February 23, 2005
NLRB Makes Advice Memos More Accessible
The National Labor Relations Board has enhanced the way in which the public can search for documents posted on its Web site, particularly Advice Memoranda issued by the Office of the General Counsel.
Advice Memos are now arranged on the Web site by date of issuance with a year-to-year breakdown going back to the 1960s. Previously, these memos were sorted by the date of their release to the public. Another improvement is a new tool that links a user to the most recent publicly available Advice Memos.
These enhancements will enable the researcher to locate released Advice Memos by topic, case name, and number or date of issuance. They were implemented by the Division of Advice, a component of the Office of the General Counsel that is responsible for legal research and advice to Regional Directors on unfair labor practice cases involving novel or difficult legal issues, including questions involving mandatory or discretionary injunction proceedings.
The Office of the General Counsel routinely releases to the public Advice Memos in cases where the Division of Advice concludes that the charge should be dismissed, and those where the Division authorized issuance of complaint but the case has closed and the case is not related to any open case. In announcing the research improvements on the site, NLRB General Counsel Arthur F. Rosenfeld stated:
We have not until now been able to provide a search mechanism for these memoranda. This new system will allow easy substantive research of these decisions. It will give the public and the Bar more information about the workings of the Office of the General Counsel, and is consistent with the principles of an open and transparent government.
This improvement in the accessibility of Advice Memos is part of the NLRB’s broad effort to make its decisions and other documents available online to the public, including Board decisions, Administrative Law Judge decisions, and Regional Director decisions, other General Counsel memoranda, the Weekly Summary of NLRB Decisions, manuals, Federal Register and other public notices, Rules and Regulations, and NLRB publications.
Among the Agency’s research tools already available is CiteNet, a searchable database containing the Classified Index of NLRB Board Decisions and Related Court Decisions, which allows the public to find a synopsis ("digest" or "scope note") of relevant issues found in Board and selected court decisions since February 1, 1992 (Board volume 306 to present). The NLRB classification system is a detailed key number system for issues in Board decisions.
Researchers may search the database by classification number, topic keyword or case name. A quick start guide on the site explains how to use the system. A hard copy version of the Classified Index updated in October 2003 can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office.
Thanks to The E-LawLibrary Weblog for the tip.
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