Labor and Employment Law

Ca. Labor & Emp't Rev. January 2014, Volume 28, No. 1

Message From the Chair

By Carol Koenig

Carol Koenig is a non-equity partner at Wylie, McBride, Platten & Renner. Her primary area of practice is labor law, representing both private and public sector unions and their members throughout the state in all aspects of labor law and relations. Ms. Koenig is the author of the Fair Labor Standards Act chapter in the Section’s treatise, California Public Sector Employment Law. She spends much of her limited spare time raising funds for non-profit organizations by participating in endurance events such as triathlons, bike rides, and running events.

How can it be 2014 already? Wasn’t Labor Day just a few weeks ago? Wasn’t it just a few months ago that I finally stopped writing 2012 instead of 2013? When I was a kid (those many long years ago), it seemed like an eternity between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But now, time flies by and it seems there’s barely a blink of an eye between the beginning of summer and the end of winter. And, no matter how much we all lament about seeing Christmas decorations in the stores in July, it always seems like Christmas Day sneaks up on us and suddenly the holidays are here before we are quite ready for them and then they are gone in a blur and life is back to "normal"—which, for most of us in the legal profession, means back to just under warp speed.

This sense of time passing at an unnatural speed appears to be ubiquitous in my life of late. It certainly is applicable to writing the Message from the Chair. I have two months between Messages; two months to come up with an idea; two months to begin drafting it and then perfecting it. Yet, here I am at the last minute with a deadline looming and nothing written. It reminds me of the situation in which so many of us in the legal profession constantly find ourselves: we know the brief is due in 30 days; we have researched it; we know the facts; we know the arguments; we even have draft versions floating around in our heads. You know what I mean—the ones we mentally wrote while driving, while at a boring meeting, while in the shower, and, all too often, while lying in bed at night. We know how important the brief is so we spend hours and hours thinking about it. Then, all of a sudden the actual final written brief is due—like tomorrow or, if we are lucky, in two or three days and it isn’t anywhere close to being finished. So, with the adrenaline now flowing, we hunker down and get it done. I guess you could say the following is the result of my "hunkering down" in regard to this Message.

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