Wednesday morning began with a discussion of the restatement of employment law. It’s very controversial anddiscussion there were a number of motions – some to table the work on it, another to reach out to a group of law professors who have a very strong interest and to make sure that they have a seat at the table during the conversations. Both those motions were delayed until later in the session but they ultimately failed. We began by going through the provisions section by section. There were a number of comments offered from all different perspectives on each section and, in fact, the discussion was so slow that we were delayed for lunch and had to come back to some of the later provisions after lunch, which was a change in the planned program schedule.

When we adjourned for lunch I had a chance to sit with Mary Kay Kane, former Dean of Hastings, and Marjorie Girth, former Dean of Georgia State. The luncheon speaker was Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the Fifth KaneCircuit and her luncheon talk was on the politicization of the judicial selection process and how that’s a threat to judicial independence. The lunch consisted of chicken with an interesting fruit sauce over couscous with raisins and shredded carrots. Dessert was a cream puff that was seated on apricot and chocolate sauce.

After lunch we reconvened and took a look at a proposal to amend section 301 of the UCC. That passed without much conversation at all. We returned then to the restatement of employment law. During this session, I did offer some comments on the public policy exception to employment at-will. There had been speakers who expressed reservations about that claim sounding in tort and I offered three suggestions as to why the drafters had it right. One is that it’s more than a contract issue in that there are public externalities. Those folks are not contractual parties to the employment relationship. Second, employers should be deterred from firing employees who engage in this behavior in the sense that it sets a tone for other employees who might report wrongful conduct. And third, an employee who is doing the right thing in the work place and trying to report something that might cause harm to the public could reasonably experience emotional harm for being terminated for doing the right thing. I think the drafters appreciated support for their position of this as a tort claim rather than a contractual claim. The rest of the day ended up with principles of the law of software contracts, but by that time I had retreated to my room to check e-mail and draft correspondence.

Wednesday night, Stacie Walters picked me up and we went and had dinner at Ceiba Restaurant. It’s a very interesting Cuban fusion restaurant. I had the soup special which was corn, chorizo and pepper and Stacie had a black bean soup. My main course was slow braised pork shank feijoada. It had black beans, collard greens, rice and traditional accompaniments. Stacie had the whole crispy red snapper veracruz with tomatoes, so frito, manzanillo olives, capers and pickled jalapenos. It’s always great to spend time with Stacie and that evening was no exception. Then it was time to pack up and get ready to head back to Fayetteville the next morning.