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William J. Fallon, 1985-1986 President of the National Academy of Arbitrators, encourages the use of humor to provide valuable insights into the solemn world of arbitration. The message is to “lighten up!”

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Procedural rulings during the hearing

Excerpts from workshops on procedural rulings. The subjects include 1) third-party participation; 2) “due process” protections; 3) subpoenas; 4) absence of grievant or key witness; 5) witnesses from the opposing side; 6) medical affidavits; 7) closing arguments, briefs, remedies; 8) token presentations, agreed awards, and disqualification of the arbitrator.

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The author discusses public sector interest arbitration in New England (except NH), where each state has enacted statutory factors for which the parties must present evidence (or stipulations), and if they fail to do so, for which the arbitrator or board may be obliged affirmatively to seek such evidence from them. The arbitrator must then …

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An evaluation, by advocates, of arbitrators’ performance in discharge and discipline cases, with emphasis on arbitrators’ definitions of just cause, the need for the appearance of fairness and for reasoned impartiality, and the use of the reinstatement without back pay remedy.

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Brief comment on practices and pitfalls in use of court reporters, followed by a discussion of unrelated topics: postponements and cancellations; fee collection; extensions of time limits; misunderstandings; pre-hearing procedures; conflicts between duty to the parties and obligation to maintain the integrity of the process; reluctant witnesses; and issues arising out of assignment of unit …

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