I left bright and early for the Labor Law and Labor Arbitration Program at The Center for American and International Law. I was a noon time speaker and the title of the talk was “Becoming Management.” That afternoon four of us were on a panel which included Phil Lyon of Lyon & Phillips, PLLC in Nashville, Tennessee; Yona Rozen of Gillespie, Rozen, Watsky, Motley & Jones, P.C. in Dallas, Texas; and Jo Ann Ross of the NLRB. The session was on “Ethics and Professional Responsibility in a Labor Law and Labor Arbitration Practice.” It was good to be there and to be with labor and employment law practitioners and HR managers. Center for American and International LawAs it turned out, I met someone from Northwest Arkansas by flying to Dallas. Well actually the conference was in Plano (which, by the way, leads me to another point… it is a long way from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to Plano, Texas). It was a pretty expensive cab ride. But anyway, I met Alan Kostel, Associate General Counsel, Logistics Division, with Wal-Mart Legal Department. Since then we’ve corresponded regularly by e-mail, so it was a great connection. He’s going to become a member of the Arkansas Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section as well and I look forward to his participation in that group.

During the course of the day there was a presentation by the NLRB on an NLRB representation hearing entitled, “NLRB Investigations, Hearings and Trials in Unfair LaborCenter Participants Practice Cases” which was presented by Timothy Watson, an attorney from Fort Worth. At the end of the day when the program was over (our ethics panel actually ended the program), we went back to the hotel just long enough to dump our materials and took off with Mark Smith to Fort Worth. Mark is Vice President of The Center for American and International Law, Director of the Institute for Local Government Studies, and Dean of the Academy of American and International Law. This was another very long cab ride. We went to a very famous Mexican restaurant there named Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant. When we went in, it was very noisy but it smelled great. By the way, during the time we were traveling there the weather was becoming more foreboding, but we didn’t turn back from dinner.

Our dinner group included Marion Crain, a very prominent labor and employment scholar who will be moving to Washington University School of Law with my friend Dean Kent Syverud for the next academic school year. It was good to be able to catch up with her. Also joining Phil, me and Mark was Jane Lyon and Doug Ray, the Dean of the University of Toledo College of Law. For dinner, the server asked whether we wanted chicken or beef fajitas or cheese enchiladas. That was the choice. What came out first were a sort of tostada with cheese and jalapeños. Everybody received one of those, and then there were beans and rice for everybody and then the entrees came out. It was very good.

Billy Bob'sBy the time we got ready to leave the restaurant however, the weather had gotten a little bit worse. But we took a cab to our next stop which was a place that’s also famous in Fort Worth called Billy Bob’s Bar and Saloon. It has a mechanical bull, a big band stand and dance floor, and a stuffed bull with a rodeo setting background on which you can have your picture taken. Thanks to Phil Lyon I had a picture taken there. Some of you who are on Facebook have asked me about that and that’s where that picture came from.

After looking around at Billy Bob’s and noticing all the celebrities on the wall and hearing some of the local lore from Phil Lyon, we piled back into a cab just as it started to pour down rain. Unfortunately, the cab driver did not want to drive in the storm, so he put us out of the cab. He actually wanted to stop on the interstate and have us get out, but we insisted that he take us to a large hotel so that we at least would have somewhere to get another cab. We called another cab, it came up, we all piled in the cab and told him where we were going and he also put us out of the cab! He said he would not go out to Plano in that weather. So, we were stuck in downtown Fort Worth for quite awhile as it turned out.

Then things got weirder. The original cab driver came back with his cousin who he said agreed to take us out to Plano, but we had already called yet a third cab. There was a little bit of a dispute, in fact I thought at some point we may even have to call the police Texasabout it because the cousin was very angry that we wouldn’t accept his offer of a ride. Marion, Jane and I let the guys handle that. About that time, the cab we actually called showed up. In the meantime, it had become an even stormier night. There were tornado warnings, but fortunately we made it safely back to the Embassy Suites in Plano. Many thanks to Doug and Mark for their hospitality and for inviting me once again to participate in the program.