An exceptional brief by the Scott Club, written by six others besides Richardson and McMillen, helped to earn them a unanimous decision.

Student lawyers appearing in the case were sole survivors in a competition in which over sixty clubs entered in the first year. Moot court work is entirely voluntary, and no course credit is given.

Cease And Desist

The Thayerville Steel Mills, a corporation located in the "state of Langdell," was charged by the N. L. R. B. with violating the Wagner Act, by discouraging membership in the "Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers of North America."

The N. L. R. B. had issued a "cease and desist" order against the Mills, directing them to stop discriminating against union members in their hiring policy, and requiring them to pay to three workers the wages they would have received had the corporation not unlawfully refused to hire them.

A fictional situation is utilized in the Ames Competition cases to test legal situations which have not yet been passed on directly by the regular courts. Decision is reached on trial technique and merits of the brief, not on the law of the case, since this may subsequently come before the judges in the regular courts.

Colorfully bound were three printed booklets given out at the trial: the briefs of both sides, and a general record of the case. (The printer was non-union.)

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