The hearing will be conducted by an administrative law judge of the National Labor Relations Board who will preside at the hearing as an independent, impartial finder of the facts and applicable law whose decision in due time will be served on the parties. The offices of the administrative law judges are located in Arlington, VA; San Francisco, California; New York, N.Y.; and Atlanta, Georgia.

At the date, hour, and place for which the hearing is set, the administrative law judge, upon the joint request of the parties, will conduct a "prehearing" conference, prior to or shortly after the opening of the hearing, to ensure that the issues are sharp and clearcut; or the administrative law judge may independently conduct such a conference. The administrative law judge will preside at such conference, but may, if the occasion arises, permit the parties to engage in private discussions. The conference will not necessarily be recorded, but it may well be that the labors of the conference will be evinced in the ultimate record, for example, in the form of statements of position, stipulations, and concessions. Except under unusual circumstances, the administrative law judge conducting the prehearing conference will be the one who will conduct the hearing; and it is expected that the formal hearing will commence or be resumed immediately upon completion of the prehearing conference. No prejudice will result to any party unwilling to participate in or make stipulations or concessions during any prehearing conference.

(This is not to be construed as preventing the parties from meeting earlier for similar purposes. To the contrary, the parties are encouraged to meet prior to the time set for hearing in an effort to narrow the issues.)

Parties may be represented by an attorney or other representative and present evidence relevant to the issues. All parties appearing before this hearing who have or whose witnesses have handicaps falling within the provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and 29 C.F.R. 100.603, and who in order to participate in this hearing need appropriate auxiliary aids, as defined in 29 C.F.R. 100.603, should notify the Regional Director as soon as possible and request the necessary assistance.

An official reporter will make the only official transcript of the proceedings, and all citations in briefs and arguments must refer to the official record. The Board will not certify any transcript other than the official transcript for use in any court litigation. Proposed corrections of the transcript should be submitted, either by way of stipulation or motion, to the administrative law judge for approval.

All matter that is spoken in the hearing room while the hearing is in session will be recorded by the official reporter unless the administrative law judge specifically directs off-the-record discussion. In the event that any party wishes to make off-the-record statements, a request to go off the record should be directed to the administrative law judge and not to the official reporter.

Statements of reasons in support of motions and objections should be specific and concise. The administrative law judge will allow an automatic exception to all adverse rulings and, upon appropriate order, an objection and exception will be permitted to stand to an entire line of questioning.

All exhibits offered in evidence shall be in duplicate. Copies of exhibits should be supplied to the administrative law judge and other parties at the time the exhibits are offered in evidence. If a copy of any exhibit is not available at the time the original is received, it will be the responsibility of the party offering such exhibit to submit the copy to the administrative law judge before the close of hearing. In the event such copy is not submitted, and the filing has not been waived by the administrative law judge, any ruling receiving the exhibit may be rescinded and the exhibit rejected.

Any party shall be entitled, on request, to a reasonable period of time at the close of the hearing for oral argument, which shall be included in the transcript of the hearing. In the absence of a request, the administrative law judge may ask for oral argument if, at the close of the hearing, it is believed that such argument would be beneficial to the understanding of the contentions of the parties and the factual issues involved.

Any party shall be entitled, on request made before the close of the hearing, to file a brief or proposed findings and conclusions, or both, with the administrative law judge who will fix the time for such filing. Any such filing submitted shall be double-spaced on 8½ by 11 inch paper.

Attention of the parties is called to the following requirements laid down in Section 102.42 of the Board's Rules and Regulations, with respect to the procedure to be followed before the proceeding is transferred to the Board:

No request for an extension of time within which to submit briefs or proposed findings to the administrative law judge will be considered unless received by the Chief Administrative Law Judge in Arlington, VA. (or, in cases under the San Francisco, California branch office, the Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge; or in cases under the branch offices in New York, New York, and Atlanta, Georgia, the Associate Chief Administrative Law Judge) at least 3 days prior to the expiration of time fixed for the submission of such documents. Notice of request for such extension of time must be served simultaneously on all other parties, and proof of such service furnished to the Chief Administrative Law Judge, Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge, or the Associate Chief Administrative Law Judge, as the case may be. A quicker response is assured if the moving party secures the positions of the other parties and includes such in the request. All briefs or proposed findings filed with the administrative law judge must be submitted in triplicate, and may be printed or otherwise legibly duplicated with service on the other parties.

In due course the administrative law judge will prepare and file with the Board a decision in this proceeding, and will cause a copy thereof to be served on each of the parties. Upon filing of this decision, the Board will enter an order transferring this case to itself, and will serve copies of that order, setting forth the date of such transfer, on all parties. At that point, the administrative law judge's official connection with the case will cease.

The procedure to be followed before the Board from that point forward, with respect to the filing of exceptions to the administrative law judge's decision, the submission of supporting briefs, requests for oral argument before the Board, and related matters, is set forth in the Board's Rules and Regulations, particularly in Section 102.46 and following sections. A summary of the more pertinent of these provisions will be served on the parties together with the order transferring the case to the Board.

Adjustments or settlements consistent with the policies of the National Labor Relations Act reduce government expenditures and promote amity in labor relations. If adjustment appears possible, the administrative law judge may suggest discussions between the parties or, on request, will afford reasonable opportunity during the hearing for such discussions.

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