Over the next couple days, I want to briefly discuss the 3 major orders you will receive from your Judge in an MSPB Hearing.
1) the Acknowledgment Order;
2) the Scheduling Order; and,
3) the Pre-Hearing Summary.
There are a few other orders, but I will only talk about the big ones right now.
1) Acknowledgment Order -You will receive this order within 3-14 days after filing your MSPB appeal. The Order contains the Judge’s initial instructions to both sides about how to file Motions, when to initiate discovery, when the Agency’s File is due (and what should be in it), and some other instructions and guidance. Read this order very carefully, and highlight any mention of dates in it. While these orders are fairly similar from Judge to Judge, I have noticed some differences.
2) Scheduling Order – When you receive this Order depends on the particular MSPB Judge in your case. Some Judges send them out immediately after the Acknowledgment Order; others wait until the Parties have had a chance to do some discovery or discuss settlement. Regardless of when you receive it, this Order will contain a lot of important dates about your MSPB hearing. It will set times for status conferences, the pre-hearing conference, deadlines for pre-hearing submissions and will set the time and date for the hearing.
3) Pre-hearing Conference Summary. This is probably the single most important document in your MSPB Appeal. It tells you what issues you will need to prove, who you can call as witnesses, and what documents (outside of the Agency File) you can offer in evidence.
Though an MSPB Judge may not allow all of your witnesses or documents, you have a great deal of control over this document by investing the time to properly prepare your Pre-Hearing Submissions.
How this order turns out could have a dramatic effect on your MSPB Appeal.If you have questions about your MSPB appeal or an order you receive from an MSPB Judge, it may be helpful to consult with an attorney who practices before the MSPB.
If you ever realize you are in over your head, contact an MSPB lawyer to see if he or she can help you with your appeal.