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Boeing Company attorney William Kilberg wasted no time in asking an administrative law judge in Seattle Tuesday to dismiss the unfair labor practice case against the company, making the motion as the hearing opened. The proceeding—which began Tuesday before associate chief ALJ Clifford Anderson—is set to hear the National Labor Relations Board complaint against Boeing. The case is expected to last several weeks, and the losing party is likely to appeal to the NLRB in Washington, D.C., and eventually to a federal appeals court. The first days will be spent hearing what would be considered “pre-trial motions” in a regular trial, including Kilberg’s Hail Mary motion to dismiss. The NLRB has accused the company of illegally retaliating against union workers for past strikes by adding a non-union assembly line for the 787 Dreamliner passenger jet in Charleston, South Carolina. The first assembly line continues to work in a plant near Seattle, and the NLRB wants Boeing to move the second line there. The company denies the unfair labor practices charge. Boeing general counsel Michael Luttig told a congressional panel in May that he expects to lose the hearing and the appeal to the NLRB, although he thinks Boeing will eventually prevail in court. Tuesday’s proceeding was moved to a larger courtroom to accommodate the expected crowd, but it was only about half full when the hearing began at 9am Seattle time, according to Reuters news service. NLRB acting general counsel Lafe Solomon was not expected to appear at this time. Reuters tweeted that there were almost as many lawyers in the courtroom as members in the audience, which numbered about 60. Kilberg and several other lawyers from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C., are representing Boeing, along with Richard Hankins and a team of lawyers from McKenna Long & Aldridge in Atlanta. Seattle NLRB attorney Mara-Louise Anzalone is counsel for Solomon. David Campbell, managing partner of the Seattle law firm Schwerin Campell Barnard Iglitzin & Lavitt, is representing the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union, which filed the original complaint. Meanwhile, Solomon is scheduled to appear Friday, under protest, at a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing in South Carolina to face tough questioning about the case.

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