21 Admin. & Reg. L. News 1 (1995-1996)

handle is hein.journals/admreln21 and id is 1 raw text is: Published by the Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice  American Bar Association  Fall 1995' Vol 2 1, No. I

Professionalism and the Administrative

Law Judge
by Judge Alexander P White'
n recent years there has been a marked trend in
efforts to improve the professionalism of Adminis-
trative Law Judges (ALJs).2 One aspect of this
trend involved the development of educational semi-
nars, courses, and programs on administrative law,
both substantative and procedural, evidence, and
judicial performance. A second aspect included state
and federal ALJ performance evaluation A third
aspect embraced the creation of state ALJ central
hearing panels and efforts to create a federal ALJ
corps. Each of these -aspects continues to expand.
Ongoing modifications are occurring as a result of a
continuing dialogue to determine the most effective
methods to improve the professionalism of the ALJ.
With respect to the first aspect, several ALJ orga-
nizations have developed educational seminars, cours-
es, and programs on behalf of their members. These
organizationss are several: including the National
Conference of Administrative Law Judges (NCALJ)
of the Judicial Administration Division (JAD) of the
American Bar Association, the Social Security
Administration ALJ Association, the National Asso-
ciation of Administrative Law Judges (NAALJ), and
the Federa! Administrative La v Judges Conference.
For example, one educational program entitled Evi-
dence fo: the Administrative Law Judge, held in
Chicago, Illinois on May 17-19, 1995, reviewed the
rules of evidence, and offered practical guidance on
the conduct of an evidentiary hearing, including the
avoidance of evidentiary errors. It was co-sponsored
by the NAALJ, the NCALJ, the Illinois Government
Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association,
and the State Administrative Law Committee of the
Section of Administrative Law and Regulator Prac-
Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.
2 For the purposes of this article, I mean to include within the
term ALJ both federal ALJs and the state equivalents. Moreover,
most of the discussion can apply equally ell to those federal or
state hearinsg officers who are not technically considered Adminis-
trative Law Judges. Indeed, most of the discussion can apply
equally well to judges in the stare and federal judiciary.

tice of the ABA. The seminar also explained the
mechanics of reviewing the evidence, making find-
ings of fact, and deciding the case.
Additional courses on administrative law have
been added to the curriculum of the National Judi-
cial College in Reno, Nevada. The curriculum
includes not only basic and advanced administrative
law courses but also courses in evidence, word pro-
cessing, judicial writing and administrative law in
high volume proceedings. Educational guidance has
also been provided by organizations which specialize
in specific substantive areas. For example, the Inter-
national Association of Accident Boards and Com-
missions has developed seminars for workers'
compensation hearing officers. Also, the Association
of Trial Lawyers of America has presented courses in
workers' compensation for almost fifty years.
With respect to the second aspect of professional-
ism, state and federal ALJ performance evaluation,
there has been exten-
sive study of judicial
evaluation, not only
for ALJs but for all
members of the state
and federal judiciary.
In 1976, the Alaska                 M
Judicial Council pio-                   3
neered the concept of
structuring a program
to obtain reliable
information to help            N     rom.teSAe        k
voters make informed
decisions in judicial        Ro
retention elections.
The New Jersey
Supreme Court soon              W
followed with a pilot
ment program
designed to improve judicial performance both indi-
vidually and institutionally. New Jersey's program
also sought to enrich judicial education, promote
Continued/ on pRage 1
Produced by the ABA Press
Copyright © 1995 American Bar Association

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