Litigation and Advocacy Training Courses
FELTG offers a number of courses to enhance the knowledge and practical skills of those federal employees involved in litigation and hearings before the EEOC, MSPB, FLRA and in arbitration. From basic processes to the most advanced advocacy requirements, FELTG instructors deliver the content in practical, useful modules that provide the student with the tools needed to effectively practice employment law and represent the client when it matters most.
AD-1: Basic MSPB & EEOC Litigation (1 day)
This one-day course walks attendees through the legal theories of the MSPB and EEOC, as well as hearing formats and practices with guidance on witness preparation, evidence, pre-hearing submissions, opening and closing statements, and much more. This is a concise but thorough introduction for those new to the MSPB and EEOC processes.
Course Topics: Litigation timelines; timeliness; pre-hearing motions; discovery; hearing organization and structure; litigation strategies and techniques; writing documents for the MSPB and EEOC.
AD-2: Conducting Effective Discovery (1 day)
Discovery is your opportunity to obtain the information and documents that are critical to your case. But discovery is fraught with pitfalls. This session will cover everything you need to know about this critical stage of the litigation process.
Course Topics: Types of evidence; proper procedures for gathering evidence; interview techniques; deposition rules; dealing with difficult witnesses; witness rights to representation; management rights; union considerations; information requests.
AD-3: Hearings & Witness Preparation (1-2 days)
FELTG’s experienced instructors will methodically describe the keys of each step in prepping your case, whether it’s getting witnesses ready, developing the record, objecting to documents, or preparing your lines of questioning or closing statements. Learn how to prepare an engaging and effective case with FELTG, targeted to the appropriate forum.
Course Topics: Hearing types; examination and cross examination of witnesses; friendly and non-friendly witnesses; emotional witnesses; confrontational witnesses; documentary evidence; tangible physical evidence; credibility factors; prior bad acts; experts; forensic evidence.
AD-4: MSPB & EEOC Hearing Practices (3, 4 or 5 days)
This workshop-based seminar focuses on practicing effectively and successfully in administrative hearings involving federal employment law. Begin by preparing the case when assigned to a team that represents either the agency or the employee, get organized for the hearing, and learn the techniques of effective direct- and cross-examination. Try the case before an Administrative Judge and receive a critique along with the decision. Close out the program with an appreciation for the available appellate procedures.
Course Topics: Focus on practicing effectively and successfully in administrative hearings; preparing a case; getting organized for the hearing; techniques of effective direct and cross-examination; developing, preparing and trying the case. The four or five-day course culminates in a mock hearing.
AD-5: Writing for the Win: Legal Writing in Federal Sector EEO Cases
This workshop-based class covers the fundamentals of good legal writing, before the EEOC, and builds on those basics with sessions targeted to material organization, framing claims, neutral and persuasive writing, and drafting specific documents for the EEOC, including Letters of Acceptance/Dismissal, Final Agency Decisions, Motions for Summary Judgment, Appeals, and EEO Settlement Agreements. Through the use of several in-class writing workshops, you will receive immediate feedback, analysis, and evaluation from FELTG’s experienced instructors. Be ready to write!
Course Topics: The basics: legal writing and citation formats; argumentative approaches; writing from the reader’s perspective; organizational logic; word choice and structure; legal terms; court structure; defining and distinguishing claims, defenses and issues; handling fragmentation issues; F-IRAC in federal sector writing; persuasion; educating the reader; analyzing evidence; organizing arguments; distinguishing cases; writing Letters of Acceptance/Dismissal; drafting legally enforceable settlement agreements; writing Final Agency Decisions; motion practice and summary judgment; writing an effective Motion for Summary Judgment; OFO briefs; EEOC appeals; editing your work.
AD-6: Drafting Legally-Sufficient Discipline & Performance Documents (1 day)
Yes, some federal managers lack the courage to take disciplinary action or to hold poor-performing employees accountable. But the full blame doesn’t lie solely with managers. Legal practitioners and advisors often demand more than is necessary from managers and make everyone’s job too difficult. In this one-day class, you’ll learn the legally-required necessary steps to drafting the most effective discipline and performance documents, and will learn how to streamline the processes in order to to take actions more efficiently.
Course Topics: The foundations of the civil service; accountability for misconduct; discipline fundamentals and nexus; major options to discipline; probationary employees; misconduct v. unacceptable performance; the five elements of discipline; the procedures of discipline and appeal; drafting proposal notices, decision letters, legal requirements for performance standards; Performance Demonstration Period implementation memos and proposal and decision letters.
AD-7: Recent Developments in Federal Sector Employment Law (1 day)
One case. One executive order. Either can immediately turn federal sector employment law upside down. This comprehensive daylong course will help ensure that you don’t make an embarrassing mistake simply because you weren’t paying attention. We’ll review recent notable cases and reports from all the third-party adjudicatory and legislative bodies, but more importantly, we’ll also provide with these updates the in-depth analysis you expect from FELTG’s seasoned instructors.
Course Topics: The very latest on the MSPB, EEOC, FLRA, OSC & OPM; new legislation; regulations; case law; Executive Orders; policy initiatives; recent trends
Upcoming Litigation and Advocacy Training Events
Investigating harassment in your agency can be an intimidating assignment, one that is rife with innuendo, conflicting accounts, and raw emotions. Ensuring that your investigation is legally compliant and protects employees, while helping the agency minimize liability, is a taxing task. It’s even more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic when most investigations must be done virtually.
Together, these three instructor-led live training sessions will provide a solid basis for a successful and effective approach to conducting legally-sufficient harassment investigations that stand up upon third-party review. Peruse MSPB and EEOC cases and you’ll find that poorly conducted investigations are far more common than they should be, and the cost of these investigations to agencies are bigger than you’d expect.
Understand the differences between EEO and non-EEO harassment. Learn the best techniques to conduct an investigation – whether onsite or virtually. Write a report that covers all the crucial information. And much more.
This open enrollment FELTG Virtual Training Institute program Conducting Effective Harassment Investigations offers opportunities to ask questions of FELTG’s experienced instructors, and get answers in real time. Plus, this program fulfills the requirements for 8-hour annual EEO investigator refresher training.
You can register for any of the sessions individually, or you can register for all three. This program runs from 12:30 – 4:00 eastern each day, with a 30-minute break from 2:00 – 2:30 eastern. Participants will receive program materials via email on Monday, October 5.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Session 1: Investigating Harassment: Misconduct Principles
12:30 pm – 4:00 pm EDT (break from 2:00 – 2:30)
Presented by Deborah J. Hopkins, Attorney at Law, FELTG President
Course Description: An effective harassment investigation begins with a solid foundation of misconduct law in the federal workplace. Attorney and FELTG President Deborah J. Hopkins will explain the principles that underpin a successful investigation of federal employee misconduct, whether it’s on-duty or off-duty. Attendees will learn the five elements of discipline and understand how they relate to the misconduct investigation process. Plus, they’ll learn about evidence standards and burdens of proof in misconduct cases, how Douglas factors play in to an investigation, the importance of nexus, what to do when a witness won’t cooperate, and much more.
Attendees will learn how to:
- Identify the relationship between the foundations of federal accountability and misconduct investigations.
- Identify and collect relevant penalty evidence during the investigation.
- Recognize the mistakes that derail effective misconduct and harassment investigations.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Session 2: Understanding Harassment and Planning the Investigation
12:30 pm – 4:00 pm EDT (break from 2:00 – 2:30)
Presented by Katherine Atkinson, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor
Course description: What is the scope of the investigation? Who should you interview? What documents are you going to need? Preparing your investigative plan is a critical step in developing a legally sufficient investigation. Attorney Katherine Atkinson will explain the proper role of the investigator and how you can avoid the pitfalls of an insufficient investigation with the proper preparation and knowledge. Plus, she’ll answer important questions about representation: Does the witness have the right to a representative? Does the union have a right to attend the interview – even if the witness doesn’t want the union there? What rights does agency management have in the process?
Attendees will learn how to:
- Discern the difference between EEO and non-EEO harassment, and the impact that has on the investigations’ legal sufficiency.
- Identify witness rights and management rights.
- Recognize the three basic characteristics of evidence in a harassment investigation.
Thursday, October 8, 2020
Session 3: Conducting the Investigation and Writing the Report
12:30 pm – 4:00 pm EDT (break from 2:00 – 2:30)
Presented by Meghan Droste, Attorney at Law, FELTG Instructor
Course description: Attorney Meghan Droste will share legal principles and proven guidance to navigate this most critical and challenging part of harassment investigations: conducting the interviews and gathering relevant evidence. Attendees will leave the session with techniques for questioning, tools for reading body language, suggestions on how to handle difficult personality types, and tips for writing the fact-finding report (FFR) and report of investigation (ROI). Ms. Droste will also share how technology is changing the investigation process, including a very timely discussion of conducting virtual interviews.
Attendees will learn how to:
- Identify the similarities and differences in conducting onsite and virtual interviews.
- Apply logic and judgment to evaluate conflicting statements.
- Write a fulsome report on the findings from the harassment investigation.
- Early Bird Tuition (register by September 25): One Session = $325 | Two Sessions = $600 | Full Event = $850
- Standard Tuition (register September 26 – October 8): One Session = $375 | Two Sessions = $650 | Full Event = $900
- Rates per registrant. No split registrations permitted.
- Want to register a group? Group discounts are available through September 25. Contact FELTG.
- REGISTER NOW.
- Can I attend Virtual Training from my government computer?
- FELTG uses Webex to broadcast this Virtual Training Institute event. Many government computers and systems allow Webex access. If for some reason your firewall will not allow access, you’re welcome to use your personal email address to register, and to attend the sessions from your personal device.
- Can I earn CLE credits for this class?
- CLE applications are the responsibility of each attendee; FELTG does not apply for the credits on behalf of attendees. If you are seeking CLE credit, attendees may use the materials provided by FELTG in submission to your state bar. Attendees may also request a certificate of completion which will contain the number of training hours attended.
- Can I share my access link with co-workers?
- No. Registration for this event is per individual, and access links may not be shared. Each link may only be used by one person.
- Can I register a teleworker?
- This event is individual registration, so the cost is the same whether the person is teleworking or in an agency facility.
- How do I receive a group rate discount?
- Group rates are available for agencies registering 10 or more attendees for the full event. Group discounts are only available through September 25.
Cancellation and No-show Policy for Registered Participants: Cancellations made after the cancel date on the registration form will not be refunded or given credit toward future courses. Pre-paid training using the “Pay Now” option will not be refunded or given credit toward future courses. No-shows will not be refunded or given credit toward future courses.
These are demanding times. Even if your agency isn’t laser-focused on pandemic-related efforts, it is most certainly challenged to meet its mission while managing the burdens and stresses of a workplace changed by the coronavirus crisis.
Meanwhile, new issues arise that make navigating the complex and always-changing landscape of federal employment law even more difficult.
FELTG’s fall webinar series provides an opportunity to re-center your efforts, while you re-educate yourself on key legal concepts impacting today’s federal workplace.
Over eight 60-minute webinars, FELTG’s experienced and knowledgeable instructors provide support on everything from harassment to age discrimination, from medical removals to the new Federal Employee Paid Leave Act, from performance and disciplinary documents to whistleblower reprisal, as well as legal updates and recent case law involving EEO and labor relations. Register now for one, a few, or all of the courses in the series.
Sessions will be held on Tuesdays from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET. Click on any webinar title for a full description.
- October 13 – Addressing Age Discrimination in the Federal Workplace
- October 20 – Preventing and Correcting Hostile Environment Harassment
- October 27 – Solving Problems with Disciplinary and Performance Documents
- November 3 – When Employees Can’t Get to Work: What You Need to Know About Medical Removals
- November 10 – Implementing the New Federal Employee Paid Leave Act
- November 17 – Why, How and When to Avoid Whistleblower Reprisal
- December 1 – What’s Going on With Federal Sector EEO? Case Law Updates and More
- December 8 – What’s Going on at the FLRA? Case Law Updates and More
- Early Bird Tuition: $240 per site, per webinar (payment required by October 3)
- Standard Tuition: $270 per site, per webinar (payments made October 4 or later)
- Register for all eight webinars by October 3 and pay only $1825!
Teleworkers may be added to a main site registration for $40 per teleworker, on a space-available basis. Have a bunch of teleworkers? Contact FELTG for group discounts.