James R. LaVaute

With over 45 years of experience, James R. LaVaute is at the forefront of representing labor unions and is experienced in a wide variety of proceedings, including contract negotiations, National Labor Relations Board cases, arbitration and litigation. In addition, Jim serves as counsel to multi-employer employee benefit plans in the construction industry. In his role as plan counsel, he provides advice to plan trustees and administrators on day-to-day ERISA issues.

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James R. LaVaute
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Areas Of Practice
Education
  • Juris Doctor, cum laude, 1972, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York.
    • Associate Editor, Syracuse Law Review
  • Bachelor of Science, 1969, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, New York

Bar & Court Admissions
  • New York State (1973)
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (1975)
  • United States District Court for the Western District of New York (1977)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1981)
  • United States Supreme Court (1982)
  • United Sates Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (1990)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (1991)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2004)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (2007)

Significant Representations
  • Tried cases involving unique effects bargaining issues to successful conclusions. In one case, obtained thousands of dollars in back pay for employees deprived of the use of company vehicles while off-hours. In another case, obtained half-million dollars in back pay and a restriction of the employer's future use of subcontractors to do bargaining unit work.
  • Successfully litigated a high-profile plant relocation case whereby millions of dollars of back pay was collected and the union was awarded recognition at the relocated workplace.
  • Successfully litigated numerous cases to either stop double-breasted operations or secure favorable long-term union contracts to limit double breasting.


  • Successfully litigated NLRB Section 10(j) injunction cases. In one instance, we obtained an order barring a plant relocation within the United States. In another, we obtained an order requiring recognition of the union and application of the labor contract by a successor employer at a relocated workplace.


Publications
  • Editor, "The Developing Labor Law," Third Edition (P. Hardin, Ed. in Chief, 1992).
  • Associate Editor, "The Developing Labor Law," C.J. Morris Edition, 1983, Editor-in-Chief, Fifth Supplement, 1982-1988 and Associate Editor, 1982-1984, 1982-1985 and 1982-1986 Supplements.

Speaking Engagements
  • Speaker, 2012 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, The IBEW Third District Utility Business Managers Workshop, Turning Stone, Verona, New York, Protecting Against Loss of Unit Work to Affiliated Companies.
  • Speaker, 2009 Niagara/Orleans Labor Council, Steward Training Seminar, Lockport, New York, Union Representation: Responsibilities and Strategies.


  • Speaker, 2009 IBEW New York State Organizers and Membership Development Representatives Seminar, Corning, New York, Picketing, Handbilling and Secondary Boycotts.
  • Speaker, 2007 AFL-CIO LCC Coordinating Committee Conference, Chicago, Illinois, Unfair Labor Practice Cases.


  • Faculty Member, National Labor Relations Board Regional Conferences, Buffalo, New York, 1982, 1985, 1989, and 2000.
  • Speaker, 1995 ABA 60th Anniversary Celebration of the National Labor Relations Act, Washington, D.C., Injunctions under the NLRA.
  • Co-Chair, 1994 ABA National Institute, Basic Labor and Employment Law Today, Arlington, Virginia.


  • Co-Chair, National Labor Relations Board Regional Conference, New York, N.Y., 1992 and Buffalo, New York, 1994.


  • Program Chair, 1993 ABA National Institute, Basic Labor and Employment Law Today.
  • Blitman & King LLP Annual Client Seminar Speaker for over 25 years.

Affiliations
  • American Bar Association
  • Chair, Section of Labor and Employment Law 2007-2008
  • Chair-Elect, Section of Labor and Employment Law, 2006-2007
  • Vice Chair, Section of Labor and Employment Law, 2004-2006
  • Council Member
  • Co-Chair ABA Committee on the Development of the Law
  • Under the National Labor Relations Act, 1988-1992
  • Co-Editor The Developing Labor Law, Third Edition
  • (BNA and ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, 1992)
  • Section of Labor and Employment Law, National Institute Co-Chair
  • Section of Labor and Employment Law, Annual Meeting Program Co-Chair
  • Founding Governor and Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Inc.
  • American Arbitration Association
  • National Arbitration Task Force
  • National Labor Relations Board
  • National and Regional Conferences