2011 Legal Elite profile

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James Vincent Meath
Williams Mullen

Title:   Chairman of the board
Other legal specialties: Alternative dispute resolution
Birthplace:  Norfolk
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Old Dominion University; master’s degree, Virginia Tech; law degree, University of Richmond
Wife: Nancy Louise Mikula Meath
Children:  Jason Killian Meath, 42; Peter Doran Meath, 33
Hobbies: Golf, tennis, fishing, travel, reading (newspapers and history)
First job as a lawyer: “Set-up small labor boutique”
Fan of:  SEC Football, New York Yankees, Washington Redskins, ACC basketball, U.Va., Virginia Tech, Old Dominion University and University of Richmond
Favorite vacation spot:  Most anywhere in Italy and Point Grace, Providenciales – Turks and Caicos Islands
Recently read book: “Marcus Aurelius – A Life” by Frank McLynn
Career mentor: Harry Browne, former general counsel for National Labor Relations Board and senior partner of Spencer, Fane, Britt & Browne; and Clifford “Dick” Oviatt, former member of the NLRB
Why has the National Labor Relations Board case against Boeing become so important? 
“In my view, it has been of critical importance from the outset.  The NLRB in issuing the complaint has alleged no discrimination by Boeing in a term or condition of employment.  It is alleging discrimination in a plant location decision.  This unprecedented theory ignores established Supreme Court precedent by thrusting the NLRB into an area of corporate decision-making that has been previously found to be a province of management.  Boeing has invested $750 million and created 1,000 jobs in South Carolina.  This action by the NLRB cannot stand, as it has major implications for future investment decisions in the U.S. by companies worldwide.”

How significant is Virginia’s right-to-work law in attracting businesses to the commonwealth? 
“It is of singular significance.  The success of the Southeastern states in attracting inbound investment in advanced manufacturing is proven.  That remains true even in these recessionary times.  The Commonwealth of Virginia consistently leads the way in being the top ‘business-friendly’ state.  Its commitment to right to work coupled with low private-sector union representation and no public-sector collective bargaining provides a very healthy business environment.”

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