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Robert Arrington

ROBERT L. ARRINGTON practices law with the Kingsport, Tennessee firm of WILSON WORLEY, P.C. He holds A.B. and J.D. Degrees from the University of North Carolina, where he was admitted to Phi Beta Kappa. His areas of practice include commercial litigation, employment law and litigation, and arbitration and mediation. He is a member of the Labor & Employment Law, Litigation, and Dispute Resolution Sections of the Tennessee and American Bar Associations. He has served as President of the Kingsport Bar Association. He is a member of the roster of neutrals for the American Arbitration Association for the arbitration of commercial, employment and class disputes. He is also a member of the neutral panels of the CPR Institute and FINRA. He is a member of the Tennessee Academy of Arbitrators and Mediators.

He and his wife Deborah live with their three cats, Pyewacket, Miss Katie, and BJ. You can find him on Facebook and LinkedIn, and also at www.wilsonworley.com.

Thoughts and Well-wishes on Passover and Easter

When you write a column scheduled to appear at regular intervals, you face the inevitable challenge of the news cycle rendering the column obsolete, or the due date not corresponding with any scheduled event on which you can build the column.

Fortunately for me, the column you are reading now appears one day before the beginning of Passover, two days prior to Palm Sunday, and a little over a week from the end of Passover and Easter Sunday. That creates the opportunity for some philosophical musings on the significance of the two holidays, which more or less, but not precisely, coincide for reasons grounded in history.

I’ve written before about the relationship of the two holidays, and why their coincidence is not precise. Easter Sunday is always the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox on March 20th or 21st. That’s why it can vary from late March to mid-April. Passover falls in accordance with the Hebrew calendar, which is likewise lunar in its origin, but calculated a bit differently.

Training In Bias Elimination Can Be a Good Thing

Last week, I took a short on-line course on recognizing and eliminating bias. The course was and required of arbitrators and mediators on the roster of the American Arbitration Association.

It turned out to be a good course. It was not directed at “actual” bias. The Codes of Ethics for arbitrators and mediators already require that if you are biased in favor of or against a party, you must decline appointment. It was directed, rather, at subliminal, or subconscious bias.

Even in the Time of Pestilence, We’ve Much to be Thankful For

Okay, the election is over. Some of us are happy. Some of us are unhappy.  Many of us think it was a mixed bag, as is the case frequently.

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, and the pandemic is very much with us. The COVID numbers do not look good; and even though we see a vaccine (actually more than one) on the way, doses are not going to arrive in any numbers until sometime next year.

Sadly, the Risks of COVID Are Unavoidable

As we all know, President Trump has tested positive for, and has been hospitalized with, COVID-19. As I write this, he appears to have responded well to treatment, and has been released from the hospital.

You can judge for yourself the snickering delight of the chattering media, and some Democrats, at his positive test, and those of other GOP politicians. This is perhaps understandable, although those who are actively pulling for their death are behaving in a very ugly manner.

But rather than dwelling on that, I am writing about how versions of what we have seen with the President, his staff, and others around them are being re-enacted across the country in schools and in businesses.

What Covid Changes will be “Permanent?”

A little over a month ago, I was in a ZOOM meeting hosted by the Bristol Bar Association, in which all of the judges in the Second Judicial District spoke about the measures they were taking concerning in-person hearings, remote hearings, and social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in light of the directives of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

One of the lawyers asked, “When are things going back to normal?” One of the judges (I can’t remember which) immediately answered, “Never.” He added that what he meant was that a timeframe for restoration of normalcy could not be established at that time. I suspect his answer to the same question would be the same today.

Independence Day Remains Worth Celebrating

Tomorrow is Independence Day, the 4th of July.  Most Americans will do their best to celebrate the holiday, despite the limitations of the present pandemic.

That’s as it should be. While the bold Declaration would not be brought to fruition on the battlefields of the Revolution for another five years, and not recognized by Treaty for another two years after that, the Declaration was one of history’s turning points, and set the infant nation on a course of republican representative government, in which the sovereign would be elected and there would be no hereditary aristocracy.

Mamelukes Is a Fitting Final Novel in the Jerry Pournelle Oeuvre

Last night, I finished reading the last novel by the late Jerry Pournelle I will ever read.

For me, who has been a Pournelle fan for almost half a century, it was a sad moment. In my last review, of Starborn and Godsons, I reviewed Pournelle’s literary career, so I won’t repeat it. It is extraordinary.

Whither the Schools and Colleges?

I don’t want to get involved in the re-opening debate in this column, except to say that I’m for it, but want it handled in stages and with care. This column will address education only, with an emphasis on colleges and universities.

Book Review: Enjoying Starborn & Godsons and Remembering Dr. Jerry E. Pournelle

Just this past week, I finished Starborn & Godsons by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Steven Barnes, the third novel in a trilogy about Earth’s first interstellar colony, a planet called Avalon orbiting Tau Ceti.

Entertainment in the Time of Pestilence

About two weeks ago (as you read this column), just as the coronavirus lockdown was beginning, I decided I needed a break from anything too contemporary, and to watch something “historical” for entertainment. I picked re-watching World Without End, the mini-series based on the novel by Kenneth Follett.

I wound up laughing at myself. It had been almost ten years since I had read the novel, and seven or eight since I watched the series. I had forgotten that a large part of the story deals with how the principal characters dealt with the Bubonic Plague of the mid 1300s.

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