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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Players in court

When the union went to court Friday seeking (and failing) to stop the Douglas administration from laying off some 80 workers today, they sat across the courtroom not from state lawyers but a private attorney.

Michael Marks of the Montpelier law firm Tarrant, Marks & Gillies represented Gov. Jim Douglas, Administration Secretary Neale Lunderville and acting Human Resources Commissioner Linda McIntire.

Lunderville said the administration decided it would be best to have its own counsel because the Attorney General's Office had advised both the administration and the Legislature on the legislation in question.

Marks' firm is on retainer with the state for labor relations work, Lunderville said.

Douglas and Lunderville weren't in court. McIntire represented the team at the defense table. She's filling in for Human Resources Commissioner David Herlihy, who has been activated for military deployment to Afghanistan.

One can argue which assignment is more desirable.

- Terri Hallenbeck

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