Changes to the BLET DLC Program
You may have noticed that we no longer have a list of BLET
Designated Legal Counsel (DLC) on our website.†
The purpose of the BLETís DLC Program that has been maintained for nearly 30 years was to provide a list of experienced personal injury lawyers so that the Unionís members would have available to them competent, principled legal counsel to assist in the handling of their claims for personal injuries incurred during the course of their railroad employment under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA).
As of March 2012, the BLET Advisory Board has discontinued the practice of formally designating attorneys, and will instead refer members to the directory of the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys (ARLA), an organization made up exclusively of lawyers who represent injured employees under FELA.† This move will actually increase the number of attorneys available to BLET members who are versed in FELA law.
Former BLET DLC were required to give free advice to our members. It is now up to the member to find out if the attorney he/she is considering for representation offers free advice in connection with their injury. That, and a number of other recommended questions to ask when interviewing a personal injury attorney, can be found by clicking on the link.
To review the letter and its attachments please see Letter from National Secretary-Treasurer Walpert which BLET members and their families should consider when in need of advice in case of an accident:
It is still recommended that employees who are injured in the line of duty contact legal counsel.† So often, when counsel is contacted, evidence can be preserved to help the employee when a case exists.† If the employee is unable to contact counsel on his/her own behalf due to the extent of the injuries, or in the case of death, it is imperative that the spouse or someone else representing the employee contact legal counsel.
We are still waiting on a current list of ARLA attorney
but as soon as it becomes
available we will post it on our website.†