Archives for the month of: August, 2011

Since I didn’t get back into town until Monday night, my Pilates session was rescheduled for Tuesday.  Claudia Smith, my teacher, has been working with me since I started the deanship.  Blake Woolsey recommended Pilates as a way to de-stress.  What is it?

 According to one writer,  “The Pilates principals include the conditioning the entire body (all of the muscle groups), proper alignment of the spine through regular exercising and proper movement, centering and concentration, ability to control your movements, precision, correctly breathing deeply, and the fluidity and flow of movement. When correctly performing Pilates exercises on a regular basis the benefits include the lengthening of the body, alignment of the spine, and an increase in your muscle strength and flexibility.” 

The BFit Studio is located on Block Street in a lovely space that often features the work of local artists. Some of the exercises are tough, but I guess that’s the point-to build strength in those weak muscles. Claudia also has a terrific knowledge of back roads and has recommended some great riding routes. If you’re looking for a low key way to work out, you might want to consider Pilates at BFit.

Coming into the office felt like a Monday after being away the week before.  At lunch time, I met Associate Dean Circo at his office and we walked to Emilia’s on Dickson Street for lunch.  It was closed, so we went to Common Grounds.  I think I undid the work of Pilates by ordering the chicken nachos, but there was enough left over to bring back and share. We talked about family and work, and then walked over to the union to change the Law Review bank account signatories. Former Associate Dean Beard and I had to sign off of the account and Associate Deans Circo and Snow were to be the new signatories.  Believe or not, that took a really loooong time.  Sheesh. 

When I got back to the office Steve Clark, University of Arkansas School of Law alumnus and President/CEO of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, was waiting for me.  We’d been scheduled to meet and it had taken so long at the bank that I was late. Yikes.  Steve was gracious though, and told me he had an offer for me.  It turned out to be an interesting one, to serve on the board of Bikes, Blues and Barbecue.  Kinda cool, huh?  Bikes, Blues and Barbecue is a charitable organization that raises its funds by putting on a major motorcycle rally every fall.  Recently the organization expanded to add a rally specifically for women riders, Bikes, Babes & Bling (Yeah, I know.  I’m not too fond of the name either.)  I explained that I’d be away a lot this next year, but he’d already considered that and we’ll work it out.  I look forward to sharing my perspectives and ideas, as a newish, woman rider of color and social media person.

 I got a really exciting phone call later that afternoon, but I can’t tell you about it yet.  Stay tuned!

On the cab ride to the airport Monday, the driver wanted to talk about U.S. politics, and what’s happening with our financial system.  We had a great discussion, though he was much more informed about U.S. politics than I was about the Canadian scene, which was frankly, a bit embarrassing.  Then we shifted to talk about travel and about that time, we arrived at the airport in plenty of time before my flight.

I wandered through the terminal to look for lunch and found All American Friday’s but left after looking at the very limited menu.  Eventually I found a small sandwich shop at the end of the concourse. I ordered a turkey sandwich and diet coke, and asked for ice and mayo. “Oh, you want it all don’t you?” I wasn’t sure how to respond until the woman behind the counter cracked up and said, “I’m just kidding.”  As I was munching on my sandwich, a voice said, “Dean Nance?” (Sad, because I thought I was incognegro in my Harley traveling get up.) It turned out to be our alum’s parents, Robert and Nell Lyford. They’d also been at the ABA meeting, and we talked about what we’d done while in Toronto.  They also gave me an update on Charles Lyford, who’s working at the Munson law firm now.

Robert is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI) and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC).  He previously served as vice president and general counsel and staff attorney for the cooperatives AECC , which created the Leatherman Scholarship that is awarded to one of our LL.M. students.  It’s an endowed scholarship that is named after attorney Leland Leatherman.  Mr. Leatherman was a pioneer of agricultural cooperatives as applied to the rural cooperatives that were responsible for bringing electricity to all of rural Arkansas.  He was a 1939 graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law and served as corporate counsel of the AECC for many years.

The flight itself was fine, though we had to hold because of weather in Chicago. I made my connection to the XNA flight which was also delayed, but lemme tell you that was one bumpy flight.  Dean Leeds left the day before, and had a layover in Chicago because of the weather, and after my flight I could understand why. #choppiestflightevah.

When we landed, I thanked the pilots for a safe ride, which I always do if I can see them when I deplane, but it had special meaning that day.  I’d promised Mom, I’d visit her when I landed that evening, but it looked as though a serious storm was about to roll in.  I didn’t want to break my promise so I took her a dozen pink roses, gave her a big hug, and told her I wanted to hightail it back to Fayetteville to beat the storm, which I did.  And I was truly, for more than one reason, thankful to be home safely.

 

When I woke up Sunday, it was pouring rain, which didn’t bode well for our Presidential Showcase CLE presentation. I had my handy dandy Greenwood & Associates (the firm’s former name) umbrella given to me by Reed Greenwood, so I was all set. They are quite nice umbrellas. I managed to only get half soaked climbing into the cab, while closing the umbrella.  My cab driver was pretty bummed out.  He explained that he was a telecommunications engineer who had been laid off and had to resort to driving a cab.  He’d gotten a late start that day because his wife didn’t feel good.  He talked about all the different things he’d done to search for jobs, and his frustration with being turned down after interviewing.  I asked about headhunters and he said that he felt they were all looking for someone younger. Talking with him about his predicament added to the dreariness of the morning. I tried to think creatively of places he might apply and he thanked me for listening and offering suggestions. When we pulled up to the convention center, I pointed to the door and he drove on the sidewalk right up to the entrance.  This did not at all please the uniformed officer stationed outside, so I explained that it was my fault. The woman who staged the buses said “You’re wearing red, so you think you can do anything.” “Umm, no mam, I guess I wasn’t clear.”  She sort of harrumphed at me and walked away. “Well, that’s a cheery start to the day,” I thought.

  Our panel started at 10:30, and it wasn’t yet 10:00, so the first order of business was to locate a cup of coffee.  I went over to a guy in a non-descript uniform and asked where I might purchase a cup of coffee. “Go upstairs to the top, then go across the bridge to the other side and you’ll find something over there.” “Uh, ok, thanks.” Y’all, it was really creepy up there.  It was dreary, cavernous and empty.  I walked for a while, and didn’t see any coffee, so I gave up.  When I got to the main floor I asked again at the desk. They pointed across the driveway and towards the street (about two blocks—in pouring rain, mind you) towards a Subway. “Subway? How’s the coffee?  Is it worth going out into the rain?”  “Nah, probably not,” they responded.  Then one of them said, “Hey, come with me.”  We went into what was clearly a staff area and there it was—the elixir of morning. “Here you go.”  It was strong and without the fixing’s, but I was very grateful, and my fellow panelist, jealous.

Our session was well attended, even given the rain. Both the incoming and outgoing chair of the LEL Section were there, (no pressure) Gordy Kirsher and Rick Seymour, as well as Bill Mock, a friend and FB buddy from John Marshall Law School, and Harvey Nathan, a section member who’s a mediator and arbitrator.  Our topic, Investigating and Forgetting on the Web, was a popular one. As moderator, I had the easy job. My fellow panelists and their topics were:  Douglas Dexter, Social Media Policies for the New Digital Age: New Issues for Employers, Roy Heenan, Investigating and Forgetting on the Web: Privacy Law and Social Media in the Employment Context—The Canadian Perspective, Hanan Kolko, The Intersection of 21st Century Social Media and the 20th Century National Labor Relations Act, Lauren E. Schwartzreich, The Internet is Written in Ink: Workplace Liabilities & Litigation Hurdles in the Age of Web 2.0. We didn’t cover nearly as much material as we’d planned, but I think that was ok, it was more important to have the give and take with the audience’s questions—and there were a lot of them.

After meeting and visiting with a few members of the audience, it was time to scoot to the Margaret Brent Awards.  I’ve written about this luncheon in the blog before.  (One aside, the menu this time was unusual, at least to me. Each plate has a large piece of chicken and salmon with several salads, and there were cupcakes (yay) for dessert). The awards were established by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession in 1991, to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women lawyers who have excelled in their field and have paved the way to success for other women lawyers.  If you ever have an opportunity to attend this event—go! Who was Margaret Brent? Here’s a brief bio from the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession website:

Margaret Brent was the first woman lawyer in America, arriving in the colonies in 1638. She was a master negotiator, an accomplished litigator, and a respected leader. Brent was involved in 124 court cases over eight years and won every one. In 1648, she formally demanded a “vote and voice” in the Maryland Assembly, which the governor denied. Over 250 years later, Harper’s magazine noted: “By this action, Margaret Brent undoubtedly placed herself as the first woman in America to make a stand for the rights of her sex.”

The women who receive “Maggies” are truly amazing. The speeches given by the winners are the best part of the ceremony.  They are funny, poignant, pointed and powerful.  Rather than babble on about this year’s recipients I’ll let their achievement speak for themselves.  Their bios are linked here: Margaret Bent Award Winners.

 After an inspiring lunch I went back to the hotel to pack, work on a few blog posts and read. Sadly, I’d left my umbrella in the meeting room and it was gone when I returned.  It was still pouring rain late that evening when I went out to get a bite to eat.  Right around the corner from the hotel was a restaurant named Jack Astor. I’m sure you can figure out what the locals called it.  It had a fairly extensive menu, and live music that night.  The singer was performing Sexual Healing when I was seated. I started laughing because it sounded like he was singing, “Let’s make love tonight, cuz I can’t do it right.”  Maybe it had been a long day, but that was funny.  My barbecued chicken sandwich came with sweet potato fries and was just fine.  The rain had lightened when I returned to the hotel to call it a night.

          

Saturday August 6th, of the ABA annual meeting was “election day”, for both the Labor and Employment Law, and Legal Education Sections.  My morning began with a cab ride to the Le Meridien King Edward Hotel for the Legal Ed Section business meeting and program.  En route, my cab driver gave me a complete run down on the decline of the U.S, morally, politically and economically.  I kept thinking, “It’s waaay to early for this!” That was one time I was especially eager to exit my cab.  When I got to the hotel I ran into the usual suspects, several deans who’d just come out of the deans’ breakfast. The meeting turned out to be amazingly brief. Bucky Askew, who is the Section Consultant, prepared the Annual Report of the Consultant 2011and referred us to that.

 

The outgoing Section Chair, The Honorable Christine Durham, thanked the section for their service on the various committees and for their feedback and participation in the standard review process. The Vice-Chair, The Honorable Oliver Solomon, Jr., was also brief, and basically stated that he looked forward to working with everyone on the important business of the section.  The bios and positions of the incoming officers of the section are available at this link.

When the business meeting adjourned, I learned that there would not be a section program. That created a space for Dean Veryl Miles and me to spend some together. Since I’d not eaten breakfast, we asked the concierge for a recommendation and he sent us to the Over Easy, a breakfast place right around the corner from the hotel.  Over a breakfast burrito (which in no way compared to yummy burritos of El Camino  Real in Fayetteville) we talked about life and work, and I learned that she too, is transitioning out of her deanship at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.  It’s always a blessing to have quiet times like that one to be able to share with friends, and I was grateful to have spent time with her.

The next item on the agenda that day was the Labor and Employment Law Section elections, which meant cabbing it back to the Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel. Fortunately, there was a little time before the meeting, which I used to get out and walk around the area near the hotel.  Our meeting was also brief.  The nominating committee submitted the following slate of officers: 

Chair-Elect (Employer, 2011-2012), Stewart S. Manela, Washington, DC; Vice Chair (Union & Employee, 2011-2012), Joel A. D’Alba, Chicago, IL;  Vice Chair (Employer, 2011-2012), Joyce E. Margulies, Memphis, TN; Secretary-Elect (2011-2012), Mark W. Bennett, Sioux Falls, IA; Section Governance Liaison (Union & Employee, 2011-2014), Vicki Bor, Washington, DC; Council Member (Employer, 2011-2014), Gail Golman Holtzman, Tampa, FL; Council Member (Employer, 2011-2014),Douglas E. Dexter, San Francisco, CA; Council Member (Employer, 2011-2014), Samantha C. Grant, Los Angeles, CA; Council Member (Union & Employee, 2011-2015),  Wendy L. Kahn, Washington, DC; Council Member (Union & Employee, 2011-2015),   Howard Z. Rosen, Los Angeles, CA .

The membership unanimously approved the slate. Incoming Chair of the Section, Rick Seymour thanked the outgoing Chair, Gordy Krischer for his service.  Gordy then passed the gavel to Rick.  Afterwards all toasted the incoming officers with a glass of champagne (my favorite part of the elections).

From there I scooted over to the Fairmont Hotel for a walk-through, with my fellow panelists of the presentation the next day, Investigating and Forgetting on the Web. We had a great discussion, as you might imagine because these issues lend themselves to debate.  Our agenda for the next day was fairly ambitious, given that we only had 1 ½ hours, but that’ s typically the case. There’s so much to cover and so little time. One good thing was thought that the attendees would be able to pick up the papers  for a more thorough analysis of the topics each speaker discussed. 

That meeting ran a little long, so I had to hurry to my dinner date with Jim and Cindy LaVaute.  Jim is a past union-side chair of the section and a pretty funny guy.  Cindy’s a sweetie, and they’ve both been very supportive of me over the years, so I was looking forward to spending time with the two of them.  We had dinner at Sotto Sotto, which means “hush hush” in Italian.  I must have been pooped, or really distracted by the good company and meal, because I didn’t get any pics.  Sorry about that.  The restaurant is down in a basement and is small and noisy, but the food is great.  Jim ordered a missed seafood dish. I selected penne pasta with tomato cream sauce and smoked salmon and Cindy ordered the veal. Jim treated. Thanks Jim!  During dinner I asked them how they met. The story of their courtship was funny and sweet.  I enjoyed my evening with them very much, and had fun getting to know them better. We hopped in a cab on the way back, as it was pouring rain, but the weather couldn’t dampen our spirits, as it had been a good evening.

 

 

 

Friday, August 5th was the most tightly scheduled day of the ABA meeting for me. I thought I had plenty of time, but I realized there was no iron in the room.  The front desk promised to send one, but it never materialized.  I opened the door and asked the housekeeper, who remembered removing if from my room, but forgot to replace it. Then, of course as all hotel irons do (I don’t know why I’m always caught off guard) it leaked. Pressed for time, so to speak, I got out the blow dryer—problem solved.

I hadn’t yet picked up my registration materials for the meeting, so the first stop of necessity would have to be the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The ABA adopted a new system this year.  Each badge has a bar code and a scan of that code indicates whether a participant registered for a particular type of programming. As a participant entered the room, her badge was scanned. Though I could probably get into most of the events that day without a badge, it just made sense to go register to remove any potentially embarrassing situations. The convention center was quite a ways from my hotel and the shuttle was nowhere in sight, so I hopped into a cab. In fact, I never did see the shuttle pull up at the hotel the entire time I was there. My driver had a tough time getting to the center because of all the construction on the streets in the area.  He told me that there is a condo being sold every minute in Toronto.  From the looks of all the building taking place it seemed possible, but we both wondered out loud about where all the folks buying the new apartments were coming from.

When we pulled up in front of the convention center there were busses everywhere and a (seemingly) grouchy traffic officer making certain we didn’t dally. The center had the same cavernous feeling of most convention centers and to register you had to take escalators down into the bowels of the building–two or three levels. When I emerged into the sunlight I bumped into Jim Leipold, Executive Director of NALP and Dean Thorny Steele.  We talked briefly about the distance between the hotels where the functions were taking place and the pending placement-reporting requirement for law Fairmont HotelJudge John Stroud asked me to attend the luncheon meeting of the State Chairs of the ABA Foundation Fellows on behalf of Arkansas. The shuttle I needed to get there had not arrived, so I hopped in a cab and made it there with a few minutes to spare.  The meeting was on the 19th floor and only a couple of elevators went there. Needless to say it took getting into the wrong elevator to figure that out.  I wasn’t the only one.  When I found the right elevator another guy jumped in at the last minute with me and was hostage until the 11th floor.  It was an express and he’d wanted to go to the 6th floor.

There were only a few people there when I arrived, and as I checked in, I explained that I was a stand in for Judge Stroud.  Coincidentally, I ended up sitting next to Rew Goodenow who like me, graduated from Iowa law school one year before me.  He’s the editor of the ABA Journal and was familiar with the blog. As if that wasn’t enough of the “small world” effect, I also sat with Justice Doug Lang from Texas. We’d both been on a conference call for Inn of Court development, but had never before met. A fellow (pun intended) to my immediate right David Bobzein, knew Rick & Clair Ramsay because he had attended the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents when Arkansas hosted it.  He talked about how impressed he’d been with the event, Rick and Clair, and Little Rock. So it was old home week, in a setting in which I least expected it.  During the luncheon each state’s representative had to stand, say who they were, and report on the membership and activities of the ABA Fellows in that state. 

Once that was done, Kay Hodge (who by the way is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Section), thanked everyone for their efforts on behalf of the foundation and introduced William Hubbard the president of the foundation.  He spoke of his gratitude for the commitment of the fellows and noted that over the past 4 years, contributions to the foundation have doubled, which is especially helpful in light of recent market trends. He reported on a first-of-its-kind study sponsored by the foundation, which was conducted by Susan Shapiro on end of life decision making. The After the JD results are also available, and it provides important insight into attorney retention and firm climate issues among other important findings. The foundation is also undertaking a new initiative on diversity in the law, which includes the creation of a research chair and center. Bob Nelson, the Director of the Foundation reported on two additional studies conducted under the auspices of the foundation, Shari Diamond’s study on juries and Kenneth Hagin’s work on Darfur.

From there I headed back to the Marriott for the meeting of the Council of the Labor and Employment Law (LEL) Section.  The new officers are elected at the summer meeting, and the agenda is typically less full.  We received reports from our outgoing Chair, Gordy Krischer, Chair-Elect Rick Seymour (who’s now chair but not at the time of the meeting) and updates from our representatives in the ABA House of Delegates. One of the items, which prompted the most discussion, was the attendance at the annual meeting CLE programs. This year attendance at the sessions was low although the quality of the programming was very good. I’m certain the Council will revisit this topic in the future. We also received and update from Joyce Margulies, Chair of the Leadership Development Program, and Joel D’Alba on the status of the Government Fellowship Program.

 

Our section reception followed the meeting, but so did the reception for the Section on Legal Education, during which the Kutak Rock award is given.  Because I’d be having dinner later with the LEL Council I opted to spend a little time with my fellow academics at the Legal Ed. reception.  That necessitated another cab ride, this time to the Le Meridien King Edward Hotel.  As soon as I walked into the door I saw Bucky Askew, Dan Freeling, and Deans Raymond Pearce, David Yellen, Jay Conison & Rick Matasar as well as Susan Prager, Executive Director of AALS. Inside the reception I ran into Deans Chuck Goldner, Linda Ammons, Art Gaudio, Joan Howarth, Rudy Hasl, Bob Jerry and Thorny Steele.  Almost felt like being at a deans meeting.  It was good to see them all and to be there to have an opportunity to learn of, and recognize with others present that evening, the achievements of John D. Feerick, Professor and former dean of Fordham University School of Law.

Let me share a few highlights of his impressive career as noted in the event program.  John served as president of the 23,000 member Association of the Bar of New York City.  His involvement with the Section of Legal Education included chairing the Standards Review Committee, the Professionalism Committee, and the Board of Visitors Committee. He chaired a conference in February 2000, on the Legal Education Continuum that brought together law school deans, bar presidents, and executives and bar foundations to explore ways to bridge the gap between law schools and the practicing bars. John received a special award from the ABA for his work to help secure ratification of the 25th Amendment, and a book he wrote on the topic, entitled The 25th Amendment was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. That year, John received the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s D’Alemberte Raven Award, which recognizes outstanding service in dispute resolution. These are only a few of Dean Feerick’s many accomplishments and recognitions.  You can read more about him here.

I left the reception before it ended to hop in another cab to head to the LEL Council dinner at Sassafraz. The restaurant had a chic modern feel. Our group ate together in a private room and ordered from a special menu for the evening.  I sat with Nora Macey, former section chair, Barb D’Aquila, Marty Malin, Joyce Margulies & Barry Hartstein.  The LEL Section is my ABA home.  I’ve known many of the folks on the council for years, and they are friends as well as professional colleagues.  I respect their knowledge and experience in the practice of labor and employment law, but have learned much more from them over the years, than the law.  Being with them at the close of the day was a familiar and comfortable ending to a busy day. 

 

 

Thursday I took a late morning flight headed to Toronto for the ABA meeting.  The leg from Northwest Arkansas to O’Hare ran into a slight delay when we were ordered by traffic control to “hold” for almost 20 minutes.  Remarkably, we weren’t very late.  I had a leisurely connection, so I grabbed lunch and headed to the gate. I’d found a new mystery and was eager to begin reading it.  I like to read mysteries in which the protagonist is a person of color.  My recent discovery is written by David Handler, pairs a Jewish New York film critic, Mitch, with a State Police Lieutenant, Desiree, who’s a sister.  The jacket cover of Cold Blue Blood was intriguing, and the book had good reviews. So far, it’s a good read.  I was engrossed in my reading when the flight attendant came through the cabin with the Canadian Declaration Cards. I set my reading aside to fill the card out when all of a sudden the woman in front of me reached back, grabbed my tray table and flipped it up. Club soda went everywhere, on the card, my briefcase and me.  She explained she was trying to let her seat back up and grabbed the tray table by mistake.  I’d just finished cleaning that up (and being thankful it was only club soda) when I got hit in the head with a children’s book.  You know the type— a plastic coated cardboard book?  A little girl sitting caddy-corner from me was tired of being on the plane, and getting antsy. Having twice drawn fire, I was happy to deplane.

 

The customs lines were really long, so it took a while to get through them, get luggage and emerge into the sunlight to flag a cab.  Fortunately, I ran into my friend, Dean Athornia Steele (Thorny) in the customs line. We shared a cab to downtown, with the cab driver from Ben Hur. Sheesh. His driving was so scary I closed my eyes or turned to look out the window rather than watch him run over a biker or pedestrian.  It was a harrowing ride, made better knowing that Thorny and I were there for each other in case our emergency contacts needed notification. Our driver dropped Thorny off first at his hotel (lucky dog), and then chatted with me on the way to my hotel. That seems fairly innocuous, but if the driver is turned facing the passenger in rush hour traffic, well, let’s just say that gives an entirely new meaning to “rush hour.” The area in which my hotel was located is called Bloor Yorkville.

There was an unusual twist to checking into my hotel. It was the hotel’s 10th anniversary and there was a contraption like a bingo ball turner on the counter.  I got to spin the cage and whichever colored ball came out; I received the prize matching it. That turned out to be an extra 250 reward points. Thorny came over not too much later, to go for a walk and to have dinner.  By the time I came downstairs, he’d made friends with the Okee Dokee Smoky Lady. This all came about because he asked the concierge for suggestions and when she handed him the map, after explaining where the action was, Thorny responded, “Okee dokee.” She laughed and said, “We always said that growing up, but it was Okee dokee Smoky.” We all laughed together and then the two of us took off.  You may recall from a previous post, that Michael and I always end up having interesting drives? Well, Thorny and I have the same experience walking.  We started out, map in hand, to go to a highly recommended Indian Restaurant, Host.  Needless to say there’s more to the story.  We ended up walking down Younge Street and after some time I noticed that we’d not seen any of the landmarks that the Okee Dokee Smoky Lady mentioned in her directions. We did, however enjoy the energy of the street, the buildings and some of the more interesting businesses.

  Just about the time we wondered if we were headed the right way, a man (Thorny tells me it was a woman but I think he’s wrong) asked me for money for food.  My practice is to buy food, but not give money.  We were standing at a fruit market when he turned to me, and since he’d been looking longingly at the fruit I offered to buy some.  He selected cherries and lychees, and gave me a big hug and we were on our way again.  About two blocks later a guy (we both agree on this) came up to Thorny and asked for food, so we headed into a sandwich shop.  He told us he was Muslim and didn’t want any pork, but asked for a ham sandwich, so Thorny bought a turkey sub combo. Right down the street was a hotel, so I suggested we stop there to get directions.  When we told the concierge where we’d started and what we were looking for he laughed. “Did you walk?” More laughter, not mean laughter, tickled laughter. “Well, you’re a long ways away. He pulled out another map (because we’d done so well with the first one) and pointed the way back and to the restaurant. We were right near University Avenue which runs through a number of, yep, universities.  So we started our walk back up University, past Queen’s Park, and even came across a building for the University of Toronto Law Faculty. By now it was getting late, and we really did want to eat dinner, so we were more focused on finding Host.  This time we went past it in the other direction.  To make a long story short, Host is on a small side street and by the time we found it, the kitchen was closed. I was not a happy camper, but as Thorny reminded me, it was our fault. 

 The Host of Host was nice though and pointed us to another restaurant he said was very good.  It was right up the street (we could see it so we couldn’t get lost).  Opus turned out to be an excellent recommendation.  The food was delicious, the setting low key, and the service great. Our waiter was hilarious, and we relaxed after our marathon hike. My first course was heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella and for an entrée I had Guinea hen and mushroom ravioli on pistou vegetables with crème fraiche sauce. Thorny’s main course was venison tenderloin on creamed corn with shredded vegetables and sauce diable.  We thoroughly enjoyed our meals, happy that we’d found such a terrific restaurant after all. One thing we were both amazed about was that on the wine menu a glass of 1995 Inniskillin Vidal Icewine sold for $17.95, not a glass, but an ounce. Wow. After dinner, we both managed to get back to our hotels without getting lost, and that was a good thing because it was pretty late when all was said and done.

           

It was another hot one in Northwest Arkansas. I believe we shattered heat records that day.  Sure gives new meaning to hump day—getting over the hump of the heat!

 The first thing on the day’s agenda was the see Stylist Extraordinaire, Lora Williams.  Didn’t want to head to Toronto looking crazy–ok, at least not hair wise.  That’s no way to represent on a Presidential Showcase CLE (continuing legal education) panel.  I’ll tell you more about that in a bit.  Lora is a hair miracle worker, so if you need help, give her a call.  She’s at the J.C. Penny salon in Rogers.  Thanks Lora, for the hook-up.  What better time to take a new driver’s license picture than with your butter whipped?

 

The next stop was an office the Department of Motor Vehicles. Sigh.  Everyone knows getting your driver’s license renewed is a time sink.  But to my amazement, there was an express lane just for renewals and I was in and out of there in less than 20 minutes.  Sweet! Must be living right.

 From there, I went to check in at the office. I needed to pick up my travel file for the trip to Toronto, which is where the American Bar Association Meeting (yes, I know it’s ironic) was held this year. The temperature there promised to be a lot cooler, a quick check showed the highs to be in the upper 80’s, with a chance for showers (which we really need in NWA). The panel I mentioned above was scheduled for Sunday August 7th.  It was entitled, Investigating and Forgetting on the Web. Here’s the description of our presentation:

Every month there is a new site, or a new app designed to connect multiple sites and make it easier for users to link to each other and to share personal, biographical, attitudinal information and other resources and media. A panel of Canadian and American attorneys will examine the privacy, liability, and other potential problems raised by the constantly-expanding social media universe. The panel will also examine potential solutions, including whether the use of “cleaners,” social media expiration dates and other mechanisms to purge on-line histories could be used to benefit employees or to hamper employers and, if so, what the legal implications would be of using these new technologies? 

The ABA CLE Centre Showcase Panels are those submitted to, and accepted by the big ABA as a highlighted CLE program.  The ABA sections select the programs submitted.  The speakers on my panel represented different perspectives on the practice of labor and employment law– as is required by our section. Somewhere back in the early days of the blog I’ve described all that.  Suffice it to say that management, employee, labor and neutral perspectives are represented in the leadership and programming of the Section.  Joining me on the panel (and doing the heavy lifting) were:

 Douglas Dexter, Social Media Policies for the New Digital Age: New Issues for Employers, Roy Heenan, Investigating and Forgetting on the Web: Privacy Law and Social Media in the Employment Context—The Canadian Perspective, Hanan Kolko, The Intersection of 21st Century Social Media and the 20th Century National Labor Relations Act, Lauren E. Schwartzreich, The Internet is Written in Ink: Workplace Liabilities & Litigation Hurdles in the Age of Web 2.0.  It’s fortunate that that Roy was to be a member of our panel, as he is able to present a comparative perspective on our topic, which would allow for a more nuanced consideration of workplace social media issues.

Tuesday, August 2nd went by in a hurry.  Terry Huckleberry, Assistant to the Dean, called to tell me that I needed to review the Annual Report which goes to the Provost, Sharon Gaber. It’s interesting and always rewarding to be reminded just how much the members of the School of Law Community accomplish over the course of a year.  The report includes the accomplishments of everyone, students, faculty and staff.  Let me share a few of my colleague’s accomplishments with you. This list is not all-inclusive, that would take a lot more space and time than befits a blog.

Professor Dustin Buehler gave a talk on Baseball’s Moral Hazard: Law, Economics and the Designated Hitter Rule, at the American Law and Economics Association’s 20thAnnual Meeting, Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, May 2010. He also gave a talk, Casey at the Bat B and in the Field? An Economic Analysis of Baseball’s Designated Hitter Rule, 22nd Annual Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY, June 2010 (presented with Steve P. Calandrillo).

Professor Uché Ewelukwa received an award for SEALS best paper for presentation for her Homeless Children and the Law in America 1700 to 1900: An International Human Rights Critique.  She was also appointed Vice-Chair of the Intellectual Property Rights Committee of the ABA Section of International Law. 

Professor Brian Gallini published Police Science in the Interrogation Room: The Use of Pseudo-Psychological Interrogation Methods to Obtain Seventy Years of Inadmissible Confessions, 61 Hastings L.J. 529 (2010).

Professor D’lorah Hughes spoke in The Status of Poverty and The Need for Legal Aid. Her talk received an Arkansas Bar Association 2010 Best of CLE recognition.

Professor Don Judges published with Stephen Cribari, Speaking of Silence: A Reply to Making Defendants Speak in 94 Minn. L. Rev. 800 (2010).

Professor Chris Kelley received a Fulbright Scholar Award to Moldova for Spring 2011. 

Professor Ann Killenbeck published The Devil Is in the Lack of Details, in 85 Ind. L.J. 1261 (Fall 2010).

Professor Mark Killenbeck lectured on The Power to Tax? Richard Ellis and the Bank of the United States, at the Annual Meeting, Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, Rochester, New York, July 2010

Professor Karen Koch published an article entitled, What Did I Just Do? Using Student-Created Concept Maps or Flow Charts to Add A Reflective Visual Component to Legal Research Assignments, in 18 Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing 119 (Winter-Spring 2010).

Professor Rob Leflar’s publication, Unnatural Deaths, Criminal Sanctions, and Medical Quality Improvement in Japan (updated version),  appeared in 29 Zeitschrift für Japanisches Recht / J. Japanese L. 5-52 (2010) (update of article published earlier in Yale J. Health Pol’y L. & Ethics).

Professor and Dean Emeritus Bob Moberly spoke on Court Mediation Systems and Mediator Ethics, to the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, Hong Kong, April 2010.

Professor Laurent Sacharoff spoke on Miranda’s Hidden Right, at a Faculty Colloquy, given at University of Tulsa College of Law, Tulsa, Oklahoma, in November 2010. 

Professor Susan Schneider received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Agricultural Law Association.  The Distinguished Service Award is given to a member of the AALA who demonstrates a sustained excellence in contributing to the development of agricultural law, the professional development of agricultural law practitioners, a better understanding of the law by rural citizens; and other noteworthy service reflecting the commonly understood ideals and purposes of the AALA.

Professor Ned Snow published an article entitled, Judges Playing Jury: Constitutional Conflicts in Deciding Fair Use on Summary Judgment, in 44 UC Davis Law Review 483 (2010).

Professor Tim Tarvin spoke on Tax Exempt Status: The Pitfalls and Perils of the Tax Exempt Application Process, at the 9th Annual Transactional Clinical Conference, SkySong, ASU-Scottsdale Center for Innovation, Tempe, Arizona, April 2010.

Professor Elizabeth Young was elected Chair-Elect of the International and Immigration Section of the Arkansas Bar Association. 

My colleague, Steve Sheppard wandered in about the time I’d finished reviewing the report. He shared the good news that his legal dictionary, a project he’s poured himself into for the past few years was out in print—that is the abridged edition has been released.  The Bouvier Law Dictionary is intended to provide an alternative to Black’s Law Dictionary.  It “is derived from the famous 1853 law dictionary of John Bouvier, the dictionary used by John Marshall, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln.”  I asked Steve what distinguishes his dictionary and he explained that it is written to be accessible to both the novice and the expert.  In addition, the terms are given a great deal of context in the definitions, with lots of illustrations, which means, of course the entries tend to be longer than other dictionaries.  He said the entries are also organized with related words or terms, again to provide context for their meanings.

The Wolters Kluwer Bouvier Law Dictionary: 2011 Student Edition

 Looking through the abridged edition, one of the things I found most interesting is that Steve chose to begin the entries for a particular alphabet with a quote about words.  One of them was from Mark Twain and I’d never read it before I saw it in the dictionary.  Twain wrote, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”  

After Steve left, I wandered off to find something to eat and ran into Professor Richard Lee.  We met many years ago when we were stranded together in the Dallas airport.  It’s a long story, but the end result was that we have remained friends over the years.  We decided to grab a couple of peaches.  We were in luck. There were still a few left.  Richard came back with me to see my new (old) office and hung out with Steve and me before he had to go to a meeting.

Richard T. Seymour

Just as he was leaving Rick Seymour, the incoming chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section called to ask me to serve on the selection committee of the ABA’s Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund.  Though it sounded like a lot of work, all at one time, I hadn’t really been carrying my weight on the Council for the last few years due to the deanship, so I agreed to serve for a limited term.  Sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is.  If I believe in access to law school for less advantaged students, then it is incumbent upon me to act in a way that furthers that interest. Here’s a bit about the scholars, taken from the ABA website.

Snapshot of ABA Scholars:

In 2009-10, nearly 1,000 applicants competed for 20 scholarships.   The applicant pool consisted of 40% African Americans; 26% Hispanics; 12% Asians; 3% Native American; 12% other and no response 8%; 32% male and 68% female.

More than 50 law schools from across the country are represented among the Scholarship recipients.

Former ABA Scholars have practiced at some of the most prestigious firms and organizations across the country.  

All of the Scholars have committed themselves to public service either prior to, during, or after law school.   From volunteering with at-risk youth to participating in their firm’s pro bono projects, these Scholars are serving the needs of those within their community.

I ended the day reading my fellow panelists papers for a program on social media and the workplace that will be given at the ABA meeting in Toronto.  Once I’d completed the papers, I outlined the flow of the panel, and drafted (with excellent suggestions from Adam Kent, my Research Assistant) potential questions for the panelists, in case the question and answer session needed a jump start.  Dinner came from Damgoode Pies, their Greek pizza and a small side salad.

It was a pretty typical Monday after returning from the SEALS conference. The first thing I did was turn in my travel report to Jan Ingram, the law school’s Travel Manager, for fear that if I waited too long, I’d misplace the receipts—and then I’d be in a pickle. After that Marjorie LaRue-Britt and Joan Van Tol The Law School Admission Council (logo)  of the Law School Admissions Council called so that we could talk about the work of the Finance and Legal Affairs Committee, which I am chairing, for the next two years.  Their feedback was helpful and left me feeling a lot more prepared for the upcoming board retreat.

Turning my attentions to the upcoming panel on social media and the workplace to that I was to moderate at ABA Annual Meeting, I was started  by something I learned from Lauren Schwartzreich’s paper, The Internet is Written in Ink: Workplace Liabilities & Litigation Hurdles in the Age of Web 2.0. In her paper, Lauren cautions employers from relying on credit ratings, as credit ratings, “may be based in part on one’s social media activities.” Now, maybe that had occurred to you, but I hadn’t thought about it.  I remember from teaching about the Fair Credit Reporting Act in employment law class that there’s a reputational component to an “investigative consumer report” which is defined in the statute as:

a consumer report or portion thereof in which information on a consumer’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, or associates of the consumer reported on or with others with whom he is acquainted or who may have knowledge concerning any such items of information. However, such information shall not include specific factual information on a consumer’s credit record obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from a consumer reporting agency when such information was obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from the consumer.

I just hadn’t put two and two together to think about how social media makes this even easier for the agency gathering the information.  According to an article by Erica Sandberg, Lauren cited in her paper, “In their quest to identify creditworthy customers, some are tapping into the information you and your friends reveal in the virtual stratosphere.” Huh!  Sandberg explains why financial institutions are interested in your social media background. “Another reason credit issuers are looking to this data is to reduce lending risk. Social graphs allow credit issuers to know if you’re connected to a community of great credit customers. Creditors can see if people in your network have accounts with them, and are free to look at how they are handling those accounts.” I’ve linked to the article, so you can read more about it if you’re curious.  I learn from my interactions with presenters at conferences, whether they are practice oriented, or more academic in nature.  The good thing is that whatever I learn I can pass on to students. 

That evening I joined my Bestie, Carol Gattis for dinner at Theo’s.  We hadn’t seen each other since the ride to Eureka, and hadn’t had a chance to really visit for a while. Theo’s is one of our favorite restaurants in Northwest Arkansas, even more so now that Mr. Polite works there.  Mr. Polite (Ryan) used to work at Lambeth Lounge on campus and is a great guy and super bar tender.  So, since we liked Theo’s, and Mr. Polite, it is a win-win.  Unfortunately he wasn’t there that evening.  It was pretty quiet, the server explained that that’s typical on a Monday, but that was fine by us.  Carol had the blackened snapper (which is very similar to the blackened redfish that used to be on the menu) and I ordered the duck comfit with squash ravioli (and brussels sprouts but those are not my favs).  We both enjoyed our meals and the opportunity to relax, laugh and catch up.  

Special birthday wishes and lots of love to my younger brother Elliott and his family.  Happy Birthday Elliott. I hope this next year is a great one for you.

Sunday the 31st started with service at Good Shepherd.  I sat between two old friends, Janet Smith and Linda Taylor, which made me think about one of the things that is so great about church friends. Though my political views are to the left of both ladies, we’ve never let politics get in the way of our friendship.  In fact, on one particularly tough issue, Janet and I went to Village Inn for pie (well, if it’s gonna be a tough conversation there has to be a sweetener) and spent a long time listening to each other’s perspectives.  I won’t forget that evening, and the closeness we found because of it.  Linda and I have taken a similar journey together.  Having arrived at XNA at 11:30 the night before, I was a bit discombobulated when I got to church, but I got there early (a rare event, indeed) so I was able to get situated before service started.

One of the fun things about the service was that Pastor played his guitar and substituted a song for the children’s sermon.  It is one of my favorite children’s Sunday School songs.  To put things in context you need to understand that one of the things we are working to accomplish is to keep church “weird”, which in my mind is fun, unpredictable, engaging, and sometimes wacky.  So, when we sang, Rise & Shine & Give God the Glory, everyone was required to makethe gestures that go along with it.  What a fun, & surprising (weird?)way to get the congregation smiling and engaged in the service. 

Pastor Clint’s sermon was based on Isaiah 55:1-5 & Matthew 14:13-21. He noted that both texts deal with feasts, but we should be thoughtful about how we interpret them.  One way to think of these two passages is that we are being called to “radical situations.”  In the Isaiah text, the prophet asks, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” So Pastor asked us to think about how we spend our money on non-necessities.  How do we make our choices?  Is it the accumulation of things, or is it things that make life richer? Similarly, how do we share those resources with others? Instead of sending a hungry crowd away to buy food, the text said, “… [Y]ou give them something to eat.” We should think about what we have and how we use what we have to make a difference in the lives of others as well. Basically, the take away for me was the wise and generous stewardship of our resources.

We also heard from a guest speaker, Jon Felker, who shared with us his terrific testimony on the “She’s My Sister” Bike Tour 2011 in support of women in the Congo.  She’s My Sister is an “initiative responding to vicious acts of war that have left women broken, and children orphaned in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.”  Jon rode his bike from Florida to Maine this summer, in support of this cause.  He was an impressive young man, and the compassion he had for the victims of violence in the DRC was evident and moving.

After church, I headed to Pea Ridge to get Mom for our “date.” She decided she wanted to go back to Roaring River for the fish sandwich, so that’s what we did.  While we were there, a couple walked in dressed as though they were riding, so I asked.  They ended up sitting next to us and we had a great conversation.  We exchanged cards and I’m looking forward to riding with them when they are in the area.  Sarah may even be a recruit for the Divas. Yay! 

 One weird thing happened while we were there.  An older lady who had been giving the four of us the fisheye, came over and whispered to me (she was being discreet), “Miss, I hate to tell you this, but there’s a stick on your black dress. To understand why this is strange I was sitting down, and it would have been tough for her to see my skirt.  Plus she said, “stick” not twig, or grass or something more likely.  It was as though I’d been out hiking and came in carrying the woods with me. Ok, I’m being a smart aleck, but you have to admit it’s odd.  Since I was wearing a pink top and black patterned skirt, I said, “Ok thank you.”  Mom asked, “What’d she say?” When I told her what the woman had said she really got tickled, and in between laughing pretty heartily she said, “Oh, she’s crazy, that’s too funny” and went back to laughing. (The lady and her hubby were gone at this point.) 

After saying goodbye to our new acquaintances we headed to the farmer’s market to buy treats for the folks at Mom’s place and the law school.  Mom bought a watermelon that the owner helped us pick out and I bought a box of peaches.  Afterwards, I dropped Mom off at her apartment and carried the watermelon to the kitchen.  As I was leaving she said, “I had a good day today and some really good laughs. Thank you.” Can’t ask for more that that.