AL KAMEN & LAURA A. KIERNAN
October 4, 1982
The latest chapter in the squabble between
public interest lawyer William A. Dobrovir and Arnold & Porter's
Stephen Sacks was filed last week in U.S. District Court.
Two months ago, Sacks, who represents a Laborers
International Union official, accused Dobrovir, who represents
dissident union members wanting to oust the leadership, of making
a "highly improper" proposal.
Sacks said Dobrovir suggested he would recommend
that his clients drop their case against the official, union general
counsel Robert J. Connerton, if Connerton could influence the
choice of a new union president acceptable to the dissidents.
Sacks said the offer supports Connerton's
claim that the court suit is part of the dissidents' plan to take
over the 650,000-member union. Sacks said he would call Dobrovir
as a witness, a move which, under D.C. Bar rules, would require
Dobrovir to get off the case, Sacks said.
In a response filed with U.S. District Judge
John Garrett Penn, Dobrovir said Sacks' version of their conversations
was "inaccurate and incomplete" and that his proposal
in no way warrants his removal from the case.
Dobrovir says he was simply initiating settlement
discussions, which he thought would be kept "lawyer-to lawyer"
since such discussions are customarily privileged and not used
against either side in a case.
Dobrovir said his clients were unaware of
his discussions with Sacks, and that therefore there are no grounds
for his appearance as a witness or for his removal from the case.
(Dobrovir, by the way, is being represented in all this by William
H. Allen at Covington & Burling).
Dobrovir also denies that he told Sacks in
a telephone call two days later that he was concerned that his
comments might seem like an attempt to use the court process to
accomplish a political gain for his clients.
According to Dobrovir, he thought Sacks and
Connerton might make such a claim. Dobrovir says he never thought
there was any such abuse. Stay tuned . . . . .