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Read Gregory Dannis’ Article in the Recent CPER Journal

Oct 5, 2010 | Publications

THE NEGOTIATOR: LIKE A ROLLING STONE
By Gregory J. Dannis
CPER Journal August 2010

I have a confession to make. Becoming a lawyer and labor negotiator for public schools was not my first career choice. I was a musician and I wanted to be a rock and roll star. I actually made enough money to help pay for college and law school.  I think of this time as my personal “Camelot” – my one brief shining moment.

I decided to forego the chance for fame because of the unlikelihood of attaining any fortune. I did not want to be part of a business in which one cannot predict with certainty how much revenue one might receive from year to year. I did not seek a career in which one’s success or failure depends on the whim and caprice of others and their fleeting notions of what is popular and good.

I resolved not to put myself at the complete mercy of outside forces that could give and take with total unpredictability and without basic fair play. I disdained being part of a profession in which jockeying for power and winning battles is more important than addressing substance and confronting reality.

Yes, I knew that was not the life for me! I wanted to be in an industry rooted in rationality, suffused with stability and immune from idiocy.  So what path did I choose to avoid all these flaws? To be a lawyer and negotiator in that altered state of reality we call California’s public school system!

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