Course Outline

DISCIPLINARY HEARINGS IN DEPTH*

Course Outline**

I. PREPARATIONS BEFORE THE HEARING

A. Do You Have All the Pertinent Documents/Evidence?
B. Discovery: Requests for Witnesses and Documents Prior to the Hearing
C. Preparing Your Member for a Disciplinary Hearing – Anticipate Management’s Questions
D. What If the Member Disagrees with Your Plan for the Hearing? E. Do Your Homework F. Taking Notes.

II. HEARING GROUND RULES

A. Taking Control of the Hearing for the Union
B. Recorded Transcripts vs. Informal/Unrecorded Hearings
C. Recording the Hearing or Playing Back the Transcript During the Hearing
D. Get It Into The Record - You Are Speaking to the Arbitrator, not the Hearing Officer or the Department Head
E. Off the Record Conversations
F. Don’t Ask A Question If You Don’t Know the Answer – Why?

III. OPENING STATEMENTS

A. What Do You Plan to Prove?
B. What Positive Thing Can You Say About Your Member’s Employment Record, Work Ethic or Personality?

IV. OBJECTIONS

A. Procedural Objections
B. Time Limits
C. Defective Charges
D. Bias of Hearing Officer/Hearing Officer Errors
E. Discriminatory Motives
F. What is a “Fair” Hearing?
G. Other Objections

V. MANAGEMENT’S CASE

A. Questioning Management Witnesses – “It’s Not Personal, Just Business”
B. Cross Examination
C. Show the Bias of Management Witnesses
D. What is a “Fair” Hearing? Is this Hearing Fair?

VI. UNION’S CASE

A. Questioning Your Member On The Record
B. Character Witnesses
C. Placing Documents into Evidence
D. On the Record Statements & Requests
E. Re-Calling A Witness

VII. REVIEW, REGROUP & GET IT INTO THE RECORD

A. Taking Breaks
B. Requesting to Continue the Hearing on Another Day
C. How to Handle Surprises in a Hearing
D. Requests to Hold the Record Open for Additional Documentation
E. What to Do When You Realize Your Member has Lied to You

VIII. CLOSING STATEMENTS

A. Summarize the Case
B. Tell the Reviewers of the Transcript What You Want

IX. FOLLOW-UP

A. Prepare Your Member For What Comes Next
B. Review the Transcript to Make Sure It’s Accurate
C. Review Your Performance To Improve Next Time

X. SPECIAL PROBLEMS

A. Member Vs. Member Cases
B. Union Vs. Union Cases
C. Employee Assistance Program Counselors as Witnesses
D. Handling Expert Witnesses
E. Charges are accurate but discipline is too harsh

*Please note that this course includes many opportunities to practice the skills taught in the course through role play and practice exercises.
**This outline does not include all topics covered in this course but is meant to provide an overview of the course.