Login Register Our Team Submission Guidelines Contact FAQs Terms of Use

Author Archives

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.

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.

Opportunities Taken and Opportunities Missed in The Morning Show

A lawyer’s perspective

I watched the episodes of The Morning Show with interest and a great deal of admiration for the performances of Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Anniston. I read Tom Weiss’ review of the show  here with interest and pleasure.

Because I don’t disagree with the Weiss review in broad outline, I’m not lodging a dissenting opinion. But I do want to talk about opportunities missed as well as opportunities taken in the production, because there were some.

I can’t help but bring to the show my experience over thirty-plus years with sexual harassment claims. I have defended them, “prosecuted” them, mediated them, investigated them, and served as arbitrator in cases where sexual harassment was part of the mix of claims. I’ve conducted training in how to prevent such claims.

Why Downton Abbey beats the The Mandalorian

Thanksgiving weekend brought, interspersed with the food, family visits and football games, my first round of holiday season film watching. In addition to the usual offerings from the Hallmark Channel, Netflix, and Amazon (which vary from quite good to stupid and silly), I began with a couple of films that are not exactly season-oriented, but that I’d been waiting to watch.

The first was not a feature film but a new TV show. We don’t have Disney Plus, but there has been a big buzz about The Mandalorian, the new Star Wars series centered around a bounty hunter from the planet Mandalore. So, when we visited my sister Audrey’s family for Thanksgiving morning breakfast, and they wanted me to watch the first episode, I readily agreed.

Do Tech Companies Control What We Read and Watch?

Two of my enthusiasms are films and books. My tastes in both are eclectic, spanning a number of genres and ranging from pure entertainment to more serious reading and viewing.

To that end, I have been an Amazon Prime customer for years, paying my annual membership dues and taking advantage of the “read for free” deals and some of the discounts. One of the things I have valued is the way that Amazon keeps up with my purchasing habits and viewing preferences and makes suggestions based on my past purchases and films viewed. The recommendations are frequently useful.

I have also read the recent criticisms of those who write the algorithms for tech companies as being politically and philosophically biased, but hadn’t experienced it until quite recently. And I’m still not completely sure I have.

Dark Psychic Forces? Maybe. But No Wars of the Roses Yet.

Marianne Williamson, who is one of twenty-something Democrats running for the party’s presidential nomination, and who has absolutely no chance of being nominated, recently made a few waves when she spoke of “dark psychic forces” emanating from Donald Trump.

Regardless of the accuracy of Williamson’s admittedly bizarre accusation, it does seem that the country is going through a rather contentious period. Yet history teaches us that it can be much worse, and that nations seem to go through periods in which Dark Psychic Forces (capital letters mine) seem to be in play.

I have written more than once about the HBO Series “Game of Thrones” and the analogies that can be drawn from the events in the story. The series has concluded, so we won’t (at least until the prequel is released) be getting any more analogies drawn from GOT for a while.

But fear not. If “Game of Thrones” is not available, then what about its historical inspiration, the Wars of the Roses in 15th Century England? For those interested, there are options for late-summer viewing and reading readily available. The Starz Network has release three mini-series based on the novels of Phillipa Gregory: “The White Queen”, “The White Princess”, and “The Spanish Princess”. Conn Iggulden has given us a four volume retelling of the Wars of the Roses, beginning with “Stormbird” and ending with “Ravenspur: the Rise of the Tudors.” These novels and films give us a painless way to absorb some history and ponder its relevance to our own times.

Older Posts