The Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference is one which I look forward to every year.  When I first came to Arkansas—the very first year I was here as a new professor—I attended the conference and was warmly welcomed by the members of the Labor and Employment Law Bar.  They are special to me and I don’t get to see all of them very often, so I look forward to this conference every year.

This year, thanks to Hope Jackson and Stacia Alvarez, my presentation was a lot better.  My sincerest thanks to them for the hard work they put in on my CLE outline, which was an Eighth Circuit update of all the labor and employment law cases in the Eighth Circuit, as well as Supreme Court cases.  They also put together a great PowerPoint presentation which was very well-received by the Bar.  So, again, thank you Hope and Stacia.

One of the highlights of the Thursday session was that Stewart Acuff, the director of organizing for National AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C., debated Michael R. Flaherty, a partner in Jackson Lewis, L.L.C. in Chicago, Ill. Alan Hughes, President of the Arkansas AFL-CIO attended that panel as well. It was lively because they were debating The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would give unions the right to have card check recognition rather than a secret ballot election if the majority of the employees in a bargaining unit were in favor of the union. As you might imagine, there are a lot of viewpoints on that and the debaters offered two completely different and lively perspectives.

The ethics hour presented by Mike Moore of Friday Eldredge & Clark, and Denise Hoggard of Chisenhall, Nestrud & Julian was great.  They were very funny and presented a really lively and engaging ethics CLE hour. That afternoon I presented my 8th Circuit Update to close out the day. A number of our alums were there including Eva Madison, Jonathan Carter, Jan Sterner, Jane Kim, Kristin Pawlik, Elizabeth Rowe, Mike Moore and John Snell.  Jan Sterner spoke the second day on the topic of diversity, representing Wal-Mart Stores and outlining Wal-Mart does to encourage diversity.  It was good to see all of them and spend time with my good friend, Denise.

I was a little sad to see the meeting adjourn on Friday, but I’m already excited about next year’s conference.