University of Louisville Law Faculty Blog
I spent Friday and Saturday at the Fifth Annual Labor and Employment Law Colloquium. I attended many presentations, all of which were extremely engaging and informative. I presented Friday afternoon at Washington University School of Law on a panel with Thomas Burch (Florida State) and Zev Eigen (Northwestern).
I am starting research on a project that will look at arbitration decisions in the union sector to inform the debate over the adquacy of labor arbitration for deciding statutory employment disputes. The slides of my presentation and accompanying handout are attached to this post.
Thomas proposed regulation of mandatory arbitration of consumer, employment, and other disputes to make it more fair. My understanding is that his paper is still in draft form, but I will post a link to it once it is publicly available.
Zev proposed changes to the procedures used for mandatory arbitration of employment disputes, including updating the Due Process Protocol, to make it a more optimal way to structure rights disputes. His co-authored article is available here.
I am featured in the latest issue of Duke magazine, which goes to all Duke University alumni and friends (the magazine features 3 University alumni per issue, or 18 per year). The article is at http://www.dukemagazine.duke.edu/dukemag/issues/050610/depmini-jones.html .
Also, I'm now on the Board of Directors of a new national mental health institute, the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics. Others with the Board include Dr. Oliver Sacks, noted psychiatrist and author of Awakenings; Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, MacArthur Foundation "genius award" winner, and author of a number of books including An Unquiet Mind; Nobel prize in Medicine laureate Dr. Eric Kandel; and Mrs. Michael "Kitty" Dukakis. I'm very honored to be on the Board with so distinguished a group.
Each year, the American Library Association celebrates of the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians. This year's theme is "Communities Thrive @ your Library". On April 13, the House of Representatives passed H.RES.1222, a resolution to support the goals and ideals of National Library Week. This Saturday, ABC World News will air an interview about Twitter with Roberta Shaffer, Law Librarian of Congress. Next week, the law library's staff and faculty will celebrate the contributions and graduation of our library's student workers.
The March 2010 issue of the LBA's Bar Briefs includes an article by Charles E. Ricketts Jr., '68 entitled "Louisville's Public Law Library" (p. 6). The Jefferson County Public Law Library is a non-profit organization supported solely by private donations and fees allocated under KRS 172.180 and KRS 453.060. It's currently located in the Old Jail Building at 514 W. Liberty. In his article, Mr. Ricketts' provides a timeline of important events in the library's history since its inception in 1819. He also interviews Linda Robbins, the library's executive director, who reports that the fate of her library and many of Kentucky's county law libraries are at risk because of budgetary constraints.
On April 1 I spoke to the Masterpieces of the 19th and 20th Centuries class in the Division of Humanities of the University of Louisville's School of Arts and Sciences. I received the following from Dr. Allen Share, the professor in the course:
Thank you so much for speaking to my class last Thursday. Your talk about your own experiences tied in wonderfully with our book for that day--William Styron's "Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness"--as well as with our broader theme of this Humanities Division course in examining the connections between the humanities, literature, illness, and the world of medicine.
I so do appreciate your taking the time to do this, especially as my class followed directly upon the completion of a class of your own in the School of Law. I do hope that one day I can return the favor and speak to one of your classes on a subject I have studied or have personal knowledge of. One of the things I have always loved about the academy is that most of us are quite happy to be able to speak to each other's classes--I used to enjoy it every year when Dee Akers was teaching his seminar to third-year law students on Technology and the Law and asked me to talk about the history of technological change and development and to highlight some of the ways in which technology came to involve legal issues and questions. Part of what is so nice about this is that we just do it--if the more than two hours you spent with us were calculated into "billable minutes" I'm afraid that I'd have to ask the President and the Provost to siphon off some of the funds being lavished on people who have left the university and seemingly received golden parachutes for doing so! This does make me wonder--do you happen to know how I could get one of those deals?!?
Seriously Jim, I am most grateful that my good colleague "in the office next door" took the time and trouble to speak with us last Thursday. Would you be good enough to share your friend Elyn's email address with me? I should very much like to write her a bit about what I learn from her book, which I am so glad you told me about. I also will look forward to speaking with you again and to getting to know you. I was intrigued when you said you loved classical music "before Beethoven." I too love early music--I must tell you about the concerts I love attending at The Cloisters in New York City--but I also love many of the 19th century composers, with Antonin Dvorak a particular favorite. I am already looking forward to our talks about music and about much else.
Again, thank you Jim--you made a wonderful presentation to our class and I am most grateful.
Dr. Allen J. Share
Distinguished Teaching Professor
Division of Humanities
University of Louisville
303 Bingham Humanities Building
Louisville, Kentucky 40292
My article, What Hath the Twenty First Century Wrought? Issues in the Workplace Arising from New Technologies and How Arbitrators Are Dealing with Them, forthcoming in Transactions: Tennessee Journal of Business Law is now available on SSRN.
Here's the abstract.
Employees are using new technologies. They are using GPS, electronic mail, the Internet, cell phones and other handheld devices, blogs, Twitter, texting and social networking sites. They are using new technologies while at the workplace and while away from the workplace, while working and while engaging in personal pursuits. They may be using the technologies appropriately or to the detriment of their employers. Employers are also using new technologies. They are monitoring their employees, both in the workplace and away from it. They too may be doing so appropriately, or they may be doing so in a manner invasive of their employees' privacy or dignity.
Needless to say, the use of these new technologies gives rise to employment disputes that differ in kind from those of times past. Many scholars have written about the failure of the law to keep pace with the workplace changes brought about by new technologies. Many have also written about the failure of the federal and state statutory laws and of the common law to systematically and sensibly resolve employment disputes arising out of the use of new technologies. But one place that disputes arising out of new technologies are being grappled with in a systemic manner, and handled in a relatively sensible manner, is by arbitrators in the union sector.
This article surveys the types of issues being arbitrated, the criteria arbitrators use to decide the cases, and the outcomes of the cases. It builds on and updates my prior work in the area. Section I provides an introduction to the article. Section II provides an overview of my research. Section III addresses the types of cases involving new technologies arising as challenges to discipline for lack of just cause. Section IV addresses the related issue of employer monitoring of employees. Section V focuses on cases involving new technologies that have arisen under provisions of the collective bargaining agreement other than a just cause provision.