In re Town of Little ComptonAnnotate this Case
The Town of Little Compton filed a complaint against the town firefighters union, contending that the union, or its representative, had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law when the union allowed its nonlawyer business agent to represent it at a labor arbitration hearing. The Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee concluded that the union representative's action constituted a technical violation of the statute governing the unauthorized practice of law. Mindful that this type of lay representation of unions in labor arbitrations is a common practice, the Committee petitioned the Supreme Court on how to proceed. The Supreme Court held that, although the conduct involved in this case may have been the practice of law pursuant to the statute, because of the long-standing involvement of nonlawyer union employees at public grievance arbitrations, the Court would not limit this involvement at this time.