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Clark Hill Attorney Barbara A. Ruga Presents on MERC’s Panel of Act 312 Arbitrators and Fact Finders

April 16, 2010


Clark Hill attorney Barbara A. Ruga presented on MERC’s panel of Act 312 Arbitrators and Fact Finders during their “Refresher and Training” Workshop.

The following topics were covered in today’s discussion:

Overview/Differences; Statutes & Rules; Appointment and Agency Procedures;

Methods of Appointment; Biography; Conflicts; Advocacy Status; Effective Use of Pre-Hearing Conferences; Procedural Challenges; Commission Involvement;

Setting Ground Rules; Stipulations, Subpoenas and Other Evidentiary Issues Exhibits/Witnesses; Court Reporter and Transcripts; Briefs; Controlling the Parties; Streamlining Hearings; Making the Record; Activism of Neutral; Raising New Issues at Hearing; Reducing/Limiting Issues; Remand to Mediation; Establishing Comparability; Economic vs Non-economic Issues; Statutory Factors; Mandatory Subjects of Bargaining; Minimum Manning; Final Offers; Role of Panel Delegates; Executive Session; Use of Draft Awards; Essentials of Award/Recommendation; MERC Billing Policy and Requirements; EFT Payments; Relations with the Media; Closing the Case; Filing with MERC; Post Award Issues.

Barbara A. Ruga

is a member in the firm’s Grand Rapids office where she practices in the Education and Municipal and Labor & Employment Law practice groups. Barbara has significant experience with a wide range of employment and school law matters where she primarily represents public school districts. In addition to her legal expertise, Barbara is a frequent speaker in public school districts where she addresses employment and school law issues for the Michigan Negotiators Association as well as for the Michigan Association of School Personnel Administrators. She was the 2007 recipient of the Harlow Claggett award from the Michigan Negotiators Association, for her contributions to public school labor negotiations.

Barbara has been heavily involved in the legal community having served and chaired on several community and professional committees and boards, and has authored several books and articles on labor and employment issues in the private and public sectors.

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