Below are FAQs about the Settlement Judge Program. If you have additional questions, please contact the Office of Administrative Law Judges for assistance.
Requesting a Settlement Conference
Who can request a settlement conference as part of the Settlement Judge Program within the Office of Administrative Law Judges?
Any party may request a settlement conference.
How do I request a settlement conference?
Request a settlement conference by submitting a written request to the Chief Administrative Law Judge. You may submit the request by email to ULPSO@flra.gov, by facsimile to (202) 482-6629, by hand delivery, or by mail to:Chief Administrative Law Judge Office of Administrative Law Judges Federal Labor Relations Authority 1400 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20424
The written request may be informal, and it does not have to be in the form of a motion or served upon the parties. However, before submitting a request, you should consult with the other parties to determine whether they would be willing to participate in a settlement conference.
Participation in the Settlement Conference
Is participation in a settlement conference mandatory?
Pursuant to 5 C.F.R. § 2423.25(d), the Chief Administrative Law Judge may order cases to an independent settlement official to conduct private and confidential settlement negotiations. Historically, this process has resulted in a very high percentage of resolution of many cases entirely or of at least some of the pending issues. If ordered, parties must appear, be fully prepared to discuss all issues and have authority to settle all or part of the issues during the negotiations before a case will be set for a final hearing. All matters raised during the settlement negotiations remain privileged information and shall not be disclosed to the Administrative Law Judge conducting the post-settlement hearing. No party, under any circumstance, is required to compromise or relinquish any issue.
When will the settlement conference be held?
Typically, the settlement conference will be scheduled before the date that prehearing disclosures are due, which is two weeks before the hearing date. While the settlement conference will usually occur before the filing date for prehearing disclosures, a party may submit a request for a settlement conference any time before the hearing, and a conference may occur at any time before the hearing date.
Who will conduct the settlement conference?
The Chief Administrative Law Judge will appoint an appropriate official to conduct the settlement conference. It may be an Administrative Law Judge. However, it will not be the Administrative Law Judge who will conduct the hearing in the case, unless the parties agree to that arrangement.
Where is the settlement conference conducted?
Settlement conferences are typically conducted via a telephone conference call arranged by the official who will preside at the settlement conference.
Who should participate in the settlement conference?
Duly appointed representatives from each party, with authority to settle the case, should participate in the settlement conference.
Are settlement conference discussions confidential?
The individual who presides at the settlement conference will not discuss any aspect of the case with the Administrative Law Judge who will conduct the hearing, and no evidence regarding statements, conduct, offers of settlement, and concessions of the parties shall be admissible in any proceeding before the Administrative Law Judge or the Authority, except by stipulation of the parties. The same confidentiality and evidentiary limitations apply if the matter is appealed to the Authority.