Conduct of the Hearing
MANUAL FOR ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES AND HEARING OFFICERS, R. Heverly, ed., New York State Deptartment of Civil Service, 2002
52 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2010
Date Written: 2002
This chapter examines the basic responsibilities of an administrative law judge in conducting the hearing and ensuring an orderly and fair presentation of the evidence to be determined. The chapter states general principles as to the ALJ’s responsibilities and how the ALJ should fulfill those responsibilities at each stage of the proceeding. This includes commencement of the hearing, opening, presentation of proof, receipt of testimony, maintaining order and decorum, dealing with unrepresented parties, and concluding the hearing. The purpose is to show how an ALJ can conduct a hearing so as to give the clear impression that it is not a contest for advantage by the use of technicalities, but rather an informal and searching inquiry into the facts and law of the case. Informality, however, is not synonymous with chaos, but merely an absence of unnecessary and time-consuming technicalities. An adjudicatory proceeding must not only be a fair hearing in fact, but it must also have the appearance of a fair hearing. Assuring such fairness is the goal of the ALJ.
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