44th Annual Southwest Rockies NAA Conference


02/23/2023 - 02/25/2023    
All Day


Houston Hobby - DoubleTree Hotel
8181 Airport Boulevard, Houston, Texas, 77061-4142
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44th Annual Southwest Rockies – NAA Conference
(National Academy of Arbitrators)

We hope you will make plans to attend the 44th Annual SW Rockies Regional Labor-Management Conference at the Houston Hobby – DoubleTree Hotel on February 23-25 2023.

On Thursday, Advocate Training will be led by NAA member Kathy Fragnoli , Esq. Assisting Ms. Fragnoli will be Lori LaConta, Esq., Houston, TX; Sharon A. Gallagher, Esq., Milwaukee, WI; Danielle L. Hargrove, Esq., San Antonio, TX; Kathryn (Katie) Durham, Esq., Atlanta, GA; Carl C. Bosland, San Diego, CA; Debra Simmons Neveu, Esq., New Orleans, LA; Diego J. Pena, Esq., Fort Worth, TX; Edward Valverde, Esq., Fort Worth, TX; and Louise B. Wolitz, Austin, TX

The topic to be addressed is to learn persuasive advocacy including effective pre-hearing techniques to investigate, evaluate, organize and confidently present your case; how to craft and deliver persuasive witnesses to testify; how to conduct effective direct and cross examination; how to admit and effectively use exhibits; and how to make winning objections to evidence. There will be a hands-on mock hearing giving you the opportunity to demonstrate opening and closing arguments, examine witnesses and effectively use exhibits. New and experienced advocates will learn innovative techniques and pitfalls to avoid.

Additionally, on Thursday, Arbitrator Training will be led by I. B. (Beber) Helburn,* Austin, TX; Pilar Vaile,* Esq., Yuma, CO, Margaret (Margie) Brogan,* Philadelphia, PA.

The topic to be addressed is “Ask Your Colleagues – Have burning questions for your colleagues or just considering becoming an Arbitrator?” If yes to either, join us for an all-day Arbitrator Training drawn exclusively from real-life case scenarios offered by our Arbitrator colleagues in the SWR Region and elsewhere. This training is intended for new, experienced and prospective Arbitrators, and will cover pre-, mid-, and post-hearing nuts-and-bolts issues commonly confronting arbitrators, as well as give you an idea of the variety of “you can’t make this up” scenarios that an Arbitrator may face.
After a late afternoon Agency Update session there will be a social hour followed by dinner and a talk by Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy, Esq.

Friday morning will begin with NAA member Rick Bales’ review of arbitration awards arising from COVID-related issues. The second Friday morning session will involve a panel discussion, arbitrators and attorneys, involving various topics.

Our luncheon speaker is Homer C. LaRue, Esq., NAA National President and will focus on the efforts of the National Academy of Arbitrators to enhance diversity within the arbitration profession and within the NAA. This should be a topic of interest to arbitrators and advocates alike because Academy efforts must involve relevant organizations as well as those who select arbitrators to hear their cases.

Friday afternoon workshops will include ethics, offered early and late afternoon, a postal panel, a police arbitration panel involving experienced police-case arbitrators and advocates, with the panel designed to take the entire afternoon in view of the controversies surrounding police arbitration. Attendees will have the option of going elsewhere or returning after the mid-afternoon break. Two other workshops will feature, respectively, the Biden FLRA moderated by Carl Bosland with special guest David Eddy, Esq., Special Counsel, FLRA. Also, the Biden NLRB will moderated by Edward Valverde, Esq., and guest Timothy Watson, Region 16 Regional Director, NLRB. They will be discussing the changes in the direction of their organizations one year into the Biden administration.

Saturday morning concludes the conference with the usual informal session for postal arbitrators and advocates. We believe that we have succeeded in putting together a very substantial and relevant conference and look forward to seeing you in Houston.

To register online for the conference, type into the browser

We have given a lot of thought to a conference that is not a super-spreader of the Covid-19 virus, particularly with the emergence of the Omicron variation. To protect your own health and the health of other conference attendees, we recommend that you have two initial vaccinations and a booster. We believe our attendees will be pro-active in protecting their own health and the health of other attendees in the labor-relations community. With this in mind, we will have a conference that will be a productive, and healthy experience for all of us.

Ruben R. Armendariz, NAA
Chair, Southwest/Rockies

Carl Bosland, Esq., NAA
Region Chair, Program Committee



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