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Donald H. Wollettphoto courtesy of Komo News.

Donald H. Wollet, former McGeorge law professor, passed away on Sept. 23 at the age of 95.

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Former law professor Donald H. Wollett passed away Sept. 23 at age 95

Nov 17, 2014

Donald Howard Wollett was born July 5, 1919, in Muscatine, Iowa, and grew up in Peoria, Ill. He died on Sept. 23 at his residence in Freeland, Wash., at age 95.

Wollett's rich professional history included practicing and teaching law and arbitrating labor disputes between unions and employers. He taught at McGeorge School of Law from 1978 until 1990. Wollett loved baseball and served as a salary arbitrator, resolving salary disputes between clubs and players in the 1980s and later worked for baseball agent Scott Boras '77, '82, advising him on labor issues involving his players.

Wollett attended Bradley University and law schools at the universities of Chicago and Indiana. He served in the U.S. Navy  during World War II. He moved to Seattle in 1946 to accept a position on the faculty of the University of Washington, where he taught labor law, constitutional law and torts for 12 years. He also practiced law and was a founding attorney of the first ACLU chapter in Seattle.

In 1959 he accepted a position on the faculty of New York University School of Law. He co-started the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program to identify and report on constitutional violations throughout the country. The Hays program educated students and attorneys on constitutional issues. After NYU, he taught for two years at Louisiana State University, represented the National Education Association for 10 years as an attorney in New York City in the '60s and '70s and was a leader in bringing bargaining rights to public school teachers. His book, The Law and Practice of Teacher Negotiations (1970), is still referenced today.

He taught at UC Davis Law School from 1971 until New York governor Hugh Carey offered him a position as State Director of Employee Relations in 1975. He returned to California in 1978 to teach at McGeorge School of Law, and retired in August 1990. Wollett arbitrated in excess of 3,000 cases and was well known throughout the union-employer community, public and private, for the fair and friendly manner in which he conducted his hearings and the well-reasoned decisions he rendered.
He moved to Whidbey Island in 2000. In recent years, he wrote Getting on Base: Unionism in Baseball (2008), based on his love of baseball and his time as a salary arbitrator and advocate. He completed his autobiography, Dog Law (2013), with co-author Susan Crowell.

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